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Georgia: President's spokesperson denies any deal on refugee centres with EU00:51

Georgia: President's spokesperson denies any deal on refugee centres with EU

Georgia, Tbilisi
March 7, 2017 at 17:44 GMT +00:00 · Published

Georgian presidential spokesperson Eka Mishveladze parried the question on the establishment of refugee centres in the country during a press conference, in Tbilisi, Tuesday. Mishveladze's comment came in response to Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz's recent call for the opening of refugee centres outside the EU borders, proposing Georgia, the Western Balkans or Egypt as potential locations.

Mishveladze stated that "the question of the reception of refugees has not yet been discussed in any meeting or at any level."

Last week, the European Council adopted an agreement liberalising the visa regime for Georgians travelling to the EU for 90 days within a 180-day period. The agreement will allow Georgian citizens visa-free entry to 26 countries of the Schengen zone. It is speculated that Georgia's visa liberalisation is part of EU plans to shift responsibility over the distribution of displaced refugees to countries outside EU borders.

Kurz, who became chairman of the OSCE on January 1, 2017, was on an official visit to Georgia earlier in February. However, according to Georgian Ambassador to Austria, Konstantine Zaldastanishvili, the proposal to set up migrant camps in the country was not discussed during the visit.

Georgia: President's spokesperson denies any deal on refugee centres with EU00:51
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Georgian presidential spokesperson Eka Mishveladze parried the question on the establishment of refugee centres in the country during a press conference, in Tbilisi, Tuesday. Mishveladze's comment came in response to Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz's recent call for the opening of refugee centres outside the EU borders, proposing Georgia, the Western Balkans or Egypt as potential locations.

Mishveladze stated that "the question of the reception of refugees has not yet been discussed in any meeting or at any level."

Last week, the European Council adopted an agreement liberalising the visa regime for Georgians travelling to the EU for 90 days within a 180-day period. The agreement will allow Georgian citizens visa-free entry to 26 countries of the Schengen zone. It is speculated that Georgia's visa liberalisation is part of EU plans to shift responsibility over the distribution of displaced refugees to countries outside EU borders.

Kurz, who became chairman of the OSCE on January 1, 2017, was on an official visit to Georgia earlier in February. However, according to Georgian Ambassador to Austria, Konstantine Zaldastanishvili, the proposal to set up migrant camps in the country was not discussed during the visit.

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