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FM: Russia ready to improve relations with Georgia
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07:50, February 01, 2008

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that Russia is willing to improve relations between Moscow and Tbilisi, Interfax news agency reported.

"Lavrov congratulated the Georgian foreign minister with the latter's appointment and confirmed Russian intention to work in a constructive way to improve interstate relations," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website Thursday.

Lavrov spoke on the phone to new Georgian Foreign Minister David Bakradze, who was confirmed as Georgian foreign minister on Jan. 31.

The ministers of the two countries "expressed their readiness to strengthen the dialogue and take practical steps towards implementing the earlier reached agreements," the ministry said.

After being approved to the post of Georgia's foreign minister on Thursday afternoon, Bakradze said he would have his first telephone talk with his Russian counterpart.

"Russia is one of Georgia's major partners, including in resolving problems that arouse Georgia's concern and creating a positive moment, which may happen in Georgian-Russian cooperation," said Bakradze, "Good-neighborly relations with Russia are important for Georgia."

"Georgia is ready to propose Russia to maintain cooperation and keep all positive elements that both parties have had in recent years," the Georgian minister said.

In 1990's, Bakradze worked on the different posts at the Georgian Foreign Ministry and then at the Security Council. He was chairman of the parliament's committee for European and Euro-Atlantic integration. From July 2007, he is state minister for conflicts resolution.

Source: Xinhua

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