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    YEREVAN, March 12, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia is trying to improve its relations with Russia today, and Armenia can promote this process because it has close and friendly relations with Russia, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said in an interview with the Second Channel of the Armenian television and the Azg newspaper before his departure for Armenia.

    "We have long-standing ties and a common historical background with Armenia. Besides, Armenia is the most acknowledged country of the region. Armenia has maintained friendship with the West and Russia for many years. All this should serve the interests of the entire region," the Georgian president said.

    At the same time, Mr. Saakashvili stressed that Georgia was ready to take an active part in the establishment of effective relations between Armenia and Turkey.

    In his opinion, Turkey is well aware that relations with Armenia should be developed for the sake of peace in the region.

    "I think not only Armenia can promote relations between Georgia and Russia, but Georgia as well can assist Armenian-Turkish ties," said Mr. Saakashvili.

    The Georgian president will visit Armenia on March 12-13.

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