Georgian top officials, clerics, emphasise the role of diaspora in Georgia-EU visa free deal

  • A forum titled Strong Diaspora for United Georgia has been held in Tbilisi.Photo: 1TV., 27 May 2019 - 13:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister and President, as well as the Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II have emphasised the role of the Georgian diaspora in the maintenance of the EU-Georgia visa free deal, “one of the biggest achievements of the country,” at the diaspora forum held in Tbilisi earlier today.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze thanked the Georgian diaspora for their “huge contribution and devotion” and requested them to also stand around the “national idea of education.

Human capital and an educated generation will lead us to a united and stronger Georgia,” Bakhtadze said.

President Salome Zurabishvili said that those who violate the EU-Georgia visa free rules harm Georgians who want to familiarise themselves with European culture and also the country’s image.

You, emigrants, are able to spread the message to prevent violations,” Zurabishvili said.

Ilia II stated that the activities of the Georgian diaspora have a big influence on the visa waiver.

He said that the Georgian government should do its utmost to “eradicate the issues” which might create threats to the visa free regime and urged the authorities to take steps which will allow emigrants return to the homeland.

The Georgia-EU visa waiver came into play on March 28, 2017.

Georgian citizens holding biometric passports can travel to the EU’s Schengen Zone for a period of 90 days within any 180-day period for purposes other than working.