European Union

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Secretary general of Georgian opposition party demands persecution to stop

Secretary General of the United National Movement of Georgia V. Merabishvili demanded persecution and threats started against his party members after the elections on October 1 to be stopped.The official said that over 2,000 activists had been questioned. He plans to request the international society to stop the process. Notes will be sent to embassies of the EU and US. Merabishvili added that a letter of solidarity will be written for every party member questioned.

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Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Alasania has met Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak and discussed bilateral military cooperation, Georgian participation in the ISAF mission in 2014, News Georgia reports.Lajcak expressed support of Georgia as a member of NATO and the EU. The Slovakian foreign minister met Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze, State Minister for Integration in European and Euro-Atlantic Structures Alexi Petriashvili.

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Turkish president complains about EU

 Turkish President Abdullah Gul told his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaite that negotiations on EU membership were complicated, despite Turkey’s powerful economy and relations with many major members of the European Union, such as the UK and Spain.Gul expressed regret that it takes so much effort to solve the visa problem of Turkey and the EU.Moreover, the Turkish president said that many EU states had been recommending to start a process on granting Turkey full-fledged membership in the EU since 2005. 

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Iranian presidential polls will not affect nuclear talks

 Spokesman of EU Chief Diplomat Catherine Ashton, Michael Mann, said that Iranian presidential polls in mid-2013 will not affect the talks with six mediators, RIA Novosti reports.Kazakhstan is hosting a new round of talks of Iran and six mediators (Russia, US, China, France, UK and Germany). The talks started at 10.30 am.

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EU to focus on developing ties with Azerbaijan

 President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy said that intensified development of relations with Azerbaijan was a new goal of the EU. It has been a state for transit since the creation of the Silk Road, Trend reports.Azerbaijan has demonstrated impressive economic growth and the EU wants to keep the positive processes going, Rompuy continues. Baku plays an important role in global and regional security.

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Alma Ata to host new round of Iranian nuclear talks

Alma Ata is hosting another round of talks about the Iranian nuclear program. Spokesman of EU Chief Diplomat Catherine Ashton, Michael Mann, said that Iran had presented its proposals to six mediators in February and expects a clear response to the initiatives.

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 Iran hopes that the negotiations on the nuclear program of Iran to be held in Almaty on April 5 will start with recognition by the "Group of six" its right to uranium enrichment, Agence France-Presse reported with reference to the statement of the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, says Trend."We think that they can start the negotiations tomorrow with the phrase that they recognize Iran's right to enrichment (of uranium)," Jalili said in Almaty.

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Russia needs to study the South Caucasus better

The Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov is hosting an international scientific conference entitled “The South Caucasus: new geopolitical realities. Economic, security, the humanitarian field”. Alexey Vlasov, Executive Director of the North-South Center for Political Analysis and Editor-in-Chief of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted the importance of 2013. He said that the year was filled with political matters.

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Turkey plans to renew purchases of Iranian gas and will sign a contract worth $120 million paid in gold, Reuters reports.Turkey exported gold worth about $120 million to Iran in February after announcing a moratorium in January. No gold was sold in January.The US Treasury passed new sanctions against Iranian petroleum income on February 6, 2013.Turkish Minister for Economy Zafer Caglayan said on January 4, 2013, that the EU was persuading Turkey to stop gold trade with Iran.

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North Korea continues to be in the focus of the world media after it conducted a nuclear test on February 12. An article "North Korean secrecy on bomb test fuels speculation on nuclear advances" was published today by the Washington Post on the subject."North Korea’s belligerent threats in recent weeks have increased concerns among American and South Korean officials and ratcheted up worries about the level of progress made on long-range missiles and nuclear weapons by Pyongyang," the article reads.

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 Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey will put all efforts into joining the EU if Brussels assists in the process, Anadolu reports.The minister added that the process may become a strategic goal of Turkey.Turkey and EU became strategic partners by signing a treaty in Ankara in 1964. The Copenhagen Criteria passed in 2002 became the basis for membership. Turkey started political and economic reforms in 2002 and talks to join the EU in 2005. 

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Chechen leader says high-ranking officials should stay in Russia

Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov says that high-ranking officials should be restricted from going abroad permanently or for a certain period. He pointed out the negative prospects of foreign visits of ex-Minister for Defense Anatoly Serdyukov, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, ex-President Mikhail Gorbachev, former Finances Minister Alexey Kudrin, oppositionists Mikhail Kasyanov and Boris Nemtsov, Boris Berezovsky

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