Azerbaijani, Georgian FMs meet in border demarcation talks, issue of arms transit to Armenia not discussed
Since the scandal over the arms transit to Armenia through Georgia, a high-ranking representative of the Azerbaijani authorities visited Georgia for the first time; FM Jeyhun Bayramov is meeting with the country’s officials.
Following a personal meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Georgian FM David Zalkaliani noted that the main purpose of the meeting was to restore cooperation on border delimitation and demarcation, which has been suspended due to the pandemic.
The David Gareji monastery complex has long been the subject of disputes between the two sides, since the border on this section, as well as about a third of the 446-kilometer Georgian-Azerbaijani border, is not delimited. The intergovernmental commission on delimitation and demarcation between Georgia and Azerbaijan was established in 1996, but this process has not advanced since then.
Tensions around the monastery began in April 2019. Then, in a response to Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili’s visit to David Gareji, the Azerbaijani authorities closed off access to the part of the complex located on the Azerbaijani side, which caused indignation in Georgia.
According to Zalkaliani, the Georgian side received new cartographic materials on the David Gareji monastery complex, which could cause a revision of the the Georgian-Azerbaijani agreements of 2006-2007. It was not specified what kind of materials are concerned.
According to official information, the parties discussed transport, trade and other points of cooperation.
Based on official reports, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Georgia did not discuss the so-called issue of ‘Serbian weapons’ for Armenia.
On July 12-16, following the escalation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, the Azerbaijani pro-government publication haqqin.az reported on the supply of weapons from Serbia to Armenia through Georgia.
The scandal turned out to be so grave that on August 17 Azerbaijan recalled its ambassadors from Georgia and Serbia.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry qualified these messages as disinformation.
Experts in Georgia and Azerbaijan predicted serious issues in bilateral relations.
However, in one of his last interviews on September 19, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in fact denied the accusations and instead thanked the Georgian government for not allowing weapons intended for Armenia to pass through its territory.