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Efforts Underway on Georgia-Iran Visa Free Travel
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 24 May.'10 / 18:23

Political declaration on willingness to lift visa requirements between Iran and Georgia has been made and now “technical, inter-agency” works are underway on the document, Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said on May 24.

She said that negotiating process on the matter would start after the document underwent internal procedures in various state agencies.

Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, announced about the intention of the two countries to cancel visa requirements during his visit in Tbilisi last week. 

“We welcome this decision, as it is very important from the economic point of view for our country,” Kalandadze told journalists on May 24. “It might be an interesting for individual citizens in terms of trade opportunities.”

“Of course it in no way means shift in Georgia’s foreign policy and it does not come in conflict with [Georgia’s] foreign policy priorities, involving integration with the European Union, visa facilitation with EU and membership into NATO. Based on our country’s national interests and based on our citizens’ economic interests, we want to open all the ways,” she said.

She also said that planned visa free agreement with Iran “will not have a negative effect on Georgia-U.S. relations.”

“We have friendly relations with all the states, which protect our country’s independence, interests, sovereignty and recognizes territorial integrity of our country. We want to have good neighborly relations with all the states in the region.”

“Iran is one of the strongest states in the region. At the same time, we have our strategic partners, like the United States and we are in constant dialogue with [our partners] and we do not deem that this decision [on visa free travel with Iran] will create problems,” Kalandadze added.

She also said that not only exact date was yet set for the possible visit of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Georgia. “Talks on how this visit may take place are premature yet,” Kalandadze said.

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