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Armenia: Prime Minister To Meet White House Advisor

Washington, 9 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Armenia's Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian meets with U.S. President Bill Clinton's Deputy National Security Advisor Sandy Berger at the White House today.

Sarkissian is in Washington on a two-week U.S. visit that is also taking him to the cities of Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.

His talks at the White House with Berger are expected to cover a full range of foreign policy issues, particularly the deadlocked negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia, Azerbaijan and the leadership of the breakaway region. A ceasefire has held in the mostly ethnic-Armenian region of Azerbaijan since 1994, but a final peace agreement has not been reached.

The United States had wanted to be named co-chair for the talks sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), but was beaten out by France on Tuesday. Russia holds the other chair.

On Friday, Sarkissian will hold talks with Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and also meet with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and his deputy for global affairs, Lawrence Summers. Sarkissian is scheduled to meet with U.S. Vice President Al Gore on Monday.

Most of Sarkissian's visit is devoted to finance, economic development and trade matters. Armenian Minister of Trade, Services and Tourism, Garnick Nanagulian, is in the delegation.

The delegation is holding a series of meetings in all the cities with business people and investors with an interest in Armenia as well as holding talks next week with officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.