Greek President Wraps Up Visit to Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– The presidents of Armenia and Greece assessed the results of meetings held during the Greek president’s visit to Armenia. At the end of the visit on May 13 Greek president Constantinos Stephanopoulos noted that "the visit was efficient and successful. I’m sure that in the near future we’ll see the results of this visit."

Armenian President Robert Kocharian–in turn–noted that the meetings were held in a warm atmosphere–and the sides did not waste time on disputes–they just focused on certain problems and tried to find a solution.

President Kocharian noted that the two countries share a common position on the situation in Kosovo. Greece–obviously taking it much more seriously because it is situated in the Balkan region. "Greece is a member of NATO–and there are certain domestic problems," Kocharian said.

Kocharian looked into the future with optimism at the possibility of tripartite cooperation among Greece–Armenia and Iran–stressing that Armenia is one of its initiators.

Kocharian found it difficult to estimate the possibilities of development of this cooperation–however–pointing out that the sides should understand each other better–establish closer contacts and exchange information to promote this cooperation.

Acknowledging that it is the first time that such a large group of businessmen visit Armenia–Kocharian said that an agreemen’s regarding several programs have been reached.

"Similar arrangemen’s are to be held in autumn–and I am sure that we will have broader opportunities towards tripartite relations," Kocharian said.

Consequently–most of the investmen’s in Armenia’s economy were made by Greek companies–and the whole investment program totals $500 million–Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Armen Petrossian told a news conference Wednesday.

The conference was held following the signing of cooperation agreemen’s between a group of Armenian and Greek businessmen. Stressing the importance of developing Armenian-Greek business relations–Petrossian pointed out that although there were a lot of political and legal possibilities–the economic relations needed improvement.

Deputy Minister of the National Economy of Greece–Alexandrius Baltas–said that recently–as a result of business relations–a specific cooperation program has been laid down–in particular–in the spheres of light industry–machine-tool construction–instrument making and tourism.

Baltas gave a positive assessment of the investment environment in Armenia and gave assurances that new investment programs will be implemented in the future.

Chairman of the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen Aram Vardanian also praised the Armenian-Greek business cooperation highly. According to him–corresponding documen’s between the countries were signed and the economic field will be fully open to the Armenian-Greek cooperation. Vardanian pointed out that an agreement was reached towards the organization of an Armenian-Greek forum.

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