By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan and Georgia have always had close relations and have been supporting each other, Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov said while meeting the visiting Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia on October 9.
The speaker expressed hope that Gakharia’s first official visit to Azerbaijan as Georgian Prime Minister would serve to further strengthen friendly relations between the two countries.
Speaking about the Azerbaijani-Georgia ties, Asadov said that it is no coincidence that the two countries are strategic partners and allies. The negotiations held during the mutual visits made by the heads of state have influenced the further deepening of our multilateral cooperation. Azerbaijan and Georgia have signed more than 100 interstate and intergovernmental documents. In 2018, the volume of trade between the two countries amounted to $580 million. For 9 months of 2019, this figure reached $440 million. Azerbaijan is one of the largest investors in the Georgian economy.
Ogtay Asadov emphasized that high-level visits between the two parliaments bring the legislative bodies of the countries even closer. He went on to say that it is gratifying that friendship groups operate in both parliaments.
The Parliament Speaker went on to say that the deputies of the two countries speak from common positions in a number of issues within the framework of international parliamentary structures. Cooperation in a trilateral format between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey on a regional level is one of the main factors supporting peace and comprehensive development in the region. We are confident that the Azerbaijani-Georgian relations will develop and strengthen more and more every year.
In his turn, Giorgi Gakharia stated that nothing can cast a shadow on Georgian-Azerbaijani friendship and brotherhood.
The Georgian Prime Minister noted that both countries were historically close to each other, living in friendship and peace.
"At a certain stage in history, we faced similar problems, which once again highlighted the crucial importance of ensuring security in the region. Conflicts in the region hinder development. We support a fair solution of these problems within the framework of international law," Gakharia said.
He emphasized the global significance of mutual projects carried out by the two countries. Touching upon the importance of deepening relations at the parliamentary level, the Georgian Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the participation of Azerbaijani-Georgian delegations in international organizations and their mutual support.
First Deputy Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament, Ziyafet Askerov, Head of the Azerbaijani parliament's office, Safa Mirzoyev, MP Hikmet Mammadov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Georgia, Dursun Hasanov, Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Zurab Pataradze and other officials attended the meeting.
Note that both Azerbaijan and Georgia restored their independence in 1991 and diplomatic ties were established between them on November 18, 1992. On October 10, 1997, Azerbaijan and Georgia became two of the four founding members of the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development.
The countries broadly cooperate in regional energy development, transportation and economic partnership projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway, TRACECA, BSEC, 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.
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