Georgian-Azerbaijani confederation “attractive”


images/stories/articles/portrets/asimzade.jpgThe Georgian president’s remarks about a confederation with Azerbaijan are heartfelt and show how close the countries are, an Azerbaijani MP has said.

Asim Mollazade, chairman of the Democratic Reforms Party, was commenting on remarks made yesterday by Mikheil Saakashvili at a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev in Batumi.

Saakashvili recalled that several years ago he had said that Georgia and Azerbaijan should establish confederate relations. “Actually, there are relations between two countries that surpass the usual relations. We 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,” he said.

Asim Mollazade commented: “Today relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia are so close that I do not rule out further possible integration and the creation of a common state. But this will be in the future. Saakashvili’s remarks about a confederation showed how close interstate relations are and this defines the overall climate in the South Caucasus.”

He said that confederation was not the two countries’ objective at the moment.

“Nevertheless, I think that the strategic path of Euro-Atlantic integration chosen by the two countries will finally lead to the further rapprochement of Azerbaijan and Georgia, possibly within the EU,” Mollazade said.

Commentator 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.

“This is an interesting idea. It is related to the idea of a single Caucasus without borders which I have repeatedly proposed at conferences. But at present there are many obstacles to this idea and it will not take clear shape. However, this process could be launched if the necessary determination is shown.”

Mammadov said Azerbaijan needed Georgia for access to world markets for its energy sources, while Georgia needed Azerbaijan for access to energy sources and to eastern markets.