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Georgia seeks constructive dialogue with Russia — Margvelashvili

April 22, 2014, 20:30 UTC+3 TBILISI

“Continued direct dialogue within the Abashidze-Karasin format is indispensable,” the Georgian president noted

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Georgian President Georgy Margvelashvili

Georgian President Georgy Margvelashvili

© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Djavakhadze

TBILISI, April 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Georgia favors an efficient dialogue with Russia, Georgia’s president said.

Georgia “calls for lowering the political temperature in relations with Russia”, President Georgy Margvelashvili said on Tuesday.

“Continued direct dialogue within the Abashidze-Karasin format is indispensable,” he said.

The meetings between the prime minister’s special representative for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin represent the first direct dialogue between government officials since 2008. Their first meeting took place on December 14, 2012 in Geneva’s suburb and the following four in Prague in March, June, September and November 2013.

Abashidze and Karasin were initially scheduled to meet on March 4 but agreed to postpone the consultations until March 14 and then put them off “until a later date”. Last week, Georgian and Russian officials said that the meeting would be held in Prague on April 16. Abashidze has repeatedly said lately that “during telephone conversations with Grigory Karasin both sides called for continuing the dialogue in this format”.

In March 2014, Abashidze noted that the forthcoming meeting in Prague would “traditionally cover such topics as the development of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of trade, transport and economy”. It was announced in late February that the diplomats might also discuss “the possibility of arranging and holding a meeting between the Georgian and Russian top officials”, but neither side has mentioned this again in recent weeks.

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