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Waiting for the final green light:
Debates on visa waiver for Georgia come to an end

2 Feb 2017 - 13:57:00

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Agenda.ge,2 Feb 2017 - 13:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is waiting for the results of a historic vote.

European Parliament (EP) members have just finished a debate on allowing for visa-free travel to the European Union for Georgian citizens.

EP member Mariya Gabriel, a rapporteur on Georgia’s visa liberalisation, said at the EP plenary session today that this is not only a "historic day” for Georgia but for the EU as well, because "Europe should be surrounded by friends”.

Calling it a "new stage” of political and economic relations between the EU and Georgia, Gabriel said Georgia deserves the recognition it has made on its "long road” towards democratisation and other European values.

Gabriel urged MPs to vote for the legislation, arguing that "when we are talking about visas, we are talking about citizens, our common security, our future. Let’s finalise the procedure”, she said.

A majority of EP members agree that the Government of Georgia has done an "excellent job.” Those who were less inclined to wave the visa requirements for Georgia pointed at immigration, corruption and organised crime as "threats” to the EU.

Several EP members mentioned in response that Georgia was "the only pro-Western country in the region”, and that it is politically expedient to support allied countries.

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