Armenian president meets Italian counterpart in Rome

Armenian president meets Italian counterpart in Rome

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
27 Jan 05

[Presenter] The Italian president is ready to help Armenia integrate
into Europe, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said in Rome today
during a meeting with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan.

Italy also intends to aid the economic development of Armenia,
increasing bilateral trade and investment in the country.

Ciampi and Kocharyan touched on the Karabakh settlement process. The
Caucasus is a region of strategic importance for Europe and the danger
of instability in the region reduces the development prospects for the
region as a whole, the Italian president said.

President Kocharyan met today in Rome the chairmen of the Italian
senate and parliament and attended the Armenian-Italian business forum
organized by the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade.

[Correspondent Lilit Setrakyan from Rome] The official reception for
the Armenian president took place in the afternoon at the Italian
presidential residence. After the ceremony, the two presidents
discussed Italian-Armenian relations. They also discussed regional and
international issues and Armenia’s integration into Europe.

During a short meeting with journalists, the Italian president noted
that Armenia was a country close to Italians’ hearts. The Italians
were the first to render assistance to Armenia in the 1988 earthquake.

President Ciampi said that Italy was ready to assist the economic
development of Armenia, to increase trade and Italian investment in

Ciampi called for the continuation of constructive talks on the
peaceful settlement of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict.

For his part, Kocharyan expressed confidence that the Armenian
president’s first official visit to Italy would promote the
development of bilateral relations and would be a convenient
opportunity to transfer political relations into the business
sphere. The president stressed the importance of the Armenian-Italian
business forum gathering in Rome, during which Italian and Armenian
businessmen were able to assess and discuss cooperation potential. The
Armenian president also noted that the development potential for
Armenian-Italian relations was large as regards integration into

Kocharyan outlined to Ciampi Armenia’s relations with the European
Union and the importance of this organization’s “Expanded Europe: New
Neighbours” programme for Armenia.

Ciampi promised his country’s assistance on this issue and stressed
that the Caucasus was of strategic importance to Europe, which wishes
to develop democracy and the economy in this region.

The Armenian president discussed interparliamentary cooperation with
the president of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Pier Ferdinando Casini.

During a meeting with Italy’s Senate Speaker Marchello Pera, Kocharyan
discussed the two countries’ cooperation in the legislative
sphere. Pera said that Italy was ready to assist in the reform of
Armenian legislation.

Tomorrow [28 January] Kocharyan will meet Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi and Pope John Paul II.