French minister for Europe and foreign affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian will pay a visit to the South Caucasus from 26 to 28 May. He will visit the region’s three countries in turn: Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
There will be two crucial dimensions to these visits: firstly, presence at the celebrations organized to mark the centenary of the declaration of the first republics in each country of the region; secondly, strengthening the relations of France with each country.
In Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan, the minister for Europe and foreign affairs will take part in the commemorations of the three republics’ declarations of independence in 1918.
France’s participation in the ceremonies marking the centenary of independence illustrates the long-standing nature of our bilateral relations, to which Jean-Yves Le Drian will give fresh impetus during the visit: He will have working meetings with his counterparts and be received by heads of state and government.
These meetings will allow us to strengthen our political dialogue by emphasizing the primacy of the rule of law, good governance and the observance of individual and collective freedoms. Mr. Le Drian will support the businesses’ projects to step up our economic and commercial presence. Finally, he will promote educational cooperation projects drawing on French educational institutions, the teaching of French and university partnerships.
In Armenia, the minister will have a meeting with President Sarkissian, Prime Minister Pashinyan and Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan. He will be the first European minister to meet the new authorities.
With his interlocutors, Mr. Le Drian will look at the various aspects of our relations, including ways of boosting economic exchanges. The signature of an agreement to establish the French Development Agency in Armenia will be a step towards deepening our economic cooperation.
The Minister will visit the French University in Armenia. He will meet students there, whose numbers are growing and who, from September 2018 onwards, will be able to enroll in a new applied mathematics and computer science course.