Israeli Ambassador Says No Parallels Between Holocaust and 1915 Genocide

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–During a press conference Friday–Israeli Ambassador to Armenia Rivka Cohen said while the Israeli people and government are very sorry for the tragic events of 1915–she refused to draw any parallels between the Armenian Genocide and Holocaust.

"Holocaust was a unique phenomenon–since it had always been planned and aimed to destroy the whole nation. At this stage nothing should be compared with Holocaust," she added.

An official delegation of the Armenian Foreign Ministry is going to visit Israel in March to hold political dialogue. At a February 8 news conference– Cohen said that within a month after the day of the visit an economic dialogue between the two countries is also expected. According to her–Israel finds it highly important to develop relations with Armenia.

Cohen emphasized that Armenia is one of the stable countries in the region. The Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Trade of Israel with the Institute of Export attach a priority importance to Armenia in 2002. The Ambassador said that from the viewpoint of prospects in the development of bilateral relations–the ten-fold growth of trade turnover registered last year is promising.

She accounted the growth of trade turnover to the fact that the two countries became closer last year–and the Israeli businessmen’started to show more trust in signing contacts with Armenia. She hoped that Armenian businessmen will also become interested in Israel.

The Ambassador pointed out that currently they are searching spheres for economic cooperation. A group of Israeli businessmen led by the minister of economy and trade of Israel will soon visit Armenia to find economic partners.

The Ambassador said that Israel approves of Armenia’s relations with Iran. According to her–Israel must use its good-neighborly relations with Armenia and Iran for its own welfare–i.e. Armenia may contribute to smoothing over the situation between Iran and Israel. Meanwhile–she said–Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian promised that the Armenian-Iranian relations will be developing on the economic and trade level but not on the level of security. The role Armenia may play in the Israeli-Iranian relations–according to the Ambassador–is the same role Israel may play in the Armenian-Turkish relations. Ambassador Cohen pointed out that in its dialogue with Turkey–Israel always raises the question regulating the Armenian-Turkish relations.

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