Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 15 / Trend /
Trend commentator Elmira Tariverdiyeva
It seems that the new government of Georgia is slowly finding its line of policy and if it is not yet entirely clear how Tbilisi sees the vector of future relations with Russia, obviously Prime Minsiter Ivanishvili has already set priorities for himself concerning regional relations.
On Thursday, the prime ministers of Turkey and Georgia discussed regional security issues and joint projects. One of these is the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. It is interesting to trace the slow change in the position of Georgia concerning this project.
If after coming to power in October 2012, the new government had voiced some scepticism about the project, saying it is unprofitable to Georgia (reduction of congestion of Georgian railway by putting into operation of BTK, as well as reduction in congestion of Poti port), later on, Tbilisi has revised its attitude towards the project.
At a press conference in Tbilisi in November, responding to a question on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project, Prime Minister Ivanishvili said that problematic issues will be discussed during the visit to Baku. Indeed, after a meeting with senior government officials in Baku, Ivanishvili said the project should be implemented.
Strengthening of economic and political ties as well as development of good neighbourly relations were also discussed during the meeting of Ivanishvili and Erdogan.
In fact, it is advantageous for Turkey to maintain the status quo in relations with Georgia, as the balance in bilateral relations achieved during the reign of the regime of President Mikheil Saakashvili is acceptable for Ankara. First of all, Turkey's interest is linked to turnover and investment projects. Turkey is one of the countries with a leading position in the issue of investment in the economy of Georgia, where bilateral trade has reached $ 1 billion.
Equally important is the fact that Georgia is a transit country for the pipeline from Azerbaijan, which will go to Europe and ensure energy security for the EU.
In 2014 construction begins on the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TANAP), which will transfer the gas from Azerbaijan through Georgia and be a crucial part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
Georgia understands how beneficial projects passing through its territory are for the country's economy which may not boast of hydrocarbon reserves or other natural resources.
From this point of view, no disagreements either in the present or future may occur between Ankara and Tbilisi.
Security issues may become another interesting area of cooperation in the region. Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania is planning to visit Armenia and Azerbaijan after visiting Turkey.
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