Armenia and Georgia are unanimous in their opinion that conflicts in the region have different natures and the grounds for their settlement are not identical, Armenian President Armen Sarkisian said following his talks with visiting Georgian counterpart Salome Zourabichvili in Yerevan on Wednesday.
“In my personal opinion, solutions [to conflicts] should be sought solely by peaceful means, on the basis of international law and norms and in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh [it should be] on the basis of respect for the right of self-determination,” Sarkissian stressed during the two presidents’ statements for the press.
Last month the Georgian president was on an official visit to Baku where during her meeting with President Ilham Aliyev she said that Azerbaijan and Georgia had gone through the same problems.
“Today, we know what occupation means for a country and what it is when your territorial integrity is not restored yet. Lines of contact with occupied lands are open wounds that hinder our development. Nevertheless, despite these tragedies, we have managed to strengthen and develop our economies,” Zourabichvili said in Baku, implying the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
While in Yerevan, Zourabichvili said that for Georgia, a country that hosts sizable Armenian and Azerbaijani communities, it is important that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh should not be shifted onto its territory.
“It is very important for us that Georgian citizens of Armenian and Azerbaijani descents live in peace and be integrated into the political, economic and cultural life of Georgia,” she said.
According to Zourabichvili, as president of Georgia she is obliged to do more to make it easier for Georgia’s ethnic Armenian citizens to learn the Georgian language.
She emphasized that Armenia and Georgia are not only neighbors, but also friendly nations. “We live in a region for which stability and peace are crucial. These are mandatory preconditions for the economic development of our two countries,” Zourabichvili said.
Speaking about regional conflicts, the Georgian president said that they should be settled peacefully and on the basis of norms of international law.
For his part, President Sarkissian underscored the atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust that he said is characteristic of Armenian-Georgian relations. He said he was pleased to accept Zourabichvili’s invitation to visit Georgia.