Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met his Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on October 9, reaffirming “Georgia’s commitment to continuing its active role as a mediator to secure peace and stability” in the region.
The press service of the Georgian Government said the parties discussed the Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative for the South Caucasus proposed by PM Irakli Garibashvili in the UN. The two PMs stressed “the new peace format will foster discussions on the prospects of the peaceful neighborhood initiative that will engage international partners alongside the South Caucasus states,” it added.
The two prime ministers, according to the same report, also discussed matters of the bilateral cooperation agenda, including the issues discussed during Nikol Pashinyan’s recent visit to Tbilisi.
On its part, Armenian PM’s press office said Nikol Pashinyan and Irakli Garibashvili noted the high-level intensive bilateral contacts testify to the dynamic development of the Armenian-Georgian relations and the high level of political dialogue.
The parties, as per the same report, also “exchanged views on the regional situation and developments” and reaffirmed their readiness to further deepen friendly ties and agreed to continue the active dialogue.
The visit comes some ten days after the Georgian Prime Minister met Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on September 29. Some three weeks before that, on September 8-9, PM Pashinyan visited Tbilisi to meet President Salome Zurabishvili and PM Garibashvili.
Earlier in May, PM Garibashvili’s visits to Baku and Yerevan preceded Georgia-U.S. brokered deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia, involving Baku’s release of 15 Armenian prisoners of war in exchange for getting from Yerevan a map of landmines in Agdam district, controlled by Armenian forces until recently.
Discussing the swap deal, Georgian Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani recently told Georgian Public Broadcaster on October 7 that Tbilisi is making efforts the accord to be followed by further “concrete steps.”
FM Zalkaliani said Georgia maintains “active communication” with both South Caucasian neighbors, as well as European and U.S. partners in this regard. Tbilisi should serve as platform for dialogue, including over infrastructure, logistics, transport, and railway issues, the Georgian Foreign Minister noted.
Top Georgian diplomat said time-frame of these steps depends on the readiness of Baku and Yerevan, but expressed hopes for the opportunities in this respect, judging by information he possesses from his Armenian and Azerbaijani colleagues.