Azerbaijan, Georgia interests coincide on major issues
By Jamila Babayeva
A delegation led by Georgia's Parliamentary Speaker David Usupashvili is on visit to Baku to discuss the level of bilateral relations between the two parliaments and countries.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the Georgian delegation on July 7, AzerTag state news agency reported.
President Aliyev said relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia had been developing successfully in political, economic and other fields.
Noting the importance of expanding relationships between the two countries` parliaments, President Aliyev expressed satisfaction with the current development of cooperation between two sides within international organizations.
He also called for further experience exchange between Azerbaijan and Georgia in legislation field, adding that relations between the parliaments had contributed to the development of bilateral ties.
Usupashvili, in turn, said the goal of Georgian delegation's visit to Azerbaijan was to expand further the mutual ties between two countries' parliaments.
Emphasizing the role of MPs in the establishment of mutually beneficial and strategic ties, he noted with pleasure that the newly-elected parliament in Georgia would continue cooperation with Azerbaijan.
During the visit, Usupashvili also met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ogtay Asadov and Prime Minister Artur Rasizade.
Azerbaijani-Georgian relations are at a high level. Georgian Parliamentary Speaker David Usupashvili made such a remark at a meeting with Ogtay Asadov.
Usupashvili said the interests of both countries coincided on all major issues, and the Georgian side wanted to develop further these relations.
He also noted the importance of holding a meeting at Azerbaijan's Parliament to discuss the two sides' relationship. He said, inter-Parliamentary ties play a key role in two sides' relations. Usupashvili also underlined the importance of joint projects.
Asadov in turn noted that these visits contribute to the development of relations. He said after the restoration of Azerbaijan's independence, its relations with Georgia have risen to a new level and gained a strategic nature.
Asadov noted that the relations have a strong legal base - over 100 documents have been signed between the two countries and their trade turnover exceeded $600 million last year.
Touching upon some large-scale projects being implemented in the region by Azerbaijan and Georgia, Asadov said the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be completed by the end of 2014.
At a meeting with the prime minister, Usupashvili said Georgia is interested in Azerbaijan's economic and political experiences. He expressed confidence that the economic relations between the two countries would further develop saying that stability is the most important factor behind the development.
Rasizade in turn said that Azerbaijani-Georgian relations have deep roots. He emphasized that the relations between the two countries' presidents are at a high level.
He noted that Azerbaijan and Georgia jointly implement major regional economic projects adding that the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being completed.
Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Rasizade said as a result of the conflict, 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories have been occupied, and over one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs.
He further said Armenia's current leadership committed the Khojaly genocide against Azerbaijanis.
Rasizade stressed that Armenia's occupation policy posed a threat to the entire region. He concluded that Armenia itself was suffering from this policy.
During his visit, Usupashvili also met with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
At the meeting Mammadyarov noted that Azerbaijan and Georgia are successfully cooperating in the implementation of some large- scale regional projects.
He noted the importance of the inter-Parliamentary diplomacy in the development of the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Georgia, adding that Georgia's parliament speaker's visit would contribute to the development of friendship and cooperation between the countries.
Usupashvili in turn noted that Azerbaijan contributes to the regional stability and development.
Touching upon the Armenia-Azerbaijan-Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mammadyarov noted that Armenia's aggressive policies have left it outside regional projects.
Usupashvili expressed confidence in the development of friendly and good-neighborly relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia. The sides also discussed the issues of mutual interest and the regional projects.