Congressmen Urge More Kocharian Aliyev Talks

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A delegation of US members of Congress left Armenia Thursday morning. The delegations next stop will be at Baku.

At a briefing held before the delegation’s departure at the "Armenia" hotel–head of the delegation Connie Morella pointed out that the delegation stressed the need for a peaceful settlement to the Karabakh conflict during all the meetings with Armenia’s and Karabakh’s leaders.

She applauded the recent meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan–which took place in Geneva–and pointed out that direct negotiations between the two countries’ presidents is a way to establish peace in the region.

Morella also underlined the importance of economic development in Armenia and noted that Armenia is sufficient and productive and also advanced in the sciences. "But–to carry out this task Armenia’should become a law-abiding state in which even the slightest manifestations of grafting and corruption would be excluded. It is the only means of encouraging foreign investmen’s in Armenia’s economy," the head of the US delegation said.

Congressman Frank Pallone pointed out that it is his fourth visit to Armenia and Karabakh and that he sees positive changes each time he visits "In Stepanakert I saw newly built shops–houses–which inspired me with optimism," he said. When asked about his trip to Baku Pallone said that "I consider myself to be a friend of Armenia and Karabakh and I would not go to Baku if I did not feel that there is a good chance for a peaceful settlement to the Karabakh problem. And every effort should be made for the purpose of promoting the Kocharian-Aliyev dialogue."

The US congressmen announced their intentions to lend help to Artsakh in building its economy. Karabakh officials told the Congressmen that that Karabakh is following a liberal policy both in foreign relations and in economic affairs.

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