David Zankaliani has met with Georgians living in Portugal

22.04.2019, Lisbon – Within the framework of his visit to Portugal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, David Zankaliani will hold meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal Augusto Santos Silva and with the President of the union of Portuguese speaking states, Francisco Ribiero.
During the meeting, the sides will discuss co-operation between Georgia and Portugal both bilateral and within the International Organizations. An agreement on co-operation in the area of tourism will be signed within the framework of the visit.  
David Zankaliani already had a meeting with representatives of the Georgian Diaspora in Portugal, where he discussed the processes taking place in Georgia, successes made on the front of foreign policy, as well as the challenges facing Georgia and the government’s vision of the future development of the country.
The Minister brought to the attention of Diaspora members various project initiatives developed by the government, which are aimed to strengthen Georgian Diaspora in Portugal, including those relating to Sunday Schools, Diaspora projects fudning  and establishment of an effective network of communications with Georgian compatriots living abroad.
Highlighting Georgia’s successful European Integration process the Minister put a special accent on the political and practical significance of the Visa-Liberalization decision, already benefiting up to 600 thousand citizens of Georgia. According to David Zankaliani, there are cases of abuse by Georgian citizens of visa-free travel rules to the EU/Schengen zones that may negatively impact on the future prospects of visa liberalization.   As the minister made it clear, attempts of some citizens of Georgia to get asylum in EU member states are futile; their asylum applications cannot be granted as Georgia is included in a list of safe countries by Georgia’s partners.  The Minister expressed his concern over the attempts of certain politicians to use for their narrow political interests the economic hardships of some Georgian citizens living abroad.
According to Zankaliani, the visa-free regime is the greatest achievement of Georgia and it is the duty of all Georgians to take care of it. The Minister  urged Diaspora representatives to get the right message across to their friends and families living in Georgia.  In the words of Zalkaliani, the Government of Georgia is actively engaging with the European partners about the circular migration, which will eventually decrease the level of illegal migration. During the meeting, the sides highlighted the role of Diaspora in further developing the relations between the two countries and the importance of the Georgian embassies’ active participation in Diaspora-related developments.  

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