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A Georgian is a friend to an Armenian, while an Armenian is a partner to a Georgian2009-06-26 10:20
Mikhail Saakashvili was warmly received in Yerevan. This visit was decisive for many delicate issues concerning the welfare of the Armenians both in mother country and in Georgia.
In a few words, Saakashvili's visit to Yerevan did not turn out to be very fruitful.
The day before, having promised to provide assistance in solving the problems of the Samtskhe-Javakhetia region of Georgia inhabited by the Armenians, Mikhail Saakashvili proposed to develop... ski tourism there and to build a good motorway from Akhalkalaki to Tbilisi. In public, the heads of the two states never touched upon the issue of returning the Armenian churches, or of a legal procedure on the Armenian activist Vaagn Chakhalyan, or even the issue of exclusion of Shirak Torosyan, an Armenian delegate, from Georgia.
The issue of opening the transport corridor from the Verkhni Lars Russian-Georgian border outpost that has been recently launched after repair works was settled in the typical manner of the Caucasian diplomacy. Mikhail Saakashvili did not deny the service to his neighbours but has postponed the date of the road opening for the time being.
"Our position is that all the roads should be open for free movement. The closing of the Verkhni Lars checkpoint resulted in many problems concerning freight traffic to Georgia and especially to Armenia. We have told the Russian party that we are ready to negotiate this issue with Switzerland, for it is the country that represents Russia's interests here. Right now, we are repairing the road towards this checkpoint from our side. As soon as we finish we will be ready to open it", - Saakashvili stated at the joint press-conference with President of Armenia Serge Sargsyan.
This was a good answer to the repair works at the checkpoint, which took Russian three years to complete. However, the Georgians should remember the fact that after being improved this checkpoint turned out to be the best on the Russian border. The motorway from Russia to Armenia should be built according to the European standards in order to match the new checkpoint.
However, the Armenians seem to be satisfied even with such an evasive promise made by Saakashvili. Although, Serge Sargsyan dropped a delicate hint that the Georgians should better finish the repair works by the end of summer. "This is especially important for all of us now that the harvest time is coming", - he said, expressing his gratitude to the colleague.