Armenian, French FMs talk bilateral relations, Karabakh settlement

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan received today French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Following the meeting the parties made a statement for the press.

“I am glad to welcome my French counterpart, Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his delegation, who arrived in Armenia on an official visit. It is worth noting, that Mr. Le Drian is the first Foreign Minister to visit Armenia after the internal political developments and formation of the new government. The visit of Mr. Le Drian is also symbolic as it happens when Armenians all over the world celebrate the centennial of establishment of the First Republic of Armenia,” the Armenian Foreign Minister said.

“The programme of Minister Li Drian’s visit is quite rich, since prior to the press conference he has already visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial and paid tribute to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, as well as made an entry in the commemorative book of honourable guests. Then, together, we visited the Memorial of Musa Ler. The salvation of Musaler Armenians is also one of the important manifestations of the Armenian-French friendship,” he added.

The Foreign Minister noted that the privileged relations between Armenia and France are anchored in the traditional friendship and mutual support of the Armenian and French peoples.

“Since independence, we have always felt the support and friendship of France and can proudly state that the privileged relations between Armenia and France are at a high level, and the constant political dialogue, regular state visits at the level of heads of states, deep cooperative ties in different spheres, close collaboration in international structures, and, of course, the existence of a vibrant French-Armenian community attest to it,” Mr. Mnatsakanyan said.

“We have had a very fruitful discussion with my counterpart on many issues of our bilateral agenda, on cooperation in various international formats, and touched upon the expansion of the legal framework. The agenda of our meeting included the upcoming state visit of President Macron to Armenia this fall,” he noted.

“We have also held a detailed discussion on our bilateral trade and economic relations, and in that context, we have acknowledged with my colleague that despite of the existing achievements, our cooperation in this sphere, having more potential and development prospects, nevertheless is still inferior to the level of political relations. We exchanged thoughts on joint steps aimed at giving а fresh momentum to bilateral trade and economic ties. French companies have made significant investments in the economy of Armenia and we are ready to create the most favourable conditions for new French investors,” the Foreign Minister said.

“We really paid quite much attention to these issues. It is our common interest to see much more tangible results on Armenian-French trade, economic and investment cooperation. I think, there are prerequisites for it. But, naturally, I will not get ahead of it. What is important is instead of speaking about them, rather see and immediately benefit from them. We think that soon that will have its substantial and practical expression,” Minister Mnatsakanyan added.

“I am pleased to note that today we have already signed an agreement on establishment and operation of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Investment and Promotion Company for Economic Cooperation (Proparco) in Armenia. We talked about such key components of our relations as decentralized cooperation, educational and cultural ties, as well as joint programmes and initiatives in these areas.”

During the meeting in Yerevan the two Foreign Ministers We exchanged views on the Armenia-EU cooperation, the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and the emerging new perspectives for Armenian-French cooperation in this format.

“The Nagorno-Karabakh issue has been touched upon in the course of our meeting. Armenia values the joint efforts exerted by France together with other OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries – Russia and the United States, aimed at the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In this context, we reaffirm Armenia’s commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We agreed with my colleague that for the success of the process it is crucial to have an environment conducive to peace,” Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said.

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