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ARMENIAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT ITALY

YEREVAN, JANUARY 25, ARMENPRESS: Armenian president Robert Kocharian is flying January 27 to Italy for an official three-day visit at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Foreign minister Vartan Oskanian, trade and economic development and agricultural ministers, other officials and businessmen will accompany the president.

In Rome Kocharian will be received by the President of the Senate Marcello Pera, the President of the Chamber of Deputies (the Italian Parliament’s Lower Chamber) Pier Ferdinando Casini and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Meetings are also scheduled with representatives of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Italian businessmen.

Armenian and Italian officials will sign a Memorandum on the Small and Medium Enterprises Sector and an agreement on co-operation between the two Ministries of Justice. A Joint Declaration will be also issued during the visit.

In Vatican Kocharian will be welcomed by Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Kocharian will also meet with Patriarch Nerses-Poghos, the head of Catholic Armenians and will watch also the recently erected monument to Gregory the Enlightener in Vatican.

On January 28 Kocharian will travel to Venice to meet with its mayor and members of the Italian Armenian community. In Venice Kocharian will visit Murad Rafaelian School and the Mkhetarist Congregation.

This will be the second official visit by Kocharian to Italy.

In an interview to Armenpress Italian ambassador to Armenia, Marco Clemente, described bilateral political relations as “excellent.”

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