French, German, Swiss and Swedish ambassadors to Georgia have announced plans to meet with Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia in the coming days to discuss ways of decreasing the number of Georgian asylum seekers in their countries.
French ambassador Pascal Meunier says that Georgians are asking for political asylum in France, when “actually they have economic motivations.”
Georgia is on the list of safe countries in France, and nobody who applies for political asylum in France will receive [it]”, Meunier said.
Meunier says that the number of Georgian asylum seekers in France has increased after the enactment of the Georgia-EU visa free deal in March 2017.
In December 2017 we received 1,000 applications from Georgian citizens asking for political asylum, while the figures in previous months were up to 200. We should discuss ways with the Georgian Interior Minister how the problem might be settled,"Meunier said.
Pleasure to meet Ambassador of #Germany to #Georgia Mr. Hubert Knirsch and discuss the efficency of ongoing reforms in the Ministry as well as challenges regarding visa-free regime with the EU. Looking forward to continue our fruitful bilateral cooperation. pic.twitter.com/Ytg1h3zq8E— Giorgi Gakharia (@GakhariaGiorgi) December 20, 2018
Gakharia has already held a separate meeting regarding the issue with German Ambassador to Georgia.
Security issues have also been discussed during the meeting of Gakharia with the European Union Monitoring mission head to Georgia Erik Hoeg.
Good discussion today with Interior Minister @GakhariaGiorgi at @MIAofGeorgia. Discussed functional cooperation btw. EUMM and MIA through technical agreements in place, current situation at #AdministrativeBoundaryLine and the importance of #IPRM meetings. #EUMM #TowardsSecurity pic.twitter.com/0kXmjwNSAz— Erik Hoeg (@erik_hoeg) January 22, 2019
The Georgian government has already taken several steps to decrease the number of Georgian asylum seekers abroad, as illegal migrants from Georgia may create threats to the Georgia-EU visa free agreement.