The messenger logo

Newly-appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan visits Georgia

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, September 25
The newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bairamov paid his first official visit. During the visit, the Minister held an official meeting with Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani.

At the meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, current issues of the bilateral agenda, prospects of cooperation in political, trade, economic, energy, education, and cultural-humanitarian spheres, as well as the challenges facing the region were emphasized.

Minister Zalkaliani expressed gratitude for the unwavering position of the Republic of Azerbaijan in respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. The 2 countries reaffirmed their interest in the peaceful settlement of conflicts in the region and stressed the need to return displaced persons to a safe and dignified environment as a result of the conflict.

Delimitation-demarcation of the state border and the Davit Gareji monastery complex were one of the issues discussed at the meeting in Tbilisi. At the briefing after the meeting, Zalkaliani said that new cartographic materials, documents, and expert conclusions have been found and handed over to the Azerbaijani side. The Georgian minister does not rule out that the new materials obtained by the Georgian side will give a different direction to the process and may lead to the need to revise the agreement reached in 2006-2007.

Zalkaliani is confident that there will be progress in the ongoing negotiations on the demarcation-delimitation of the border. As he said, both sides have a constructive approach to the issue.

According to Bairamov, the relevant agencies and commissions between the two countries are working on the delimitation of the Georgian-Azerbaijani border.

He noted that another meeting on border delimitation issues was to be held in March 2020 but could not take place due to the pandemic.

Bairamov expressed hope that, in general, border delimitation issues will be decided by the relevant commission. Minister noted that appropriate conditions should be created for specialists to work in a free environment during the discussion of such issues.

“After some time, we were convinced that such issues were used by those who want to harm Azerbaijan-Georgia relations, e.i. third countries, so I advise the citizens and civil society of both countries to be more careful,” he added.

The situation with David Gareji has repeatedly escalated since April 2019, when Azerbaijani border guards restricted movement on the road to the Desert Monastery. Georgian clerics and civilians held several protests.

Georgia and Azerbaijan have agreed on about 2/3 of the state border. One of the disputed sections is near the Davit Gareji monastery complex.

From May 2019, the work of the government commissions for delimitation-demarcation of the state border of Georgia and Azerbaijan was resumed, which had been suspended for years.

The conversation also touched upon the importance of deepening cooperation between Georgia and Azerbaijan in various formats. Special attention was paid to the successful cooperation between the two countries in the fields of trade, economy, transport, and energy.

The parties welcomed the format of trilateral Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey cooperation in the region, which has development prospects. The parties agreed to facilitate the format in terms of promoting regional cooperation.

"Our countries supported each other in the process of gaining independence during the Soviet era, and this support continues today successfully on bilateral and multilateral platforms," Azerbaijani Foreign Minister announced at the media briefing.

Bairamov said that Azerbaijan is Georgia's main trading partner and investor. At the international level, countries make a great contribution to the world in terms of energy resource diversification and security. Specifically, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Supsa pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, and even the completion of the large transnational, southern gas corridor project planned by the end of the year. These projects are important not only for the energy supply of the two countries but also for Europe.

According to him most importantly, people are seeing practical results with these projects. In 2019, trade turnover between the countries was over $ 650 million. Compared to the previous year, an increase of more than 11 % was observed.

At the end of the meeting, the parties expressed readiness to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries and take it to a higher level.

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

According to the press service of the government administration, the sides discussed the relations between the two countries and the prospects of cooperation. The conversation focused on cooperation in the political, trade, economic, energy, education, and cultural fields.

Within the framework of the visit, the minister will hold official meetings with the President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili and the Vice-Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia Kakhaber Kuchava.