PM hails Georgia’s “successful role” as “neutral negotiator” in Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

PM Irakli Garibashvili stressed his office supported a peace dialogue and negotiations between states. Photo: Government press office, 01 Jun 2023 - 14:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday hailed his Government's “first successful mediation” between the neighbourly Azerbaijan and Armenia following their most recent conflict in 2020 over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. 

In his press comments at the European Political Community Summit in Chișinău, the head of the Government stressed his office supported a peace dialogue and negotiations between states. 

The top official claimed Tbilisi’s role as a mediator was “very neutral and impartial” in a bid to “strengthen stability and peace” in the South Caucasus region. 

 We have very good relations with both countries - Azerbaijan and Armenia. In principle, Georgia carried out a very important and essentially the first successful mediation after the armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 2021. We support a peaceful dialogue and negotiations between the two states. I believe this is in the interests of our region”, Garibashvili noted. 

The Georgian PM and Philip Reeker, the United States Department of State Senior Adviser for Caucasus Negotiations, brokered the deal in June 2021, 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 the captives were handed over to Armenia on the Azerbaijani-Georgian border, with the Georgian authorities attending the swap. 

In July 2022, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov, held their inaugural meeting in Tbilisi, as part of the Georgian Government's Peaceful Neighbourhood initiative for the South Caucasus, initiated by Garibashvili to facilitate talks between the regional states.