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Georgian President Praises Ties With Azerbaijan


Presidents Giorgi Margvelashvili of Georgia (left) and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan have a one-on-one meeting in Baku on February 12.
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, on a visit to Baku, has praised Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for helping build a "warm and friendly" relationship with Georgia.

Margvelashvili held talks with Aliyev on February 12, the first day of his two-day visit.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Margvelashvili pointed to the "historic" railroad project his country and Azerbaijan are taking part in, saying the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (in Turkey) railway line would be a new bridge between Europe and Asia.

The two presidents also discussed other transit projects involving Caspian Basin energy resources destined for European markets that cross both Azerbaijani and Georgian territories.

Margvelashvili is also scheduled to visit the northern town of Qabala and the northwestern district of Qax, where he plans to meet with representatives of the Georgian diaspora.

The trip is Margvelashvili's third foreign trip since taking office in October. He attended the EU summit in Vilnius in November and went to Turkey last month.

Possible Tbilisi-Moscow Talks To Be Discussed

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has said that Russian and Georgian officials are due to meet in Prague next month to discuss the possibility of high-level contacts between the two countries.

Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow after Russia recognized the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia following a short war with Tbilisi in 2008.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on February 12 that his country's leadership was ready for such a meeting.

President Margvelashvili said on February 11 that he was ready to "thoroughly" consider remarks by Vladimir Putin in which the Russian president indicated a willingness to meet.

Asked in Sochi on February 10 if he would meet Margvelashvili, Putin said he would if that's what the Georgian president also wanted.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS,,, Interfax, and