Armenian Bulgarian Presidents Issue Statement

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Bulgarian President Peter Stoyanov signed a joint statement in Yerevan on December 1. The statement runs as follows:

At the invitation of President of the Republic of Armenia Robert Kocharian–an official delegation led by President of the Republic of Bulgaria Peter Stoyanov was on a visit to Armenia December 1-2–1999.

The President of the Republic of Armenia and President of the Republic of Bulgaria discussed the following:

The state and prospects of bilateral relations as well as cooperation on the international scene;

The traditional friendship between the Armenian and Bulgarian peoples and their determination to deepen and develop mutually advantageous relations in the future;

The Agreement on Friendly Relations and Cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Bulgaria signed on April 10–1995;

And the importance of Armenian-Bulgarian cooperation within the framework of universal and regional organizations and programs.

The Armenian and Bulgarian parties concluded the following:

1. The parties positively assess the current state of friendly relations between the two countries and re-affirm their determination to deepen the current relations and bring them to a qualitatively new level.

2. The parties call for further development of political dialogue at different levels–including interparliamentary relations and consultations on bilateral and international problems. The parties express willingness to intensify cooperation between the two countries’ foreign ministries on the basis of the protocol singed by the ministries on January 18–1992.

3. The parties lay special emphasis on the development and improvement of economic relations between the two countries in industry–trade–energy–telecommunications–agriculture–construction–environmental protection and other spheres. The parties will take further measures aimed at creating favorable conditions for trade and economic cooperation and the efficient application of mechanisms of the Intergovernmental Commission for Trade–Economic–Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

4. The parties lay special emphasis on the intensification of bilateral and multilateral transport cooperation. They plan to closely cooperate for the purpose of successful implementation of the TRACEKA and INOGATE projects in the context of Transeuropean networks with the assistance of the European Union as well as for the purpose of attracting international financial organizations and private capital. It was pointed out that the operation of corridor No. 8 under the TRACEKA project would enable both states to become important sections of transcontinental transport communications.

5. The parties express mutual willingness for more efficient use of the ferry route Varna-Ilchiyevsk-Poti and Ro-Ro of the Burgas-Poti route and of warehouses at the Burgas and Poti ports for storing and processing cargoes from Armenia.

6. The parties welcome the signing of new international agreemen’s regulating bilateral relations and lay emphasis on efficient application of the previously signed agreemen’s.

7. The parties consider the signing of the Program of Cooperation in Culture–Education and Science for 2000-2002 to be an important step towards the development of direct contacts and exchange of information of culture–science and education and a contribution to the development of traditional friendly relations between the two peoples.

8. The parties attach importance to the cooperation aimed at the development of an atmosphere of confidence and security in Europe for the purpose of peaceful and a quick settlemen’s of conflicts and prevention of new seats of confrontation on the European continent. Hereby the parties lay special emphasis on bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the OSCE framework. In particular–the parties welcome the results of the OSCE Istanbul Summit held November 18-19–1999–which are supposed to ensure security and stability in Europe in the 21st century–and express their willingness to support the execution of the provisions of the documen’s signed at the Summit.

9. The parties shall actively cooperate within the framework of the UN–European Regional Organizations–Black Sea Economic Cooperation–other economic and infrastructural projects of regional and European importance.

10. The Bulgarian side expresses its willingness to promote the process of the Republic of Armenia becoming the a member of the Council of Europe.

11. The parties point out the importance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and NATO’s "Partnership for Peace" program. The parties express their commitment of their positions on free choice of guarantees of safeguarding security of each of them.

12. The parties acknowledge as satisfactory the successful tariff negotiations within the framework of the World Trade Organization. The Bulgarian side expressed its full support of Armenia’s soonest membership in the World Trade Organization.

13. The Armenian side welcomes the decision of the Republic of Bulgaria on opening its embassy in Yerevan.

14. The President of the Republic of Bulgaria invited the President of the Republic of Armenia to visit the Republic of Bulgaria. The President of the Republic of Armenia accepted the invitation of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria with gratitude.

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