Armenian and Georgian Prime Ministers hold high-level talks in Yerevan
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today received a delegation led by the Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze, who has arrived in Armenia on an official visit. After the official welcoming ceremony, Nikol Pashinyan and Mamuka Bahdadze had a tete-a-tete conversation at which they discussed the current status and prospects of bilateral friendly relations.
Greeting the Prime Minister of Georgia, Prime Minister Pashinyan noted:
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Let me once again congratulate you on your election to the responsible post of Prime Minister of Georgia and wish you successful implementation of all programs to the benefit of Georgia and for the sake of improving our relations.
I have kept warm memories of my recent visit to Georgia after being elected Prime Minister and I hope that your visit may double the optimism we had during my visit to Georgia.
While in Georgia, I suggested a new formula for our relations, the essence of which is as follows: Georgia and the Georgian people must be convinced that there are no conspiracies, negative feelings, any threats in the actions and intentions of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people, and the Armenian people and the Republic of Armenia should be confident that there are no conspiracies, negative feelings, any threats against the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people in the actions and intentions of Georgia.
In connection with this visit, I want to add one more detail to this formula: I think that in their actions and external relations neither Armenia nor Georgia should not forget about the special nature of our neighborly relations. In any case, I did so from the very first day of my election as Prime Minister. I am convinced that you are doing the same, and so do all the representatives of Georgian authorities. You are welcome to Armenia.”
In his speech, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze noted:
“Mr. Prime Minister,
Thank you for such a warm welcome. I am always pleased to come to Yerevan. I believe that having been developed throughout many centuries, the relations between our two nations are indeed very important. After all, we are not starting from a blank page, are we? Instead, we are building on our centuries-old history.
You know that Georgia has gone a long way of reforms, which was full of challenges. Our new programs are also full of ambition, and we are working on new reforms. I think we will cooperate in this direction. International financial institutions view Georgia as a reformer, and I think that we will share with you our experience, if necessary.
Today our trade turnover stands at about 400 million dollars, though I think that this is not enough; all the potential is not being used, and rigorous steps should be taken in this direction. We are most interested in the development of our political, economic, cultural and educational exchanges.”
Following the Prime Ministers’ private talks, an extended meeting was held, involving the government delegations of the two countries. Highlighting the high level of political dialogue, the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia discussed ways of expanding cooperation in energy, transport and tourism. In this context, both sides stressed the importance of intensifying the work of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation and reached an agreement on holding a regular meeting of the commission in Tbilisi as early as this November.
With reference to the bilateral trade turnover, which stands at USD 400 million, the two heads of government agreed that this figure is unsatisfactory and there is great potential for achieving better results. Mamuka Bakhtadze noted that it is necessary to work actively to bring the trade turnover up to the mark of 1 billion dollars, and suggested setting before their economic teams the task of removing the barriers along this path and reaching the proposed target.
Nikol Pashinyan and Mamuka Bakhtadze also touched upon regional problems, stressing the importance of peaceful settlement of conflicts in order to ensure security and peace in the region.
The interlocutors exchanged views on the prospects for developing and implementing regional energy and infrastructure projects, which would contribute to the economic development of the whole region, increase trade turnover and ensure stability. The parties stressed the importance of participation and effective cooperation in international structures with a clear understanding and respect for each other’s vital interests.
As for the strengthening of Armenian-Georgian humanitarian ties, Prime Ministers Pashinyan and Bakhtadze stressed the importance of continued partnership for strengthening cultural and educational ties and raising awareness among young people.