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Armenia: Prime Minister Ends U.S. Visit

Washington, 16 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Armenian Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian ended a nearly two-week long visit to the United States Wednesday, flying out of New York for Moscow.

Sarkissian spent his last day in the United States meeting with Armenian-American business people, discussing ways to encourage both investment in Armenia and trade with the United States. He also visited the New York stock exchange.

U.S. officials say that in his meetings with American officials, including Vice President Al Gore, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin in Washington, the importance of moving ahead on democratic and economic reforms was emphasized. The U.S. officials say they reiterated their support for reforms as well as early parliamentary elections.

On the economic and financial front, Sarkissian, joined by his finance, economic and trade ministers, met with officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. At both, sources say, he emphasized his government's intention to push ahead on reforms toward a market based economy which can draw foreign investment.