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Karabakh conflict hard to resolve in near future: Georgian PM

18 January 2013 12:14 (UTC+04:00)
Karabakh conflict hard to resolve in near future: Georgian PM

By Sabina Idayatova

The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh will be difficult to resolve in the near future, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said at a press conference with his Armenian counterpart Tigran Sargsyan on Thursday, Azerbaijani news agency Trend reported referring to Mediamax.

Ivanishvili expressed support for resolution of the conflict peacefully and with the use of every effort by both countries.

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia emerged in 1988 over Armenian territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by US, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

Ivanishvili also touched upon Russian-Georgian relations, saying "we very much hope and are trying as quickly as possible to restore and adjust the relationship with Russia."

Asked about the restoration of a railway link through Abkhazia, Ivanishvili said, "You know that we have big problems in relation to Russia that unfortunately remain." He added, "Today we have a complicated relationship with our Abkhaz brothers and it is necessary for the parties to put forward their will."

Ivanishvili also expressed confidence that these issues can be resolved much faster than before if both sides show their willingness. "Georgia, on its end, is expressing this readiness," he noted.

On the same day, Ivanishvili met in private with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

According to the Georgian PM`s press service, the parties discussed issues of bilateral cooperation as well as expressed hope for development of good neighborliness relations, as well as deepening bilateral cooperation.

Ivanishvili is accompanied on his first one-day official visit to Armenia by the Georgian foreign minister, energy minister, economy minister, finance minister, state minister for reintegration, as well as minister of corrections and culture minister.

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