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Saakashvili: opening the joint check point will approximate Georgia and Turkey2009-03-06 09:15
Yesterday in village Sarpi at the Georgian -Turkey border the ceremony of opening the Turkish part of the new checkpoint.gt-en-newsitem-inside
The ceremony was attended by Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, Recep Tyyp Erdogan the PM of Turkey, Levan Varshalomidze, the head of the Ajaria Autonomous Republic government, and other officials.
The customs was equipped with new devices to simplify procedures. Since March 5th three lines are operating in the Turkish part of the customs: for pedestrians, for cars, for trucks.
Works on modernization of the check point lasted for 2 years, USD 20 mln were spent. In nearest future the Turkish side will start modernization of the Georgian part of the checkpoint, when it is finished the joint Georgian-Turkish customs and border check point will start its work.
According to President Saakashvili opening the new check point will considerably simplify and cut 70 per cent the procedures citizens had to go through when crossing the border.
"Stamp will be made at the Turkish or Georgian side and then citizens of both countries will cross the border without even noticing it. Just like citizens of France and Switzerland cross the border", Saakashvili said.
The President believes that this project as well as a number of others will favor further approximation of Georgia and Turkey.
"We are building a highway that will soon reach Batumi, and after that road from Tbilisi to Istanbul will take not 3-4 days but just one day. We are building a railway that will connect not only Georgia and Turkey but also Beijing and London via Georgia and Turkey. We are planning considerable extension of the Batumi international airport and port potential; we are building a free industrial zone in Poti district. It all will favor further integration of our countries and establishment of the one economic space", Saakashvili said.