The President of the Armenian National Assembly, Alen Simonyan, visited Tbilisi on 17 November alongside a delegation to meet with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, and Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, as well as to oversee the signing of a memorandum of cooperation.
Meeting with Prime Minister Garibashvili
According to the Georgian government’s press release, during their meeting, Prime Minister Garibashvili and Speaker Simonyan discussed the current state of relations between the two nations, as well as prospects for future cooperation.
They also considered the situation in the region with “emphasis placed on the importance of peaceful conflict resolution, also underlining that the timely de-escalation of the situation and the resumption of dialogue to solve outstanding issues to serve the common interests of all sides.”
In that context, the two sides highlighted the Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative proposed by Georgia and noted that it could “serve as a solid foundation in this regard, so that the sides may restore confidence in one another.”
On his part, Speaker Simonyan tweeted afterward, “Very interesting meeting with Prime Minister of brotherly Georgia, [Irakli Garibashvili]. Regional peace and security, prosperity, development, [and] cooperation have no alternative.”
Meeting with Speaker Papuashvili
According to the Georgian Parliament’s press release, during their meeting, Speaker Papuashvili and Speaker Simonyan discussed bilateral cooperation, as well as current events in the region.
In that context, Speaker Papuashvili reaffirmed Georgia’s willingness to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan to promote regional peace and stability.
The two sides also reviewed the memorandum signed between the two Parliaments as part of the visit.
In a joint press conference following their meeting, Speaker Papuashvili emphasized, “In order for the South Caucasus region to serve as an example of peace and collaboration, Georgia is committed to continue serving as a mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
“I hope that we can demonstrate to everyone, but especially to our younger generations, that the people of the South Caucasus can forge a peaceful future even in the face of the most challenging issues by exercising wisdom and working together,” he stressed.
Speaking about the memorandum, SPeaker Papuashvili also stated, “These agreements will help to strengthen further the already deep cultural ties that exist between nations and peoples.”
On his part, Speaker Simonyan underscored, “One of our nation’s top foreign policy concerns is the fostering of positive neighborly ties with Georgia.”
“Establishing strategic ties with Georgia is something we are really interested in doing,” he added.
Memorandum of Cooperation
The memorandum in question was signed between the Georgian Parliament’s Culture Committee and the Armenian Parliament’s Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth, and Sports. Eliso Bolkvadze and Sisak Gabrielyan, the respective chairs of the two committees, were the signatories.
MP Bolkvadze remarked that the memorandum “marks the state of a new phase in relations between the two countries’ legislative bodies, [and] will serve as a catalyst for closer parliamentary relationships.”
She further noted that as part of the memorandum, there are plans for holding joint meetings of the committees in both Georgia and Armenia to organize cultural days and other activities.
“It is important that cultural relations have a special role in the peace-making process, and we will do everything to promote the establishment of peace in the region,” she emphasized.
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