On a visit to Italy, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan had a meeting with his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella.
Mr. Mattarella expressed gratitude to President Sargsyan for his support to the development and reinforcement of Armenian-Italian relations in all domains – political, economic and cultural.
The Italian President noted that Armenia and the South Caucasus in general are of strategic importance to his country. Sergio Mattarella revealed plans to visit Armenia later this year (probably in June) to further reinforce the Armenian-Italian friendship, which, he said, will give new impetus to the deepening of relations.
The parties also referred to Armenia-EU relations and the signing of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Cooperation Agreement. The Italian President said Armenia plays a leading role as a bridge of communication and is a vivid example of how the East and the West can exist as one whole.
He said Armenia is also a good example of how the cooperation can benefit all and added that Armenia can open an access to EAEU countries.
During the meeting reference was made to the process of peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Emphasizing that Armenia supports the priorities of the Italian Chairmanship of the OSCE and Italy’s balanced stance on conflict settlement.
The Italian President emphasized that his country supports the efforts exerted by the OSCE Minsk Group toward the peaceful settlement of the conflict and is not going to discuss another format of the negotiations, hoping that the organization will find the right way to resolve the problem with the conflicting parties and the problem will be settled through compromise as soon as possible. He emphasized that one of the priorities of Italy’s presidency in the OSCE is the settlement of protracted conflicts.
On learning from President Sargsyan that Armenia is switching over to a full parliamentary system in a few days, Sergio Mattarella said it was amazing to see the country make a smooth transition from one governing system to another. In this connection, Serzh Sargsyan noted that either Italy set an example for Armenia while converting into a parliamentary republic. Its constitutional principles have also been applied in our country.
The Presidents of Armenia considered the Armenian-Italian joint peacekeeping mission in Lebanon within the framework of the international peacekeeping mission as another example of Armenian-Italian friendship.