YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On February 2–the Armenian and Slovakian government signed an agreement on trade–economic–scientific and technological cooperation. The agreement was singed by Minister of Economy of Slovakia Lubomir Harach and Minister of Industry and Trade of Armenia Karen Chshmaritian.
The same day–Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian and Slovakian Foreign Minister Edward Kukan signed a protocol on cooperation between the two countries’ foreign ministries.
"Slovakia considers the Caucasus a most important region in Europe and is concerned with stability here," the Slovakian foreign minister told a briefing following the signing ceremony. Emphasizing the importance of the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict by Armenia and Azerbaijan–Kukan pointed out the settlement of the Karabakh conflict "will exert a salutary influence not only on Armenia and Azerbaijan but also on the entire region," as it is only in such a case that the region may be involved in the European integration. He stressed the importance of studying the experience of the Czech Republic and Slovakia–pointing out that these countries–which "divorced" in a peaceful and civilized manner–have been in good relations for seven years.
Addressing the priorities of economic cooperation between the two states–Armenian Minister of Industry and Trade Karen Chshmaritian singled out the energy sector–in particular–the thermal and nuclear power plants. The minister pointed out both countries’ mutual interest in machine-building–light–chemical and other industries. He also stressed the need for studying the two countries’ markets and increasing the trade volumes.
According to Chshmaritian–a joint business forum will allow the two countries’ economic agents to get acquainted with one another and study the potential of bilateral growth.