By Anna Saghabalian
Greece’s President Karolos Papoulias arrived in Yerevan on Tuesday on a three-day state visit to Armenia highlighting close political and military ties between the two countries.
Papoulias went straight into talks with President Robert Kocharian upon his arrival at Zvartnots international airport. The two leaders did not sign any agreements after their meeting.
Speaking at a brief joint news conference, they praised the current state of Greek-Armenian ties which Papoulias described as “excellent.” Kocharian, for his part, said the two governments have virtually identical positions on “all sensitive issues.” He also thanked Greece for its assistance to Armenia that has been mainly channeled into agriculture and defense.
The Greek military aid has taken the form of what officials call “humanitarian” supplies, training of Armenian officers and financial and technical support for the formation of a special peace-keeping battalion of the Armenian army. Athens has also supported Yerevan’s efforts to forge closer ties with NATO.
Kocharian again made it clear that Armenia has no intention to seek membership in NATO in the foreseeable future. “In our view, it would create quite serious additional problems for Armenia and reduce the level of our Armenia’s security,” he said. “So we believe that the format to which we are today adhering in the security sphere is the most optimal for Armenia’s interests.”