Turkey and Georgia are neighbors that enjoy friendly and strategic ties, stated Georgian Consul General Gela Japaridze in Trabzon, Turkey, hailing the centenary of the opening of Georgia's Embassy in Ankara.
Japaridze told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Georgia’s Ankara envoy Simon Mdivani was the first foreign ambassador accepted by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with a letter of credence in 1921.
Saying that Turkey has become Georgia’s biggest trade partner as of 2007 while it is also one of the countries making the most investment in Georgia, Japaridze reminded that with a protocol signed in 2011, both countries’ citizens are able to travel solely through an ID card.
Japaridze further stated that high-level meetings are often held between the two countries with the latest example being Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili's state visit to Turkey upon President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s invitation in June.
He pointed out that a high-level strategic cooperation council was established in 2016 to further improve ties. Turkey and Georgia also cooperate on several projects.
One of these projects, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline, started delivering gas to the Turkish network in July 2007. By last year, it had delivered 3.4 billion barrels of crude oil shipped from the marine terminal at Ceyhan in southern Turkey to global markets in 14 years. Similarly, the 1,076-kilometer (669-mile) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline started delivering Caspian oil to Turkey and global markets in 2006.
Another major project, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, opened in 2017 and connected not just Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan but also Europe to Central Asia and China. The 829-kilometer (515 miles) railway line, extending from Baku to Kars, complements a major part of the Middle Corridor with the Caspian Pass line.
“Turkey is a strong supporter of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. It does not recognize the so-called independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and wants these conflicts resolved in a peaceful manner within the scope of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Japaridze said.
He also reminded that Turkey supports Georgia’s efforts for integration with the European Union as well as Atlantic institutions.
Japaridze stated that Turkey and Georgia have also been closely cooperating during the pandemic.
“Turkey has helped Georgia in the procurement of necessary medical material and oxygen throughout the pandemic. Many of our COVID-19 patients have benefited from this.”
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