ATHENS (Azad Or)–An Armenian delegation led by President Robert Kocharian left for Greece on Tuesday–November 21 upon the invitation of Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos. Kocharian was accompanied by Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–Agriculture Minister Zaven Gevorkian–Justice Minister David Haroutiounian–Minister of Trade–Services–Tourism and Industry Karen Chshmaritian–Mayor of Yerevan A. Bazeyan–Armenian ambassador to Greece A. Petrossian–and several other delegates and news reporters.
Shortly after arriving in Athens–Kocharian attended an official reception in his honor at the Presidential Palace of the Greek Republic. The two presidents held two-phased meetings with the participation of various officials. There was also a larger session in which most members of the delegations were present.
After the two presidents exchange of gifts–President Stephanopoulos stated that he greets his Armenian counterpart and delegation with strong and sincere sentimen’s. He spoke about the traditional ties between the two nations and the present cooperation which exists in numerous spheres. Stephanopoulos stressed Greek-Armenian cooperation is not aimed at any other party. He was pleased to announce the signing of a judicial agreement between Greece and Armenia.
President Kocharian after thanking his counterpart–spoke of the centuries-old friendship between the two peoples and the need to expand relations to encompass all spheres. He explained the importance of Greek assistance to Armenia which still finds itself in a transitional phase. The Greek role in the Caucasus was praised and Kocharian assured Stephanopoulos that Armenia is a trustworthy partner in the region. He also added that Armenia cannot be held responsible for the current state of Turkish-Armenian relations.
The Armenian President also met with speaker of the Greek Parliament A. Kaglaman’s–who urged the strengthening of inter-parliamentary relations. Kocharian mentioned using the Greek model as a guideline to future amendmen’s to the Armenian Constitution. Shortly after–President Kocharian placed a laureate on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier located on the Sintaghma Square.
The situation in Cyprus–Artsakh–and the membership of Armenia in various European organizations were discussed during a meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries. More cooperation between Greece and Armenia within European structures was agreed upon.
An official dinner in honor of Kocharian was hosted by President Stephanopoulos–and was also attended by representatives of the various organizations of the Armenian community in Greece.