Georgia-Azerbaijan commission to talk border next week


Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani announced today that the renewed Georgian-Azerbaijani commission, tasked with delimitation of border between the two countries, will meet early next week, in its renewed composition.

Zalkaliani said, the Government of Georgia has assigned new members from various state agencies. First Deputy FM Lasha Darsalia will lead the Georgian delegation at the commission.

“An agreement has been reached with our Azerbaijani partners that already next week, on Tuesday or on Wednesday, the first meeting will be held. This will be a very important step to discuss with our main strategic partner the issues related to the delimitation and demarcation of the border,” Minister Zalklaiani stated.

The minister said “this is a very sensitive issue” and that it is important “to put all the emotions aside,” giving the commission opportunity to work “in a normal environment relevant to our strategic partnership,” aiming to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

The lack of agreement on where the border between the two countries passes came into a sharp focus in the end of April, when Azerbaijani border guards restricted access to parts of David Gareji monastery. Although the site was soon reopened, activists and local residents, as well as some nationalists have rallied, claiming Georgia’s rights to the disputed section.

President Salome Zurabishvili, whose visit has preceded the recent closure, told the Voice of America Georgian service in a recent interview, that “it is impossible, that countries which have such a friendly relations can not finalize the agreement on demarcation of borders, which is the first sign of statehood.”

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