Armenia-Turkey Rapprochement Hailed in Georgia

flagTBILISI (RFE/RL)–Tbilisi welcomes the ongoing rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey as a process that will also open new prospects for the South Caucasus countries and contribute to stability in the region, according to an ethnic Armenian advisor to the Georgian president.

Talking to RFE/RL on the phone, Van Baiburt, who advises Mikheil Saakashvili on minorities’ affairs, said that Georgian authorities deem normalization between the two neighbors useful for economic and political stability in the South Caucasus.
Baiburt added that this conviction of Georgian authorities is shared by many political forces in the country.

The Kavkazpress news agency on Wednesday quoted the opposition Alliance for Georgia led by former Georgian ambassador to the United Nations Irakli Alasania as hailing the Armenian-Turkish normalization and expressing a hope that “it will contribute to the resolutions of problems facing Georgia and problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan” as well as “promote the establishment of lasting stability and security.”

Baiburt also views the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement as instrumental in conflict solutions.

“I am convinced that in the near future we should wait for some settlement in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. There will be settlement and these three states will live, in my opinion, normally and the South Caucasus will be economically and politically stable,” he said.

Baiburt disagreed with opinions that Georgia is not interested economically in the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border because of possible reduction in the Georgian transit of Armenian goods.

The advisor to the Georgian president expects that an open border between Armenia and Turkey will, on the contrary, provide more “road shipping and energy resources transportation” opportunities.


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