24 May 2019 15:51

Georgia's Zourabichvili invites Chinese president to Tbilisi

TBILISI. May 24 (Interfax) - Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Tbilisi during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday.

Zourabichvili and Wang discussed the situation in the region, including that in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Georgian presidential press service said. The Chinese foreign minister briefed the Georgian leader on external challenges facing China and Beijing's relations with Moscow and Washington.

The sides also discussed issues concerning trade and economic relations between China and Georgia. Wang noted Georgia's important role as a bridge between Asia and Europe.

Wang reaffirmed China's readiness to further develop relations with Georgia following a meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani earlier today.

"China's foreign policy is based on the principles of peaceful coexistence. We stand ready to further develop friendly relations between our countries. Our firm position is that all countries are equal, regardless of their size," Wang told reporters, adding that "there are no problems" in bilateral relations between China and Georgia.

China respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and other countries, he said.

This has been the first visit to Georgia by China's foreign minister in the past 23 years.