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Lavrov Says Zalkaliani Requested Meeting

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on September 27 that the meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Davit Zalkaliani was held at the latter’s request and that the Georgian Foreign Minister raised the issue of resumption of direct flights with Russia.

“On September 26, I met with Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, who himself demanded the meeting. Later I read his comments, which, I think, took him more time than the meeting itself,” Lavrov said at the press conference held at the UN Headquarters in New York.

“Among other issues, he was interested about when direct flights will be resumed. I explained him that we have never sought artificial reasons for disagreement with Georgia. If the Georgian leadership manages to responsibly advance its position in favor of normal relations with Russia and will not look at Russophobes, whom the former President still tries to gather for fighting against the regime in Tbilisi, then I would personally resume direct flights,” Lavrov said, adding that the comments made by Georgians regarding the meeting cause his astonishment.

Georgia and Russia cut diplomatic ties shortly after the August 2008 war. Since then, the Foreign Ministers of the two countries held their first meeting on September 26.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on September 26 that the meeting between Zalkaliani and Lavrov was held at the initiative and through the mediation of the Swiss Confederation.

Tbilisi and the international community, including the European Union, the United Nations, OSCE and the United States welcomed the meeting between the Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministers.


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