Georgian FM Ends Two Day Official Visit to Yerevan

Radio Free Europe, Czech Republic
July 22 2004

Georgian Foreign Minister Ends Two Day Official Visit to Yerevan

By Gevorg Stamboltsian and Armen Zakarian 23/07/2004 01:49

Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili completed her first-
ever official visit to Armenia on 22 July.

During the visit, Zourabichvili held meetings with Armenian President
Robert Kocharian, parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian, Prime
Minister Andranik Markarian and her Armenian counterpart Vartan

Bilateral relations and important regional issues were high on the

During the meeting with Zourabichvili, President Kocharian expressed
satisfaction with the “high level of inter-state relations with
Georgia, which are based on mutual trust and cooperation.” Kocharian
noted that Georgia is going through a rather hard time, but he
expressed the hope that “the Georgian authorities will soon overcome
these difficulties.”

“We are highly interested in stability in Georgia,” Kocharian said.

“The visit of the head of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia and
meetings at a high level will give a new context to issues on the
Armenian-Georgian agenda,” Armenian Foreign Minister Oskanian said on
21 July during his meeting with his Georgian counterpart.

“The parties noted a high potential for mutually advantageous
cooperation in the matter of deepening interaction with European and
Euro-Atlantic structures, namely, with EU and NATO,” according to the
press-service of Armenian Foreign Ministry. “The countries have great
opportunities after the South Caucasian countries have been included
in the [European Union’s] New Neighborhood initiative.”

During his meeting with Zourabichvili, Oskanian emphasized the
importance of developing both North-South and East-West highways and
transport corridors. The two ministers exchanged opinions on the
resumption of traffic on all railways in the region, namely,
Kars-Giumri-Tbilisi and the Abkhaz section of the railway linking
Russia and Armenia via Georgia. The two ministers also discussed
regional electricity supplies, cooperation with Iran, and the
Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts
and how they could be resolved.

On 21 July, Salome Zourabichvili laid wreaths at the Memorial to
victims of the Armenian genocide. She also held a meeting with
representatives of the Georgian Diaspora and visited the Parajanov

“There are never concrete results from one visit, but it is a process
that we are starting. We are determined to increase our economic
relations,” Zourabichvili told journalists before boarding the
airplane for Tbilisi in Zvartnots airport.

“Political relations are very good, but we have to deepen them, and
especially we have to appear in front of Europeans,” Zourabichvili
continued. “We have to appear as one region, speaking as much as
possible with one voice.”

Asked by RFE/RL whether the key to reopening the Abkhazian section of
the Russia-Georgia-Armenia railway lies in Russia or in Georgia,
Zourabichvili answered “There is a small key here too.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress