Armenian Defense Minister Visits Tbilisi

Armenia’s Defense Minister Suren Papikyan is visiting Georgia on May 4-5, where he has met Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and counterpart Juansher Burchuladze.

During the May 4 meeting, the top Armenian military official and the Georgian PM discussed bilateral defense cooperation, as well as the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on the security architecture in the South Caucasus, PM Garibashvili’s press service reported.

In the context of regional peace and stability, PM Garibashvili told the Armenian Defense Minister that Georgia stands ready to facilitate dialogue in the South Caucasus with its Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative, aimed at bringing Yerevan and Baku together for discussions in Tbilisi.

Minister Papikyan on his part stressed the role of Georgia in efforts to “establish peace in the region,” the Armenian Defense Ministry stated.

The top defense official at the meeting also recalled Tbilisi’s mediation between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2021, leading to Baku’s release of 15 Armenian prisoners of war in exchange for getting from Yerevan a map of landmines in June.

Earlier on May 4, Defense Ministers Juansher Burchuladze and Suren Papikyan also touched upon Russia’s bloody invasion of Ukraine, as well as bilateral defense cooperation.

The two officials highlighted that the war against Ukraine fundamentally changes the global security architecture, including in the South Caucasus, the Georgian Defense Ministry stated.

They also signed a 2022 cooperation plan between the Georgian and Armenian Defense Ministries.

Minister Papikyan’s trip comes amid the recently frequent reciprocal visits between top Georgian and Armenian officials.

Armenian officials have repeatedly highlighted that further promoting “special, good-neighborly” relations with Tbilisi is one of the priorities of the Armenian Government’s 2021-2026 action plan.

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