Georgia should be ready to intensify economic cooperation with Iran if efforts to reach the final nuclear deal result in sanction relief, said Georgia’s deputy PM and Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who visited Tehran on May 18-19.
Kvirikashvili and Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare Ali Rabie signed a memorandum of understanding on May 19 after a meeting of the bilateral cooperation commission, the first one of its kind in the last ten years.
Kvirikashvili said an agreement was reached to resume work of joint expert groups in sectors ranging from energy and hydropower to tourism, agriculture and education.
“Georgia can be used for transit of Iranian energy resources towards Europe,” he said.
“There is a huge interest from the Iranian side to move economic cooperation with Georgia qualitatively on a new level and we only welcome it,” Kvirikashvili said.
He also said that Iran is now “working actively” to achieve the removal of Western sanctions.
“We welcome it and we should be ready – especially amid this [development] – to maximally intensify economic cooperation with Iran,” Kvirikashvili said.
During the visit to Tehran the Georgian Economy Minister also met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh and Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri.
Davit Narmania, the mayor of Tbilisi, accompanied Kvirikashvili on his visit to Iran. Narmania and mayor of Tehran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf signed a twinning agreement between the two capitals on May 19.