Relations with neighboring Georgia have risen to the level of allies, Azerbaijan’s president said on Monday in an official visit to the country.
In a press conference after a one-on-one meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, President Ilham Aliyev highlighted that the two nations in the South Caucasus were “actively cooperating in many areas.”
Azerbaijan has been working to conduct several important projects at the regional level, Aliyev said after discussing bilateral and regional cooperation with Garibashvili at the Mukhrani Palace in the Mtskheta region near the capital Tbilisi.
Garibashvili’s office said in a statement that during their meeting, he and Aliyev discussed the “high level of the two countries’ strategic partnership and active political dialogue,” as well as “intensive cooperation in the directions of trade and economics.”
It said they also affirmed the two countries’ “close cooperation in the area of foreign policy” and expressed their commitment to “furthering the bilateral political, economic, cultural, and other ties.”
Separately, Aliyev said he and Garibashvili exchanged views on the start of trilateral consultations involving themselves and Armenia.
“If Armenia is ready, we will be ready to start talks in this format today,” Aliyev said.
He added that a “new situation” had arisen between Baku and Yerevan following the 2020 war over the Karabakh region, which was liberated from nearly three decades of Armenian occupation during the 44-day clashes.
Resolving the conflict, however, will require the sides to sign a “peace agreement,” Aliyev underlined, expressing hope that Armenia would show “political will, start peace talks” and sign a peace agreement that would “establish peace in the South Caucasus and create new opportunities for cooperation.”
The meeting between Aliyev and Garibashvili came days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Azerbaijani counterpart jointly inaugurated a new airport in an area liberated from Armenian occupation.