President Serzh Sargsyan, who has arrived in the U.S. on a working visit, had a meeting with Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on September 28 in New York.
Serzh Sargsyan and Matteo Renzi discussed a broad range of issues pertaining to the political dialogue between Armenia and Italy and their trade and economic collaboration, and touched upon the two countries’ cooperation within the frames of international organizations.
The interlocutors expressed their satisfaction with the fact that Armenian-Italian interstate ties have always developed in the spirit of mutual understanding. However, they stated that the two countries’ potential allows for further intensification of bilateral relations. The RA president and Italy’ prime minister attached importance to the promotion of stable political dialogue between the two countries, to which the interlocutors are sure frequent reciprocal visits could considerably contribute. In that context, President Serzh Sargsyan warmly recalled his official visit to Italy in April this year and the meaningful and interesting meeting with President Sergio Mattarella.
Armenia’s president stressed that through concerted efforts, the two countries can elevate Armenian-Italian interstate relations, as well as their cooperation within the frames of the EU to a qualitatively new level.
Serzh Sargsyan underscored that Italy is important to Armenia also as a leading EU country, and the promotion of comprehensive cooperation with it continues to hold a serious place in Armenia’s foreign policy agenda. The president expressed the hope that Italy will continue to support the implementation of the current RA-EU agenda.
Armenia’s president placed importance on defense cooperation which has occupied a special place in the Armenian-Italian bilateral agenda since 2012, underlining that the defense cooperation is not limited to bilateral format: since last November, 32 Armenian peacekeepers have joined the UN peacekeeping forces under Italian command in Lebanon, which, according to the president, can truly be considered as a successful example of cooperation between Armenia and Italy.
At the meeting, the RA president and the Italian prime minister attached importance also to the role of parliamentary diplomacy to develop bilateral relations.
Noting that trade and economic relations are among vital components on the Armenian-Italian agenda, the interlocutors expressed satisfaction with the fact that in the last four years, despite the global financial and economic crisis, the two counties have witnessed considerable trade growth. Furthermore, according to the previous year’s indicators, Italy is the 2nd trade partner of Armenia among the EU countries (the first is Germany). The parties were sure that this bears testimony to the fact that there is serious potential for better results, at which vigorous efforts need to be directed.
The RA president and Italy’s prime minister touched upon regional issues and challenges, including the current stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and the present problems. President Serzh Sargsyan stressed that as a friendly country, Armenia values Italy’s stable and balanced position on the NK conflict.
On September 28, Serzh Sargsyan also had a meeting with Prime Minster Stefan Löfvén of the Kingdom of Sweden in New York.
The president spoke highly of the Armenian-Swedish cooperation, which, according to him, has experienced tangible development in recent years, marked by the active dialogue of foreign ministers, the increase in the number of embassies and by various reciprocal visits.
The RA president and Sweden’s prime minister highlighted the special place of Armenian-EU relations and collaboration in the Armenian-Swedish cooperation agenda. Armenia’s president stressed the role of Sweden, a co-author of the Eastern Partnership, in the reinforcement of Armenia-EU relations.
The interlocutors talked about the need to develop bilateral trade and economic ties, stating that unfortunately, the current economic indicators do not correspond with the huge economic potential of cooperation between Armenia and Sweden. The parties agreed that in order to reveal the full potential, there is a need to foster mutual contacts and exchange of information at a state level, develop a comprehensive legal framework, and hold business forums.
At the meeting, President Serzh Sargsyan attached importance to Sweden’s balanced position on the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
The parties also reflected upon issues pertaining to cooperation within the frames of international organizations.
Serzh Sargsyan and Stefan Löfvén placed importance on the intensification of parliamentary cooperation between the two friendly countries.