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GEORGIA, ARMENIA DISCUSS ENERGY ISSUES. During a two-day visit to Yerevan on 11-12 March, Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli met with his Armenian counterpart Andranik Markarian to discuss bilateral trade and cooperation in the energy sector, Georgian and Armenian agencies reported. Bilateral trade grew by 51 percent in 2004, reaching $78 million, Caucasus Press reported on 12 March. Noghaideli raised with Markarian the possibility of Georgia and Ukraine importing Iranian gas exported to Armenia via the gas pipeline currently under construction, ITAR-TASS reported. Initially that pipeline was planned exclusively to supply Armenia with gas, but Interfax on 4 March quoted Armenian Energy Minister Andranik Manukian as saying a second leg could be built to transport gas to Europe. The Russian-Armenian company Armrosgasart is to undertake construction, which will begin next month, of the Armenian section of the pipeline. LF
...DISCOUNTS POSSIBILITY OF REVOLUTION... Responding on 12 March to a journalist's question, President Aliyev said he sees no threat of a revolution in Azerbaijan comparable to those that took place in Georgia and Ukraine, according to Azertaj as cited by Groong. He argued that such revolutions occur only in countries where the population has no trust in the leadership, or when the economic and social situation deteriorates which, he continued, is not the case in Azerbaijan. Aliyev added that his popularity rating is currently even higher than at the time of the October 2003 presidential ballot, in which according to official returns he polled 76.8 percent of the vote. LF