06, 2009

Statement by President Serzh Sargsyan at the joint press conference with the President of Georgia

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Short ago we have concluded negotiations with the President of Georgia and his delegation. We’ve discussed a wide range of bilateral relations, exchanged views on pressing regional and international issues. The two sides underlined that our relations are on a high level.

Few peoples in the world can take pride in deep, lasting, and friendly relations such as those between the Armenian and Georgian people. It would be redundant to speak about the importance of our countries for each other for security, policy, economy, culture or any other matter. And I am confident, that one of the main concerns of the Presidents and the governments of our two states should be elevating the level of interstate relations to that of the centuries-long relations of our peoples. I should say that during our meeting with President Sahakashvili I got the impression, or I would rather say, I am confident that he shares this approach for which I am truly glad.

We have discussed the whole range of issues pertaining to our bilateral relations and regional issues. With this regard special attention was paid to regional security issues. The Armenian side has said it before on many occasions and continues to believe that all exciting problems should be solved exclusively through a dialogue, through shared confidence, mutual respect and cooperation in the region. We welcome any step toward the creation of the favorable atmosphere in the region.

In the context of bilateral relations, we have paid special attention to the deepening of economic cooperation and implementation of joint projects. We hope that it will assist in mitigating the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis for Armenia and Georgia.

Armenia attaches great importance to the transportation routes via Georgia which are of significant importance for our economy. With this regard we expressed our interest in the expeditious reopening of the checking point on the Georgian-Russian border.

The Armenian community of Georgia has been and remains the strongest bridge linking us together. In this respect the interest of two governments in seeing the Armenian-Georgian community becoming stronger is quite understandable. We welcome, in particular, steps undertaken by the Georgian government to improve the social and economic situation in Javakhk and the region’s infrastructure and to create new jobs. From our side we are ready to support these processes.
I have informed the President of Georgia on the current stage in the NK peace process. I have also told him about the prospects for normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and our approaches to that issue. Our approach is clear-cut: the relations must be normalized without preconditions. Despite the existing problems the countries of the region should find common ground for cooperation.

Armenia is interested in having Georgia as a peaceful, stable and prosperous neighbor with which we not only have a common past but also a common future. With this in view, we have agreed to intensify contacts between our citizens, intensify students’ exchange and cultural ties noting among successful examples serving that purpose Days of Georgia in Armenia and Days of Armenia to be conducted in Georgia next year. We have also decided to organize annual Armenian-Georgian games, and the President of Georgia also proposed to organize annual Olympiads for the schoolchildren. The first such Olympiad will probably take place as soon as the fall of this year.

Mr. President, this visit is an important step toward strengthening and deepening traditionally friendly relations and cooperation between our two peoples and two states.

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