Israel’s Internal Affairs Minister visits Georgia

Internal Minister of Israel Gideon Saar and his Georgian counterpart Aleksandre Tchikaidze., 24 Apr 2014 - 19:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Internal Minister of Israel is singing Georgia’s praises after first day of his official visit to the country.

While here, Gideon Saar held official meetings with Georgian religious and civil society leaders. He also met the country’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili and discussed the positive outcome of implementing visa free travel between Georgia and Israel.

A bilateral agreement came into effect in November last year to allow Georgian citizens to be able to travel visa free to Israel for tourism or other private reasons.

Garibashvili emphasized this decision would contribute to the strengthening of relations between the two countries, in tourism and trade, as well as attracting offshore investments.

Moreover, further discussions focused on the agreement between the Georgian and Israel governments about cooperation in the fight against crime and other related issues.

This afternoon the Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II received the Israeli representative at the residence of the Patriarchate.

His Holiness noted Georgian people and the Orthodox Church had a "special love” for Israel and Israeli people.

"There is a saying that a blessing by Israeli people means you are being blessed by God,” Ilia II said at the meeting.

Saar said the friendship offered by Georgia and the country’s positive attitude towards Israel was the reason behind his visit. The Minister said he was honoured to be here and the visit was "significantly important” as it reminded Georgian believers of the possibility to enter Israel without a visa this Easter.

"I know the people of Georgia and the nations living in Georgia have a particular respect, trust and love towards your Holiness. As the representative of Israel, it is a special honour to meet you”, Saar said.

Also today Israel’s Internal Minister met with his Georgian counterpart Aleksandre Tchikaidze.

The two sides highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation between the two countries and noted the recently signed visa-free travel agreement.

The parties also expressed a strong commitment to work together closely to reduce terrorism and organized crime.