Armenia Can Assist Javakhk Kocharian Says

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia could play a serious role in relieving the socio-economic tension in Samtskhe-Javakhetia–Georgia–Armenian President Robert Kocharian said during his meeting September 9 with journalists involved in the "Support of the Mass Media of the South Caucasus" project sponsored by the Swiss Foreign Ministry. Journalists from Armenia–Georgia–Switzerland and Kirghizia participated in the meeting on the problem of Samtskhe-Javakhetia.

According to the president–one should not be surprised that organizations promoting extremism exist in the region. He stressing that extremist forces frequently make use of the current social tension to their advantage.

Kocharian said that in solving such problems one should display a delicate approach. Problems can be solved jointly–and Armenia can render assistance provided that the Georgian side shows good will–the president said.

Kocharian gave assurances that Armenia could help the region in supplying electricity–building roads and eliminating the lack of school teachers. "But all this should not be considered in a political aspect," the president said. He also reported that the Georgian side considered Armenia’s proposals.

The problem of Samtskhe-Javakhetia will also be addressed during Georgian President Eduard Shevarnadze’s visit to Armenia. According to the Armenian president–Shevarnadze realizes the delicacy of the matter.

Addressing the current situation in the negotiations on the Karabakh problems–the president stressed the importance of direct negotiations with Azeri President Heydar Aliyev. He reported that agreemen’s on intensifying the cease-fire regime and on a meeting of the Armenian and Azeri defense ministers were reached.

Addressing the Armenia-Iran-Greece tripartite cooperation–the president said that the cooperation is based on economics and is not aimed against any other country.

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