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Georgia’s Interior Minister meets German and French counterparts

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, April 1
The German Federal Minister of Interior and Vice Premier of Bavaria, Joachim Herrmann, told Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Mgebrishvili on March 31 that he wishes to see closer cooperation between German and Georgian law enforcement bodies.

“Bavaria’s law enforcement bodies are actively cooperating with other countries’ counterpart structures. Relations with Georgia are of high importance to us as well. Of course, deep cooperation already exists but we want to further enhance our partnership,” the German official added.

Hermann told the Georgian Minister, who is on his official trip to Germany, that the number of crimes committed by Georgians in Bavaria was “very low.”

The German official also highlighted the high-level work of Georgia’s police attache in 16 federal territories of Germany and said all readmission documents sent to Georgia were responded to appropriately.

Mgebrishvili said the fact that Georgians were not even in the list of the top twenty countries whose citizens were committing crimes in Bavaria was welcomed, but it could not be the reason for complacency.

“We should decrease such figures to a minimum; we are ready to enhance ties both in operative and non-operative directions,” Mgebrishvili said.

On the previous day, Mgebrishvili and Georgia’s Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani met French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

Mgebrishvili said the joint efforts of various countries’ law enforcement bodies against illegal migration and organized crimes “had no alternative”.

Mgebrishvili stressed Georgia had already signed international memorandums with 15 European Union (EU) states to jointly fight against crime.

He said that “very soon” Georgia will sign a deal with Europol (Europe’s police service), concerning a operative and strategic partnership.

The Georgian officials also spoke about successful Georgian reforms and stated that the positive completion of the visa liberalisation process with the EU was of high importance for Georgia.

“Visa-free travel to the Schengen zone has a huge strategic and political importance for Georgians,” Mgebrishvili said, and hoped that the final decision of the European Parliament and Council would be positive over the topic.

The officials agreed on closer police ties in the future.

Mgebrishvili will finish his visit on April 6.