European leaders congratulate Georgia for moving closer to visa liberalisation

Foreign politicians and diplomats sent their congratulations to Georgia today after the Council of Europe decided to discuss Georgia’s EU visa waiver. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 05 Oct 2016 - 18:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

European high officials are sending warm congratulations to Georgia after the Council of Europe gave the green light to discuss Georgia’s visa waiver to the European Union (EU) with European Parliament.

Congratulations came via Twitter several hours after the Council of Europe announced the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) had agreed, on behalf of the Council, a negotiating position on visa liberalisation for Georgia.

This meant European Parliament must now vote for Georgia to gain a visa waiver to the EU – and this was the final step before Georgia is officially granted a visa-free deal to travel in the EU’s passport free Schengen Zone.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn welcomed this "much deserved” progress in a comment posted on his official Twitter account:

European Parliamentarian Mariya Gabriel, who is a rapporteur of Georgia’s visa liberalistaion, also welcomed the news on social media:

Kristian Jensen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, urged "speedy agreement” with the EU following the news:

While Michael Kamitschnig from the EU said this was a "signal” for Georgia:

European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulus said the today’s Council of Europe statement was an "important step before a final decision”:

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said this success was "long awaited and deserved:”