President Meets With Defense Minister of Cyprus

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At a meeting with Armenian President Robert Kocharian–Defense Minister Serge Sargssian–and the Cypriot delegation led by Defense Minister Socrates Hasikos–it was stated that Armenia-Cyprus relations are based on mutual understanding and have great prospects for development.

The Armenian president is hopeful that the visit will create serious preconditions for partnership in defense as well.

At his meeting with the delegation headed by Minister of Defense of Cyprus Socrates Hasikos–Chairman of the Parliament Armen Khachatrian stated that people in Armenia are well informed about the problem of Cyprus–and Armenia will do its best to support Cyprus’s efforts to get a fair solution to the problem. "Sometimes they confuse the conflict of Cyprus with that of Karabakh. In reality–these conflicts have different backgrounds," said Khachatrian. Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Issues of Defense–National Security and the Interior Vahav Hovhannissian was also present at the meeting.

The Defense Minister of Cyprus told the Parliament Speaker about the situation in Cyprus–pointing out that in 2003-2004 Cyprus is expecting to enter the European Union which will provide the opportunity necessary for a viable conflict settlement. The Minister pointed out that Turkey is doing its best to sabotage Cyprus’s inclusion in the EU–because then Turkey will also have to deal with the EU.

The Parliament speaker expressed Armenia’s willingness to support Cyprus within International organizations.

On the same day–Hasikos met with Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian who pointed out that his visit will help stimulate a mutually advantageous cooperation between the two countries in especially for defense. The ministers also emphasized that there are strong and positive political relations between the two countries within the International organizations.

The Ministers discussed the settlement process of the Cyprus and Karabakh conflicts.

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