La Francophonie willing to support Armenia in solving the humanitarian crisis caused by 44-day war

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in his speech,

“Dear Secretary General,

I welcome you in the Republic of Armenia. I remember the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan in 2018 with great pleasure and joy, where you were elected Secretary General, and Republic of Armenia assumed the presidency of the Organization. I think that in that sense we had a very active and effective cooperation in 2019. Unfortunately, the coronavirus also affected the activities of our Organization and our presidency, and we had to cancel a number of events. Nevertheless, we take our participation and presidency in the OIF with great sense of responsibility , and I hope that in the near future, together with our other partners, we will be able to fill the gap caused by the pandemic.

During our meetings, I have said and I want to emphasize again, that we fully support the course of the reforms you have outlined as Secretary-General, and of course, we will continue to support your reform course as much as we can after our presidency. I welcome you once again and I am glad to see you”.

OIF Secretary General Louise Mushikiwabo said,

“Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. I am very glad to personally see you again. We had phone talk during the war and I felt very sorrow. Both the Organization and I personally take Armenia very warmly, and it was very difficult for us to follow that extremely difficult situation for Armenia, so I was glad to be able to talk to you then, and now I am glad for the opportunity to be personally present here now.

Mr. Prime Minister, let me congratulate and thank you for two reasons. First of all, of course I did in a written form, but now I would like to personally congratulate you on your beautiful victory. That victory was very important for two reasons, first of all for you personally and for the Armenian people, who were able to clearly express their will in the not-so-favorable conditions for the elections. Therefore, this is a great victory for democracy and the Armenian people. Secondly, for us, for the International Organization of La Francophonie, which also has a political mission, in particular, to support countries in the path of democracy. We were glad to be invited to witness that process, we had the opportunity to observe the elections as part of our Organization’s mission. This victory is very important, because it means certain tranquility today, a political consensus, which is very important, because you have much more difficult issues to manage for both the country and the region.

The second reason to congratulate you, as you mentioned, was the presidency of Armenia in the International Organization of La Francophonie, which you carried out very well: both you and your representative, Ambassador Ter-Stepanyan in the sanitary conditions, which made the works quite difficult, and in the conditions of the Organization’s transformation. You were able to participate in the decision making over a number of issues that were important for our Organization after your visit to Paris. Mr. Ambassador is also a member of the political committee, he participates in the analytical group, the aim of which is to predict the future of the Organization. So I can document once again that you have done that difficult job of the presidency with honor”.

The interlocutors exchanged views on international issues, regional security and peace. Nikol Pashinyan highlighted the solution of the humanitarian issues caused by the 44-day war, in particular, the immediate release of Armenian prisoners of war, civilian hostages, as well as the proper protection of the Armenian historical, cultural and religious heritage and expressed gratitude to the OIF Secretary-General for the support and solidarity with our country and the Armenian people in autumn 2020.

Louise Mushikiwabo reaffirmed the readiness of the OIF to continue the support aimed at the solution of the humanitarian crisis caused by the 44-day war.

The Prime Minister highlighted the participation of the OIF in the observation mission for the first time in the parliamentary elections of 2021. The interlocutors referred to the activities of the Organization during the coronavirus pandemic and the emerging challenges. Issues related to the preparation for the forthcoming IOF summit were touched upon.

The parties reaffirmed their readiness to deepen cooperation and discussed the activities in that direction. Both sides highlighted the deepening of French language teaching in Armenian schools, universities, among civil servants, the implementation of educational initiatives among the youth, which will be a link between the youth of the Francophone area.

After the meeting, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the Secretary General of the OIF issued a joint statement.

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