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Wednesday, 25 April 2018


Georgia happy to welcome drugs and terror

2011-05-03 18:32

Georgia happy to welcome drugs and terror. 16570.jpegLast week Georgia introduced a visa-free regime for a number of Balkan states. From now on Georgians won't have to waste time in consular lines approving sets of documents and will have a chance to appreciate the beauties of Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trouble is that Georgian parliament has had another "bright" idea that was not made public immediately: as it turns out, citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan are also welcome guests for Georgian authorities. The borderline innovations are a real threat of terrorism exports growth and increase in drug trafficking from


these precarious regions. However, the ministry of foreign affairs of Georgia is calm - since the plan for attracting investors and tourists must be pursued. Yet, attempts to comply with the statistics overlay all related risks.

Deputy FM Nino Kalandadze was pleased to announce amendments to the law on legal status of foreigners in Georgia. As it turns out, official Tbilisi is particularly concerned over free border crossing and 360-day stay of foreigners in the territory of Georgia. This unprecedented step has alarmed experts that fear increase in drug trafficking from Afghanistan and Iran. The government of the Caucasian republic carelessly underestimates this risk purporting that illegal emigrants will be subject to rigid control, and Georgian border guards will not miss a thing.

As Ms Kalandadze asserts, upon introduction of the visa-free regime for Iran, over the past year the number of Iranian tourists to Sakartvelo has almost doubled, and trade turnover between two countries has gone up by 63%. Iraq and Afghanistan can make their contribution too. Yet, a reasonable question is what kind of goods is best sold by Bedouins from Afghanistan and Shias from Iraq.

Even Washington sends anxious telegrams to Mikheil Saakashvili trying to bring the protйgйe that has gone too far to his senses. Facilitating the visa regime for Afghanistan and Iraq may turn Georgia into an unstable geopolitical player whose poorly coordinated actions will fill South Caucasus with heroine. The United States imposing democratic order in the Middle East are particularly displeased with the decision of the Georgian authorities. Quite recently the Department of State reported on similar developments upon introduction of the visa-free regime between Teheran and Tbilisi.

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