“We were able to impart new quality to Armenian-Georgian cooperation over the past one and a half years” - Nikol Pashinyan meets with Giorgi Gakharia
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An official welcoming ceremony for Prime Minister Nikola Pashinyan was held in the Office of Georgian Government. First, the anthems of Armenia and Georgia were played, after which Nikol Pashinyan and Giorgi Gakharia welcomed the two countries’ delegations. Then the two prime ministers had private talks.
In his speech, Giorgi Gakharia noted: “Mr. Prime Minister, dear Nikol, I am glad for the opportunity to host you in Georgia. Our governments are working on a daily basis to deepen our good-neighborly relations. I concur with your view that high-level contacts facilitate effective interaction between government departments. I have kept warm recollections of our Yerevan meeting: it was quite effective. I am confident that today’s meeting will serve as a good basis for deepening relations between the two nations.”
Giorgi Gakharia noted that Armenia and Georgia find themselves in a complicated region, and both countries understand that regional stability is the key to sustained development. “We must first of all think of peace, and then talk about political, economic and cultural issues,” the Georgian Premier said.
Giorgi Gakharia expressed confidence that today’s meetings would give the opportunity to discuss all issues of mutual interest. The Prime Minister of Georgia thanked Nikol Pashinyan for the warm welcome in Yerevan and accepting the invitation to pay an official visit to his country.
In turn, Nikol Pashinyan thanked his Georgian counterpart for the invitation and for a warm welcome: “Dear Mr. Prime Minister, dear Giorgi, the importance of our bilateral relations cannot be overestimated. Our peoples are bound by deep-rooted cultural, political and historical ties. We have lived side by side for thousands of years, and the time has come to think of regional development at least for a couple of centuries. What I am saying is not just beautiful language, because our perception of bilateral relations with Georgia is of strategic nature. Our cooperation covers a broader range of aspects, but we mean a completely different dimension of regional interaction. Another factor in strengthening the Armenian-Georgian relations is the shared commitment to democratic values. This is another major cornerstone,” Nikol Pashinyan pointed out.
The Prime Minister stressed that both countries were able to impart new quality to Armenian-Georgian cooperation over the past one and a half years, and expressed confidence that his visit would help upgrade the ongoing cooperation. Nikol Pashinyan noted that the two governments are implementing the standing agreements with targeted steps.
Then the talks were continued in an expanded format. Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized that there is huge untapped potential in the Armenian-Georgian relations, and its full development is an important part of the bilateral agenda. According to the head of the Armenian government, the two governments are now better poised to upgrade their economic interaction.
“Democracy is important in this regard. Our countries’ investment attractiveness will increase should Armenia and Georgia come to be perceived as democratic nations. We respect Georgia’s drive for Euro-Atlantic integration. It turns out that our countries have different views on security systems, but I think we have a common view of our security. Armenia cannot be a threat to Georgia’s security, and Georgia cannot be a threat to Armenia,” Nikol Pashinyan underscored, adding that during his visit to Georgia half a month after assuming the office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, he proposed this very formula as a basis for bilateral relations.
“We welcome Georgia’s position, which states that conflicts should be resolved peacefully. Conflicts in the world and in our region are different in terms of their content, origin, history and depth. If we had a single formula for settling conflicts, then they would have already been resolved. We consider each conflict in the totality of its features. In this regard, I am glad that we can constructively cooperate with Georgia. The fact that we are a member of the EAEU, and Georgia has signed a free trade agreement with the EU, creates new opportunities for the furtherance of cooperation,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The parties discussed a number of issues high on the bilateral agenda. They highlighted the steps aimed at expanding trade and economic cooperation and, in this context, considered it necessary to implement measures that could help deepen business ties.
Nikol Pashinyan and Giorgi Gakharia next referred to the implementation of promising projects in the transport, energy and other sectors, stressing the importance of developing the transit potential of the two countries in terms of inland infrastructures, electricity and telecommunications. The interlocutors exchanged views on cooperation in high technology, education and science.
Issues of regional importance were explored during the meeting. Nikol Pashinyan and Giorgi Gakharia stressed the need to settle conflicts exclusively through peaceful means.