Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, right, and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia

Prime Minister Pashinyan Pays High-Level Visit to Georgia

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TBILISI — The official reception of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on March 3 visited Tbilisi, where he was welcomed by his Georgian counterpart, Giorgi Gakharia.

Then the Prime Ministers had a private talk. In his speech, Gakharia said: “Dear Prime Minister, Nikol, I am pleased to have the opportunity to host you in Georgia. We work at the government level on a daily basis to deepen our neighborly relations. I am confident that our meeting today will also serve as a good basis for the deepening of relations between the two peoples. ”

Gakharia added that Armenia and Georgia live in a complex region and both countries understand that regional stability is the basis for the development of states. “We must first take care of the peace for our countries and then political, economic, cultural issues,” the Georgian Prime Minister said.

Pashinyan also thanked for the invitation and warm reception. “Dear Prime Minister, Dear Giorgi, The importance of our countries’ relations is hard to overestimate. Our countries have deep cultural, political, historical ties. We have lived side by side for millennia, and it is time to think about our joint development in this region, if not millennia, then centuries. What I am saying is not simply a beautiful formulation, but our perceptions of our relations with Georgia are of a strategic nature. Our countries have broader cooperation in both common and differentiated, but we view our regional relations on a completely different plane. Another factor strengthening Armenian-Georgian relations is the commitment to democratic values. This is another important corner stone. “Nikol Pashinyan said. The Prime Minister emphasized that during the last one and a half years the cooperation with Georgia has been able to give a new quality and expressed conviction that this visit will further strengthen the level of bilateral cooperation. Nikol Pashinyan added that the governments of the two countries succeed in pushing forward all agreements with clear steps.

Afterwards Nikol Pashinyan and Giorgi Gakharia continued the negotiations in an extended format.

Pashinyan noted that there is a great deal of unused potential in the Armenian-Georgian relations and its full implementation is an important part of the bilateral agenda. According to the head of the Armenian government, the executive bodies of the two countries here have many opportunities to bring economic cooperation to a whole new level. “Democracy is also important in this respect, because in my view, if people perceive Armenia and Georgia as democratic territories, the investment attractiveness of our countries will increase. We respectfully aspire to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration. It turns out that our countries have different perceptions of security systems, but in my opinion we have a general idea of our security. Armenia cannot be a security threat to Georgia, and Georgia cannot be a threat to Armenia,” Pashinyan emphasized, adding that half a month after assuming the post of Prime Minister of Armenia, he proposed this formula during his visit to Georgia as a basis for bilateral relations.

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“We welcome Georgia’s position that all conflicts should be resolved peacefully. In general, the conflicts in the world and in our region are completely different from each other, in their content, origin, history and depth. The fact that we are members of the EAEU [Eurasian Economic Uion] and that Georgia has signed a free trade agreement with the EU [European Union] creates new opportunities for our cooperation, and discussing them will be at the heart of our discussions,” Pashinyan said.

Afterwards, the interlocutors discussed a number of issues on the Armenian-Georgian agenda. The parties attached importance to the steps aimed at expanding trade and economic cooperation and in this context considered necessary to undertake measures aimed at deepening business ties. Nikol Pashinyan and Giorgi Gakharia touched upon prospective projects in transport, energy and other fields, highlighting the development of transit potential of the two countries in the field of land, electricity and telecommunications.

The parties also exchanged views on cooperation in the fields of high technology, education and science.

Issues of regional importance were also touched upon. Both leaders stressed the importance of exclusively peaceful means to resolve conflicts.

Pashinyan was later hosted by Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili.

Welcoming Pashinyan, Zurabishvili praised the friendly relations between the two countries and noted that the issues and initiatives discussed at today’s meetings would give a new impetus to the further development and strengthening of relations.

“It is a pleasure to meet you again. I can state that the Armenian-Georgian relations have been developing since our first meeting,” Pashinyan said, expressing confidence that during the visit new opportunities for development of interstate cooperation would be outlined.

Pashinyan and Zurabishvili discussed a number of issues on the agenda of Armenian-Georgian relations. Afterwards the discussions continued during the official dinner.

Pashinyan later met with Georgian Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze.

Talakvadze stressed the importance of the active cooperation between the governments and parliaments of the two countries and emphasized that this visit would contribute to the further strengthening and expansion of the ties between the Armenian and Georgian peoples. He praised the cooperation formed between the parliamentarians both in bilateral relations and on international platforms.

Pashinyan stressed the importance of close cooperation between the parliament deputies, noting  that the close relations of the Armenian and Georgian parliamentarians have an important contribution to the development of good neighborly relations between the two countries.

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