Armenia Karabakh Sign Cooperation Agreement

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A Memorandum on Mutual Cooperation signed recently in Stepanakert by the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Prime Minister Anushavan Danielian and his Armenian counterpart Andranik Markarian calls for the deepening and widening of cooperation in different realms of activities between both countries–and envisions assistance in the solution of socio-economic issues.

Based on the agreement–special attention will be focused on investment policy; which according to its language provides great incentives for prospective investors.

Karabakh new tax codes saw an increase in the country’s investmen’s in the first half of 2000–unmatched in the past five years.

The joint agreement also touches on energy development programs–which call for an increase of electrical power production of up to 500 million kilowatt/ hour–allowing the export of a portion of the production.

In social programs–the government plans to raise the living standard of the population from a billing of "unsatisfactory" to "satisfactory" within the coming two years.

Top priority is also given to the reconstruction and construction of irrigation canals–expansion of wine plantations and development of wine-making.

The issue of resettling abandoned territories ravaged by the war became the focal point of the concerns voiced by both governmen’s. According to a proposed program put forth by the government of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–by 2010 the population of Nagorno-Karabakh will rise to 300,000.

Stressing the importance of the signed document–Markarian noted that the sides must realize the entire responsibility for their obligations. He stressed the necessity of strict state control for the realization of Memorandum’s provisions and periodic report to the population about the progress of the agreement.

An Agreement on cooperation between the ministries of public health of Armenia and Karabakh has also been signed.

Nagorno Karabakh Republic president Arkady Ghoukassian on Saturday met with Markarian–who had arrived in Stepanakert to participate in celebrations marking the ninth anniversary of Karabakh’s declaration of independence.

According to the president’s press service–Ghoukassian presented Markarian with a report of the overall situation in Karabakh and measures taken by his administration to resolve socio-economic problems.

The two leaders exchanged ideas on the prospects for expanding cooperation between Armenia and Karabakh through realization of specific programs. They also reiterated both Armenia and Karabakh authorities’ adherence to the principles of continuing the natural development of economy and improvement of socio-economic conditions.

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