Tsulukiani Defends Immigration Policy after Iranian Criticism
Author: Zviad Adzinbaia
Responding to a statement of the Embassy of Iran in Tbilisi on March 10, Georgian Justice Minister, Tea Tsulukiani defended Georgia’s visa legislation, claiming that the country’s aspirations towards European integration requires an expansive range of reforms.
Tsulukiani, in her speech, emphasized that no large-scale reforms were possible without certain difficulties. The Minister stated that she will be working with her colleagues to resolve other emerging problems.
Tsulukiani, live-streaming on the TV program “Kronika” on February 18, stated: “Stiffening Georgia’s visa policy has not been easy for all. Not everyone, including the Tourism Agencies, are happy with the large-scale reforms Georgia has carried out. Since September 1, 2014, when the reform started, the flow of Chinese, Iraqi, Iranian and Egyptian tourists was reduced by 42,000,” she stated.
Earlier, the Iranian Embassy in the Georgian capital had released a statement condemning Tsulukiani’s position.
“We would like to say a few words concerning the Justice Minister’s unqualified and unreasonable statement regarding Iranian citizens: since 1992, when Georgia regained its independence, Iran was one of the first countries to recognize Georgia’s independence, established friendly relations and has supported it for 33 years”.