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Need for Georgia-EU visa waiver

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, Novemmber 17
The European Union's (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, says the situation in Georgia is “extremely positive” and there is a need for the EU to deliver on its visa liberalization for the country.

The EU top official stated this following a meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium.

“This was an issue that not only [EU’s Foreign] Ministers discussed, but which I raised to the Ministers in the very beginning – visa liberalization both for Georgia and for Ukraine - with a clear sense around the table of the Foreign Ministers that this is a priority for the European Union to deliver on that,” Mogherini stated.

She stressed that Georgia had “met the criteria and there was a determination to move forward on that”.

“I am looking forward to the visit of the Prime Minister here. It was considered by all that the situation in Georgia is clearly extremely encouraging, extremely positive and that there is a need on the European Union's side to deliver on visa liberalization,” the EU High Representative said.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) has already backed plans to grant citizens of Georgia the right to travel to the Schengen area without a visa.

The European Commission also stressed Georgia met all the obligations drafted within the Georgia-EU Visa Liberalization Action Plan (VLAP).

The Council of Europe has also reported on the significance of ending the decision-making process on Georgia’s and Ukraine’s visa liberalization in time.

The Eastern Partnership program was discussed at the November 14 session when the Council still confirmed it considered the partnership very important as a particular format of the European neighborhood policy.

The council also welcomed implementation of the commitments agreed on the summit in bilateral as well as in multilateral formats. It recognized the progress achieved by the partner countries emphasizing that the reforms should still continue.

“The council welcomes implementation of the Association Agreement with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine that provides acceleration of political association and economic integration with the EU,” the Council said.

The council also backs the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts according to international law and principles.