Poland Armenia Strengthen Ties

WARSAW (Deutsche Presse-Agentur)–The presidents of Poland and Armenia vowed Monday to continue bilateral cooperation aimed at fostering western-oriented economic and political development in the former Soviet Caucusus republic. Following talks with President Robert Kocharian–Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski termed bilateral political relations with Armenia "excellent."

Asked whether Armenia’s membership of the European Union could one day become a reality–Kwasniewski said though he is unable to "prophesize" about the prospect–he offered that EU member Poland share with Armenia its almost 15 years experience in transitioning from communism to a market economy–and dictatorship to democracy.

Kocharian noted that the most important task the South Caucasus faces is achieving "predictable progress" to carry out political and economic reforms necessary to attract business and investment from EU countries.

Both leaders also expressed hope that a solution would be found to the long-standing dispute between Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan over the territory of Mountainous Karabagh Republic.

The Armenian leader vowed to send 50 soldiers including medical personnel to join the Polish-led multi-national contingent stationed in south-central Iraq. The contingent is unlikely to be deployed before the end of this year.

Kwasniewski confirmed that bilateral Polish-Armenian agreemen’s on fighting international organized crime–as well as military–economic–and industrial cooperation were finalized Monday in Warsaw.

The Armenian president met with Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka and the leaders of the upper and lower houses of the Polish Parliament later on Monday.

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