Since exiled Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi, reappearing a day later in an Azerbaijani jail, suspicions of Georgian involvement in his kidnapping have remained. Mukhtarli himself has accused the Georgian government of complicity, and while this is a charge they deny, local rights groups are becoming impatient with the pace and transparency of the official investigation into his disappearance.
Georgian authorities have unveiled a wide ranging plan ‘to encourage contacts, movement, and relations’ with people in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The plan includes efforts to simplify trade, including from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the EU, and encourage students from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to study in Georgian institutions and abroad. The initiative will also include changes to Georgia’s Law on Occupied Territories.
The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, has suggested Georgia should ‘of course […] have contacts with civil authorities’ in Abkhazia, and possibly in South Ossetia. He supported Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s appeal to Russia to improve relations and calling for ‘direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and the Ossetians’. Kvirikashvili has come under intense criticism from the opposition since making the appeal last week.
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry ‘leaves space for conversation’. The PM has faced pressure for appealing to Russian authorities last Friday, and for the response it received from Russia.
Appointments to Georgia’s High Council of Justice have faced criticism because several of the judges have previously made controversial rulings, while one is accused of writing homophobic comments on Facebook.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has denied accusations of pressuring the media, after both Iberia TV and TV Pirveli accused the government of coercion. [Read more…]
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has said connections between the Orthodox Church and the education system should be strengthened. The comments come days after the head of the Church urged the government to consider the importance of a ‘spiritual upbringing’, in the wake of a fatal double stabbing outside a Tbilisi school.