France is a crucial partner for Armenia – President

President Macron, with his youth and his dynamism, represents a great hope in the development of relations between our two countries, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with the French L’Express after his first meeting with Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace Tuesday.

“It is 25 years since Armenia established diplomatic relations with France that have continued to deepen. Our peoples have been linked for centuries, but this link has become particularly denser in recent years in the economic, cultural, scientific and educational fields,” President Sargsyan said.

“I would add that France is also co-chair of the Minsk Group; it is a crucial partner at bilateral as well as multilateral level. I remind you that last 24th of November, Armenia signed a framework agreement with the European Union, which offers us new opportunities and opportunities. The outcome of this agreement would be the liberalization of visas for the citizens of Armenia,” he said.

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Asked about the forthcoming 17th Francophonie Summit, President Sargsyan said “it is very important to us, it is the culmination of our diplomatic action for years and the most global event that we have organized.”

“We will be able to present Armenia to the rest of the world; we will do everything we can to make it a great success. Consider that almost half of the world’s states will be present in Yerevan, mostly at the level of heads of state and government,” Serzh Sargsyan said.

“For us, La Francophonie is not just a linguistic community; it is above all a community of values, built around a vision of civilization that we have in common with France; it is a conception of humanity based on essential principles. Moreover, the slogan we have chosen is: “Living together”. This means respect for fundamental freedoms, social solidarity, peaceful coexistence, equality between men and women, priority given to youth,” the Armenian President added.

A large economic forum to be held the day before the summit, will bring together businessmen and Francophone entrepreneurs, which will lay the foundations of an international network of Francophone employers, he said.

President Sargsyan said “the relations with Iran, a country with which we have over two thousand years of expertise, are vital for Armenia. Our political dialogue is stable, the mutual visits are very regular, the exchanges remain supported.”

He recalled that Tehran has always maintained a neutral and balanced attitude towards the Karabakh issue. “Despite the allegations of Azerbaijan, which continues to manipulate the religious roots of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, our exemplary relations with Iran prove that Armenia respects its neighbors as well as their own culture,” he said.

“The July 2015 agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy is from our point of view a resolutely constructive approach that goes in the direction of peace: and I am delighted that France supports it, as President Macron has made clear,” Serzh Sargsyan stated.

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