On May 10, Interior Minister of France, Christophe Castaner, who is on an official trip to Georgia, met with his counterpart Giorgi Gakharia, and pledged to deepen police cooperation, especially against illegal migration.
At the meeting, the Georgian and French interior ministers, discussed deepening operational collaboration between the law enforcement agencies, and signed an administrative agreement aimed to better counter organized crime.
At a joint press briefing following the meeting, Minister Gakharia said that according to the agreement, two Georgian officers will be deployed in Paris and be directly involved in investigations throughout the country “especially in cases when Georgian citizens commit crime on the territory of France.”
He also reiterated Georgia’s readiness to make all the necessary steps together with France to decrease the number of asylum seekers, to counter organized crime and to ensure security of their countries. “Visa-free travel is Georgia’s greatest achievement of recent years and one of the most important tools for Georgia’s approximation to the European Union as well,” he stated.
Glad to host my colleague @CCastaner . Discussion focused on current challenges we face together: organized crime, terrorism, asylum seekers and security issues. Underlined the importance of visa-free travel and the ways to deepen ???? police cooperation. https://t.co/oqmzsnXxlP pic.twitter.com/oipHYwgkKJ
— Giorgi Gakharia (@GakhariaGiorgi) May 10, 2019
On his part, Minister Castaner said Georgia and France should work together to address three particular exigencies: fight against organized crime, fight against terrorism and action against illegal migration.
Noting that Georgia is a safe country of origin – “the country which takes care of its citizens, where public services are of certain quality, which is not at war, and where circumstances do not justify offering special protection” – the French minister said those seeking for asylum in this case in France “dreaming of the Eldorado… that does not exist” find themselves in conditions “that are not what they would have dreamed of.”
“So we need to work together… to act on cases of these illicit asylum requests…it is important for us to continue this combat and to deepen it,” he said, adding that “Georgia is a dynamically developing country and therefore the level of asylum requests from Georgia is an anomaly – an anomaly that we intend to firmly combat.”