Oskanian Arrives in Cyprus

LARNACA (CNA)–Armenian Foreign Minister–Vartan Oskanian–arrived in Cyprus Sunday for a four-day official visit during which bilateral and regional issues will be discussed.

Oskanian expressed pleasure for visiting Cyprus–pointing out that this is his first time here–and pointed to the close relations between the two countries.

"We are two friendly nations–two friendly people so this is also part of our regular consultations," he remarked.

He also said that this would be a good opportunity to "discuss our bilateral relations and the prospect of mutual development–but also regional issues and issues of common interest between the two countries."

Welcoming his Armenian counterpart at Larnaca airport–Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides–also stressed the close and friendly relations between the two countries and expressed the wish for their further strengthening.

On Monday the Armenian Foreign Minister was scheduled to have official talks with his Cypriot counterpart–followed by a press conference and a working luncheon.

Earlier in the day he will call on the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church–Archbishop Chrysostomos–and meet with Nicosia Mayor–Lellos Demetriades–while he will also visit Nareg Elementary Armenian School.

On Tuesday he will be received by President–Glafcos Clerides and will then meet with Acting President of the House of Representatives–Nicos Anastasiades and the Chairman and members of the House Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs.

In the afternoon he will have a meeting with the President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry–Vassilis Rologis and in the evening he will visit the Armenian Prelacy.

Armenia and Cyprus plan to sign a treaty which will avoid for businesses in both countries–Armenian officials said on Monday–Reuters news agency reported.

"This is being drafted now by the two ministries and is proceeding at a very fast pace," visiting Armenian Foreign Minister Oskanian told a news conference in Nicosia.

Aides said the level of trade between the two countries was minimal but that Oskanian would be meeting industrialists on the island this week to discuss ways of boosting links.

"It is something we are working on. We are meeting the chamber of commerce and industry tomorrow," an aide told Reuters.

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