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Cablegate: President of Iran to Visit Armenia

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS YEREVAN 001523

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EUR/CACEN, EUR/ACE, EUR/PGI, DRL, NEA, NGA, NEA/RA
DEPT PLEASE PASS USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV IR AM
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT OF IRAN TO VISIT ARMENIA

REFS: A) YEREVAN 1420 B) YEREVAN 1474

1. (U) Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

2. (SBU) Armenian President Robert Kocharian announced June
24 that Iranian President (Ali) Mohammad Khatami-Ardakani
would visit Armenia this September. According to the
announcement, Khatami will be the first Iranian head of
state to visit Armenia. GOAM representatives said the visit
was intended to "cement friendly relations" between the
neighboring countries. Top on the agenda will be upcoming
joint projects including the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline (ref
A), the planned hydroelectric power plant on the Arax River
and the Kajaran tunnel in Armenia's southern Syunik
province. This announcement comes on the heels of recent
visits by GOAM officials to Iran including President
Kocharian's Chief of Staff Artashes Tumanian and Minister of
Agriculture Davit Lokyan (ref B).

-------
COMMENT
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3. (SBU) MFA sources tell us that the agenda remains
tentative. The GOAM has been careful to portray the
upcoming meeting as principally economic in nature and has
downplayed any implications of a major shift in political
alliances. Meanwhile, Iranian press reports continue to
reach Armenia presenting the initiative as a move to enhance
Iran's regional position. Armenian-Iranian bilateral
negotiations, however, are usually subject to long delays,
and the results are frequently more modest than the two
governments project publicly.
ORDWAY

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