Serge Sargsian Meeting Iranian President


10 Feb 05

Serge Sargsian, minister of defense of Armenia, met with the President
of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, within the framework of a three-day official
visit. According to official IRNA agency, President Khatami assured
that Iran is supporting the neighboring Armenia.

Khatami stated that the countries of the region may settle their
problems without help from outside if high-level negotiations
conducted. The Iranian President underscored the importance of
opening Iran-Armenia railroad for fostering bilateral ties. Serge
Sargsian noted that the railway communication will be efficient as
a North-South corridor.

Hosan Rohani, secretary of Security Council of Iran, received
Sargsian on February 8. IRNA agency reports that Rohani considered
the direct dialogue between Yerevan and Baku a productive way for
settling Karabakh conflict. Rohani excluded the military solution. He
noted that only a solution beneficial for both sides and considering
Karabakh peopleâ~@~Ys wish can be just. Serge Sargsian in his turn
excluded the possibility of step-by-step solution.

Rohani said that neither Tehran nor Yerevan will allow foreign agents
to intervene in Armenian-Iranian relations.

The Armenian defense minister was hosted by former president, Ali
Akbar Rafsanjan, who is currently running the Defense Council of Iran.