YEREVAN—Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian said after meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Irakli Garibashvili, on Thursday in Yerevan, that the two prime ministers reiterated “friendly” relations and expressed willingness to further develop bilateral ties.
Garibashvili, who is paying a two-day official visit to Armenia, said Tbilisi and Yerevan will “spare no efforts to further deepen” close ties between the two countries.
Consequences of Armenia’s decision to join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union and Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU on bilateral trade were one of the key issues of discussion when Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian visited Tbilisi in June.
Abrahamian said that moving towards different economic blocs would not affect bilateral trade relations between the two countries and that, on the contrary, he said, Armenia and Georgia can benefit from it.
Armenia’s deputy foreign minister, Shavarsh Kocharian, told Georgian journalists in Yerevan on Thursday that regardless of the foreign policy course of the two neighboring countries, bilateral trade and economic relations between Georgia and Armenian should deepen.
“So the [Georgian] Prime Minister’s visit to Armenia is very important. After our country joins the Customs Union, some products would still be eligible for preferential treatment; final details of the list are being discussed,” the Armenian deputy foreign minister said.
Prime Minister Abrahamian also said that the modernization of infrastructure at the two countries’ borders was also discussed.
The two prime ministers announced that Armenia and Georgia would jointly build a new bridge at the Sadakhlo border-crossing point between the two countries, funded by the European Union.
Prime Minister Garibashvili noted a 41.5% year-on-year increase in bilateral trade between Georgia and Armenia in the first half of 2014.
“It demonstrates that trade, economic relations between our friendly countries are further developing and we will of course continue this trend,” Garibashvili said.
He said that the “importance of providing peace and stability in the region” was also discussed during the meeting.
The Georgian and Armenian prime ministers also discussed a landslide in Georgia’s Dariali gorge, which damaged a pipeline supplying Russian gas to Armenia via Georgia and which cut traffic on the road linking Georgia with Russia. The road is also important for Armenia as it is the only land route for the country to access Russia.
Abrahamian expressed readiness to provide assistance in responding to the landslide. The Georgian Prime Minister said that he expects the gas pipeline to be restored in two to three days.