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Georgian FM: Azerbaijan is Georgia's major strategic partner

18 June 2019 19:14 (UTC+04:00)
Georgian FM: Azerbaijan is Georgia's major strategic partner

By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade

Georgia and Azerbaijan have been maintaining strong well established relations which are mainly based on huge energy, transportation and economic partnership projects.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has told Georgian media that the strategic projects jointly implemented by Georgia and Azerbaijan meet the interests not only of the region, but along with neighboring Turkey, the interests of the European Union and the U.S.

Zalkaliani stressed that Azerbaijan is the major strategic partner of Georgia.

He also touched on the activities of the joint commission on the delimitation and demarcation of the Georgian-Azerbaijani border.

“The negotiations regarding the border between the two countries have their own consistency and strategy. The Georgian state does not intend to hold secret negotiations. Achieving consensus between the parties on border issues is very important,” he said.

Zalkaliani expressed hope that the two countries will be able to reach a general agreement on this issue.

In 1991, both Azerbaijan and Georgia restored their independence and diplomatic ties were established between them on November 18, 1992. In an effort to balance regional interests, on October 10, 1997, Azerbaijan and Georgia became two of the four founding members of GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development.

The neighboring countries broadly cooperate in various big projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, TRACECA, Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, etc. Regional military and security alliance of Georgia and Azerbaijan develops along NATO's Partnership for Peace Program and the common protection of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline with Turkey.

As for economic cooperation, the trade turnover between Georgia and Azerbaijan amounted to $1.1 billion in 2018. The share of Azerbaijan in the total trade turnover of the neighboring country made up 8.7 percent last year. Georgian exports to Azerbaijan amounted to $502.7 million in 2018, while Azerbaijan exported goods worth $586 million to Georgia.

It is noteworthy that Azerbaijan was named the number one investor in Georgia in 2018. Last year, Azerbaijan invested $240 million in Georgia's economy. Azerbaijan's share in direct investments in the economy of the neighboring country was 19.5 percent. Although this is 1.9 times less than in 2017, Azerbaijan maintained its leadership.

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Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1

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