Kocharian Visit to Iran Set for Next Week

TEHRAN (AFP)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian will make an official trip to Iran on December 25-27 for talks on bilateral relations–the Armenian embassy in Tehran’said Monday.

A meeting with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami would cover bilateral relations–construction of a gas pipeline between the two countries–international issues and the situation in the Caucasus.

Tehran acted as a mediator between Yerevan and Baku in their conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh–an Armenian-populated enclave in Azerbaijan–that proclaimed its independence in 1991 and was supported by Armenia until a cease-fire in 1994 after years of bloody clashes.

A visit to Tehran by Azerbaijan’s President Hayder Aliyev–expected in September–was canceled. The two countries are at odds over oil rights in the Caspian Sea.

Iran has a sizable Armenian community of some 200,000 people–living mainly in Tehran and Isfahan.

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