Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev is set to visit Georgia on his second official trip today, with the visiting official and Georgian prime minister Irakli Garibashvili scheduled to make joint statements for the media later during the day, the Georgian government administration has announced.
The top officials are scheduled to make statements for the media at Château Mukhrani, an estate promoting the country's centuries-long winemaking traditions, in the central Mtskheta municipality.
The visit, on the backdrop of Russia ongoing aggression against Ukraine, will mark Aliyev’s second arrival to Georgia after 2015, while the head of the Georgian government visited Azerbaijan twice last year, where the officials praised “centuries-long brotherly relations” and mentioned the importance of regional projects which have been carried out through joint efforts in recent years.
Prior to the visit, top Georgian officials had pledged to further strengthen the country’s role as a “strong contributor” to peace and energy security in the South Caucasus region.
Georgian foreign minister Ilia Darchiashvili said earlier this week Tbilisi was ready “at any time” to host Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders “for a calm and peaceful dialogue” to ensure regional stability amid tensions periodically flaring up between the latter over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijani president hosting the Georgian PM in Zagulba palace in September of the last year. Photo: government of Georgia press office.
This is an ongoing process and one of the key priorities for the Georgian government. Through the active involvement of prime minister Irakli Garibashvili, [Armenia and Azerbaijan] have already come to concrete results. The recent meeting of [Armenian and Azerbaijani] foreign ministers in Tbilisi points to the special trust Georgia enjoys among its friends”, said Darchiashvili.
Georgian prime minister and Philip Reeker, the senior adviser of the United States department of state for Caucasus negotiations, had brokered a deal in June 2021, with the deal involving Azerbaijan’s release of 15 Armenian prisoners of war in exchange for receiving from Armenia a map of landmines in the Agdam district of the region.
In the agreement, which followed the most recent conflict between the two counties, the captives were handed over to Armenia on the Azerbaijani-Georgian border, with the Georgian authorities attending the swap.
In July this year, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov, held their inaugural meeting in Tbilisi, as part of the Georgian government's Peaceful Neighborhood initiative for the South Caucasus, initiated by Garibashvili to facilitate talks between the regional states.