Despite a history of episodic Turkish invasions, Shevardnadze courted Turkey as an economic and diplomatic partner. Georgians took advantage of the opening of border traffic with Turkey to begin vigorous commercial activities with their nearest "capitalist" neighbor. In 1992 Georgia became a member of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, which is based in Turkey. In December 1992, Turkey granted Georgia a credit equivalent to US$50 million to purchase wheat and other goods and to stimulate Turkish private investment in the republic. Georgia also signed several diplomatic agreements with Turkey in the early 1990s, including a Georgian pledge to respect existing common borders, and official Turkish support of Georgian national integrity against the Abkhazian separatist movement. The issue of reinstatement of exiled Meskhetian Turks eased in 1993 when Georgia established official contacts with that minority.
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