Ter Petrosyan Chirac Meet in Paris

PARIS Jan 4 (Reuters)–French President Jacques Chirac and Levon Ter-Petrosyan discussed Armenia’s troubled relations with Azerbaijan during a 45-minute meeting in Paris on Sunday–French officials reported.

Ter-Petrosyan was in the French capital to attend a concert by French singer of Armenian origin Charles Aznavour on behalf of Armenian charities. The two presidents attended the concert together.

During his visit–Ter-Petrosyan continued political dialogue with the leaders of France–an active participant in the Karabakh settlement. France is a co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Conference for Nagorno-Karabakh–together with Russia and the United States. The French leadership has boosted a search for ways to settle the conflict.

Among topics of discussion was that of economic cooperation. The 350,000 member Armenian community of France is likely to play a large role in the development of business contacts.

Ter-Petrosyan visited Paris in October 1997 for negotiations. A month ago–the French capital was visited by Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan–who met French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to discuss the Karabakh problem.

The charity concert attended by Chirac–Ter-Petrosyan–His Holiness Karekin I–Catholicos of All Armenia’s–Armenian Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanyan–among other officials–was held on Sunday at the Palace of Congresses. Concert organizers had planned to raise 12 million French fran’s (more than two million US dollars). All profit from the concert will be used to repair and restore one hundred schools and several children’s homes in the Armenian Republic.

To povide a future for Armenia means to give a chance to its children to acquire a better education said Aznavour in a statement released by concert organizers. "We need 36 million fran’s to implement the program for restoring schools. The World Bank and the Armenian Social Fund will help us in this undertaking," the 73-year-old singer wrote.

These two organizations promised to match the sum raised by Aznavour. "On January 4–I wish to be proud of my brothers in France and to sing to a full house," Aznavour stated. "Our children in Armenia hope for our support–let us give them this chance," called Aznavour.

The charity concert will conclude a series of concerts by Aznavour–which began in early November. On December 7–Aznavour’s concert was attended by Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan who was in Paris on an official visit.

The day after the Armenian earthquake of 1988–Aznavour established the Aznavour-Armenia Association which has already implemented several charity programs in the Armenian Republic. In 1993–the singer was appointed an honorary ambassador at large for humanitarian aid by a decree of the Armenian president. He represents the republic at UNESCO.


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