Georgia, Armenian presidents pledge close cooperation

Georgia, Armenian presidents pledge close cooperation

AP Worldstream
Mar 12, 2004

Leaders of Caucasus neighbors Georgia and Armenia pledged close
cooperation Friday as Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili met his
Armenian counterpart for the first time.

Armenian President Robert Kocharian said the two agreed at the talks
to meet often, both formally and informally.

Saaskashvili, who won elections in January to replace former President
Eduard Shevardnadze after leading protests to oust him from power,
praised Kocharian as an “ideal partner” for Georgia.

The Georgian leader said Armenia could also help Georgia to normalize
its relations with Russia, which have been complicated by the
continued presence of Russian troops and Moscow’s support of
separatist regions. On Friday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry harshly
warned Georgia against trying to rein in the independent-minded region
of Adzharia, whose leader has maintained close ties with Russia.

Kocharian expressed support for new railroad lines to be built from
Russia through the Georgia’s separatist Abkhazia region, which would
also link Armenia to Russia.