Azerbaijan, Georgia mull strategic partnership, new regional realities [PHOTO]
By Vafa İsmayilova
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani have discussed strategic partnership, new regional realities and further bilateral cooperation, the Foreign Ministry has reported.
At the meeting which took place on May 5 as part of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili's visit to Azerbaijan, the ministers first had discussions in private and then in an expanded format with the participation of delegations.
Welcoming his counterpart, Minister Jeyhun Bayramov noted that the current visit provided a good opportunity to continue the political dialogue between the two countries. The importance of further development of strong partnerships existing between our countries was emphasized.
Minister Zalkaliani noted a very productive meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Garibashvili and Azerbaijani President Ilahm Aliyev in Baku on May 5. He stressed the importance of further deepening the existing strategic partnership and cooperation between the two countries. He strongly stressed Georgia's support for Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in turn, noted Azerbaijan's support for Georgia's territorial integrity.
Minister Bayramov informed his colleague about the new realities in the region after the 44-day Patriotic war, the existing opportunities for cooperation, the unique situation for the normalization of relations between the states, as well as issues related to the implementation of the November 10 Karabakh peace deal, Armenia's activities and revanchist statements, which hinder the implementation of the deal, as well as Azerbaijan's position on the issue.
The ministers noted the importance of harmonizing interaction with the existing new realities. The sides also exchanged views on issues on the bilateral agenda, including the development of cooperation in the economic, humanitarian, cultural, tourism, and other fields. The ministers also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, Trend reported that after meeting President Aliyev, Gerogian Prime Minister Garibashvili was received by his Azerbaijani counterpart Ali Asadov and Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker Sahiba Gafarova.
Asadov said that throughout history, the Azerbaijani and Georgian peoples have lived in conditions of friendship and peace and today relations between the two countries have risen to the level of strategic partnership.
He stressed the megaprojects jointly implemented by Azerbaijan and Georgia make a great contribution to the regional and European energy security.
Asadov highly assessed Azerbaijani-Georgian cooperation within the Southern Gas Corridor and TAP projects and said that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to relations with Georgia.
"Today our relations are developing in political, economic, trade, cultural, and many other spheres. We believe that these ties will further develop. There is great potential for the further expansion of relations in a number of spheres," he said.
In turn, Garibashvili hailed ties with Azerbaijan.
“Today we talked to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev about historical projects. These projects make a great contribution to the development of our relations. We are lucky that we have such a neighbor as Azerbaijan," he said.
Parliament Speaker Sahiba Gafarova and Garibashvili focused at their meeting on bilateral strategic partnership .
"Our nations supported each other throughout centuries. There are many Georgians in Azerbaijan and many Azerbaijanis live in Georgia; they make integral parts of the corresponding societies and play the role of a certain bridge connecting our countries between which there are strategic partnership and alliance today," she pointed out.
Gafarova also said the documents that Azerbaijan and Georgia have signed provide a powerful legal framework for the versatile bilateral cooperation.
"Georgia is an active participant of the projects implemented by Azerbaijan as is demonstrated vividly by such initiatives as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline," she said.
Gafarova went further to underscore the commendable cooperation between the two parliaments each of which has a friendship group in action. She said cooperation is expanding bilaterally and multilaterally; the two sides’ delegations interact with success under the auspices of international interparliamentary institutions.
Speaking on her behalf and on behalf of the MPs, she thanked Georgia for supporting Azerbaijan during the 44-day Second Karabakh War, before stressing that the Karabakh conflict is now history.
"Our country is already busy with restoring and rebuilding the liberated territories. However, Armenia will not desist from its aggression policy and now will not release minefield maps, which results in numerous military and civilian deaths and injuries. This is Armenia’s way of attempting to hinder the restoration work and the internally displaced people’s eventual return to the native lands. Such conduct on the part of Armenia poses serious threats to the progress of the region," she said.
Garibashvili said that he considered Azerbaijan as a home country.
"Georgia is a friend of Azerbaijan and so it will remain," he added.
He noted that the on-going expansion of the two parliaments’ mutual relations serves the two nations' common interests. He underlined that reciprocal visits and regular meetings of MPs matter much in this regard.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz