YEREVAN, JANUARY 13, ARTSAKHPRESS. The agreement on introducing simplified travel document requirements between Armenia and Georgia whereby nationals of the two countries will have the opportunity to cross the border only with ID cards instead of passports will take effect after passing a ratification process, the Armenian Ambassador to Georgia Ashot Smbatyan told ARMENPRESS.
With this agreement Georgia becomes the first country where Armenian citizens can travel to only with ID cards, which “by itself speaks volumes about the special nature of the Armenian-Georgian relations,” Ambassador Smbatyan said.
Mr. Ambassador, how would you assess the current level of the Armenian-Georgian relations? What new achievements can you present, are there upcoming new programs and initiatives?
Ambassador Smbatyan: Last year, Armenia and Georgia marked the 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations. Over the course of these 30 years the Armenian-Georgian relations developed steadily, but an unprecedented intensification of mutual contacts and political dialogue has taken place especially during the past few years. Moreover, I am speaking about the cooperation between both heads of government and various key ministries of the two countries. Active contacts have been established also between the parliaments of two countries, last year the Speaker of Parliament of Armenia traveled to Tbilisi on an official visit, during which memoranda of understanding were signed between the foreign relations and culture committees of the parliaments of Armenia and Georgia.
Regarding joint initiatives, the governments of the two countries are focused on cooperation in enhancing trade, all types of infrastructures, tourism, deepening of de-centralized ties, education and culture and numerous other directions, the realization of which requires continuing consistent work.
ARMENPRESS: On January 12, Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili led a delegation to Armenia. The leaders of the two countries co-chaired the session of the Armenia-Georgia Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation. How would you assess the results of the session?
Ambassador Smbatyan: As you know the work of the Armenia-Georgia Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation was re-launched in 2019 after a long hiatus, which by itself is extremely important because the commission sessions are the best platform for discussing almost the entire bilateral agenda issues, summarizing the implemented work and recording future objectives. Since 2021 the commission is co-chaired by the prime ministers of Armenia and Georgia, which again underscores the importance the sides attach to the work of this commission.
The agenda of the January 12 session was again extremely comprehensive; it included almost every direction of bilateral cooperation. As a result of the session the prime ministers of the two countries signed the respective protocol which must be the guideline for the state ministries of the two countries for implementing their future work.
ARMENPRESS: Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili signed an agreement during the session enabling citizens of the two countries to travel to Armenia and Georgia only with ID cards, without producing passports. How do you assess this and how will the agreement contribute to deepening the relations between the two countries?
Ambassador Smbatyan: I attach great importance to this agreement which creates the possibility for citizens of the two countries to travel to each other’s countries with ID cards. The goal is very simple – to maximally facilitate the visits of Armenian and Georgian citizens to each other’s countries, and to contribute to the further strengthening of direct contacts between the societies. The agreement is yet to pass a ratification process, and then it will take effect. I’d like to especially underline that with the signing of the agreement Georgia is factually becoming the first country where citizens of Armenia will be able to travel with ID cards, which, I believe, by itself speaks volumes about the special nature of the Armenian-Georgian relations.