Georgian Parliament Speaker Holds Talks in Iran
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Jan.'15 / 18:24

Georgian parliamentary delegation, led by speaker of the legislative body, Davit Usupashvili, met on January 25 in Tehran with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who called for boosting bilateral ties.

Rouhani said, according to the Iranian president’s office, that Tehran is seeking to strengthen cooperation with Georgia and noted that there is a huge untapped potential in economic relations.

He particularly stressed on importance of potential in energy and transport sectors, saying that Georgia can serve as a transit route to export Iranian gas to Europe and a railway can be used to link Persian Gulf with ports in Georgia.

The Iranian President also said that “all the countries should respect each other’s borders”, which, he said, is essential for peace and security in the region. He said that disputes should be solved only through dialogue.

On January 24 the Georgian parliament speaker met his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting Davit Usupashvili said: “Georgia and Iran, which have an experience of many centuries of bilateral relations, need each other very much today.”

“As situation is getting more complicated in our neighbourhood, as level of confrontation increases and threat of violence, terrorism is becoming more dangerous, the two countries should manage to initiate a process opposite to these developments through more cooperation, more relations and more mutually beneficial projects,” the Georgian parliament speaker said.

“Representatives of the executive governments of [Georgia and Iran] are working on interesting issues, which have a potential of initiating new, large-scale projects from which not only Georgian and Iranian people, but the entire region will benefit – cooperation in energy, transport, water and other sectors.”

“We have received once again a very firm pledge from our Iranian colleagues that Iran’s support to Georgia’s territorial integrity is firm and stable. Iran has been supporting united Georgia and will keep on supporting it in the future,” Usupashvili said.

On January 25 the Georgian parliamentary delegation also met former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who now chairs Expediency Council, which advises Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iranian officials have expressed regret over Georgia’s decision in July, 2013 to scrap visa-free rules for Iranian citizens.

Usupashvili said that the Georgian government is now working to ease visa procedures by introducing in the nearest future online application forms.

The delegation, led by Usupashvili, also includes MP Tedo Japaridze, chairman of the parliament’s committee for foreign relations; MP Gubaz Sanikidze, chairman of the committee for diaspora issues, and his deputy, MP Shalva Kiknavelidze, and MP Davit Bakradze, leader of the UNM parliamentary minority group.

A delegation of Iranian lawmakers, led by chairman of Iran-Georgia parliamentary friendship group Moayyed Hosseini Sadr, visited Georgia in late October, 2014. Georgian MPs Tedo Japaridze and Gubaz Sanikidze traveled to Tehran in September, 2014 for talks with their Iranian counterparts.

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