Kocharian to pay official visit to Tbilisi on October 22

Oct 20 2004


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 20, ARMENPRESS: President Robert Kocharian will
pay an official three-day visit to the neighboring Georgia on October
22. Kocharian’s press service said the welcoming ceremony will be
held at Bagratashen village on the Armenian-Georgian border. In the
capital city Tbilisi Kocharian will have a conversation with his
counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili, which will be followed by enlarged
talks between the two countries’ delegations. The two presidents will
also meet with journalists.
Kocharian will also meet with parliament chairwoman Nino
Burjanadze, prime minister Zurab Zhvania and will also be welcomed by
the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia
II. Kocharian will lay a wreath at the monument to fighters for
united Georgia and participate in Tbilisoba- a festival dedicated to
Tbilisi. He is also scheduled to meet with members of the local
Armenian community. Kocharian will come back to Yerevan on October
According to 2002 census, Georgia’s population was 4 mln 371,000
people, 250,000 of whom were Armenian. However, according to
unofficial figures, some 400,000 Armenians live in Georgia. They are
mainly concentrated in Tbilisi, Javakhk, Tsalka and Marneuli regions,
as well as in Ajaria and Abkhazia. Georgian Armenians take an active
part in social, political and cultural life of the country.
According to Armenian president press services, Armenian language
newspaper Vrastan (Georgia) has been published since 1920. In 1991,
it was published as the official newspaper of the Georgian
parliament, in 1992 it was given the status of an independent
newspaper, though it receives some funds from the state budget. The
number of copies during the Soviet times reached 45,000. At present,
it is a weekly with 2,500-3,000 print-run.
Once in a month, Paros, Arshaluis and Aghbiur newspapers publish
in Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda regions as well as Ajaria. Under the
aegis of the Armenian Youth Union in Georgia another newspaper, New
Generation, publishes.
The Armenian government continues shipment of textbooks to some
154 Armenian-language schools in Tbilisi, Javakhk, Batumi, Kvemo
Kartli and Tsalka which have 28,000 students. The Sunday school in
Rustavi supported by the Armenian embassy in Georgia also receives
The reconstruction of the Armenian Drama Theater after Petros
Adamian in Tbilisi has finished recently. Georgian Armenian play an
important role in Armenian-Georgian cultural cooperation. They
organize theatre tours, concerts and exhibitions between the two
There are 13 Armenian acting churches in Georgia, particularly St
George and St Etchmiadzin churches in Tbilisi, St. Saver in Ajaria,
St. Sargis in Bogdanovka village of Ninotsminda and others.
There are several non-governmental organizations in Georgia,
including Union of Georgian Armenians, Armenian Youth Union, Union of
Tbilisi Armenians, Sayat-Nova cultural and educational union, Union
of Ajaria Armenians, Charles Anznavour union, Javakhk and some