YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–President Robert Kocharian returned to Yerevan from Brussels Thursday evening. Addressing journalists at the "Zvartnots" airport–the president stressed the importance of ratifying the Cooperation Agreement recently concluded with the European Union. The agreement marks the beginning from of political dialogue with the European Union.
Kocharian stated that ratifying the document means a new political status for Armenia. During his visit to Luxembourg he held a meeting with Georgian President Eduard Shevarnadze. The two discussed the issues of bilateral relations and the implementation of regional economic programs. The president also reported that he did not hold a meeting with the Azeri prime minister. An agreement on meeting with Haydar Aliyev was reached in advance–but the meeting was not held because of Aliyev’s absence.
When a journalist asked about NATO Secretary General Javier Solana’s comment on expanding the dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia–the president said that NATO will not participate in the negotiating process.