Kocharian Believes Suspension of Peace Talks Played a Positive Role

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Proposals on the Karabakh settlement expected from the OSCE Minsk Group will allow for some fundamental conditions without which it will be impossible to settle the conflict–said Armenian President Robert Kocharian on Tuesday during a meeting with a group of visiting journalists from the CIS and the Baltic States.

Among such conditions Kocharian highlighted the observation of the equal right of entity–full participation of all parties to the conflict in the negotiating process and a comprehensive solution to the problem.

The suspension of the Karabakh peace talks early last year can be regarded as useful–stated Kocharian. Before that the participation of the Armenian and Azeri sides in the negotiating process looked like "the continuation of war," as if they still were "in the trenches."

Kocharian’s recent meetings with Azeri President Heydar Aliyev and the Minsk Group co-chairmen testify to the positive changes. Although the proposals of the co-chairmen were voiced in rather general terms–what was said gives reason for optimism. Kocharian said that these proposals were met in Azerbaijan rather positively.

"Armenia is a stable country today and potentially can become the most stable country in the region. That is our main slogan today," said the president.

Commenting on the impact of the Russian financial crisis on Armenia–Kocharian pointed out that the government of Armenia has no intentions of conducting de-privatization and nationalization of the country’s economic facilities. The current situation in Russia isn’t connected with the process of privatization.

Despite the serious shocks in Russia–the economic situation in Armenia remains quite stable. Armenia’s financial market is stable; an 8 percent economic growth has been reported for this year; the country’s currency reserves are growing–and no interventions are made on the part of the government to maintain the exchange rate of the national currency.

The president also pointed out that there are no back wages in the budget sphere–there are only problems with paying wages to a number of enterprises mainly oriented to the Russian market.

Kocharian noted that economic cooperation within the framework of the CIS is beneficial to all countries of the Commonwealth and there is great potential for cooperation within the CIS.

Common problems are differences in legislation–double taxation and others. At the same time–the condition of the economies in CIS countries are alike–which makes it easier to deal with many problems. "Transport problems" complicate interaction even more for Armenia.

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