11 April 2006

Oskanian in Syria

Azad-Hye, Dubai, 11 April 2006: Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian met on 8th April 2006 with the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem. During the meeting, which took place at the Syrian Foreign Ministry’s headquarters in Damascus, the two Ministers discussed the bilateral relations as well as regional matters. They focused on cooperation in international forums, educational and economic exchange and cooperation between public institutions.

They spoke at length about the Nagorno Karabakh negotiation process, Armenia-Turkey relations, as well as the situation in Iraq and other matters of mutual concern.

Oskanian was on a four day visit to Syria and Lebanon from 7-11 April 2006. "Syrian-Armenian Relations are good," he told the reporters following the meeting.

Earlier in the day, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also received the Armenian delegation. The meeting took place in Al-Shaab Palace (“The People’s Palace”).

Minister Oskanian informed President Assad about the political and economic developments within Armenia. President Assad expressed his appreciation at the traditionally warm relations between the Armenians and Syrians and referred that this should serve as a foundation for deepening ties, especially in the economic sphere.

Syrian official news agency (SANA) reported: “Talks during the meeting dealt with the latest developments and relations among countries of the region as well as the historic relations between the two friendly countries Syria and Armenia”.

Present at the meeting were also Walid al-Mouallem the Syrian Foreign Minister, Ahmad Arnous, Deputy Foreign Minister and Abdul-Fattah Amourah, Director of Europe Department at the Foreign Ministry.

Oskanian’s visit to Damascus concluded with a reception at the Armenian Embassy, attended by representatives of the Armenian community in the capital.

Oskanian left for Aleppo on 9th April 2006. On the same day he met with the Governor of Aleppo Tamer Al-Hajjeh. Both sides discussed the importance of increasing investment opportunities and organizing meetings of businessmen and industrialists. They reviewed the bilateral cooperation in industrial, agricultural, commercial and tourist domains.

The Governor of Aleppo gave a briefing on the city’s industrial activities especially in textile and food production sectors. Al-Hajjeh said that local tourism authorities in Aleppo have prepared a list of selected sites for incoming tourists from Armenia and other countries.

After the official meetings Oskanian reserved time to the Armenian community. He attended the 100th anniversary celebration of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the 75th anniversary celebration of the Armenian Youth Association. It is worth mentioning that Minister Oskanian is a graduate of the AGBU High School (Al-Thanaouia Al-Markazia) in Aleppo. He then followed his studies in Yerevan and the United States, before being appointed as Foreign Minister of Armenia in 1998 (the longest serving Minister in Armenia).

Minister Oskanian attended also the opening of Gulbenkian Center in Aleppo.
On April 10 he left for Beirut, where he will meet with Catholicos Aram I.

See Arabic news item on the same subject as given by the Syrian official news agency (SANA) at:


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