YEREVAN (RFE-RL)–President Robert Kocharian chaired a joint meeting of the governmen’s of Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) on Friday–calling for greater coordination of policies and closer contacts between their members.
The MKR side was led by President Arkady Ghukasian and Prime Minister Anushavan Danielian. Armenia’s Prime Minister Andranik Markarian also took part in the meeting.
President Kocharian said the two Armenian entities–which have become integrated politically–militarily–and economically over the past decade–are too reliant on close personal contacts between their supreme leaders and should forge more "formalized" relations. He stressed adopting a "more regulated and single-minded" work mode between government agencies in Yerevan and Stepanakert," according to a statement by the presidential press service.
"The president of the republic at the same noted that Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh are on the same economic track–thus ongoing reforms must be congruent," the statement added. "Otherwise–there would arise a big gap between the two economies."
Kocharian’s office said the two cabinets decided to form a joint working group to investigate how to make their cooperation "more effective–targeted–and program-based." They also agreed to step up mutual visits and contacts.
Ghukasian and his cabinet members held a special meeting in Stepanakert on Tuesday in preparation for their collective visit to Yerevan.
Armenia has underwritten more than 75 percent of MKR’s budget expenditures–providing annual inter-state loans. This year’s allocation will be about 11 billion drams ($22 million).