Georgia Armenia Relations Enter New Phase

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A package of bilateral documen’s was signed in Yerevan Saturday between Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Eduard Shevardnadze–who is currently on a working visit in Armenia.

The package includes the following intergovernmental agreemen’s: "On Scientific and Technical Cooperation,"On Cooperation in the Field of Environment Protection,"On Cooperation in Preventing Natural and Technical Emergencies and Elimination of Their Aftermath,"On Cooperation in the Field of Education,"On International Road Communications" and "On Cooperation in the Field of Ecologically Safe Transport and Infrastructure."

The National Bank of Armenia and the National Bank of Georgia signed an agreement "On Measures Securing Mutual Convertibility and Stabilization of the Rate of the Georgian Lari and the Armenian Dram." The sides also signed an agreement "On Extradition of Criminals,"Consular Convention between Georgia and Armenia,"The Protocol on Consular Cooperation between the Ministries of Armenia and Georgia,"The Memorandum of Intent between Georgia’s Mail and Communication Ministry and Armenia’s Communication Ministry."

The sides adopted a joint agreement on the results of the visit of Shevardnadze to Armenia. At a news conference held after the signing ceremony–Ter-Petrosyan described the intergovernmental relations as "purely business-like–friendly–benevolent and unique." He stressed that Georgia occupied a special place in Armenia’s conception of foreign policy.

Ter-Petrosyan said that with the most difficult times for both states behind them–there were still a lot of problems–particularly–political problems in the field of international relations.

"We realize that having so many difficulties we shouldn’t create additional problems for each other. Instead–we should do our best to help each other to overcome difficulties," he said.

According to Ter-Petrosyan–there are no problems between Armenia and Georgia which "we are not able to work out." Ter-Petrosyan attached special importance to the solution of communication problems. "We speak a lot about the blockade of Armenia–but in fact the whole Transcaucasus is now blockaded for different reasons; the Abkhazian railroad doesn’t work–the military Georgian highway is in poor condition–the Derbend railroad does not actually operate and transit railroads to Turkey–Iran–which lie through Armenia are not operational," he said.

Shevardnadze said that the two states had trusting–friendly relations. He referred to the results of his visit to the Armenia–which–in his judgment–contained a lot of interesting clauses–particularly–on the possibilities of the establishment of peace and stability in the Transcaucasus.

"I attach great importance to the fact that during our visit we advanced in such sectors as the power system–transport–industry–sciences and culture. We also welcome the establishment–or rather the restoration of good traditions of friendship and cooperation between the two capitals," Shevardnadze said.

Shevardnadze noted that he considered it to be a matter of principle to "take care of every citizen–create conditions for spiritual–creative work and the welfare of all citizens–including Armenia’s in Georgia."

Both officials noted that they were optimistic about the prospects of resolving the Abkhazian and the Karabakh conflicts–following which–in particular–Armenia and Azerbaijan would start close cooperation.

"Economic relations will become a political factor of stability. This and common power systems–gas mains–oil pipelines and transport communications are additional stabilizing factors of the politics itself," Ter-Petrosyan said.

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