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Official News

Tuesday, 31 May 2005

Today RA Prime Minister A. Margaryan has received Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) from U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Vice President of the Armenian Assembly of America and Gafesjean Family Foundation Mr. John Waters as accompanied by AAA's Regional Director for Armenia Mrs. Arpi Vardanyan and President of "Armenia" TV company Mr. Bagrat Sargsyan. Prime Minister Margaryan welcomed the Senator Coleman-led U.S. delegation to Armenia by emphasizing that he was highly appreciative of the activities carried out by the Senator himself and those among his colleagues who were the friends of Armenia, as well as their efforts aimed at strengthening the Armenian-American relationship.

The head of the Armenian government referred to the two governments' cooperation in both political and economic fields. As for the economic field, the Prime Minister emphasized the multitude of U.S. government-assisted programs implemented in Armenia since its independence and went on to cite Armenia's inclusion in the Millenium Challenge Program as an example of successful bilateral cooperation. He said that Armenia prioritized the design of its national program which was a key element of the poverty reduction strategic paper. The details of the program were presented to the Senator by RA Minister of Finance and Economy Vardan Khachatryan. Both sides have expressed the hope that the program would have been approved by late 2005.

Also, the Armenian Prime Minister said to be highly appreciative of the activities carried out by the Armenian-American intergovernmental commission, which had already met in Yerevan earlier this year and was going to hold another meeting in the U.S.A. before the end of the year.

The Parties have likewise touched upon the political cooperation between Armenia and the United States. Mr. Margaryan thanked those U.S. legislators who were consistent in the search of an official recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the settlement of the Armenian-Turkish relationship, the lifting of Armenia's blockade on the part of Turkey and a fair negotiated settlement of the Karabakh conflict. He expressed the hope that through joint efforts it would be possible to succeed in all these matters.

Senator Coleman spoke in laudatory terms of the Armenian community of America by mentioning its strength. Thanking the Prime Minister for a fruitful meeting, the Senator said that the purpose of his visit was to get a first-hand view of our country's problems, to ascertain Armenia's concerns and to try to assist Armenia with the solution of the existing problems.

With reference to the concerns, Senator Coleman agreed with the Prime Minister as to Armenia's inadequate involvement in the regional cooperation programs and the adverse effect of the blockade imposed on Armenia on the part of Tyrkey. The Senator said that he was going to take up all these matters with the U.S. President, the Secretary of State and his colleagues.

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