Greek President Assures Closer Ties with Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A Greek delegation led by President Constantinos Stephanopoulos arrived in Yerevan from Tbilisi on a three-day official visit Tuesday. The delegation includes deputy foreign minister of Greece Grigori Niotis–deputy economy minister Alexandros Baltas–other officials.

At the airport–the Stephanopoulos articulated assurances for improved bilateral relations between the two nations–relations–which he said–have centuries-old history.

Stephanopoulos said his meeting with President Robert Kocharian would focus on issues of mutual interests–specifically–he said–the signing of an intergovernmental convention "on the elimination of double taxation in regards to income and property taxes and the prevention of tax evasion" and an agreement "between the customs services of the two countries’ governmen’s on mutual assistance." Another agreement is also scheduled to be signed on the exchange of instrumen’s of ratification of the "Agreement on Accord–Friendship and Cooperation" signed between the governmen’s of Greece and Armenia during Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s visit to Greece in 1996.

On Wednesday–Stephanopoulos was scheduled to visit the Dzidzernagapert memorial to the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and lay a wreath. Also on Wednesday the Greek president is scheduled to meet representatives of Greek Diaspora in Armenia.

On Thursday–a Greek hall will be opened in a ceremony in the library of the Yerevan State University. The Hall will contain books on history and sciences presented by the Greek side.

Stephanopoulos will also receive an honorary degree from Yerevan State University and meet with His Holiness Karekin I–Catholicos of All Armenia’s.

Stephanopoulos was made an honorary citizen of Georgia on Sunday during a visit to the former Soviet republic.

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze welcomed Stephanopoulos when he arrived Sunday at the airport in the Georgian capital–Tbilisi–for a three-day visit.

After the symbolic citizenship ceremony–Stephanopoulos was to meet members of Georgia’s Greek community and visit a medical center built with the help of the Greek government–the Interfax news agency reported.

He also met the Georgian parliament speaker and foreign minister.

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