Kocharian receives Iranian minister


May 13 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 13, ARMENPRESS: President Kocharian received today members
of an Iranian delegation who have arrived here, led by Iran’s oil and
gas minister, Bijan Zanganeh, to sign the basic treaty on construction
of a gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia, expected later today.

Kocharian’s press office said the minister conveyed the cordial
greetings of president Mohamamd Khatami to his Armenian counterpart.
The minister said also the to be signed agreement is coming after
years of fruitful work of both governments. The high level of diverse
bilateral relations, emphasized as a key condition for an overall
stabilization in the region, was commended by both sides.

The project provides for laying down a 100-kilometer gas pipeline along
the Iranian territory and 41 kilometers in Armenia. The pipeline will
pump daily 1.5 million cubic meters of Turkmen gas. The approximate
cost of the project is 96 million U.S. dollars.

The pipeline’s construction is planned to be started in several months
to be finished in 2006.

The gas pipeline from Iran is to be built only to meet domestic needs
of Armenia. Armenian authorities said previously any other direction
of the pipeline, for instance to Europe, is not under discussion.

“We regard this project as a serious question for Armenian energy
security,” the president underlined today.