Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia and Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Inaugurate a New Motorway Bridge on the Debeda River at the Sovereign Border of Georgia and Armenia

Published in Economics
Monday, 22 August 2022 11:19

Friendship between our countries is measured by centuries-long history. Our relations are not only a role model of brotherhood and friendship, but a significant pre-condition of the welfare, stability, safety and development of the entire region.  This jointly-built Friendship Bridge is a symbol of our successful cooperation and friendship. It was announced by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia when delivering his key-note speech at the inauguration of a new motorway bridge today.

Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia inaugurated the new motorway bridge together with Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
The Head of Government of Georgia noted that a 160 meter-long bridge with 4 lanes is a unique project for the region.
“Let me greet you all, my dear guests! I greet and welcome my friend and friend of our country – Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. I am delighted to host him in Georgia. We all know it well that friendship in our countries is measured by centuries-long history. Our relations are not only a role model of brotherhood and friendship, but a significant pre-condition of the welfare, stability, safety and development of the entire region.  This jointly-built Friendship Bridge is a symbol of our successful cooperation and friendship. A 160 meter-long bridge with 4 lanes is a unique project for the region, as it is located on the territory of two nations and was jointly built by us with modern standards and parameters. Upon commissioning, it will double the throughput of vehicles at the border. Quality of road safety will be improved for the citizens and visitors of both countries, as well as for the transit vehicles, resulting in the further increased trade and economic relations” noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
According to him, the bridge will not only be beneficial for the citizens and visitors of Armenia and Georgia, but acquires strategic importance as a significant part of the international East-West Highway (EWH).
The Head of Government of Georgia expressed his gratitude to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for allocating over 7 million Euros for the construction of the bridge.
“I wish to note that the bridge will not only benefit the citizens and visitors of Armenia and Georgia, but will also acquire strategic importance as a significant part of the East-West Highway (EWH). Development of the road corridor in our country is progressing at a high speed today. We have already built part of the EWH, while all the other fragments will be completed in mere 2 years. Of course, performance of customs check-points with a bridge of modern standards becomes even more vital within the context of such wide-scale projects. I wish to once again note that support of the EBRD was most vital in the cooperation of two friendly nations. I wish to express my gratitude to the Representative of the Bank. Almost over 7 million Euros were allocated for the implementation of this project. Also, I wish to personally thank the EBRD Management, construction and supervision companies, government agencies and professional teams of both countries, authors of the blueprints, engineers, constructors and everyone engaged in the implementation of this vital project. It may be said, Mr. Prime Minister that we built a new bridge of friendship between our countries and are officially celebrating it today. This bridge empowers us, our country and the entire region. That is why, I once again congratulate and thank you all. I wish peace to our countries, while prosperity and progress to our people. Thank you!” concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia also addressed the audience gathered at the inauguration of the new motorway bridge today.
He focused on the positive trend in the trade and economic relations between the two countries, thereby noting that connectivity has a pivotal importance in these relations, as it enables the region to be integrated with the global economy. It also serves as a vital link at national, regional and international levels.
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister Garibashvili, Dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am glad to welcome all of you at the event on the occasion of the commissioning of this bridge, which marks the close and diversified Armenian-Georgian cooperation.
Undoubtedly, the centuries-old ties between our two fraternal countries, based on common values and historical heritage, need such an important, relevant and up-to-date infrastructure that creates a solid foundation for our further broad cooperation.
I am more than convinced that today there are all the necessary prerequisites for the development and deepening of relations with fraternal Georgia in accordance with the priorities of the foreign policy of the Republic of Armenia.
Dear attendees, considerable growth has been recorded in the Armenian-Georgian trade and economic relations under the conditions of the current most difficult challenges. Today I was pleasantly surprised to see that the trade turnover increased by 97% compared to the same period last year.
Of course, in previous years, in the post-COVID year, the base was not that big, but in any case, this is a very impressive figure, which, I think, is the result of the implementation of joint and consistent work. Against the backdrop of our intense relationship, when we look back and see the numbers to witness such positive trends, it certainly motivates us to try and make our intense relationship even more extensive.
The Armenian-Georgian trade and economic relations have even greater potential and this is what I mean: we must be able to use this potential through our work. There are serious opportunities for deepening cooperation in industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, ICT, transport, energy, tourism and other areas. Obviously, communication channels are of key importance for the development of trade and economic relations, which make it possible to integrate into the world economy, establish and maintain vital ties at the national, regional and international levels.
The priority of the transport sector in the framework of our bilateral cooperation and interaction within a number of international transport structures allow us to take real steps not only along the Persian Gulf-Black Sea international transport corridor, but also on other initiatives that provide a key link in the transport sector. I hope that the involvement of those who have already shown interest and other interested parties will contribute to regional long-term cooperation through more active work, coordination and implementation of the agreements reached.
I must note with satisfaction that regular passenger transportation between Armenia and Georgia is carried out both by land and by air. With regard to cargo transportation, additional efforts and continuous joint work are needed to ensure their easier movement. In this context, I also want to emphasize the importance of railway transport cooperation and the expansion of multimodal, in particular, ferry transportation” noted Nikol Pashinyan.
According to him, Georgia as a transit country has a vital importance for the reliable and safe supply of energy resources, communication and ICT to Armenia.
“Georgia, as a transit country for Armenia, is of great importance in terms of reliable and secure supply in terms of energy resources, communications and telecommunications. We have extensive experience in effective cooperation in the energy sector. Relevant departments and structures should carry out daily and consistent work in the direction of both the noted areas and in terms of ensuring cybersecurity.
I should note that it is necessary to develop cross-border cooperation between the two countries, which has brought tangible benefits in terms of the implementation of preventive measures, especially during the pandemic.
It is important for our two countries to expand cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian spheres. We must continue to make efforts in the field of tourism by offering joint travel packages for visitors to Armenia and Georgia.
As for interregional and decentralized cooperation between Armenia and Georgia, I should note that it has quite a lot of opportunities for development. It is necessary to consider the possibility of involving international structures in various cross-border cooperation programs.
No less important is the development of further cooperation in the areas of environmental protection, labor and employment, education and science, sports and youth. It is necessary to intensify the organization of joint events, to exchange experience.
Dear Mr Prime Minister, dear colleagues, of course, the implementation of all the above projects requires interdepartmental meetings, active mutual visits and close interpersonal contacts. And from the point of view of ensuring these conditions, it is important to carry out contacts freely and in a simplified manner, which from now on will be facilitated by this structure, this bridge.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all the parties involved, financial, design and construction organizations for the implementation of this infrastructure project, which symbolizes the friendship between the two countries, and for effective work. I am confident that these efforts will give an appropriate positive charge to mutually beneficial cooperation in all possible areas and to our bilateral fraternal ties.
I wish all of us further success and new achievements for the benefit of the progress of our nations and the well-being of our people. Thank you and congratulations” concluded the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.

A new bridge, which is already branded as a Friendship Bridge, was built on the Debeda river by the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen Customs Check-Point at the sovereign border of Georgia and Armenia. It was financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with 7.4 million Euros in total and jointly built by the two countries. It is a unique cross-border project for the region, as one part of it is located on the territory of Georgia, while the other part – on the territory of the Republic of Armenia.

New bridge of modern standards and parameters will improve the quality of road safety upon its commissioning and will benefit citizens and visitors of both countries, as well as the transit transportation of cargo. In contrast with the old one, the new bridge will double the throughput, resulting in the significant increase of cargo and travelers between and through the two neighbouring nations. It will also facilitate a further advancement of trade and economic relations.
Event was attended by representatives of the executive authorities from Georgia and the Republic of Armenia, along with the diplomatic corps accredited in the country.
 
Press Service of the Government Administration
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