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EU visa waiver ‘very soon’

By Messenger Staff
Monday, October 31
Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze has stated all indicators were in place for Georgia-European Union (EU) visa liberalisation negotiations to be successfully completed very soon.

The Minister made the statement in the wake of the European Parliament lawmakers’ appeal to the Council of Europe to start negotiations on exempting Georgian citizens from the EU visa requirements "without any further delay, at the beginning of November”.

“Such a statement from the European Parliament means the body is ready for the Georgia-EU visa liberalisation negotiations to be completed as soon as possible,” Janelidze said.

“Consequently, all indicators are in place the process to be very shortly ended,” Janelidze added.

In a letter sent on October 26, lawmakers of the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) invited the Council of Europe to open talks on Georgia’s visa liberalisation "as soon as possible”.

The lawmakers underlined that the inter-institutional discussions on the review of the suspension mechanism - which allows a temporary reintroduction of visa requirements in certain situations - are ongoing, with negotiators actively seeking solutions to the remaining open issues.

The terms of solving Georgia’s visa-free travel issue will be largely dependent on the timely adoption of the suspension mechanism.

It is extremely important for Georgia’s visa liberalisation negotiations to be completed soon, as the country had fulfilled all its obligations for the visa waiver and the Georgian public is losing its faith in European promises; in the October parliamentary elections, a pro-Russian party was able to win a few seats in Georgia's legislative body, a sure sign that confidence in the EU has fallen since the previous elections of four years ago.