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Israeli Knesset Chairman met with media representatives

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, November 10
The chairperson of the Israeli Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, and the Ambassador of Israel in Georgia Yuval Fuchs held a meeting with media representatives at the Israeli Embassy on November 6.

Edelstein discussed the relationship and mutual problems faced by both Georgia and Israel. He said that Georgia and Israel have common problems.

“Georgia and Israel have always had a good relationship. During my visit I have met with high-ranking officials and discussed different issues. With my counterpart I signed a memorandum of understanding. I was pleased to know that the Parliament’s inter-faction group won an international prize for open government. During my meeting with the Prime Minister, we discussed the challenges faced by both Israel, Georgia and the region as a whole. It's evident that we have many common challenges,” stated Edelstein.

In his speech, Edelstain welcomed the abolition of visas for the citizens of Israel, which was reciprocated by Tel Aviv. He stated that the visa free regime has increased traffic between the two countries.

“This year, 60, 000 visitors from Israel visited Georgia. I am sure that over the next few years the number will continue to increase,” stated Edelstein.

He underlined the importance of the role played by the Georgian-Jewish community in two countries' relationship.

“These people, who before lived in Georgia and later came back to Israel, have a very positive attitude toward Georgia. They love Georgia as their own motherland and this attitude is reflected in the relationship between our two countries as well,” stressed Edelstein.

He also discussed his meeting with Georgia’s Patriarch.

"When I met with the Patriarch I saw the perfect example of what a real leader should be like. He is someone who supports a wonderful relationship between two religions and two ethnic communities. And this happens in Georgia, while anti-Semitism is increasing all over the world, including democratic European countries as well,” said Edelstein, adding that Georgia can be proud of the fact that it is a model country in terms of ethnic tolerance.

At the end of the meeting, Edelstein said that Israel and Georgia have a wonderful relationship and instead of just making declarations about these wonderful relations, the two sides are trying to deepen the ties and enrich them with some practical initiatives.

The Knesset Delegation visited Georgia on November 5-7 and was led by Edelstein.

During his time in Georgia, Edelstein held meetings with his Georgian counterpart Davit Usupashvili, the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II, as well as the Foreign Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

However, this was not Edelstein's first visit to Georgia. According to him, he was in Georgia after the war in 2008 and also in 2012 as the Minister of Diaspora.