Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and his new Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinian pledged to give new impetus to relations between their nations after meeting for the first time in Tbilisi on Wednesday.
Pashinian travelled to Georgia on a two-day official visit that comes three weeks after he was elected Armenia’s prime minister following weeks of mass protests led by him.
Kvirikashvili mentioned the dramatic events in Yerevan when he addressed reporters after the talks. “The Armenian people demonstrated unity and commitment to the principles of democracy which led to a peaceful change of government,” he said. “I will take this opportunity to wish you success.”
“I believe that together we can give new impetus to bilateral relations with the country and the people with which we are connected by centuries-old friendship,” added Kvirikashvili.
“Our delegation arrived in Tbilisi to affirm our readiness to discuss all issues in an atmosphere of brotherhood and friendship,” Pashinian said for his part. “We are convinced that this atmosphere and mood could lead to very serious developments in our relations, and I am very happy to conclude that Georgia’s government and prime minister personally are also intent on further developing our relations.”
He spoke of new opportunities to “impart great momentum and great energy” to bilateral ties and “deepen them in all directions.”
Pashinian said he also discussed with Kvirikashvili regional security. “We need to make joint efforts in this area as well because stability in the region is important to all of us and is also an important prerequisite for further developments,” he told the joint news conference.
In a statement on the talks, the Armenian government said the two premiers discussed in detail “a broad range” of economic issues which dominated Kvirikashvili’s most recent trip to Yerevan in early March. “The interlocutors noted with satisfaction the level of Georgian-Armenian cooperation on energy and attached importance to prospects for a further development in the area of transport and communication,” it said.
Late last week Pashinian’s government praised Georgia and Russia for moving closer to opening new Russian-Georgian transport corridors that would facilitate cargo shipments to and from Armenia. Russian and Georgian negotiators reported further progress towards the implementation of a 2011 agreement to that effect after a fresh round of talks held in Prague on May 24.
Pashinian is scheduled to visit on Thursday Georgia’s Javakheti region mostly populated by ethnic Armenians.