Chirac Shevardnadze Congratulate Kocharian on Victory

YEREVAN (Yerevan News Agency)–French president Jaques Chirac and Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze Thursday congratulated Robert Kocharian on his election to the presidency of the Republic of Armenia.

"I wholeheartedly and with great pleasure congratulate you on your election as president of Armenia and I wish you success in realizing that mission," stated Chirac in a letter addressed to President-elect Kocharian.

"I have been able to observe your active participation in your country’s political life during your previous positions. I am confident that you will utilize all your capabilities in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh question. A question which concerns you and us," stated Chirac.

In his letter–Chirac also pledged his country’s support to Armenia and emphasized the importance of friendship and cooperation established between France and Armenia.

Aside from Chirac and Shevardnadze–Moldova president Piutr Luchinski–CIS Executive Secretary Ivan Kortchenya and the chairman of the Industrialist Union of Russia Arkady Volsky also offered their congratulations to Kocharian. ANCA Chairman Praises Kocharian The Armenian National Committee of America Wednesday congratulated Robert Kocharian upon his election as the president of Armenia–describing the free and fair vote as a clear rejection of the failed anti-reform policies advocated by his opponent.

"This election represents a rejection of former Communist Party leader Karen Demirchian’s Brezhnev-era policies," said ANCA Chairman Mourad Topalian.

"The Armenian people have voted against a return to an era characterized by the imposition of foreign rule–a legacy of political repression–and a failed economic system. Instead–they have opted for the path of democracy–economic reform–and regional stability. This choice stands in stark contrast to other states in the region–most notably Azerbaijan–which have reverted to both the authoritarian political and economic structures of the Brezhnev era," he added.

"The Armenian people know–despite a series of irresponsible international media reports which have mischaracterized his record–that it was Kocharian who made the 1994 cease-fire a reality. They have placed their faith in a leader–who–as Prime Minister–had a proven track record on democracy and economic issues. The people of Armenia know that President Kocharian has the broad-based popular support needed to move the peace process forward and that he will explore new and innovative means of bringing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to a close," stressed Topalian.

As we have said in the past–we welcome the international scrutiny of this election. We commend the Kocharian government’s success in ensuring a free and fair vote as well as its commitment to address the isolated shortcomings identified by international observers," added Topalian.

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