Armenia wants normal trade relations with neighbours – minister

Armenia wants normal trade relations with neighbours – minister

Arminfo, Yerevan
26 Jul 04

Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan, accompanied by a
delegation, paid an official visit to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi,
on 26 June, Armenian news agencies Noyan Tapan and Arminfo reported on
the same day.

Markaryan met his Georgian counterpart, Zurab Zhvania, to discuss
bilateral and regional cooperation.

The Armenian government’s press service told Arminfo that a recent
stepping up of Armenian-Georgian ties had facilitated a high level of
mutual understanding between the presidents of the two countries and
the two prime ministers emphasized the importance of strengthening not
only bilateral, but multilateral, ties.

Andranik Markaryan told Zurab Zhvania about his plans to discuss with
the Georgian president the question of the Tbilisi-Gyumri-Kars railway
and opening the Abkhaz sector of the Georgian railway and using the
Poti-Caucasus rail-ferry crossing. Markaryan stressed Armenia’s
interest in the work of this crossing and wanted to discuss the
possibility of signing a trilateral Armenian-Georgian-Russian
agreement on cooperation.

He also stressed Yerevan’s interest in developing trade and economic
ties in all directions. “Armenia is ready to create normal relations
without pre-conditions with its neighbours, including Azerbaijan and
Turkey,” Arminfo quoted Makaryan as saying.

Zhvania also noted that Georgia was also interested in the speedy
opening of the Abkhaz section of the railway and negotiations were
continuing with Russia. He said Georgian was ready to work to resolve
the issues raised and said that Georgia was planning to build new
ports, which would be privatized, and would welcome Armenia taking
part in the process.

Markaryan and his delegation also took part in the third session of
the Armenian-Georgian intergovernmental commission on economic
cooperation which had about 10 points on its agenda, including
cooperation in transport, trade and communications, developing
tourism, legal issues and future development. Markaryan noted
Armenia’s firm interest in further developing both West-East as well
as North-South cooperation, Noyan Tapan agency said.

Arminfo said: “Particular emphasis in the intergovernmental relations
between Armenia and Georgia was placed on implementing the Transport
Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia [TRACECA] project. The commission
members are to turn to the corresponding EU structures with a joint
application for resources to be granted to restore the railway line
between Ayrum and Sadakhlo.”

After the session the two prime ministers signed a document “On the
work of the Armenian-Georgian intergovernmental commission on economic

Sources: Noyan Tapan news agency, Yerevan, in Russian 1640 gmt 26 Jul