Georgia’s Internal Affairs Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri has met with the Minister of Interior of the French Republic, Christophe Castaner in France.
During the meeting, Gomelauri thanked his colleague for the support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and stressed the importance of the support of the French Republic to country"s European integration process.
Castaner talked in his speech about people who are seeking asylum on the territory of France.
“In the first month of this year, Georgia held the first position in numbers of asylum seekers – this was anomaly since Georgia is recognized as a safe country of origin and we know that Georgia is a modern and dynamic country that offers quality services to its citizens at an affordable price, sometimes even for free, almost with the same obligations as in France. During the first months of this year we have registered extremely large number of asylum seekers that have traveled through the visa liberalization.
However, 97% of their requests were not satisfied. We have discussed adoption of specific measures of control with Georgian side, including at the departure and arrival airports; we have expressed readiness to enhance cooperation to fight again organized crime. I would like to underline the progress we have made and express my gratitude to my Georgian colleague for high-level cooperation. After my visit to Georgia, within the framework of existing cooperation, the number of asylum seekers has been decreased during recent months, approximately 50%. It is important to maintain this outcome.
Our cooperation is also significant in the area of fight against crime and we welcome 3 Georgian police officers in Paris who will be further reinforced by 2 liaison officers that will work together with our departments. I understand that there could be delicacies related to migration but I would like to state the position of France that we would not endanger the agreement between Georgia and the European Union on visa free travel. Certainly, we should spare no efforts, protect not only citizens of Georgia, but also other nationalities that we host in France.
However, when this mechanism is abused it is crucial to have a firm and cooperative position. In the framework of this cooperation we have unprecedentedly increased consular staff working on Georgia.
I would like to state for all Georgians who intend to travel to France to seek for asylum that in frames of our cooperation we will be rather strict and offer asylum only those who truly deserve it. Hereby, I would like to underscore the engagement and efforts of the Minister of Internal Affairs”, - said Christophe Castener.