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Israeli ambassador excludes cancelation of visa-free travel

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 27
The Israeli Ambassador to Georgia, Shabtai Tsur, excluded the temporal cancel of Georgia-Israel visa-free travel as was proposed by the President of the Georgia-Israel Business Chamber, Itsik Moshe, in the wake of Georgian citizens’ complaints about abuse by Israeli border guards.

“Georgia and Israel signed a deal on visa-free travel in 2014, and diplomatic and other relations between the nations are improving. As for the statements about the situation at the border, both nations are involved in clearing the issue and I believe the case will be soon forgotten,” Tsur stated.

Earlier this month, several citizens of Georgia held a press conference wherein they stated they were treated badly by Israeli border guards.

They spoke in detail how they were verbally and physically abused by the border guards for the only reason that they were Georgians.

After the statements, Moshe offered a temporary, 100-day cancellation of visa-free travel for both countries and to create a special group that would study the issue.

Moshe also said there would a clear distinction between those who go to Israel as a tourist and those seeking jobs there.

“Tourist companies should work only for tourists; issues around job seekers should be settled by the governments of Georgia and Israel,” Moshe said.