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VATICAN, JANUARY 28, ARMENPRESS. Armenian President Robert Kocharian who is in Italy on a four-day official visit met today with UN World Food Program Director Jacques Deuffi. The latter highly assessed the pace of cooperation with Armenia.

In his turn Armenian President expressed hope that the cooperation with UN World Food Program will expand more in future. At present Armenia and this organization implement 5 programs costing 1.7 million USD.

Robert Kocharian also met with the head of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) L. Bogey and the latter highly assessed the reforms that are being implemented in Armenia in the agricultural sphere.

L. Bogey assured that the present speed of the cooperation will continue. After the meeting a credit program costing 20 million USD was signed – 10 millions will be provided for the development of agricultural economy and the other 10 million for the development of village communities’ infrastructures.

Armenian President Robert Kocharian visited today Vatican where he met with Pope John Paul II.

“Your presence here reminds me of our first meeting in Vatican in March, 1999, on the opening occasion of Rome-Armenia exhibition and also of our meeting in Yerevan on the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity by the Armenians. I use with pleasure the opportunity to greet all the people in Armenia and those Armenians who are in different parts of the world but united by Christian and cultural ties,” said John Paul II.

The Pope referred to the good relations with Holy See and said “I know that Catholic community is respected in Armenia and all its initiatives promote the increase of prosperity of the whole people. The relations between the Catholic and Armenian Apostolic churches are based on mutual respect and relationship.”

After the meeting with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Armenian President visited the Saint Grigor Lusavoritch monument which was erected in Vatican and blessed by the Pope on January 19. Here the President was greeted by the Armenian Catholic clergymen. Later the President met with the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berluskoni.

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