SARKSYAN IN MOSCOW BEFORE POSSIBLE GUL VISIT

Today's Zaman
Sept 2 2008
Turkey

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan is scheduled to pay an official
visit to Russia today at the invitation of his Russian counterpart,
Dmitry Medvedev, the Kremlin announced yesterday in a brief statement.

The timing of Sarkysan's visit is widely found to be meaningful, as
it comes only days ahead of an expected visit by Turkish President
Abdullah Gul to Yerevan. While Gul said over the weekend that he was
still considering whether to accept an invitation from Sarksyan to
watch together a World Cup qualifying game between the Armenian and
Turkish national soccer teams on Saturday in Yerevan's Hrazdan Stadium,
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated, also over the weekend,
that Gul would respond positively to the invitation.

Last week, Sarksyan's office announced that he would depart for Sochi
on Tuesday for a working visit. "During the meeting the parties will
discuss the future development of the Armenian-Russian strategic
partnership and will dwell on issues of Armenia's forthcoming
presidency of the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO]. The
interlocutors will also discuss regional and international issues,"
his office also said then.

Also this week, probably after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's
talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan today in Ä°stanbul,
a Turkish Foreign Ministry delegation will visit Yerevan to discuss
a proposed platform for the troubled Caucasus. The Caucasus Stability
and Cooperation Platform, proposed by Turkey as a mechanism to develop
conflict resolution methods among the Caucasus countries, is planned
to be made up of Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

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