“The number of tourists traveling between Iran and Georgia is not considerable,” Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Massoud Soltanifar highlighted in a meeting held on Sunday with Deputy Chairman of the Georgian Parliament Gubaz Sanikidze in Tehran, calling for a strong resolve for an increase in the number of tourist.
“There is a very good ground for the cooperation between the two countries in economic, scientific, and cultural aspects,” he added.
“Georgians have been acquainted with Persian culture since the ancient times. Georgia is determined to improve ties with Iran,” Sanikidze said.
Sanikidze also described the past interaction between both countries positive, and insisted on rebuilding the traditional relations.
“Georgians have long been familiar with Iran’s rich culture, and if I had a say in UNESCO, I would inscribe Iran in its entirety in the UNESCO World Heritage List,” he added.
During his visit, he also met with National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Alaeddin Boroujerdi in a separate meeting. “Terrorism should be fought more seriously and constantly with participation of all regional countries,” Boroujerdi noted
Iran’s Parliament speaker Ali Larijani is another official who Sanikidze met. “Alternative and fossil energies, scientific relations, economic cooperation and good transportation, and exchange of experiences in legislation with the objective of facilitating foreign investment attraction are areas where we could immediately go into action in implementation of the agreements,” said Larijani.
”Now, fresh horizons are open to both countries; with growing contacts between parliaments and governments of both countries, Iran and Georgia would see facilitated trade, and more open and unregulated Chambers of Commerce activities in path to more extensive economic relations,” he pointed out.
Welcoming the Nuclear agreement between Iran and P5+1 group of world powers, “we believe that the deal would help improve peace and stability in the region in addition to its role in expanding mutual trade and economic ties,” Sanikidze stated.
“Parliaments enjoy high level of ties and the Friendship Group would contribute to this improvement in attempts to facilitate bilateral ties, which the present visit seeks to address,” Sanikidze, Head of Iran-Georgia Parliamentary Friendship Group, said.
Georgia and Iran enforced rules for free visa regulations from January 2011, until early July, 2013 when Georgia tightened the visa rules for Iranian citizens.
A Georgian embassy official in Tehran told Tehran Times, visa rules have been recently relaxed and Iranian citizens can obtain electronic visas (e-visa) before entering the country.
The official said Tbilisi has no plan to resume rules for visa free travels for Iranians in the near future, however he added the e-visa facility allows the possibility to apply for a Georgian visa in simpler steps.