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Georgia president to discuss bilateral cooperation during visit to Azerbaijan

February 12, 2014, 3:52 UTC+3 BAKU

The sides are expected to review the implementation of joint energy and transport projects, specifically the possibility of expediting the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway

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BAKU, February 12, 3:05 /ITAR-TASS/. The development of bilateral cooperation, primarily that in the economic sphere, will be discussed here on Wednesday between Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev and his Georgian counterpart Georgy Margvelashvili, who arrives in Baku for a two-day official visit.

According to diplomatic sources, during the visit Margvelashvili will meet with Aliyev, first in a "one-on-one" format and later on in a broader one with the participation of delegations of the two countries. The sides are expected to review the implementation of joint energy and transport projects, specifically the possibility of expediting the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, which is to come into operation in 2015.

Experts here believe that, considering that this is Margvelashvili's first visit to Azerbaijan since his being elected to Georgia's presidency, the sides will examine the entire spectrum of bilateral relations so as to compare notes. It is supposed that subjects to be discussed will include regional cooperation, including that in the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey format, interaction within the framework of international organizations and in the sphere of security. It is not ruled out that Aliyev and Margvelashvilvi will also consider ways towards settling conflicts in the South Caucasus.

Preliminary information has it that no documents on the results of the Azerbaiani-Georgian talks at summit level are expected to be signed.

According to the data of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, turnover in trade between the two countries last year grew by 1.88 percent to run at $650.5 million. In the process, export from Azerbaijan to Georgia last year decreased by 9.3% -- down to $519.3 while import frorm Georgia to Azerbaijan increased by 1.04% to amount to $131.3 million.

Azerbaijan delivers mainly gas, petroleum products, and electric power to Georgia and receives mineral water, winesand, and some types of foods. The two countries are connected with a large-scale energy and transport infrastructure, specifically the Baku-Supsa, Baku -Tbilisi-Ceyhan oi lpipelines, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline through which hydrocarbon fuel is supplied from Azerbaijan to the Turkish and world markets. Azerbaijan finances the construction of the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, assigning to it an easy-term credit amounting to almost $800 million.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan is one of major investors in the economy of Georgia. It owns that country's gas distribution networks, filling statins, a petroleum terminal at Kulevi, and is planning to launch the construction of a carbamide factory worth about $1 billion this year.

During the visit to Azerbaijan, the President of Georgia will also meet with Prime Minister Artur Rasi-zade and Parliament Speaker Oktay Asadov. On the second day of the visit Margvelashviliv is to meet with members of a Georgian commnity living in Azerbaijan's Gakh District.

The President of Georgia was planned to visit Baku way back at the end of December lasl year. However, at that time the visit was postponed for technical reasons.

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