YEREVAN, February 27. /ARKA/. Armenia's decision to join the Customs Union will create absolutely no obstacles for its relations with Georgia, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said Thursday after a meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Georgy Margvelashvili.
In early September, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, made a joint statement, according to which Armenia has decided to join the Customs Union and to take part in formation of the Eurasian Union in the future. A roadmap to Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union was upheld on December 24, 2013 in Moscow at a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. On February 3, the Armenian government made public the roadmap.
«Mr. Margvelashvili and we are unanimous in thinking that the roads our countries have taken for developing their economies should not create any obstacle for Armenian-Georgian cooperation,» Sargsyan was quoted by Novosti-Armenia as saying. «It means Armenia's decision to join the Customs Union and the initialing of EU Association Agreement by Georgia will not hamper our further cooperation.»
The head of state stressed the importance of the establishment of an Armenian-Georgian group for strengthening trade and economic ties between the two countries. The group's first session is scheduled for the second half of March.
He said that the two nations' leaders attach great importance to effective cooperation in the international arena.
«We think comprehensive settlement of all conflicts is possible only by peaceful means, in accordance with the international law,» he said.
Sargsyan also pointed out other grounds for cooperation - culture and education. In his words, friendly relationship between Armenia and Georgia guarantees mutually-beneficial cooperation and maintenance of stability in the region.
«Consistent strengthening of Armenia-Georgia partnership is one of the most important components of Armenia’s foreign policy,» he said. «Dynamic development of the bilateral relations is seen now.»
The president said that Georgia's prime minister and 12 ministers visited Armenia in 2013, and this shows the high level of Armenia-Georgia relationship.
«Particular areas in trade and economic cooperation are already singled out – tourism, energy and processing of agricultural products are among them,» he said. «I am convinced that the next, tenth session of the Armenian-Georgian Intergovernmental Commission in Yerevan will allow discussing the process of implementation of the arrangements made earlier and outlining economic cooperation prospects.»
Sargsyan also expressed gratitude to Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia's former prime minister, for donating own money for restoration of one of Armenian churches in Tbilisi.
Margvelashvili, on his side, thanked Sargsyan for invitation to Yerevan and invited him to Georgia in return and said cooperation between the two countries will help in solving many problems.
The Georgian president is now in Armenia for a two-day official visit. He was set to meet with Armenia's high-ranking officials and Catholicos Garegin II, Armenian Apostolic Church leader.
Yesterday he went to Tsitsernakaberd, the Memorial of Armenian Genocide Victims and paid floral tribute to Armenians killed by Ottomans.
Trade turnover between Armenia and Georgia amounted to $151.9 million in 2013 – 26.9% growth, compared with the previous year. ---0---