Kocharian Discusses Aliyev Meeting CIS Talks

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–President Robert Kocharian described as positive the outcome of his visit to Moscow for the CIS Summit and noted that the "atmosphere was rather good," at a Wednesday press conference.

In addition to attending the session of the CIS Council–Robert Kocharian held meetings with Russia’s Boris Yeltsin–Georgia’s Edward Shevardnadze and Azerbaijan’s Haidar Aliyev–as well as Russian Prime Minister Sergey Kiriyenko and Gasprom Board Chairman Rem Vyakhirev.

As reported by Kocharian–the summit reached an important decision to rotate the CIS Executive Body position from country to country–as opposed to having Russia as the permanent executive. Kocharian said that meets the principle of international practice and allows elimination of the "elder brother’s" syndrome.

Speaking of the meeting with Haidar Aliyev–Kocharian said that their conversation was candid enough. "I tried to make clear my position over the Karabakh settlement–because I think that everything should be voiced from the very beginning–in order for there not to be illusions of possible solutions to the Karabakh conflict," he said adding that he does not want to give any assessment of Azerbaijan’s position. According to him–in order to have fruitful negotiations–it is most important that each side correctly understand the goals and tasks of the other side.

"My viewpoint was presented rather clearly. If our aim is the result–and not the formality–it is necessary that Aliyev correctly and clearly understand my approach," Kocharian said.

Kocharian also noted that for the past years both the Armenian and the Azeri sides have been trying to prove their right to the mediators rather than to each other.

Kocharian said that if the negotiations continued in the same manner–the Karabakh problem will not be solved.

During the meeting between Kocharian and Kiriyenko the two mainly conferred on problems of regulating both countries’ legislations in the sphere of trade. According to Kocharian–there is mutual understanding in this field.

The Armenian president also noted that at the summit he made a proposal to conclude a political agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan–and that that proposal was "not bad."

According to Kocharian–one of the most pleasant meetings was the one with Gasprom Board Chairman Rem Vyakhirev. Vyakhirev and Kocharian discussed the implementation of the agreement on cooperation signed in the autumn of 1997. Under this agreement Russia and Armenia have set up the joint venture "Armrosgas" in which both sides have equal stakes of 45 percent. The company Itera is another participant.

Vyakhirev said–"We are quite satisfied with the implementation of the agreement," adding that the founding documen’s of the joint venture will be completed in six months.

Speaking of Armenia’s possible involvement in post-Soviet alliances with former Soviet Republics–Kocharian emphasized that he has no preference. "We should develop relations with countries based on our own interests," he said noting that today Armenia is not involved in any alliances within the CIS.

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