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Georgian FM clarifies confederation statement
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-09-10 11:22

The Georgian foreign minister on Thursday clarified the reported proposal by the country's president to form a Georgia-Azerbaijan confederation.

"We should carefully listen to the president," said Grigol Vashadze, "He said relationship between Georgia and Azerbaijan goes beyond the strategic relations and looks like relations between countries in a single confederation."

"It does not mean that we will create a single legislative body and constitution. We are only talking about the close and coordinated work of Georgia and Azerbaijan," the local InterPressNews service quoted the minister as saying.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili first floated the idea in mid-July when Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev visited Batumi of Georgia.

News reports at the time quoted the president as saying: "We ( Georgia and Azerbaijan) are an extension of each other; we are parts of one organism; so issues that are painful for Azerbaijan are painful for us as well."

The president reportedly said that Georgia and Azerbaijan should establish confederation relations as he had suggested several years back.

Ilgar Mammadov, co-chairman of Azerbaijan's Republican Alternative civil union, said: "The idea of creating a confederation between Azerbaijan and Georgia is attractive but currently difficult to implement."

The Azerbaijani politician added that his country needed Georgia for access to world markets for its oil and natural gas while Georgia needed Azerbaijan for access to energy sources and to markets in the east.

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