Kocharian, Sarkozy Meet, Discuss Bi-Lateral Cooperation

Presidents Kocharian and Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace

PARIS (Combined Soures)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy met in the Elysee Palace Thursday, announced Viktor Soghomonian, the presidential spokesperson.
Armenian and French Presidents discussed issues concerning bilateral relations. They also touched upon prospects of developing economic cooperation and expressed readiness to develop and enlarge cooperation between the two countries. The two leaders also discussed issues concerning defense cooperation and assessed the current situation in South Caucasus.
Kocharian also met with Speaker of French National Assembly Bernard Accoyer in Paris. At the meeting they reaffirmed the great role of the parliamen’s of both countries in the development of bilateral cooperation.
“The reason for the unsuccessful negotiations is the fact that Azerbaijan is unwilling to accept the reality and mistakenly thinks that the opposite process is possible, whereas it is senseless to turn back the wheel of history. People who gained independence, will not resign from that,” Kocharian stated in an interview to the German Spiegel Online.
“We do not want to make analogies, but undoubtedly the people of Karabakh have the same right to independence as Albanians of Kosovo, moreover since they protected their right alone without interference by the international community,” said Kocharian.
“Armenian people fought during the war. Do you really think that Albania has not provided assistance to Albanians of Kosovo? There are a lot of correlations here and I see Armenia and Karabakh’s future as an asymmetric confederation. But currently the Karabakh Republic is a full state, which copes with many tasks better than Azerbaijan. Take as an example the formation of state institutes,” Kocharian said.
He also stressed that the military threat from Azerbaijan exists always. “Though I doubt that Azerbaijan’s military budget is bigger of our state budget. I would warn against judging about the correlation of forces from both sides only by figures. You must take into account and the fact that the soldier who defends his homeland has another motivation, than the one who acts on a foreign territory. We do not have any intention to launch military operations,” said Kocharian.
“Our offers on the settlement of the conflict are connected with recognition of the republic and security guarantees. They suppose presence of peacekeepers. It must be an international peacekeeping contingent,” stressed Kocharian.

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