TBILISI, DFWatch – A report from an Israeli news agency contradicts what the Georgian government is saying about negotiations over visa rules between the two countries.

New agency Izrus writes that Israeli officials acknowledge that there are going to be negotiations with Georgia about visa-free travel, but deny that there already are ‘intense negotiations’ as Georgian officials have been claiming.

According to the portal, Israeli Foreign Affair and Tourism Agency denies that there are intensive negotiations in progress regarding establishing visa-free travel by the end of 2012 between the two countries, which was reported by Georgian media. But the Israeli agency confirms that there are going to be negotiations in the near future.

“The Georgian side emphasized that it already has unilaterally abolished visa requirements for citizens of Israel. In this regard, an agreement was reached only to begin negotiations on the abolition of visas,” Yigal Palmor, press spokesperson of the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry says, adding that there are no negotiations regarding the issue yet.

Israeli has agreed to start negotiating, he says, but it’s still too early to talk about terms.

The Tourism Ministry also confirms that Israel is only starting the negotiation process now. According to them, it would be good if the process ends soon and visa requirements are lifted by the end of the year; however it’s early to talk about when it will happen specifically.