Foreign Ministers Of Armenia, Georgia Discuss The Opening Of Upper L

Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Georgia discuss the opening of Upper Lars
Gita Elibekyan

08.06.2009 16:40

The Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian had a meeting with
his Georgian counterpart Grigol Vashadze, following which the Foreign
Ministers of the two countries gave a joint press conference. During
the meeting the interlocutors discussed the issue of opening of the
Upper Lars checkpoint, other issues of bilateral interest. Reference
was made to the details of the official visit of the Georgian
President, Mikhail Saakashvili to Armenia on June 24-25.

"A few months ago I met Grigol Vashadze in Yerevan, and this is
a response visit," the Armenian Foreign Minister said at a press
conference. "Friendly and warm relations have been established between
us during this short period of time," he added.

According to Minister Nalbandian, the Armenian-Georgian relations
have reached a level, when there are almost no unsolvable issues in
the legal field, but there are new programs, on which it is possible
to reach consensus.

The Armenian Foreign Minister was asked to comment on Prime Minister
Tigran Sargsyan’s statement. To remind, the Prime Minister declared
the other day that "Armenia depends of Georgian infrastructures, and
our neighbor makes use of it: the shipment of goods from any point
of the world to Poti or Batumi actually costs twi ce as cheaper as
the transportation from Poti and Batumi to Armenia.

"Our partners have declared many times that it is really strange
that the cargo shipment from any point of the world to Poti costs
cheaper than from Poti to Armenia, and a question arises why it
is the case," Minister Nalbandian said. He added also that it was
natural for businessmen to search for alternative routes. "However,
I’m confident that this question, as well as the issue of Upper Lars
will be finally resolved," he stated.

Grigol Varshadze added: "I have informed my counterpart Nalbandian
about the problems connected with the opening of Upper Lars."

Touching upon the current level of the Armenian-Turkish relations,
the Armenian Foreign Minister stated: "The normalization of the
Armenian-Turkish relations has reached a point, when the ball is on
the Turkish part of the field."

The negotiations kicked off at the imitative of the Armenian side,
the Minister stated. "We have arrived at certain agreements that the
normalizations should take place without any preconditions. I hope we
will continue along that way, because this proceeds from the interests
of Armenia, Turkey and the region, as a whole," he noted.

The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has declared that
his country would not recognize the independence of South Ossetia:
the tension in Russia-Belarus relations could affect the relations
with Armenia. Asked to comment on this, the Armenian Foreign Minister
said: "We have very high-level allied relations with Russia and
close relations with Belarus. I don’t see any problems for their

The Georgian Foreign Minister simply welcomed the statement of the
President of Belarus.

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