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13 May, 1999
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos yesterday continued his official visit to Armenia with talks with counterpart Robert Kocharian and the signing of two bilateral agreements on the avoidance of double taxation and cooperation in customs matters.
The talks included the situation in the Balkans and in the Caucasus on which the two heads of state found a coincidence of views. Mr. Kocharian said Greece was a key-country in the promotion of Armenia's position in international organizations, and to that end he had asked for Athens' assistance.
The Greek president also visited the Museum and the Monument for the Armenian Genocide by the Turks in 1915, where he planted a fir tree "as an expression of honor to the Armenian nation".
During the official dinner later, Mr. Stephanopoulos said Greece and its people "never forgot the great hardships of the Armenian nation, to which Greek response was immediate. Following the genocide of 1915 -which unanimously the Greek Parliament first recognized in 1996- the only people who granted asylum and the possibility for survival of the Armenians were the Greeks".
He expressed Greece's appreciation for Armenia's stand on the Cyprus problem, adding that Athens showed the same understanding on the issue of Nagorno-Karabach, for a peaceful solution through negotiations.
In relation to Turkey's relations with Greece and Armenia, and in response to a reporter's comment on the fact that there were many Turkish products in the Armenian market, Mr. Stephanopoulos stressed that his visit was not in pursuit of the formation of an alliance against any third country, noting that all three countries exported to the other two.
Mr. Kocharian stated that his country had opted for the free market model, which dictated which products were traded. He also said his country's large investment plans included the participation of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) in Armenia's telecom utility, Armentel.
Replying to other questions, the Armenian president said that his country's military cooperation agreement with Greece did not mean "an alliance against any other country."
Source: Athens News Agency