Javakhk to see major improvements if Saakashvili keeps his vows


June 1 2004

TBILISI, JUNE 1, ARMENPRESS: Traveling from Armenian-populated
Georgia’s region of Javakhk to the capital city of Tbilisi will become
a pleasure if president Mikhail Saakashvili keeps his vow to earmark
some $100 million of an overall $400 million aid, Georgia expects to
receive from the US government and IMF to improve its infrastructures,
for a major rehabilitation of existing and construction of new roads
in the region.

At any case, an Armenian member of the Georgian parliament, Van
Bayburdian, told Armenpress that the road to Tbilisi will become 100
km shorter if a new road is constructed. “If this happens the new
road will have a drastically positive effect on the region and its
population,” he said.

Bayburdian said president Saakashvili had underscored, during his
recent meetings with heads of international lending organizations,
the need for investing in Javakhk to ease employment problems there.
The lawmaker said overseas investments in the region may urge
Russia-based wealthy businessmen of Armenian origin to direct part
of their investments to Javakhk.

Bayburdian also shrugged off demands of several local ethnic Armenian
organizations that the region must be granted autonomy. “There is
already autonomy in the region, though it is not formalized, as it is
run by local cadres, the majority of whom are ethnic Armenians and who
after all have to decide how to make the region prosperous,” he said.

Bayburdian said five Armenian members of the Georgian parliament have
been facing no obstacles in raising issues of concern for the region.
From: Baghdasarian