Ter Petrosyan Meets With Chirac

YEREVAN (Hayastani Hanrapetutiun/Noyan Tapan)–An official delegation– headed by Levon Ter-Petrosyan–arrived in Paris on a four-day visit Monday.

Ter-Petrosyan met with his French counterpart Jacques Chirac upon arrival. "We discussed very serious issues–particularly the Karabakh conflict. France is now getting very actively involved in this process as co-chairing country–and we hope that France will significantly facilitate the restoration of peace in the region. Also–we have very seriously discussed the current state of our bilateral relations. I would like to stress with satisfaction that the French government views Armenia in the list of its priorities," the Armenian official declared.

Chirac said in turn– "we discussed our bilateral relations. They are favorable and we plan to develop them both in political as well as economic and cultural spheres. We have also had lasting discussions about the Karabakh conflict. We discussed these issues with Presidents Yeltsin and Aliyev in Strasbourg recently and I can see that everyone is willing to do their best to be able to create conditions acceptable for all. To create a solution which will bring security to all sides– and particularly to the population of Karabakh– and to enable economic development of the region. I am a bit more optimistic after these discussions and we’ll do our best– along with our Russian and US friends–to resolve this problem".

This comes after Ter-Petrosyan indicated a complete reversal in Armenian state policy last month–saying his government was ready to abandon any ambition to seek an independent Nagorno-Karabakh.

Questioned about preparations to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire by UNESCO–the French President said–"I would like to see the ruins of Ani registered in the world humanitarian heritage. The situation with Ani is such that if we do nothing today– it will soon be seriously damaged."

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