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New bridge at Georgian-Armenian border

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, November 7
The construction of a new bridge (to be named 'The Friendship Bridge)' linking Georgia and Armenia will start next year, Georgian and Armenian officials announced during last Friday’s meeting.

The construction of the bridge at the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen border checkpoint is expected to be completed in less than two years, and will feature a four-lane highway in the territory of the Georgia-Armenia border, Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan stated.

The statement was made after the opening ceremony of a new Bagratashen border checkpoint that was also attended by Georgian officials.

Customs services are provided through the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen checkpoint at the Georgia-Armenia border (one of six checkpoints between the neighboring countries), where the Armenian side is responsible for the Bagratashen checkpoint, while Georgia offers services through the Sadakhlo border facility.

The agreement on the construction of the Friendship Bridge was signed in Yerevan on December 24 2014 by Kvirikashvili (the-then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development of Georgia) and Gagik Beglaryan, the Minister of Transport and Communications of Armenia.

The cause of the deal that would be financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was to ease traffic between the two nations.

Georgian and Armenian officials emphasized that the new border checkpoint and the bridge along with the Rustavi-Sadakhlo highway would provide traffic flow from and to Armenia with uninterrupted access to the East-West and North-South Transit Corridors, also promoting the “sustainable and competitive development” of the region's transport network.

Georgia has already commenced tender competition procedures pertaining to feasibility studies and detailed designs for the Rustavi-Sadakhlo highway, the Government of Georgia press office said.

After the checkpoint’s opening ceremony and viewing the area for the new bridge Kvirikashvili and Sargsyan discussed prospects of further developing of bilateral relations.

The discussion also included the issue of deepening transport and energy cooperation.

Sargsyan also congratulated Kvirikashvili on the ruling team's victory in the recent parliamentary elections of Georgia.