Armenian-Austrian talks in Vienna

President Serzh Sargsyan has started his official visit to the Republic of Austria. This morning Presidents Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia and Heinz Fischer of Austria held a private meeting followed by negotiations with the participation of the official delegations. As a result, documents aimed at promoting the Armenian-Austrian cooperation in a number of spheres have been concluded. Particularly, the presidents of the two states signed the Declaration on Friendly Relations and Partnership between the Republic of Austria and the Republic of Armenia. Then, with the participation of the presidents the Joint Action Plan for Cooperation in Tourism between the RA Ministry of Economy and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and the Agreement on Air Transport between the Armenian government and the Austrian government were concluded.

Within the framework of the visit, two agreements have been concluded – the Export Loan Agreement on Financing the Refurbishment Project of Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall between the Republic of Armenia, namely the Ministry of Finance and Erste Bank – and two more equipment supply agreements between the RA Ministry of Culture and the Austrian company Waagner Biro.

The Presidents of Armenia and Austria summed up the negotiation results at a joint press conference and answered the questions of journalists. Afterwards, on behalf of Austrian President Heinz Fischer an official dinner was held in honor of President Serzh Sargsyan having arrived in the Republic of Austria on an official visit.

Statement by RA President Serzh Sargsyan at joint press conference with Austrian President Heinz Fischer

Distinguished Mr. President,
Honorable ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank Austrian President Mr. Fischer once again for his invitation to visit Austria on an official visit and of course, for the warm reception. Our third bilateral meeting over the last two years already speaks for itself.

We discussed a wide range of issues on our negotiation agenda: we had a constructive discussion both on the Armenian-Austrian relations, as well as on a number of regional and international issues. We reaffirmed our reciprocal commitment to conducting a high-level dialogue and advancing the Armenian-Austrian cooperation both in bilateral and multilateral formats.

We consider Austria a friendly state and a reliable partner. It is exactly this spirit which has led to the promotion of the 22 year-old inter-state relations between Armenia and Austria. Regular political dialogues, growing trade and commercial cooperation, numerous cultural and educational programs, assistance programs being effectively implemented by Austria, a regularly updated legal and contractual field: this is the outcome of our constructive cooperation and we are ready to keep on making persistent efforts to multiply it. Additionally, the agreements concluded during this visit serve the same purpose.

Among the primary goals of my visit is to stimulate the economic direction of our bilateral cooperation. Tomorrow, we are to open an Armenian-Austrian economic cooperation forum together with President Fischer. We expect it to set the stage for promoting a dialogue between businessmen and accomplishing new joint projects.

We see good potential for cooperation within the framework of the projects being implemented by the Austrian Development Agency in Armenia which give new opportunities to improve the social security policy carried out by the Armenian government.

I and Mr. Fischer touched upon the prospects of cooperation within the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership. I reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to further promoting the recent years’ effective cooperation with the EU, thanks to which at present, Armenia has more democratic institutions, an open market economy, good governance in relative terms and a favorable business environment. I presented our vision for developing the Armenia-European Union relations and asked Mr. President to support us.

Of course, I and President Fischer discussed the current negotiation process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and I am very confident that we are going to discuss it again. There are the OSCE headquarters located in Vienna, an organization which has been engaged in the process of the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for years. I reaffirmed our commitment to resolving this conflict, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, exclusively through peaceful means in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs which is the best international organization possessing extensive knowledge about the conflict.

As a result of my visit, we have made a joint statement in which Austria, as a friendly state who is interested in establishing peace in our region, in harmony with its high international reputation and its neutral state status continues to back the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs at resolving the conflict in compliance with the norms and principles of international law.

Indeed, when talking about our relations with Austria it is impossible to overlook the historical ties between our peoples. We are grateful to the Austrian government and people for showing a benevolent attitude toward our community as a result of which the Mekhitarist Congregation in Vienna has become one of the centers of Armenology and national preservation. Moreover, it is not an accident, Mr. President, that Franz Werfel was born exaclty in Austria.

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