Azeri, Georgian presidents reaffirm strategic partnership
President Ilham Aliyev held a private meeting with his Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili on Thursday. The two presidents focused on the development of bilateral cooperation and continuation of economic relations. The private meeting was followed by a large meeting with participation of government delegation of the two countries.
At the end of the meeting, a number of bilateral agreements were signed. Ministers for education and foreign affairs of the two countries signed agreements on cooperation in the sphere of education and information. Aliyev and Saakashvili signed a joint Declaration between Azerbaijan and Georgia.
Following the sighing of the agreements, the two presidents held a joint news conference. President Aliyev said that it was important to maintain and expand traditional friendly and fraternal relations between the two neighboring countries. “Our countries are strategic partners,” said Aliyev.
Touching upon bilateral economic cooperation including the implementation of huge energy projects, President Aliyev noted that the constructions of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline would be completed on schedule. He expressed his hope that the economic projects would give impetus to the expansion of bilateral cooperation.
Georgian President Saakashvili, in turn, said that the goal of his Baku visit was to discuss with the Azerbaijani state officials the opportunities for expanding bilateral cooperation, the issues on the construction of the BTC pipeline as well as the pre-parliamentary election situation in Georgia. Saakashvili underlined that Azerbaijan remained as an exclusive partner for Georgia, stating that the Georgian side intended to develop the relationships between the two countries.
Touching upon large energy projects, the Georgian President stressed that the BTC pipeline was the “vitally important issue” for his country. “The generation of new presidents, as well as new energy and new force has come to Azerbaijan and Georgia,” he emphasized.
Saakashvili is scheduled to complete his official visit on Friday after touring the Sangachal terminal and the Deepwater Jacket Factory.*