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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-29

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Deputy FM Stylianidis visits Armenia

  • [01] Deputy FM Stylianidis visits Armenia

    The political will to strengthen economic and trade relations and development cooperation between Greece and Armenia was confirmed in Yerevan on Wednesday with the signing of a cooperation protocol by Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and with the bilateral contacts the Greek deputy minister had with Armenia's political leadership.

    The promotion of the two countries' bilateral relations is a commitment by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Armenian President Robert Kocharian, during the latter's visit to Athens in November 2005, Stylianidis said and termed Armenia a "strategic partner of Greece in the region of the Black Sea."

    With the signing of the economic, industrial, technical and scientific cooperation protocol, the work of the fourth Joint Interministerial Committee, at which economic and development issues were examined and which was jointly chaired by Stylianidis and Armenian Agriculture Minister Davit Lokyan, came to an end.

    After the signing of the document, Stylianidis expressed satisfaction over the new mobility and the positive reaction of the Armenian side to resolve "pending issues of the past", as he said, that concern Greek investments in Armenia.

    The Greek side placed particular emphasis on development cooperation, stressing that Armenia constitutes a basic priority of its development policy. It is characteristic that during the 2001-2004 period it has spent 9.5 million dollars for this purpose and in a "mutually beneficial" way, as the Greek deputy minister said.

    The sectors of financing development projects in Armenia include agriculture, tourism, support for small and medium-size businesses and infrastructures.

    The protocol also anticipates, in the framework of backing economic relations, cooperation in the energy sector, as well as the creation of better conditions to improve the investing climate.

    Resolving existing pending issues with Greek companies will contribute to a climate of stability and reliability for increasing Greek investments.

    "I want a positive response from the Armenian administration so that I can convey a strong message to the business community of my country to carry out new investments here," Stylianidis said and reminded that Greece is the top foreign investor with capital invested amounting to 450 million dollars.

    The Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) and the Union of Producers and Businessmen of Armenia signed a cooperation memorandum in the framework of improving the business climate and drawing the business communities closer together.

    Referring to political relations and the bilateral meetings he had on Wednesday with Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan, Trade and Economic Development Minister Karen Chshmaritian and Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosyan, Stylianidis said they were very constructive and that Greece is prepared to support Armenia with its European prospects, placing emphasis on the funding instruments provided for the country.

    Athens will also support every initiative by Armenia to harmonise itself with the European framework and to utilise European funds for its development.

    Stylianidis pointed out that this is the target of Greece's development aid for Armenia, to bring it closer to the European Union.

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