Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received the President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, Laurent Wauquiez, who was on a two-day visit to the Syunik Province.
In his welcome speech, the Prime Minister said, in part:
“Dear Mr. Wauquiez,
I welcome you in the Republic of Armenia and I am glad to meet you again. We are also pleased to note that the relations between Armenia and France have high dynamics not only at the highest political level, but also on the level of decentralized cooperation.
Of course, we are living a very difficult period, and our country and the region are experiencing very difficult times. In this sense, such visits are also very important in terms of conveying moral strength and support, including political. I would like to emphasize the importance of your visit to the entrance of the Lachin Corridor and the Syunik Province and, of course, your messages regarding the existing situation.
I would also like to hear your impressions from the visit. I hope you have noticed that despite all the problems, we are making very serious investment projects in the republic, including in the Syunik Province. Massive construction works are being carried out: roads, schools, kindergartens, other infrastructure, because our approach is that despite all the challenges, we should not deviate for a moment from the development agenda of Armenia. Recently, the European Union’s investment and economic plan was launched in Syunik Province, which is extremely important. We also hope that the presence of the EU civilian mission along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border will become an additional factor contributing to stability and security. I welcome you once again.”
The President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France said,
“Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister.
This is the second time we are meeting, and I have the greatest respect for what you are doing for Armenia in this very difficult period. Last time I was very impressed with your strength and your will to move forward with very specific plans.
You are asking about my impressions from this visit. first of all, I want to say that it was very important for us to go to the Syunik Province and be the first French local authority to establish cooperation with the region, because we understand very well how important Syunik is for the territorial integrity of Armenia.”
The parties emphasized the consistent efforts of the international community towards stability and peace in the region.
The interlocutors also discussed the prospects for the development of multi-sector partnership and the expansion of trade and economic ties. In this regard, the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Syunik Province and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region on March 29 was highlighted.
The Prime Minister noted that the Armenian Government consistently continues the policy of balanced territorial development, and in this regard, attached great importance to the strengthening of decentralized cooperation with France and the exchange of experience between regions. Nikol Pashinyan referred to the reform agenda of the Government of Armenia, measures being implemented to improve the investment environment. Laurent Wauquiez thanked for the information, noting that French companies are interested in doing business in Armenia.
The sides exchanged ideas on opportunities for implementing joint projects in the fields of agriculture, healthcare, education, infrastructure, and renewable energy.