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EPP President explains his words about Georgia’s visa-free travel with EU

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, March 31
The President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Joseph Daul, who said several days ago the upcoming parliamentary race could hinder visa-free regime to Georgia with EU, arrived to Georgia on March 29.

He met the EPP’s allied party in Georgia, the United National Movement (UNM), and made additional explanations for his statements about Georgia's visa-liberalization prospects.

Daul, was also held meetings in Georgia’s legislative body.

“I understand that my previous statement regarding Visa Liberalization caused different reactions. My statement was made sincerely, as the European Council and European Parliament still have to decisions to make with regards to granting Georgia visa-free travel or not,” stated Daul.

Daul stated he would be the first person to support Georgia’s visa liberalization.

“All I want is that people not to be disappointed. Everyone should remember that the final decision has not been made yet. Due to this fact, citizens of Georgia should be ready for any kind of decision,” stated Doul.

Doul called upon the Georgian government and its citizens to keep fighting against corruption and to strengthen the rule of law and judicial independence.

EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman said he could not name a certain date when Georgia would be given visa liberalization. As Herman said, the European Commission has submitted a relevant legislative proposal to the European Parliament and the Council.

“This means that a new phase has started in Georgia’s visa liberalization process. Now everything depends on the Council’s and Parliament’s decisions,” stated Herman.

State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Davit Bakradze commented that he was not scheduled to meet with Daul, but said everyone who had a chance to meet him should inform him about Georgia’s progress and successful reforms.

Before coming to Georgia, Daul said if the upcoming elections were not fair and transparent, the situation would have affect Georgia's chances for visa-free travel in the Schengen zone, despite the previous positive assessments of the European Commission.