Georgian Deputy Speaker to Visit Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A delegation of Georgia’s Parliament led by Deputy Speaker Vakhtang Kolbaya will arrive in Yerevan on June 20 to participate in the fourth meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission for Cooperation between the National Assembly of Armenia and the Parliament of Georgia.

The meeting agenda includes issues like information about the work done since the latest meeting–cooperation between parliamentary delegations of the two countries within the framework of international organizations–information about the course of ratification of international treaties and agreemen’s in the two countries’ legislatures–discussion of prospects of realization of joint projects within the framework of regional cooperation–conducting of a joint meeting of inter-parliamentary and intergovernmental commissions of Armenia and Georgia–tasks on exchange of draft laws between the two parliamen’s and harmonization of tax and customs laws–legislation in the sphere of communication and energy. The agenda also includes discussions on the forms of participation of the Armenian side in the programs of social and economic development of Javakhk. The agenda for the next–fifth meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission will also be formed.

A summary press conference attended by National Assembly Vice-Chairman Tigran Torossian and Deputy Chairman of Georgia’s Parliament will be held on June 21.

Leaders of ethnic Armenian organizations in Georgia’s region of Javakhk have come out for the "permanent" presence of Russian military forces in the region.

David Rstakian–leader of the Virk party–reiterated in an interview with Georgian Prime News agency that the 62nd Russian military base was the only stability guarantee for the region populated mostly by Armenia’s.

Rstakian claimed that the majority of Georgian citizens believe–like the Armenia’s in Javakhk–that the military base must not be pulled out–despite a 1999 OSCE Istanbul summit resolutions–which requested that Russia withdraw its bases from Georgia–without setting a time frame for it.

"If a referendum is held on this issue now we think that the majority of Georgian citizens would vote for the maintenance of the base–though the country’s leaders think differently about it," he said.

Rstakian brushed aside some reports that local Armenia’s do not want the base pull out as hundreds of them work for it. "The question is a political one," he said–"in which the interests of the local population and Russia coincide." He also added that the party–which is still denied registration by the Georgian justice ministry–has already 15,000 members.

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