Kocharian Meets NATO Representative

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian Thursday met with Special Representative of NATO Secretary General to the South Caucasus Robert Simmons.
The Presidential press service told Armenpress that during the meeting the sides discussed the current pace of the Armenia-NATO cooperation and particularly referred to the Individual Partnership Action Plan program expressing satisfaction towards the pace of its implementation.
Kocharian noted that the dynamic and effective conduct of reforms in the Armenia’s defense sphere will continue be prioritized by the leadership of the country.
During the meeting the sides also exchanged thoughts over international security issues.-
Armenian National Assembly Speaker Tigran Torosian also met with Simmons. The legislature’s public relations department told Armenpress that Armenian deputy foreign minister Arman Kirakosian and Armenian permanent representative to NATO Samvel Mkrtchian attended the meeting.
Torosian said that since their previous meeting there have been great accomplishmen’s in cooperation, particularly relating to the National Assembly. Among them he noted the improvement of electoral processes and legislation. In that respect, the speaker said that there is a necessity to review Individual Partnership Action Plan program as many points have already been carried out and new opportunities for cooperation have been created.
Simmons congratulated the speaker on behalf of the NATO secretary general on the successful parliamentary elections and said he was very glad that the IPAP was being implemented successfully.
Within the framework of the program familiarizing classes for newly elected parliamentarians in NATO PA are conducted and Simmons asked the NA speaker to include them and the officials of the staff in the classes. Simmons also expressed assurance that the newly formed parliament will also contribute to the implementation of IPAP. The special representative also referred to the presence of Armenian peacekeepers in Kosovo and underscored their role in maintaining peace.
During the meeting Torosian also referred to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, noting that though NATO is not dealing with the issue but all the international establishmen’s have their principles and approaches which they must support promoting the regulation of the conflict and development of the countries.
Torosian noted about the war rhetoric in Azerbaijan saying that it contradicts to the optimism of the OSCE Minsk Group over the settlement of the conflict.
Simmons said that the two countries must prepare their peoples for the peaceful regulation of the conflict which pre-supposes mutual concessions and though NATO is not dealing with the conflict the establishment pays great attention to the conflict regulation and regional issues.
The special representative also met with the head of the NA’s defense, home security and home affairs permanent commission Arthur Aghabekian. During the meeting the sides discussed issues on the pace of implementation of IPAP. The sides also discussed a number of issues on mutual interest.

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