Ivanov Calls Armenia Strategic Partner

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"I am greatly satisfied with the results of this visit–during which all the issues of mutual interest were discussed," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told a news briefing September 3 before leaving Yerevan.

"We share similar stances on most issues regarding bilateral relations and a number of international problems," Ivanov said. He pointed out that his visit was short but efficient and met common interests. "We were able to discuss all the issues," he said.

Ivanov reported that during negotiations the Armenian leaders specified their position on the Karabakh settlement–which–according to the Russian foreign minister–is of high importance to Russia in its further mediatory activities–within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group as well.

"We have planned our future steps based on the Armenia’s stance on the Karabakh settlement and have coordinated actions in assessing the situation and state of affairs in the Caucasian region. Both sides agree that close cooperation between all the Caucasus states–including Russia–which is also a Caucasian state–is necessary in struggling against today’s threats: terrorism and extremism," Ivanov said.

According to Ivanov–Russia is making efforts at invigorating the OSCE Minsk Group’s activities. He pointed out that assistance is also rendered in the development of provisions of the document discussed by the Armenian and Azerbaijanian presidents.

"By force of all the contactual relations between Russia and Armenia–our relations are reaching the level of strategic partnership. In this matter there exists mutual understanding. Russia is interested in having similar active relations with all the Transcaucasian states," Ivanov said.

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