Garibashvili: War in Karabakh was challenge for region, but it will transform into new opportunity
High-level Armenian-Georgian talks led by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili have ended in Tbilisi.
As reported the news service of the Government of Armenia, the Prime Ministers of the two countries met with the media representatives and made statements summarizing the results of the talks. In his speech, Garibashvili touched upon the Armenian-Georgian cooperation, as well as the recent war in Artsakh. The full text of the statements is presented below.
Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili
Mister Prime Minister,
Members of the delegation,
I welcome my friend and my colleague, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
It is a great honor for me to host him here in Georgia. Once again, I would like to congratulate Mr. Prime Minister on the victory in the recent elections. Of course, it is an excellent opportunity for a new era in Armenia and for the Armenian people. I have familiarized myself with Mr. Prime Minister's new vision, which is focused exclusively on his country's stable development and the Armenian people's prosperity.
Of course, the war in Karabakh has been a challenge for our region, but now, getting acquainted with Mr. Prime Minister's new vision, I am confident that this challenge will transform into a new opportunity, opportunity that will bring prosperity to Armenia and the Armenian people. I want to also say that we attach enormous importance to Armenia's political and economic stability, as it is tied directly to the stability of our country and the region in general.
Consequently, I would encapsulate our common regional goal in three words: peace, stability, and prosperity, something that binds together all three countries of our region. As you know, Georgia has always been an advocate of peaceful cooperation and coexistence in the South Caucasus. And we proved it in deed not long ago. A few months ago, we had an opportunity-namely through my mediation and direct involvement and commitment from Mr. Prime Minister, and through the efforts of the President of Azerbaijan-and we, the leaders of our three countries, succeeded in achieving an agreement on releasing Armenian POWs in return of providing Azerbaijan with maps. This successful precedent gives us an opportunity for optimism.
I reassured to the Prime Minister my full commitment to continuing active mediation toward confidence-building, something very important to us as the cornerstone of our further cooperation. We are open to discuss new ideas for cooperation, new projects. Of course, we discussed issues related to economy, trade, transport, and connectivity, including large-scale projects suggested by Mr. Prime Minister. We also talked about tourism, energy, culture, education. These are the issues we just discussed and have a perfect agreement on.
I want to say that our country has very exciting transit potential, something we also discussed, so that our countries' potential may be used to the fullest.
I want to also note that given the numerous conflicts raging in the course of the past three decades in the region, with some of them still unresolved, our common vision and effort must be dedicated to the region's gradual transformation into a place of new opportunities, development, and peace. This must be our main vision, and we will continue working in this direction.
Once again, I thank Mr. Prime Minister for his visit. It is an honour and joy for us to host him.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan
Esteemed Mr. Prime Minister,
Firstly, I want to thank you for the warm reception. Of course, our countries and peoples are linked with centuries-old friendship, and I have to continue the idea of Prime Minister Garibashvili that one of the key peculiarities of our todays discussion was that the biggest portion of our today's talks was dedicated to opening an era of peaceful development in our region, something my political force and I discussed with our citizens during the recent early elections.
Yes, we mutually state that, unfortunately, there are many unresolved issues, conflicts and threats in our region, but we try to help each other to focus on the opportunities that exist in parallel. I think that supporting each other in utilizing the opportunities is the very formula that should make risk management more feasible and accessible for us.
Once again, I want to thank Prime Minister Garibashvili for his assistance in the repatriation of 15 Armenian POWs on June 15. During those days, when we were discussing, we called each other dozens of times, it was a pre-election campaign period, and I was even joking, saying that during those two days I communicated more with the Prime Minister of Georgia than with our voters. I think that those two days were very important in terms of forming a new level of personal cooperation between us, and the atmosphere created during those days is an excellent basis for more effective and closer relations between our countries and Governments.
We agreed to reactivate the work of the intergovernmental commission in the near future. I must also emphasize the fact which has been emphasized before. In terms of our relations, it is very important that our countries continue to show their commitment to democracy, to democratic processes, and this, I think, also creates new opportunities for us to develop our relations. In terms of our relations, it's very important that our countries continuously demonstrate their commitment to democracy and democratic processes, which creates new opportunities for the development of relations.
I presented to Prime Minister Garibashvili our proposals and perceptions over regional issues and solutions enshrined in the Action Plan of the Armenian Government. I think there are new opportunities here as well, the use of which is not a reality yet, but we were talking about that we should make efforts to use those opportunities.
Yes, we discussed the existing transit opportunities. By the way, this does not refer to the transit opportunities of Armenia separately, or of Georgia separately. We discussed what we could do to enhance each other's potential. In that sense, now you are aware that programs are being implemented in the field of energy, we are also discussing programs in the field of transport communication, I hope that we will be able to find the most effective option from the possible solutions.
I must state that in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, our specialists have cooperated quite actively and continue to cooperate. Here, too, we have expressed readiness to jointly develop our capabilities to fight against this evil.
Of course, the presence of a large Armenian community in Georgia is a very important factor for our relations. Our position is that the Armenians of Georgia, as full-fledged citizens of Georgia, must continue to serve, be a key factor in the stability, unity, development of Georgia, this is the position we have, we express. I want to thank the Government of Georgia for the opportunities created for the preservation and development of the identity of the Armenians of Georgia. This is a topic that unites us, makes our relations more effective, promising and strategic.
We discussed many issues, and I think it could be noted by the time we spend on the discussions. The agenda of our cooperation is very wide, and the most important recording is the following: we agreed that we should focus more on the results, so that our high-level political dialogue can be reflected by concrete numbers in various sectors of the economy.
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