Georgian Foreign Minister Downplays Armenia’s Concerns

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The charges against Georgia by certain Armenian political figures–who claim that Marneuli airport is preparing to receive Turkish air force planes–are absurd–according to Georgia’s Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili. He was quoted by Moscow-based Interfax news agency on Wednesday denying the "malicious" claims.

"There can only be evil intentions behind such rumors," he said. "Georgia will never be involved in activities against its neighbors or endanger them in any way–especially Armenia," Menagharishvili said. The tense situation in the Caucasus may indeed evoke suspicions–but Georgia continues to be on good terms with Armenia he said.

The issue of military cooperation between Georgia and Turkey was discussed when Armenia’s Defense Minister Serge Sarkissian visited Tbilisi last autumn. Georgian officials told Sarkissian that Georgia would never take any actions against Armenia.

Turkish engineers shared in the overhaul of the airstrip–said Levan Mamaladze–governor of the Kvemo Kartli region where it is located. The airstrip will accept Turkish and other planes engaged in antiterrorist activities "including terrorist activities outside Afghanistan," he said.

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