Nicosia: Armenia President In Cyprus On Eve Of EU-Turkey Report


Financial Mirror, Cyprus
Nov 22 2006

The President of Armenia Robert Kocharian arrives late Wednesday for
a three-day state visit to Cyprus, the first since the former Soviet
republic gained independence 15 years ago.

The visit also coincides with the run-up to Turkey’s EU accession
hopes and the obstacles that Ankara is facing, primarily with its
denial of the genocide of the Armenians in 1915 and refusal to comply
with EU protocols to allow the entry of Cypriot vessels at its ports
and airports.

The Armenian President, accompanied by Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian
and a 30-member delegation, will be welcomed at Larnaca airport by
Acting Foreign Minister, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and
the Environment Photis Photiou and will begin his official programme
on Thursday, with a meeting with President Tassos Papadopoulos at
the Presidential Palace.

The official talks will include an agreement on co-operation in
combating organized and other forms of crime that will be signed by
Cyprus Minister of Justice and Public Order Sophocles Sophocleous
and the Minister of Justice of Armenia Davit Harutyunyan.

Kocharian will later meet House President Demetris Christofias, while
Foreign Minister George Lillikas will host a lunch in honour of the
President of Armenia. After that Kocharian will meet with Archbishop
Chrysostomos II and the day will ebd with a state banquet will be
hosted by President Papadopoulos.

Ambassador Vahram Kazhoyan said that though a visit had been planned
during President Clerides’ administration, this did not materialise.

This visit was finalised when the two state leaders met at the events
marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow
last year.

Central Bank Chairman Tigran Sargsyan is also expected to have meeting
with officials at the Central Bank of Cyprus, while Deputy Culture
Minister Gagik Gyurjian will sign a memorandum of cooperation that
renews a bilateral education and culture programme for the years

On Friday, Kocharian will visit Nicosia Town Hall where he will meet
with the Mayor of Nicosia Michalakis Zampelas who will present the
Armenian president with the golden key to the city and will accompany
him to a visit to the old part of town and the cease-fire line.

Later on, Kocharian and his delegation will visit the Nareg Armenian
elementary school in Nicosia and meet with the Armenian Archbishop
and members of the community.

In the afternoon he will lay the foundation stone of the monument
to commemorate the survivors of the Armenian genocide at the Larnaca

He leaves on Saturday morning.

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