Armenian President Leaves for South America

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian is paying official visits to the three South American states of Argentina–Uruguay and Brazil–starting May 2.

The Armenian delegation includes Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–Culture Minister Roland Sharoyan–Deputy Trade and Economic Development Minister Tigran Davtian and other officials.

The first leg of the trip will start May 3 in Argentina. After a meeting with his counterpart Eduardo Dualde–President Kocharian will attend a ceremony of signing bilateral documen’s on cooperation in tourism–air communication and seismic protection.

Kocharian is expected to give a lecture at Argentina’s International Relations Board (CARI). During a two-day visit the Armenian president will also meet with members of the Armenian community and will visit an Armenian church in Buenos Aires.

On May 5 the Armenian delegation will depart for Uruguay–where Kocharian will meet with members of the local Armenian community.

On the second day of the visit Kocharian will meet with Uruguay President Jorge Batjen–which will be followed by a signing of a set of bilateral documen’s related to encouragement and protection of reciprocal investmen’s–trade and economy–agriculture and health.

Kocharian will also meet with chairmen of Uruguay parliament and supreme court. The same evening Kocharian and his delegation will leave for San Paolo–Brazil–where after meeting with Brazil president Fernando Enrike Kardozo–bilateral documen’s will be signed.

In Brazil Kocharian will also meet with Senate chairman–and members of the local Armenian community.

Armenia’s first arrived in Brazil in 1870s from Istanbul and the villages of the Western Armenia–settling down in the southern states of Brazil and got engaged in small trade. Larger groups of Armenia’s came to Brazil in 1920s and settled mainly in San Paolo.

The second phase of the history of the Armenian community starts from the 1950-60s–when new groups of Armenia’s arrived from Turkey–Lebanon–Syria–Egypt–France and other countries–and settled in San Paolo–Rio de Janeiro–Porto Allegre–Fortalesa and in a number of cities in the southern states. At present the Armenian community consists of 30,000 Armenia’s–most of them living in San Paolo.

Armenian-Brazilian relations started December 26–1991–when Brazil recognized the independence of Armenia. Diplomatic relations were established in 1992. At present Brazil exports about $1.6 million worth of products (mainly coffee–juice–sugar–fruit and meat) to Armenia annually. At the same time Armenia exports $60,000 worth synthetic clothes to Brazil annually.

Owing to the efforts of the Armenian community–one of the underground stations in San Palo–a bridge and a square were named "Hayastan" while not far from this square a monument was set to the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

Argentina recognized the independence of Armenia December 26–1991–and diplomatic relations were established between the two countries January 17–1992.

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