- Visa-free travel agreement will be signed;
- Georgian MFA: deepening ties with Iran not “an irritant factor” for the U.S.
Iranian Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, will visit Georgia on November 3-4, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Visa-free travel agreement between the two countries will be signed during the visit, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
The Iranian Foreign Minister will also travel to Georgia’s Black Sea town of Batumi and open Iran’s consular office there.
During the visit Manouchehr Mottaki will meet his Georgian counterpart Grigol Vashadze and President Saakashvili, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
Nino Kalandadze, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said on November 1, that both countries were interested in increasing bilateral trade and boosting tourism.
“We are trying to reduce bureaucratic barriers and that’s the reason behind visa-free travel agreement,” she said at a news conference on November 1.
She said boosting ties with Iran was not “an irritant factor for anyone”, including for Georgia’s western partners and in particular for the United States.
“Georgia and the United States are strategic allies; so in relationship with a third country, we [Georgia] firstly take into consideration strategic partnership, which we have with our allies and especially of the United States,” Kalandadze said.
“At the same time, we largely – and it is not a secret – depend on the United States’ political support; hence, it is totally groundless [to think] that we are somehow questioning this strategic cooperation. When we have relations with a third country, establishment of these relations are carried out transparently, openly, in frames of permanent dialogue with our allies and in frames of a sovereign state’s decisions.”
“We have no covert relations, especially in respect of Iran. We simply stress that we want to have good relations – both political and economic - with all the large countries, especially in our neighborhood. Iran is one of the strong countries with which we try to have these relations,” she said.