Foreign visits
Official visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to France

09.03.2010 - 11.03.2010

The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan has commenced his official visit to France. This is the first official visit of Serzh Sargsyan to France since he assumed office of the President of Armenia. The Presidential delegation comprises the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, the Minister of Diaspora Affairs Hranush Hakopian, the Chairman of the Armenian-French parliamentary Friendship Group, member of the National Assembly Ara Babloyan, and other officials.

On March 9, the President Sargsyan visited Matignon gallery, met with the renowned Armenian-French artist Jansem, toured the exhibition and familiarized with the artist’s outstanding legacy. “Our nation is proud of you and highly values your art. Residing outside Armenia, you’ve made our country even more recognizable, extending all over the world our nation’s good name,” the President of Armenia noted. Serzh Sargsyan and our celebrated compatriot exchanged views regarding the preservation of the Armenian identity abroad and strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora ties. “The Ministry of Diaspora affairs was established with a purpose of facilitating the preservation of the Armenian identity for our compatriots living abroad. As leaders of independent Armenia, we have to do our best to create a country which will become a source of pride for every Armenian residing outside Armenia,” President Serzh Sargsyan noted.

For his significant contribution to the development of the Armenian-French cultural ties and on the occasion of his 90th anniversary, the President of Armenia had signed a degree to award the great Armenian-French artist Jansem with the Order of Honor. Today, President Sargsyan handed the highest distinction of the Republic to the renowned awardee.

On march 10, at the Elysee Palace there took place a meeting of the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan with the President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy. This is the third meeting of the two Presidents since Serzh Sargsyan was elected President of Armenia. The first meeting of Serzh Sargsyan and Nicoals Sarkozy took place in November, 2008 in the framework of the Armenian President's working visit to France.

After the official ceremony of welcoming the President of Armenia in the Elysee Palace, the two Presidents held a tête-à-tête meeting. Later, President Sarkozy gave official dinner in honor of the Armenian President.

Expressing thanks to President Sarkozy for the invitation to make an official visit to France, Serzh Sargsyan highly praised the high level of the political dialogue existing between the two friendly nations. The President of Armenia noted that for the further deepening of genial relations between Armenia and France it is important to maintain regular contacts and conduct reciprocal visits, exchange views on bilateral, regional, and international issues of mutual interest. He also said that in Armenia, as well as by the Armenian communities all over the world, France is perceived as a close friend, an ally and a reliable partner in international affairs, and it endows the Armenian-French relations with special meaning. President Sargsyan noted with satisfaction that relations between Armenia and France develop vigorously in all areas.

President Sarkozy underlined that in France Armenia and the Armenian nation are regarded with fondness, while the Armenian-French community is an indestructible bridge between the two countries and the two peoples. Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated his country's determination to develop relations with Armenia on all directions and underscored that France has been and remains Armenia's friend and will always stand by her side.

The President of Armenia once again thanked the people of France and President Sarkozy for the principled and unwavering position regarding the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Serzh Sargsyan and Nicolas Sarkozy discussed the NK peace process (France is one of the three Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group), issues related to regional security, Armenia-Turkey normalization process as well as other subjects of mutual interest. The President of France praised efforts of the Armenian President aimed at the upholding of regional peace and security.

Presidents Sargsyan and Sarkozy spoke also about further deepening of the bilateral economic and trade ties, expansion of cooperation in the humanitarian area, and exchanged views on Armenia-EU relations. President Sargsyan expressed gratitude to President Sarkozy for constant support provided to Armenia in different areas.

The two sides agreed to continue high level contacts on a regular basis.

In the framework of his official visit to France, on March 10 President Serzh Sargsyan met with the President of French Senate Gerard Larcher. The President of Armenia stressed special role of the parliaments of the two countries in further strengthening friendly and warm relations between Armenia and France. Serzh Sargsyan highly praised the activities of the French-Armenian Friendship Group and the current level of the interparliamentary cooperation, stressed the importance of regular contacts and reciprocal visits of the Armenian and French parliamentarians. In his turn, Gerard Larcher reiterated readiness of the Senate to promote the French-Armenian relations.

At the request of the President of the French Senate, President Sargsyan presented the approaches of official Yerevan toward the NK peace talks, regional issues, and prospects of the Armenian-Turkish normalization process. The parties touched upon other issues of mutual interest.

In Paris, the President of Armenia met also with the Speaker of the National Assembly Bernard Accoyer. Serzh Sargsyan highly praised activities of the France-Armenia Friendship Group in the Parliament’s lower house, recalling warmly the Group’s former and current Chairs – François Rochbluan’s and Rene Rouquet’s significant contribution to the deepening of the French-Armenian friendship, highlighted the Group’s principled and fair position regarding issues that are vital for the Armenian nation. Serzh Sargsyan and Bernard Accoyer exchanged views on the regional developments, spoke about the possibilities of enhancing the Armenian-French cooperation in different areas.

At the conclusion of his official visit to France, Serzh Sarsyan in Paris had a working dinner with prominent representatives of the Armenian-French community.

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