YEREVAN (Armenpress)–At a government meeting on March 1st Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze said he was concerned over a series of controversial articles about Javakhk recently published in the Russian and Armenian press.
He stressed that–if necessary–relevant agencies would respond to such publications. "Georgia regards any biased or distorted reporting of events in Samtskhe-Javakheti as unacceptable," Shevardnadze said. He called for caution and foresight in dealing with the region. He said that Armenia’s special interest in the region was legitimate because of its concern on the position of the large Armenian community in Javakhk.
Shevardnadze instructed the Ministry of Economics–Industry and Trade–Ministry of Agriculture and Food–presidential service for regional policy and the administration to draw up a program for Samtskhe-Javakhk’s development over the next seven to ten years.
He also stressed the importance of Armenia getting involved in the Great Silk Road project–the construction of roads linking countries of the Black Sea basin. In connection with this project–the transport and communications ministers of Iran–Armenia and Bulgaria are to meet in Tbilisi to discuss tariffs as well as the legal framework required for implementing the project.