TBILISI—President Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday traveled to neighboring Georgia, where he touched on security concerns in the region and how advanced Armenia-Georgia cooperation can further enhance the two countries’ ability to address those international challenges.
During a meeting held at the Presidential Palace of Georgia, the Presidents of Georgia and Armenia discussed bilateral political cooperation and deepening relations and reiterated the importance of Serzh Sarkisian’s visit as a proof of the high level of bilateral political relations.
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said his country welcomed the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement between Armenia and the European Union, saying that Georgia sees the agreement as a positive message from the EU and an as impetus for new opportunities for mutual cooperation.
During a press conference following the meeting, the two leaders spoke about some of the highlights of their conversation, both emphasizing the need to advance neighborly relations, with Sarkisian saying that “a number of promising projects” would allow for such a development.
“The Armenian-Georgian relations have been developing in the course of a quarter of a century on the basis of rich cultural traditions, interrelated history and a common value system,” said Sarkisian.
“Georgia is particularly attractive to Armenians, as we have true friendly sentiments toward the Georgian people. It’s no coincidence that most Armenians prefer to spend their vacation in Georgia,” added Sarkisian.
The sides also reportedly discussed the implementation of programs in IT sector, creation of joint industrial enterprises. Sarkisain said he briefed his Georgian counterpart on the opportunities created by Armenia’s free trade zones as an access to the Eurasian Economic Union markets. He made a special reference to the newly launched free economic zone on the Iranian border, which will enable Georgians to export their goods and services to the Iran.
The Presidents of the two countries also referred to issues of regional security and stability. “In this context we attached importance to maintaining a balanced and constructive stance on sensitive issues. We share the opinion that a comprehensive and long-term settlement of existing conflicts is possible exceptionally in a peaceful way within the framework of agreed formats and through negotiations,” Sarkisian told reporters.
While in Tbilisi, Sarkisian also visited Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II, Georgia’s pontiff and congratulated on his 40-year leadership of the church.
The parties attached importance to the role of the Armenian Apostolic and the Georgian Orthodox Churches in the development of good-neighborly relations between the two countries.
Accompanied by first lady Rita Sarkisian, the president visited the Hovhannes Tumanian House Museum and Cultural Center.
Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, Primate of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Director of the Tounamian Center Gissane Hovsepyan led a tour of the facility and updated the president and the first lady on the recently-completed renovations, as well as efforts to engage the Armenian community of Georgia in the center’s activities.
After watching a film about the center’s history and ongoing activities, the Sarkisian were taken to the house’s southern balcony where Tumanian used to receive guests. The tour continued with a visit to the author’s private library and a traditional tea party, that is said to have been a mainstay of the Tumanian House.