Official visit of the President Armen Sarkissian to Georgia
Today, at the invitation of the President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian and his wife Nouneh Sarkissian arrived in Georgia on an official visit.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani met President Sarkissian at Shota Rustaveli International Airport in Tbilisi.
The official welcoming ceremony of the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, who arrived in Georgia on an official visit, took place at the "Orbeliani" Palace, the Residence of the President of Georgia.
The military orchestra performed the anthems of Armenia and Georgia.
The Presidents of Armenia and Georgia, accompanied by the Commander of the Guard of Honour, reviewed the Military Orchestra and the Guard of Honour.
After the official welcoming ceremony, the President of the Republic made a note in the book of honorary guests of the Presidential Palace of Georgia. "I express my sincere satisfaction with my visiting neighbourly and friendly Georgia again today at the invitation of President of Georgia Salome Zourabishvili. I am confident that based on the results of the visit, we will further strengthen the friendship of our two peoples for the benefit of our future generations," wrote the President of Armenia.
President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian and President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili had a tête-à-tête meeting at the Residence of the President of Georgia.
Welcoming the first official visit of the President of Armenia to Georgia, President Zourabichvili thanked him for accepting her invitation and noted with joy that President Sarkissian’s visit provides an opportunity to discuss numerous issues on bilateral relations and regional matters.
President Armen Sarkissian thanked President Zourabichvili for the invitation to visit friendly Georgia and warm reception. He expressed confidence that the results of the visit will contribute to further developing Armenian-Georgian relations and cooperation. "Our countries, which are the bearers of early civilizations, have an immense potential for cooperation, as well as a desire to strengthen the inviolable Armenian-Georgian friendship permanently," said President Sarkissian.
The delegations met in an extended format after the tête-à-tête meeting of the Presidents.
Welcoming the official delegation of Armenia, President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili said that the previous year had been full of challenges for everyone: the pandemic on the one hand, and the war on the other, which led to more severe consequences. President Zourabichvili expressed her condolences to the families of those killed during this war, noting that as in the time of the conflict, Georgia is now on the side of peace. "We all understand that any conflict in the region affects the whole region, so there is no alternative to peace and security for the development of the Caucasus."
President Sarkissian noted that Armenia attaches great importance to the continuous development of cooperation with neighbourly and friendly Georgia and, as the President of the Republic of Armenia, he is ready to make every effort to expand bilateral cooperation. "We have a lot in common. This has been so throughout our history; working together, we can create new opportunities. There is a great potential that we can realize together today," said President Sarkissian.
They discussed issues connected with Armenian-Georgian relations and development prospects at the meeting. The Presidents agreed that there is a great potential to deepen cooperation in various fields, especially singling out new technologies, education, science, infrastructure, artificial intelligence, energy, transport, tourism, culture and some other areas.
The Presidents considered important carrying out joint programs in the field of business and investments to promote the development of bilateral relations, emphasizing that they are ready to provide full support to such programs. "We must encourage and promote the implementation of joint Armenian-Georgian business programs," said President Sarkissian.
They especially emphasized the need to deepen cooperation between the two countries in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic.
They also touched upon the issues of international and regional security and stability.
The Presidents of Armenia and Georgia Armen Sarkissian and Salome Zourabichvili summed up the results of today's meetings with statements for the mass media representatives.
The statement of the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank Madam Zourabichvili for the warm welcome and profound discussions.
Armenian-Georgian relations have a centuries-old history; we attach great importance to our friendship and cooperation with neighbouring Georgia.
The Armenian and Georgian peoples have lived side by side for centuries; the Armenians have been an active part of the cultural, economic, social, and political life of Georgia. Today, Armenian business has a large contribution in Georgia, and Georgian businessmen successfully work in Armenia.
I can confidently say that the strengthening of our relations with Georgia is one of the essential preconditions for the security and development of both our countries and the region.
Today, during the meeting with my Georgian colleague, we discussed a wide range of issues on the agenda.
We successfully cooperate in the spheres of transport, energy, tourism, agriculture, education, culture, and many others.
There is a great potential for bilateral and high-level cooperation in the fields of modern technologies, artificial intelligence, high technologies, biotechnologies, cyber-security, and food security.
I emphasized the need to deepen the cooperation of our countries in the fight against COVID-19.
To promote cooperation, mutual efforts are made, and active work is underway both within the framework of the Armenian-Georgian intergovernmental commission and on the interdepartmental scale to raise the current level of mutually beneficial cooperation to a higher degree.
We also touched upon the issues of regional security and stability, taking into account the new realities created due to Azerbaijan's military aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh with the active and open support of Turkey.
I presented the approaches and views of the Armenian side on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to my Georgian counterpart. I especially emphasized that it is impossible to establish lasting peace in the region and ensure stability without a just settlement of the Artsakh problem, including by resuming the peaceful settlement of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
I stressed the huge humanitarian problems caused by the war, also the need to find an immediate solution to the issue of releasing prisoners and hostages taken by Azerbaijan.
I stressed the inadmissibility of Azerbaijan exploiting the situation after the war, pursuing a policy of hatred and violation of national dignity. Such a policy cannot contribute to the creation of an atmosphere of dialogue.
During the meeting, I also touched upon the issues of preserving the Armenian historical-cultural and spiritual heritage in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan.
Madam President, our last meeting with you was in 2019, after which, unfortunately, due to the pandemic, and the war in Artsakh, the continuity of intensive bilateral meetings was disrupted.
However, 2021 started quite actively in this regard, I believe that this activity will continue throughout the year.
I am confident that together with you, Madam President, we will intensify our efforts to contribute to the deepening of cooperation between our countries in all directions, to increase our contribution.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the President of Georgia once again for the high-level reception given to the Armenian delegation, reaffirm my readiness as the President of the Republic of Armenia to make efforts for the continuous expansion of cooperation between Armenia and Georgia.
Warm thanks again, Madam President. I hope to see you in Armenia again in the near future.
In honour of President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian and his wife Nouneh Sarkissian, in Georgia on an official visit, at the Residence of the President of Georgia, an official dinner was given on behalf of President Salome Zourabichvili on Thursday evening.
Presidents Armen Sarkissian and Salome Zourabichvili exchanged toasts, in which they referred to the centuries-old friendship between the Armenian and Georgian peoples, the Armenian-Georgian interstate relations anchored on respect and mutual trust, as well as the prospects of strengthening bilateral ties.
In his speech, the President of Armenia noted that it is pleasant to be in neighbourly and friendly Georgia. According to Armen Sarkissian, the centuries-old Armenian-Georgian relations are conditioned, on the one hand, by the creative spirit of our nations, spiritual and cultural commonalities, and on the other hand, by the need for the two Christian peoples in the region to preserve their identity, and with joint efforts to confront the regional and global challenges.
"Common history and culture are an exceptional treasure that must be valued, preserved, and passed on to future generations," said the President of Armenia, “Today as well, the historical, cultural, and civilizational commonalities that unite us and the vision of the future with a similar system of values are a solid basis to develop a partnership in most different fields and to supplement bilateral relations with new initiatives.
When talking about the Armenian-Georgian relations, one should touch upon the Armenian community living in Georgia, which, being a harmonious part of the Georgian society making its contribution to the development of Georgia, is a firm bridge between Armenia and Georgia at the same time.
Today, the preservation, development, and deepening of the achievements in our bilateral relations suppose daily consistent work and efforts in all directions. And we, as the Presidents of Armenia and Georgia, of course, must pursue our modest contribution to this cause."
The President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, who is on an official visit in Georgia, visited the "Heroes' Square" in Tbilisi this morning. On behalf of President Sarkissian, a wreath was laid at the Eternal Flame.
President Armen Sarkissian visited the Parliament of Georgia, where he met with Archil Talakvadze, the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia. The First Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, and the Head of the Georgia-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group Giorgi Volski, Vice Speakers Levan Ioseliani and Avtandil Enikudze, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Nikoloz Samkharadze, MPs Samvel Manukyan and Sumbat Kyureghyan also attended the meeting. The Chairperson of the Parliament Archil Talakvadze welcomed the official visit of the President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian to Georgia, emphasizing the dynamic and engrossing times for the two countries and pivotal moment for the future of our democracies. "I am confident that Armenia and its people will use this cooperation to develop opportunities, create new perspectives, and more strengthen democracy and the economy," he said.
Archil Talakvadze expressed support for Armenia's progress and development, emphasizing that they are for peace and settling issues through dialogue.
Noting that there are other challenges in the region, including the coronavirus pandemic, the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia thanked for the effective cooperation with Armenia in fighting it.
Thanking for the hospitality, President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian particularly noted that the strength of small countries is in their actions. "In this context, countries like Armenia and Georgia should be actively involved in international relations, in relations with friendly or neighbouring countries, be they large or small, or superpowers," said President Sarkissian, "It is necessary to have special relations, especially with friends. Georgia is just like that for us. It is not by chance that I accepted the invitation of the President of Georgia to come and talk about the situation, to exchange information, as well as to talk about the future."
According to the President of Armenia, the economic situation is quite troublesome, coronavirus caused significant damage to the economies of both countries. "We should encourage the implementation of joint programs, as regional joint programs can be much more attractive for international investors," said President Sarkissian.
The President noted that the times are full of challenges all over the world. "I think it is time for both of us to think about what steps should be taken for the stability, predictability and security of the region," said President Armen Sarkissian.
In the context of security and stability issues in the region, President Sarkissian considered it inadmissible that months after the war unleashed against Artsakh, Azerbaijan continues to hold Armenian servicemen and civilians captive, violating all norms of international humanitarian law.
The President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, in Georgia on an official visit together with his wife Nouneh Sarkissian, visited the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II.
The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia welcomed the official visit of the President of Armenia to Georgia. He stressed that the Armenian and Georgian peoples have a centuries-old history of friendship; the Armenian Apostolic and Georgian Orthodox Churches have played an essential in maintaining and continuing relations of friendship, also preserving peace and stability in the region.
President Armen Sarkissian thanked the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II for the meeting and conveyed the greetings and best wishes of His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II.
President Sarkissian noted that his official visit aimed at discussing the development of current relations and cooperation between the two peoples with historical traditions of friendship. "The purpose of the visit was to discuss today's issues, and most importantly, to talk about the future, about strengthening and expanding our brotherly relations, so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy the fruits of our friendship and continue the friendship of our peoples."
President Sarkissian also spoke about the current challenges, noting that these are difficult times for both the world and the region. "Armenia went through the hell of war, we lost thousands of young lives. My prayers are with the parents and families who are grieving the loss of their child. And we must do everything to have a more stable and peaceful region in the future."
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II expressed hope that the Armenian people will find strength in overcoming the difficulties. "When it is difficult for Armenia, the Armenian people, it is also difficult for us," said the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia.
The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II conveyed his words of blessing to President Sarkissian and the Armenian people and his warm wishes to the Catholicos of All Armenians.
Within the framework of his official visit to Georgia, the President of the Republic Armen Sarkissian and his wife Nouneh Sarkissian visited the Surb Gevorg Primate Church of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia.
The President of the Republic and Mrs. Sarkissian laid flowers on the graves of the great Armenians buried in the church courtyard: poet and musician Sayat-Nova, painter Gevorg Bashinjaghyan, outstanding generals Mikael Loris-Melikov, Arzas Ter-Ghukasov, Hovhannes Lazaryants, and Behbut (Boris) Shelkovnikov.
President Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian lit candles in the Primacy Cathedral and talked to the Armenian visitors there.
The President of the Republic met with Father Kirakos Davtyan, Vicar of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia and reprersentatives of the Armenian community. They touched upon the Homeland-Diaspora relations, and the problems of the local Armenian community. President Sarkissian presented information on the meetings held within the framework of his official visit to Georgia and their results.