Armenian President Arrives in Georgia

TBILISI (Civil Georgia/Interfax)–President Robert Kocharian arrived in Georgia for an official three-day visit on Friday–and immediately met with his Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili near the Sadakhlo checkpoint on the border of the two countries for preliminary talks.

"We have discussed bilateral economic ties–cooperation in transport sector?as well as cooperation between the law enforcement agencies," Kocharian said.

The two Presidents have also discussed the issue of restoration of the railway connection in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia–which will enable landlocked Armenia to restore its railway link with its strategic partner Russia.

"Restoration of the railway will be favorable not only for us–but for Georgia as well. But it is Georgia’s prerogative to deal with this issue," Kocharian added.

Late Friday–the presidents traveled to Tbilisi–where they will hold more in-depth closed-door talks.

During his visit–President Kocharian will also meet with Georgian Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze–Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania–and Catholicos of All Georgia Ilya II.

Kocharian is also expected to meet with representatives of the Armenian community in Tbilisi.

The latest census conducted in 2002 suggests that Georgia has a population of 4.371 million–of which 250,000 are Armenia’s.

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