Kocharian Meets Russel Johnston

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian met September 13 with Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe–Lord Russel-Johnston. The two discussed issues related to regional cooperation and Armenia’s membership to the Council of Europe.

Kocharian stressed that Armenia understands the importance of integrating into European structures and has chosen the European way of development.

"Our country is striving for European values and intends to become a full member of the European community," the president said.

Lord Russel-Johnston said he noticed positive changes since his last visit to Armenia.

The PACE chairman emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and reminded the Armenian president of an agreement reached in March by the parliamentary speakers of three Transcaucasian countries to hold seminars in the capitals of all three countries. Pointing out that the first seminar is to be held in Tbilisi next week–Russel-Johnston hailed Armenia’s willingness to organize the next one in Armenia. In his turn–President Kocharian called an important step the coming meeting of the South Caucasus prime ministers in Tbilisi. According to him–such contacts create a favorable atmosphere for the implementation of joint regional projects.

The sides exchanged views on the Karabakh settlement. Hailing the direct dialogue between the Armenian and Azeri presidents–Russel-Johnston pointed out that progress is impossible in this process without mutual confidence.

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