Georgia Seeks Closer Relations with Armenian

MOSCOW (Xinhua)–Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze on Monday called for the intensive development of relations between Georgia–Armenia and Azerbaijan.

He made the call in his weekly radio interview–said an Interfax news agency report from Tbilisi–the Georgian capital.

The president said it was time for an intensive development of triangular Georgian-Armenian-Azerbaijiani contacts–because "the Caucasus has no future without peace."

He mentioned his recent visit to Baku to take part in celebrating Azeri President Haidar Aliyev’s 75th birthday–where they discussed a strategic partnership between their two countries.

He said he is preparing for a meeting with Armenian President Robert Kocharian to be held in the near future.

Referring to relations with Russia–the president said the three countries must work together to devise radical changes in relations with Russia.

He stressed that Georgian-Russian relations should be improved on the basis of "principles of mutual benefit–and not on confrontation–diktat or disregard for national interests."

Talking about the proposed Eurasian Transport Corridor (TRACECA) Shevardnadze said interest in the project is growing throughout the world–including in the United States–Japan–China and other leading nations.

He urged Russia to become closely involved in TRACECA–and said both Azerbaijan and Georgia would welcome the Russian president to the planned TRACECA summit in Baku.

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