Kocharian urges Georgian counterpart to open railway via Abkhazia

Armenian leader urges Georgian counterpart to open railway via Abkhazia

Mediamax news agency
22 Oct 04


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili discussed in Tbilisi today a whole range of problems
concerning the resumption of the railway communication in the South
Caucasus. A special correspondent of Mediamax agency reports from
Tbilisi that Armenian President Robert Kocharyan told this at today’s
press conference after his meeting with Saakashvili and negotiations
of the Armenian and Georgian delegations.

“We have certain ideas, however, they are somehow ‘raw’, and it is
premature to go into details. I can only say that it is about all the
railways in the South Caucasus, and it cannot be ruled out that those
ideas could acquire definite shapes,” Robert Kocharyan said.

As for the resumption of the railway communication between Armenia and
Russia via Abkhazia, Robert Kocharyan said he sensed the delicacy of
this issue for the Georgian leadership. “At the same time, bearing in
mind that the railway from Russia to Abkhazia is operating, the lack
of a through line benefits neither Armenia nor Georgia,” the Armenian
president said and expressed his hope that Georgia will approach the
issue with a greater deal of pragmatism.

In March this year, Georgian President Saakashvili said in Yerevan
that he would discuss with the Turkish leadership prospects of
restoring the Kars-Gyumri-Tbilisi railway link. Asked by our special
correspondent today about the outcome of his discussions, Saakashvili
said that “Georgia does not welcome any restrictions and is in favour
of having more transport communications in the region”.

The Georgian president said that the Turkish leadership is fully
determined to integrate into the European Union, and this can play a
role in ironing out the existing problems. Saakashvili said that
Georgia will in future defend Armenia’s interests, including in the
transport sphere, both at the bilateral level and at international