MOSCOW (Noyan Tapan)–"This is our first historic meeting," President Boris Yeltsin of Russia’said–greeting his Armenian counterpart–President Robert Kocharian–Tuesday–on the eve of the Moscow summit of CIS heads of state.
Yeltsin congratulated Kocharian on his success in the recent presidential elections. He noted that relations between Russia and Armenia are based on the intergovernmental agreement "On Friendship–Cooperation and Mutual Assistance."
"If there is a need for amendmen’s to the agreement–we can always come back to it," said the Russian president.
Thereafter–the meeting proceeded behind closed doors.
Kocharian was expected to meet his Azeri counterpart–Heydar Aliyev–on Tuesday evening. "Yes–this evening such a meeting will take place,” Aliyev told reporters before flying to Moscow. Aliyev–who pledged to try to work with Kocharian after he was elected–declined to discuss the prospects for his meeting with Kocharian. "Each meeting with an Armenian president carries an element of hope," he said.
The Armenian delegation includes Prime Minister Armen Darbinian–Darbinian’s Chief of Staff Shahen Karamanoukian–Minister for Urgent Issues Shahen Karamanoukian–Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian–Defense Minister Vazgen Sargssian–and other officials.
The delegation was met at the Moscow airport by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Sysoyev and Armenia’s Ambassador to Russia Gagik Shahbazian.
The presidential press service reported that the CIS summit will address improvemen’s in the work of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Chairman of the CIS Council–Russian President Boris Yeltsin is to make a report on scheduled measures in that regard.
The agenda also included issues regarding economic integration and current activity. CIS leaders are expected to issue a joint declaration on further activity and cooperation. It is also expected that the summit will approve a program on development of military cooperation of CIS-member states until the year 2001.