Ambassador: General point in politics of Georgia and Azerbaijan is resolution of territorial conflicts

Ambassador: General point in politics of Georgia and Azerbaijan is resolution of territorial conflicts

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 28 /Trend, E.Tariverdiyeva/

Georgia and Azerbaijan are strategic partners, the political and economic relations between the countries develop in accordance with the strategic partnership and are at a good level, the newly appointed ambassador of Georgia to Azerbaijan Teymuraz Sharashenidze said in an interview with Trend.

"The priority of my work will be to maintain and further develop and deepen our partnership in all spheres," he said.

Teymuraz Sharashenidze has been in the diplomatic service since 1996, when he began to work as the first secretary of embassy in Ankara. Later, he worked as the first consul-general of Georgia in Istanbul for several years. From 2004 to 2008, he worked as Georgia's ambassador to Bulgaria, then returned to the Foreign Ministry, served as an ambassador for particularly important assignments under the Foreign Ministry of Georgia. After this, he was again sent to Istanbul as consul general, and was later appointed as an ambassador of Georgia to Azerbaijan.

Georgian President's visit

According to the ambassador, the date of the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's visit to Azerbaijan has already been pre-agreed. This is the second or third quarter of this year, he said.
"The main topic of high-level negotiations will be bilateral regional cooperation in a multilateral format - GUAM, OSCE, the Eastern Partnership, said Sharashenidze. - Also the topic of negotiations will be bilateral cooperation in energy, transport, tourism, energy and security in the region".

According to him, during the president's visit, discussions will cover all areas of cooperation between the two countries - political, economic and humanitarian cooperation.
"Our presidents meet often, and this is a positive trend in the Georgian-Azerbaijani relations," he said.

Conflict in South Caucasus

Georgia supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and stands for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with the norms and principles of the international law, he said.
"We are also grateful to the Azerbaijani side for the recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. The general point of our states is the resolution of territorial conflicts," said Sharashenidze.
Nov. 23, 2010, Georgia undertook obligation on non-use of force for the de-occupation of Georgian territories and the restoration of territorial integrity, he said.
According to the ambassador, the Russian side should take a reciprocal step, and undertake not to use force against Georgia.

"In fact, Russia increases the arms in the occupied territories, complete militarization goes on, and the two regions of Georgia - Abkhazia and Tskhinvali have turned into a large military base, which directly contradicts to the 12 September 2008 Saakashvili-Medvedev-Sarkozy ceasefire agreement," Sharashenidze said.
The international community should actively urge Russia to undertake non-use of force, the ambassador said.
"Without this, achieving security and stability in the region would be problematic," he said.

"Eastern Partnership"

According to Sharashenidze, Georgia considers the revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy a timely initiative, which plays a crucial role in determining the future development of the Eastern Partnership.
Georgia has been actively involved in this process and has already signed an agreement with the EU on visa facilitation and readmission, he said. Effective implementation of these agreements would help the gradual liberalization of visa regime envisaged by the Eastern Partnership, the ambassador said.

"Georgia and the EU also signed an agreement on the general aviation area, which is already applied before the entry into force, he said. Soon we also look forward to signing an agreement with the EU on mutual protection of geographical indications, agricultural products and other foods."
Negotiations between EU and Georgia on signing an association agreement have already begun and are very positive," said Sharashenidze.

"The long-term strategic goal of Georgia is the full integration into the EU. In the medium term, Tbilisi expects full access to the four freedoms of movement: goods, capital, services and people," he said.

Based on the above-mentioned achievements in bilateral cooperation with Azerbaijan, Georgia considers possible the joint projects in energy, transport, tourism and ecology, Sharashenidze said.

"This collaboration should identify specific areas for joint projects that can be realized as part of the Eastern Partnership. At the initiative of Latvia, Georgia also considers a project to establish a national geographic information system to implement it also as part of the Eastern Partnership." This interesting project, which is of great importance, can be implemented together with Azerbaijan," he said.

According to the ambassador, the National Museum of Georgia has already begun cooperation with relevant organizations of Azerbaijan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of Azerbaijan, State Museum of Azerbaijani Carpet, Historical and Archaeological National Wildlife Refuge in Gobustan, Caspian Energy Center - Sangachal Exhibition Centre in Terminal of BP) on the theme "Cultural Monuments Heritage in the area of the pipeline". This cooperation has the potential to identify specific areas joint projects for possible implementation as part of the Eastern Partnership," said Sharashenidze.

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