Railway to Pose Danger to Javakhk Population

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The co-chairman of the Zang party–acting in Georgia’s predominantly Armenian-populated region of Javakhk M. Torosian warned that construction of a railway–supposed to link Kars–Turkey to Akhalkalaki–Georgia and Baku–Azerbaijan–would change the ethnic composition of Javakhk and nearby regions. According to him–the language–culture and religion of the native population would appear in danger.

In an interview with the local A-Info news agency Torosian said that under the pretext of guarding the railway the Turkish policemen and soldiers would flood the region.

"We are not against development of friendly relations between Georgia and Turkey–but we believe it would be more expedient to reopen the Kars-Gyumri-Tbilisi railway–which is more favorable in terms of geography and economy," he said.

At a press conference–in response to a question about opening the Erzrum-Kars-Tbilisi railroad–Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian noted that besides Armenia–a number of countries and international structures are concerned with that problem–since this road is a part of the TRASECA program and will secure railroad communication between Europe–Caucasus–and Central Asia. The minister declined to make any commen’s on possible terms of opening the railroad–saying that Armenia is sure to go on working in that direction. Oskanian expressed hope that working with the US and international structures within the framework of the struggle against terrorism will enable the opening of the railroad which has important strategic significance.

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