Kocharian Says Unsettled Conflicts Hamper Regional Development as He Heads to Paris

(Combined Sources)–During Robert Kocharian’s official visit to Sweden–the Armenian President and Swedish Premier Goran Persson discussed the South Caucasus–Armenian-Turkish relations–and the resolution of the Karabagh conflict–said Persson.

In his speech at the Swedish Foreign Policy Institute Wednesday–Armenian President Robert Kocharian urged the EU "to encourage harmonization of reforms in South Caucasus states and give them a common direction." According to Kocharian–this should be the role of the European Neighborhood Policy in the South Caucasus.

Kocharian said "unsettled conflicts and differing levels of commitment to reform hamper regional development." He emphasized that Armenia believes cooperation is key in the settlement of conflicts–and "we are ready to take practical steps in this respect," reported Mediamax.

As he wrapped up his three day visit to Sweden–Kocharian prepared to fly to Paris–where he will meet with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev for talks on the status of the Karabagh conflict.

Kocharian and Aliyev will have separate talks with French President Jacques Chirac at his official Elysee Palace residence on Friday.

After meeting with Chirac in Paris–the two Caucasus leaders are to travel to a 14th century chateau in Rambouillet–25 miles southwest of Paris–for talks set to last through Friday afternoon and Saturday.

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