By Edmond Y. Azadian
There is no love lost between the Armenians and Georgians. These two Christian nations in a heavily Muslim neighborhood, have lived together for centuries. Armenians, true to their propensity for flourishing in foreign lands, built Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, into a center for arts and culture during most of the 19th century. As a reward, they suffered Georgian jealousy which grew until the Soviet takeover of the country in 1920, when under the guise of the proletarian ruling over the capitalists, Georgians expropriated the homes and lands of the Armenians and began to implement the darkest kind of nationalism under the Soviet rule.
When the Soviet empire collapsed, many nationalities on the periphery found themselves with conflicting territorial claims. A similar situation erupted earlier in the 20th century, when the Czarist empire collapsed. Armenians and Georgians had a brief war as a result of which the historic Armenian province of Javakhk was left on the Georgian side of the border.
Jealousy, conflicts, back-stabbing have characterized the relations of these two nations more than cooperation and friendship.
Since its independence, Georgia has sided and cooperated with Turkey and Azerbaijan in every possible instance, whether voting at the United Nations or building rail and energy networks. Tbilisi has cooperated with Turkey and Azerbaijan to isolate Armenia and to strangle its economy. In a recent interview, the Georgian ambassador to Ankara, Irakli Koplatadze, announced that the trilateral cooperation between Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey is “on the rise. In line with the pipeline, projects of global importance [Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, ongoing Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway construction and the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline] the recently launched energy-producing and transmitting projects serve the best long-term interests of the whole region to ensure security, stability and prosperity.”
Of course, Armenia does not figure in any of the above projects and it has been deliberately left out, thanks to the collusion of Tbilisi with Armenia’s enemies.