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President Zourabichvili Discusses Migration with Minister of the Interior of the French Republic

President Salome Zourabichvili hosted the Minister of the Interior of the French Republic, Mr. Christophe Castaner, who paid an official visit to Georgia.
Their discussion was focused on the current relations between Georgia and France in the areas of migration and combating organized crime.
President Zourabichvili noted that the government of Georgia actively works to reduce illegal migration, and that to do so, it is important to inform the population through relevant awareness campaigns.  Georgia and France share a joint position on avoiding suspension mechanism of visa-free travel.
As for combating organized crime, it was underlined that bilateral relations are underway between both countries’ governments, exchange of information has a systematic character, and Georgia has sent police attachés to France.
The meeting was also focused on President Zourabichvili’s new initiative to hold a migration conference at the end of the year, which the President previously discussed with EU Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Federica Mogherini in Brussels. The necessity to efficiently implement agreements on circular migration with those countries where record already exists (including France) was emphasized. The benefit of implementing pilot projects that will help retrain Georgian specialists and promote their professional growths was noted.
Reducing the rate of asylum-seekers was also discussed. The French Minister of the Interior emphasized that the issue of Georgians requesting asylum for medical reasons is being scrutinized, noting that medical standards and costs (especially in cancer treatment) is almost identical in France and Georgia.

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