Monday, March 19, 2007

Kocharyan: Iran's help to Armenian nation not to be forgotten

March 19, 2007

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan on Monday referred to the commissioning of Iran-Armenia gasline as a historical event opening a new page in bilateral relations.

The remark was made at a press conference after Iran-Armenia gas pipeline was officially commissioned at the common borders of the two countries and his talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Kocharyan said that ever since its independence, his country has been facing various problems such as siege, war and energy crisis, adding that such a bitter memory is now on the verge of oblivion.

Turning to the regularly coordinated growing trend of bilateral ties, he said that Iran's assistance to Armenia in the early years after his country's independence will never be forgotten and thanked Iranians for their kind attention.

He said that there was nothing on Iran-Armenia common border 15 years ago, except a few rows of barbed wire symbolizing the ex-Soviet Union's rule.

"Neither did the border on which I welcomed President Ahmadinejad exist at that time. This is while today 600,000 tons of goods are annually exchanged between the two states," he added.

Kocharyan underlined that no energy was exchanged between Iran and Armenia 10 years ago, but that today it can be said that their third power transmission line will soon be commissioned.

Pointing to the growing trend of Iran-Armenia cooperation as a model, he thanked his Iranian counterpart for efforts towards such a close cooperation.

In response to a question about expansion of cooperation between the two states, he said that bilateral ties can be divided into political and trade sections.

He referred to the level of political relations as excellent, adding, "This helps us regulate our ties with other countries in such a way as to avoid causing any sensitivity."

The Armenian president pointed to the bright prospect of Iran-Armenia economic development, saying that the economic projects due to be drawn up aim to strengthen relations between the two nations and lead to more tangible outcomes.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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