Armenia Bulgaria to Expand Relations Within BSEC

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)–Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mikhailova met on Friday to discuss bilateral relations–ways to deepen economic cooperation and develop closer ties within the Black Sea Economic Cooperation forum.

Mikhailova is leading a Bulgarian delegation on a two-day official visit to Armenia.

She conveyed to Ter-Petrosyan an invitation from Bulgarian President Pyotr Stoyanov to come to Sofia on an official visit.

Mikhailova also met Armenian parliament speaker Babken Ararktsyan. He noted that Armenia plans to expand mutually advantageous cooperation with Bulgaria in the future.

The Bulgarian foreign minister said that 15 interstate agreemen’s signed by the two countries lay a strong foundation for bilateral political and economic relations.

Speaking about regional issues–including the Nagorno-Karabakh issue–Ararktsyan noted that forcible measures–such as political pressure–cannot solve the problem and may even cause counteractions.

He stressed the need for direct contacts among the warring factions. Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharian said transportation–security– health care and culture present promising areas of cooperation with Bulgaria.

The talks led to the signing of a protocol on cooperation and several agreemen’s calling for the development of a legal basis for furthering political and economic relations–including in such areas of fighting organized crime and terrorism–boosting trade and exchanging services.

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