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BAKU, March 6 (Itar-Tass) — Issues of bilateral cooperation and regional problems will be in the focus of the Azerbaijani-Georgian summit talks to be held here on Tuesday.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is arriving in Baku on a two-day official visit. In the afternoon he will meet with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilkham Aliyev, first one-on-one and then in an expanded format with the participation of governmental delegations of the two countries.
At the talks the sides will discuss projects in the oil and natural gas sphere in which Azerbaijan and Georgia participate. The two presidents will discuss the export of Azerbaijani gas to Europe via Georgia and Turkey, as well as the progress of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project. The Georgian section of this railway is being built with the Azerbaijani loan.
The talks’ political component will cover the issues of cooperation between the parties in the sphere of security, in particular, in the settlement of conflicts in the South Caucasus, strengthening ties within the framework of international organisations, cooperation in the formats of the GUAM (regional organisation uniting Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova) and the Caspian and Black Sea basins’ littoral states.
Saakashvili’s visit program also includes a meeting with the Azerbaijani Prime Minister Artur Rasi-zade, Chairman of the Milli Majlis (Parliament) Oktai Asadov and a speech in the Parliament.
Georgian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze told journalists that “during Saakashvili’s visit to Baku it is planned to sign a number of international agreements.” However, Itar-Tass correspondent Tengiz Pachkoriya reported from Tbilisi that she did not specify, which agreements she referred to. According to her, “Georgia and Azerbaijan implement a number of joint economic and energy projects, and their consideration at the summit level will be an additional incentive and impulse for their successful implementation.”
Azerbaijan and Georgia established diplomatic relations in 1992.
According to the National Statistics Service of Georgia, in 2011, Azerbaijan was the second-largest trade partner of Georgia: it accounted for 11.6 percent of the country’s foreign trade (1 billion and 36.7 million US dollars). Turkey is first with 16.2 percent (1.5 billion US dollars).