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03.04.15 - 09.04.15

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Deadline Passes for Iran Nuclear Deal

Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of powers – the US, UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany – failed to yield a deal prior to Tuesday’s interim deadline. Statements indicate that progress had been made, however, and talks resumed on Wednesday. Both sides appear to be pushing for a comprehensive agreement in advance of late June’s hard deadline.

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British Embassy in Tbilisi Highlights the Work of ‘Conflict Pool’

On 31 March UK Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall hosted a reception to highlight the UK’s contribution to conflict resolution efforts across the South Caucasus and to thank current project partners for their valuable work. The UK’s Conflict Pool funding mechanism was established to enhance the effectiveness of the UK’s contribution to conflict prevention and resolution and has been funding a range of projects aimed at the resolution of past and on-going conflicts and the prevention of new ones.

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President Margvelashvili Bemoans “Systemic Parallelism” in Annual Report

On March 31, President Giorgi Margvelashvili delivered his second annual report to parliament, where he covered domestic and foreign challenges, economic development as well as the need for improvement in the election process. The President’s speech acknowledged the successes of the policies that the government has been pursuing over the year while outlining some aspects which had been less successful.

Members of the government including Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and his cabinet, although invited, did not attend the President’s address for the second time. However, the speech was held in the presence of foreign diplomats, civil society representatives, chairpersons of supreme and constitutional courts and the central bank chief.

As an epitaph to his speech, Margvelashvili asked for truth and stated: “If we want to make changes in the country, we need to start telling each other the truth.”

In terms of the domestic situation in Georgia, the President addressed the problem of governance and especially the challenges of systemic parallelism. According to him, establishing parallel councils headed by Prime Minister Gharibashvili is bound to cause inefficient and irresponsible decisions in domestic and foreign affairs of the country, since the functions of those institutions are not clear and usually overlap which diminish accountability of the government. “I consider that it is impossible to implement correct economic policies and reforms under the existing systemic parallelism,” said the President during his speech in the parliament.

Margvelashvili asked that functions be defined for each department and consequently authorities would be directly responsible for their actions.

“Economic progress cannot be imagined when Georgia has an Economy Minister who also serves as a Vice Premier, while at the same time his decisions are being hindered by several economic agencies,” added Margvelashvili

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Citizenship Clampdown in Abkhazia Leaves Georgians Fearful

Author: Zaza Jgharkava

Ethnic Georgians remaining in the occupied Abkhazia claim not to have felt so intimidated for a long time, probably since 1998 when the separatists started another ethnic cleansing campaign cloaked as a fight against Georgian guerillas. After the ‘Tangerine’ revolution and the coming of Raul Khajimba to power, the danger of ethnic cleansing resurfaced in the occupied Gali as Khajimba stated that he will oust every Georgian who has a valid Georgian passport.

Today, 20 per cent of the population in the occupied Abkhazia is ethnically Georgian, roughly 46,000 in total. Of these, 30,000 live in the Gali and Tkvarcheli regions, 25,000 of whom have obtained ‘Abkhazian citizenship’. However, after the apparent new wave of ‘Georgianophobia’ it is quite possible that many will be stripped of that ‘citizenship’. According to the New Post news agency, on the territory of the occupied Abkhazia, passports were taken from Georgians receiving assistance at the Abkhazbank. They were told that within a one-week period, they would receive Form 100, which is a document necessary to obtain a local passport. Abkhazbank is a branch of a Russian bank and is the de-facto state bank of Abkhazia.

Earlier, in order to reveal flaws in the passport-granting process, a special survey was conducted among the residents of the Gali district, according to which 96 per cent of Georgians said that they are citizens of Georgia. The initiator of the survey was Temur Nadaraia, head of the so-called administration of the Gali district. According to him, 18,071 persons living in 18 villages of the Gali district were surveyed and it was revealed that 17,372 of those were citizens of Georgia and 7,127 held Abkhazian passports.

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Social/Society

 Policy Forum Discusses Ways to Improve Teaching Quality

 EU Mobile Info Centre Begins its Travels around Georgia

Culture

 The Strategy of Culture Development Continues

 The Americans are coming: Etseri, Svaneti

Economy

 President Margvelashvili and Cartu-International Charity Foundation Unveil Plans to Usher a New Era in Georgia’s Public Schooling

Business

 Modern Greenhouse to Open in Gardabani

 Georgia to Produce Aircraft Parts

Sports

 World Stray Animal Day Events with Dog Organization Georgia

 Sports Fixtures

 
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