Georgian Foreign Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, met Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev during the visit in Baku on October 19.
Kvirikashvili, who also holds deputy PM’s post, also met Azerbaijani PM Artur Rasizade. He also plans talks with Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, and parliament speaker Ogtay Asadov, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that Kvirikashvili and Azerbaijani leadership “noted strategic partnership between Georgia and Azerbaijan” and “reaffirmed readiness to contribute to further deepening of relations.”
“The emphasis was made on joint efforts to develop partnership in energy and transport projects, especially in the context of implementation of the South Caucasus energy corridor through which Georgia and Azerbaijan play a special role for strengthening of the European energy security,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
PM Garibashvili made a brief and unannounced visit to Baku on October 10, where he met Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The visit came shortly after Georgian Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze said that Tbilisi will consider gas supplies from Gazprom on top of what the country is already receiving from the Russia’s state-controlled energy giant if the proposal is commercially viable, suggesting that Georgia has to diversify its gas supplies.
Georgia receives most of its gas supplies from Azerbaijan; it also receives, as a transit fee, 10% of gas shipped by Russia to Armenia through a pipeline running via Georgia.
The Georgian PM’s surprise visit to Baku triggered speculation in Tbilisi that he aimed at mending ties after potential fallout caused by Tbilisi’s suggestions over Gazprom gas supplies. PM Garibashvili denied the speculation and said that Tbilisi’s relations with Baku will remain “friendly and strategic”; he also dismissed talk of “replacement of Azerbaijani gas” supplies as “utterly absurd”.
PM Garibashvili also said after his trip to Baku that President Ilham Aliyev would visit Georgia November 6.