By Harry Tamrazian
Amenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian met on Friday in Belgrade with his Yugoslav counterpart Goran Svilanovic. Oskanian is the first Armenian foreign minister to visit Yugoslavia since in the post-Soviet era. Armenian and Yugoslav foreign ministers have signed a protocol today on cooperation between their ministries and an agreement on cooperation in the field of education, culture and sports.
Speaking to reporters after the talks, the two ministers said they have discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation. The Armenian foreign minister said the main purpose of his visit was to reactivate political and economic relations between Armenia and Yugoslavia. According to Oskanian, there are several new agreements in the pipeline, which will be signed in the comings months. "This will provide very strong legal framework for our future cooperation, especially in the economic, cultural and scientific areas, where the two countries have tremendous potential," Oskanian said.
During today's talks in Belgrade, the two ministers discussed the situation in the Balkans and the Caucasus. Oskanian said that there were similarities between two regions. "Both of us are very interested in knowing what's going on in our respective regions so that we can learn and not repeat the mistakes of one other."
The Armenian foreign minister said that he will visit Kosovo and Montenegro to have first hand assessment of what's going in the region. He described his visit to Yugoslavia as a new page in the relations of the two countries and said that he has invited Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic to visit Armenia.
Vardan Oskanian will meet later today with Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and Prime Minister Dragisa Pesic.