Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held meetings today with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and President Salome Zurabishvili, as part of the September 8-9 visit to Tbilisi.
In a joint press conference after the meeting, the two officials discussed the security environment in the South Caucasus, and stressed the need for the peaceful development of the region. They also highlighted the importance of utilizing regional economic and transit opportunities and enhancing cooperation.
In his address, the Georgian PM dubbed PM Pashinyan’s re-election in June “an opportunity for Armenia to begin a new era.” PM Garibashvili asserted that after getting to know the Armenian PM’s vision, he is convinced that the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – “a difficult challenge for the region” – can lead to new possibilities.
“The stability of Armenia is of great importance for us,” said the Georgian PM, adding that “it is directly linked” to the stability of Georgia and the region as well.
Citing his involvement in negotiating Baku’s release of 15 Armenian prisoners of war in the exchange for landmine maps from Yerevan, the Georgian PM argued there are more possibilities for cooperation between the South Caucasus states. “I reiterated complete readiness, for Georgia to continue actively mediating,” he added.
PM Pashinyan on his part described Georgia’s mediation efforts in June as “an excellent basis for more effective and closer relations between our countries and Governments.”
The Armenian Prime Minister also said it is important that Armenia and Georgia “continuously demonstrate their commitment to democracy and democratic processes, which creates new opportunities for the development of relations.”
PM Pashinyan also highlighted that the ethnic Armenian citizens of Georgia must be a key factor in the stability, unity and development of the country as its “fully-fledged citizens.”
According to PM Pashinyan’s press service, at the meeting, the sides also highlighted the cooperation between Armenia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece and Iran, and continuous work on the establishment of a transport corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea.
Also on September 8, the Armenian PM was hosted by Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili. The two officials discussed regional security and cooperation.
PM Pashinyan was accompanied on the trip by the freshly-appointed Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, who held a separate meeting with Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani, discussing a broad area of cooperation between the two states.
The Armenian delegation will be departing from Georgia on September 9.
NB: This article was updated with the Armenian delegation’s subsequent meetings.