Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Energy Minister Armen Movsisian met with Georgia’s new President Giorgi Margvelashvili after taking part in his inauguration in Tbilisi on Sunday.
The two ministers made up one of over 50 foreign delegations that attended the low-key ceremony held at the courtyard of the old parliament building in the Georgian capital. It took place less than a month after Margvelashvili, a close ally of outgoing Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, won a landslide victory in a presidential election praised as democratic by Western observers.
A statement by the Armenian Foreign Ministry said Margvelashvili praised the current state of Georgian-Armenian relations and expressed confidence that “they can be strengthened further with joint efforts.” Nalbandian, for his part, conveyed to the 44-year-old philosopher and former university rector President Serzh Sarkisian’s invitation to visit Armenia.
Georgia - President Giorgi Margvelashvili (R) meets with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Tbilisi, 17Nov2013.
The Armenian ministers also met with Ivanishvili. According to the Foreign Ministry statement, they discussed with the outgoing Georgian premier the implementation of unspecified agreements reached by the two governments.
Ivanishvili pledged to help make Georgian-Armenian ties “ideal” when he paid an official visit to Yerevan in January 2012. The billionaire businessman-turned-politician and his Armenian counterpart, Tigran Sarkisian, called at the time for the creation of a “common market” between the two neighboring countries.
The idea looks highly problematic now that Armenia is planning to join a customs union led by Russia. Georgia, by contrast, is due to finalize an Association Agreement with the European Union later this month.
“We have very good relations,” Apsny.ge quoted Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze as saying after a separate meeting with Nalbandian on Sunday. “There are no problems in our relations. There are only issues which are successfully solving through cooperation, and our relations keep moving forward.”