BEIRUT: Agreements signed, Hariri wraps up visit to Armenia

The Daily Star, Lebanon
April 3 2004

Agreements signed, Hariri wraps up visit to Armenia
Council for businessmen to be created

By Karine Raad , and
Daily Star staff

Prime Minister Rafik Hariri wrapped up his visit to Armenia on Friday
by meeting with the country’s President Robert Kotcharian. Issues
such as bilateral relations between both countries and regional and
international developments were raised.

At 11am, the premier headed to the government house to sign a series
of agreements with his Armenian counterpart Andranik Gargarian. These
consisted of an agreement in the agricultural sector, an agreement in
the cultural sector and an agreement in the educational and
scientific sector.

The minutes of the first session of the Lebanese-Armenian Joint
Governmental Committee were also signed.

In a news conference, Hariri said that the agreements aimed at
developing bilateral relations and improving the economy in both

“We agreed to create a council for Lebanese and Armenian
businessmen,” he said, adding that the meetings were an occasion to
invite his counterpart to Lebanon.

Commenting on obstacles hindering the implementation of agreements
between Lebanon and Armenia, Hariri said the main obstacle was the
cost of the transportation of goods and merchandise between Lebanon
and Armenia.

The premier reiterated that Armenians in Lebanon contributed greatly
in politics

and are represented in Parliament and the government as well as in
the media, economic, banking, commercial and industrial sectors.

For his part, Gargarian said that direct meetings between officials
from the commerce and industry chambers and businesspersons from both
countries will be encouraged. As for tourism, Gargarian indicated
that experience was important for Armenia in this sector and that
they could benefit from Lebanon’s expertise.

He stressed that Lebanon constituted a link between Armenia and the
Arab world and neighboring countries.

The Lebanese delegation was entertained at the Marriott Hotel before
touring the capital city, Yerevan. Hariri and the Lebanese delegation
returned to Beirut in the evening.