Foreign visits
State visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to Hungary

08.11.2009 - 10.11.2009

Today, at the invitation of President Lazslo Solyom, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan arrived on a state visit to Hungary. This is the first visit of the Armenian President to this Central European country since independence.

The official welcoming ceremony of the President of Armenia took place in the Presidential Palace, where Serzh Sargsyan made an inscription in the Book of Honorary Guests. Afterwards, Presidents Sargsyan and Solyom held a tête-à-tête meeting, which was continued with the participation of the delegations. Greeting and welcoming the President of Armenia to Hungary, President Lazslo Solyom noted that Hungary views Armenia as an important partner with which it is ready to deepen political dialogue and promote cooperation in economic and cultural areas in bilateral as well as multilateral formats. Presidents Sargsyan and Solyom expressed confidence that the state visit of the President of Armenia will serve as a powerful impetus for animating relations between the two countries and noted that the agreements to be signed in the framework of the state visit and other documents, which are being prepared for signing, will form an adequate legal field for further promoting friendly relations between Armenia and Hungary.

Presidents Sargsyan and Solyom underlined that despite a considerable dynamics in the political dialogue, the economic and trade relations of the two countries so far do not reflect the existing potential. The leaders of the two states expressed confidence that the signed agreements and the business forum opening in Budapest will promote business contacts and along with mitigating the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis will allow to increase the trade turnover between Armenia and Hungary. They also stressed the importance of developing further cooperation between the state bodies of the two countries, as well as of enhancing direct cooperation between different towns and cities in Armenia and Hungary.

Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Lazslo Solyom stressed the importance of deepening cooperation of the two countries not only in international organizations but also in other multilateral settings, particularly, in the framework of Eastern Partnership program. Serzh Sargsyan noted that Armenia attaches utmost importance to its European policy and views Eastern Partnership policy as a new opportunity to deepen her relations with the European Union as an entity, as well as with its individual members. The President of Hungary noted that his country was following closely Armenia’s plan of actions in the framework of the European Neighborhood and Eastern Partnership programs and the progress of the reforms conducted in that context. He underlined that during its presidency in EU in 2011, Hungary will hold among priorities the Eastern Partnership program.
During the high-level negotiations, Serzh Sargsyan told his Hungarian colleague about the Armenia-Turkey normalization process and the current stage of the NK peace talks. “We are striving to solve the current problems without preconditions, through peaceful means and establish relations with our neighbor, channeling the existing resources toward stable and peaceful development of the region. I believe, that development in the region can be ensured only through cooperation, durable peace, and stability,” Serzh Sargsyan said. In his turn, the President of Hungary Lazslo Solyom welcomed progress achieved in the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and said that Hungary is supportive of the process of normalization between the two neighboring states. “During our negotiations, I saw how determined Armenia is to normalize relations with her neighbors and move ahead with the resolution of the longstanding problems,” the President of Hungary noted. At the meeting, the Presidents of the two countries exchanged also views on the issues of regional security.

President Serzh Sargsyan expressed gratitude to his counterpart for the unbiased and just stance of the Hungarian justice system regarding the case of horrendous murder in Budapest of the Armenian officer, Gurgen Margarian. He also thanked the Hungarian authorities for the praiseworthy policy toward the Armenian-Hungarian community, noting that our compatriots in Hungary were a reliable bridge between the two nations.

The President of Armenia invited his Hungarian colleague to conduct a reciprocal visit to Armenia, which will allow to continue political dialogue, review the process of implementation of the reached agreements and point out priorities for the deepening of the bilateral cooperation. The President of Hungary Lazslo Solyom accepted Serzh Sargsyan’s invitation to visit Armenia.

After the conclusion of the high-level negotiations, Presidents Sargsyan and Solyom attended the ceremony of signing intergovernmental agreements on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion, on cooperation between the Ministries of Agriculture and Justice, as well as the agreement on cooperation in economic area. After the ceremony, the Presidents of Armenia and Hungary made statements summarizing results of the negotiations.

In the framework of the visit, the President of Armenia visited the Heroes’ Square in Budapest and laid a wreath at the monument of the heroes who fought for Hungary’s independence. Serzh Sargsyan laid also flowers at the khachkar situated in the center of the city and dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, and conversed with the representatives of the Armenian community gathered around the khachkar.

The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan continues his state visit to Hungary. At the conclusion of the high-level negotiations, in the evening of November 9, the President of Hungary gave a state dinner in honor of the President of Armenia.

In Budapest, the President of Armenia met also with the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament Bela Katona and the Prime Minister of Hungary Gordon Bajnai.

At the meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament, stressed was the importance of developing the interparliamentary ties and cooperation in the international interparliamentary structures. The two sides noted with satisfaction that the friendship groups have been formed in both Parliaments which are functioning quite successfully. The Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament said that he is familiar with Armenia and he has had an opportunity to visit our country and get acquainted with Armenia and her culture as member of the Hungary-Armenia parliamentary friendship group. At the meeting discussed were also issues related to the historical and cultural contacts of the two peoples and similarities between them.

At the meeting with the Prime Minister of Hungary Gordon Bajnai discussed were opportunities for the invigoration of the economic cooperation. It was noted that the state visit of the President of Armenia and high-level negotiations on one hand, and the interagency agreements signed yesterday in Budapest, the Armenian-Hungarian business forum and contacts on the other, create a favorable atmosphere for the development of the economic relations. President Sargsyan said that Armenia desires to give momentum to the relations with Hungary on bilateral as well as multilateral levels. “Centuries-long friendship of the Armenian and Hungarian peoples is a sound base for developing our relations in the economic and other areas,” noted Serzh Sargsyan. The President of Armenia and the Prime Minister of Hungary stressed their readiness to support all practical initiatives and investment projects which will emerge after the business forum.

President Sargsyan and Prime Minister Bajnai spoke also about the steps of the governments of the two countries aimed at the mitigation of the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis and the current situation with the world economy. The Prime Minister of Hungary also underscored that Hungary attaches great importance to the EU Eastern Partnership program and during its EU presidency in 2011 will continue to view it as a priority. In his turn, Serzh Sargsyan noted that the EU Eastern Partnership program allows on one hand to develop relations with the European Union and its member states, and on the other – to foster the reforms in our country. At the request of the Prime Minister of Hungary Gordon Bajnai, President Serzh Sargsyan spoke about Armenia’s approaches toward the normalization of relations with Turkey without preconditions and in a sensible timeframe and the current phase of the NK peace process. Gordon Bajnai said that Hungary is welcoming the signing of the Protocols for the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and supports that process. He underscored that peaceful settlement of the regional problems in addition to the normalization of relations will also change the international standing of the entire region, promoting stability, development, durable peace, cooperation, and atmosphere of mutual trust.

President Sargsyan and Prime Minister Bajnai met also with the participants of the ongoing Armenian-Hungarian business forum, familiarized with the results of the forum and reached agreements.

In Budapest, the President of Armenia visited also the Primate of Hungary, Cardinal Peter Erdo. During the meeting with the spiritual leader of Hungary, President Serzh Sargsyan spoke about the historical and cultural similarities of the two nations and contacts between them. President Sargsyan underlined that the church, especially in the absence of statehood, played a unique and indispensable role in the Armenian and Hungarian peoples’ fight for freedom. Speaking about similarities of the two nations, Cardinal Peter Erdo in his turn noted, “The Armenian and Hungarian peoples have a great experience of rebirth and rising after centuries of deprivation and sufferings.” Serzh Sargsyan praised the fact that in Hungary our compatriots have a status of national minority and enjoy all opportunities which come with that status, preserving their national identity.

In the framework of his state visit to Hungary, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the President of Hungary Lezslo Solyom participated at the opening ceremony of the exhibition organized by the Institute of Military History of the Ministry of Defense of Hungary. The exhibition is dedicated to the history of the Armenian-Hungarian military interaction. Presidents Sargsyan and Solyom toured the exhibition and viewed the exhibits.

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