Statement of the President at the Joint Press Points with President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia

Published in Politics
Friday, 16 April 2021 10:29

President Salome Zourabichvili and H.E. Armen Sarkissian, President of the Republic of Armenia, held a face-to-face meeting, followed by an expanded format meeting, after which they issued statements at a joint press point. Below is President Zourabichvili’s statement.

“Mr. President, I am glad to host you in our country. This visit was planned long ago and unfortunately could not be carried out. The pandemic and the conflict in the region have greatly hindered us and we have not been able to organize this visit so far, so I am very happy to have the opportunity to receive you today at the Orbeliani Palace.

“Since our last meeting, we have faced very difficult challenges in the Caucasus.

“On the one hand, the pandemic affected the economies of all three countries, shutting down the world and claiming human lives. However, the casualties caused by the war were much greater for the region and the individual country. I would like to express my condolences and sympathies to the families of those killed during this war, Mr. President.

“As it was during the conflict, Georgia is on the side of peace. As a sign of this, our offer for a platform for meetings, dialogue and to ease the situation remains in place.

“I briefed the President of Armenia, Mr. Sarkissian, on the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia, including illegal borderization, kidnappings, human rights abuses, and the aggravated humanitarian situation and escalations during the pandemic.

“We all understand that any conflict in the region affects the whole region, so peace and cooperation have no alternative for the development of the Caucasus.

“Given the importance of stability in the region, we also discussed the alarming situation in Ukraine. The Black Sea region (and not only) is threatened with escalation and destabilization. We understand how important de-escalation is today for this region as well.

“We discussed the unique future economic potential of our region, with increased interest from various external actors, new plans or platforms. All this proves the great importance of this region. However, the role of the Caucasus countries remains crucial. The countries of the Caucasus must jointly define their future, considering the Caucasus in terms of its transit and other potential, I see it only as an open region.

“The implementation of large-scale projects to bring Asia and Europe across the Caucasus and the Black Sea requires the active participation of the EU, one of the main players, together with everyone and other stakeholders.

“It is important for the EU to be involved in the final settlement of the conflict, as well as in the implementation of following infrastructure plans within the Eastern Partnership.

“We also talked about our bilateral relations to strengthen and implement economic, touristic, and cultural projects.

“We are also proud of the fact that the Georgian citizens of Armenian origin have all the means to preserve the language and culture of their ancestors in this country. At the same time, more needs to be done, mainly by the State, so that they can fully master the state language and thus be able to integrate fully and participate in the economic or political development of the country.

“I am very happy with your visit today. We also discussed some of the initiatives that can be taken at our level, how to encourage business actors to start thinking and working together on specific projects. This will arouse the interest of investors not only for each country but also collectively, as such a format may be much more attractive.

“We started discussing this today, which will continue and which we will give a specific form. I have high hopes for this.

“Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your visit, and I am happy that such a close, friendly relationship has been and will be maintained over time!”

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