Interior Min.: It's Georgia's Responsibility

The Interior Ministry stated in response that Administrative Court Judge Amiram Benyamini ruled in his verdict on the previous petition by Vahtangov and the two others lacking citizenship, "The state must be allowed to exhaust all possible means to return the petitioners to their countries of origin." He also ruled that only if such efforts fail will there be room to consider granting them work and residency permits, but "solely as a last resort."

The acting spokesman for the ministry, Moshe Mosko, announced: "Since the verdict, the state has been working at a diplomatic level with Georgia and Tajikistan to arrange for their citizenship in those countries. The efforts include activity by Israel's ambassadors. At this stage the efforts have not been exhausted. The state must be allowed to exhaust its efforts." (S.I.)