Giorgi Saralidze: direct contacts between Azerbaijani and Armenian journalists extremely important
Azerbaijani and Armenian journalists are in good contact with each other at international venues, a creative producer and the host of Vesti FM, Giorgi Saralidze, said in the program 'Formula of meaning', telling about the International South Caucasus Media Forum, titled 'Media, politics, values: deal with post-truth' held in Tbilisi last week by the 'North-South' Political Center, the Press Club 'Commonwealth' with the support of the IFESCCO.
"I visited the Media Forum and talked with both Azerbaijani and Armenian journalists. It was held unexpectedly peacefully: they were sitting at the same table, telling jokes, and so on, carefully bypassing the pitfalls existing in relations between the two countries," Giorgi Saralidze said.
Georgia is one of those sites where conflicting parties can meet in a neutral territory. "It is not my first time when I participate in such media forums. In this case Georgia is a neutral country in the South Caucasus, where journalists can come from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. And every year it becomes more comfortable to hold these events in Tbilisi," the creative producer of Vesti.FM noted.
"There are not many such venues where young journalists from Azerbaijan and Armenia can meet face to face. One girl from the Armenian delegation told me that it was the first time when she saw Azerbaijani journalists sitting at the same table with them. Such meetings are very important in this situation, even despite the fact that they do not make any decisions and they are unlikely to change the mentality of journalists," Giorgi Saralidze stressed.
Such forums are also important for Russian-Georgian relations. "It's good that people meet and express their views on the most acute problems/ But it is clear that the relations between Russia and Georgia and between Armenia and Azerbaijan are completely different: more than a million Russian tourists visited Georgia last year, and when you are in the center of Tbilisi you can hear Russian speech from everywhere," he said.
"Such contacts also take place between Abkhazia and Georgia, for example, more than 100 young people visited Tbilisi to see the UEFA Super Cup football match between Barcelona and Sevilla, and these are normal human relations, and only they have a perspective. It's important to understand that both in Azerbaijan and Armenia: no matter how difficult negotiations and contacts are, no matter what the goals they have, but an only alternative to conversation is war," the creative producer of Vesti FM concluded.