Azerbaijan, Georgia enjoy opportunity to deepen ties in various sectors

By Aynur Karimova

Azerbaijan and Georgia enjoy good opportunities for developing the relations in political, economic, energy, humanitarian fields, as well as in a multilateral format.

This was stated by President Ilham Aliyev at a meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze in Baku on March 7.

During the meeting, Janelidze, who was in Baku with his first official visit, said the two countries' foreign ministries are actively continuing their joint work and projects.

President Aliyev, in turn, stressed the importance of cooperation between the relevant bodies of the two countries.

The president further said that a number of issues have been successfully resolved between Baku and Tbilisi and the two countries are getting closer to each other.

As part of the Baku visit, Janelidze met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov, who also appreciated the bilateral ties.

Speaking at a briefing held after the meeting with the Georgian minister, Mammadyarov said Azerbaijan and Georgia plan to intensify the strategic partnership.

He also noted that they discussed the prospects for developing and intensifying the strategic partnership, as well as the cooperation in energy and transportation sectors.

“Azerbaijan highly appreciates the cooperation with Georgia within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project, the implementation of which will expand our cooperation in the transportation sector,” Azerbaijan's top diplomat added.

He also noted that the parties agreed to hold the next meeting of the border delimitation commission. “We have invited Georgian experts to Baku to continue the talks in this area."

Baku and Tbilisi are also expected to expand the legal framework as over 10 documents on bilateral cooperation are under development.

Janelidze, in turn, said that the two countries are bound by close cooperation in energy sector, recalling that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Baku-Supsa project.

“Our cooperation also covers the transportation sector,” the Georgian minister said. “Both countries will closely cooperate to develop the economic potential.”

Saying that Georgia also supports cooperation in the customs area, Janelidze noted that it is necessary to develop the legal framework between the two countries.

“We will also continue to cooperate on international arena. Both countries support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each other and I hope that this position will remain unchanged,” he added.

He further added that Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili will pay a visit to Azerbaijan soon.

Azerbaijan and Georgia established diplomatic relations in 1992, one year after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. In October 1997, Azerbaijan and Georgia became two of the four founding members of GUAM, an organization that also includes Ukraine and Moldova.

Today, relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia are more than strategic partnership. The two countries are successfully cooperating in the political field, and strategic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia is developing from day to day.

The two neighboring countries enjoy not only good political relations, but also long-standing and successful cooperation in the energy sector. Further, Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR is deeply involved in the energy market in the neighboring South Caucasus republic.

Azerbaijan has long been one of Georgia’s largest trade partners, with trade turnover between the two countries reaching $433.95 million in 2015.

Azerbaijan mainly exports petroleum, petroleum oils and gases, gypsum, anhydrite, plaster and other products to Georgia, while motor cars, live bovine animals, bars and rods of iron, as well as cement, make up the majority of imported goods from Georgia to Azerbaijan.

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Aynur Karimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Aynur_Karimova

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