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Iranian President in Armenia Seeking to Boost Ties


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has begun a two-day visit to Armenia aimed at boosting economic and political ties between the two neighboring countries.

The Iranian leader and Armenian President Robert Kocharian were to sign a series of bilateral agreements on energy cooperation. While in the capital, Yerevan, Mr. Ahmadinejad also is set to address the Armenian parliament.

Ahead of the visit, Armenian officials told the Associated Press the two governments may sign a deal on the construction of an oil pipeline from Iran to Armenia.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, the target of international scorn for claiming the Holocaust is a myth, also is slated to visit a memorial to victims of the early 20th century massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks.

Armenia accuses the Ottoman Turks of genocide in the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915 in a push to drive them from eastern Turkey.

Turkey strongly rejects the genocide charge. It calls the death toll exaggerated, and says a large number of people died in civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.
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