Interviews and press conferences
Statement by President Serzh Sargsyan at the joint Press Conference with the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili
Visiting again brotherly Georgia, I thank President Saakashvili for this warm reception. The frequency of our reciprocal visits testify once again to the high level of interrelation between our two countries, and also provides a good opportunity to express mutual respect and, I would say, brotherhood which stems from the union of our two nations.
It may be stated with confidence that with regard to the dynamics of development of our cooperation this year has been unprecedented. And at this point, I certainly agree with Mr. Saakashvili that in the last two years our relations have been developing vigorously: over two dozen of high-level visits have been conducted, encompassing our cooperation in all areas – education and social issues, energy and transport, interparliamentary relations, defense, border police security, and the list goes on. Days ago, the 9th session of the Intergovernmental Commission co-chaired by the two Prime Ministers, took place in Batumi. Six documents have been signed during this year, and today, in the framework of this visit – another four. With regard to this legal field for cooperation, we have reached a very high level.
Among these documents, I would like to single out, in particular, the Agreement on Cooperation between the RA National Security Service and Ministry of Interior of Georgia on Border Cooperation. It is conditioned by the necessity to establish close cooperation between the two border services and will enhance the improvement of the mechanisms aimed at the solutions of the problems of the residents of the border villages. It is no secret, that in many place we live “intertwined”, so to speak, and such a document has been signed to avert problems.
Not long ago, during the negotiations with the President of Georgia, we discussed issues related to almost every area of the Armenian-Georgian cooperation. We acknowledged positive changes in our trade and economic cooperation: this year there has been a 20 percent increase, although I should note that physical volumes, I mean the turnover, existing between our countries, are inadequate for Georgia as well as for Armenia. It’s a small figure, and I am confident that if we solve certain problems, we can really make a breakthrough.
We view the increase of the turnover, expansion of investments, economic, scientific and technological integration as important directions for the development and deepening of our trade and economic relations. We also view as priority cooperation with Georgia in the areas such as energy, transport and, certainly, culture.
In the coming months, we will start the construction of the North-South highway which will be built in compliance with the highest standards. The highway will connect with the Georgian Ninotsminda-Batumi highway, which is under reconstruction now, and will allow to expeditiously and comfortably transport cargo from the Persian Gulf to the seaports of Georgia. Naturally, Georgians know pretty well what is a highway of European standards, and I believe that already next year the Armenian public will also appreciate the advantages of such infrastructure. Steps are also being taken toward the synchronization of our power supply systems. This is too a very important issue.
Armenia and Georgia build their relations in the spirit of good neighborly relations, long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation. Our cooperation is an important component of our sincere dialogue and concrete, practical work to ensure security of our countries, regional stability, in withstanding contemporary challenges and threats.
We have also conducted negotiations regarding the prospects of regional cooperation, stating unequivocally that it is the only way for easing tension in the region and creation of more favorable conditions for the settlement of the conflicts.
Moments ago, during the negotiations, I said that each time I visit Georgia, it becomes obvious for me that we do not interact sufficiently. I wish that at least several times a year, leaders of different levels conduct meetings because it is necessary not only for the resolution of certain problems but also for showing the younger generation the high level of our relations. I thank the leadership of Georgia for constantly creating favorable conditions. I have also told Mr. President that we have registered progress on two or three issues which are matters of principle for us, and I am thankful for that to the President and to the Government of Georgia. I thank you for this atmosphere, for our relations, and I am glad that during these two days, I will be enjoying respect and attitude of my Georgian friends.