Official visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to the Argentine Republic
President Serzh Sargsyan who has arrived in Argentina on an official visit on July 7 held a meeting with the Vice President of the Argentine Republic and the President of the Argentine National Senate Amado Boudou.
Taking into account that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina has postponed all the official events due to health problems, including the events to be held on the occasion of the country’s public holiday on June 9, the negotiations were conducted with an Argentine high-ranking delegation led by the Vice President of the Argentine Republic and the President of the Senate Amado Boudou. Particularly, the Chief of the Cabinet of Minister of Argentina Jorge Capitanich, the President of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies Julian Andres Dominguez, the Minster of Social Development Alicia Kirchner, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovative Production Lino Baranao, the Head of the State Revenue Department Ricardo Daniel Echegaray and other officials took part in the meeting.
Amado Boudou welcomed President Serzh Sargsyan and the delegation led by him and noted that he is glad the Armenian President’s visit is kicking off in Argentina which is not only the testimony to the Armenian-Argentine friendship but also to the mutual determination and commitment to bringing that friendship to a practical level into which President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina has put a lot of efforts. Amado Boudou emphasized the ceremony of signing bilateral documents as a result of the visit which will further strengthen the Armenian-Argentine ties in a number of spheres.
Argentine Vice President and the President of the Senate Amado Boudou praised the Armenian community of Argentina which is not only a big but also an influential community and plays a great role in reinforcing the Armenian-Argentine ties. He stressed that despite the geographical distance of the two countries and the fact that Armenia has a centuries-old history while Argentina is a relatively young country; the two peoples have established close friendship ties and the interstate relations continue to develop successfully.
President Serzh Sargsyan presented his appreciation for the invitation and the warm reception and expressed regret that President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is not able to take part in the negotiations due to health problems. Serzh Sargsyan wished the Argentine President a speedy recovery and good health.
Speaking about the Armenian-Argentine relations, the Armenian President noted that this is the third time Armenian President has conducted an official visit to Argentina which testifies to the fact that Armenian Presidents have always attached great importance to promoting relations with Argentina and have considered it their duty to visit the friendly country. The president also took the occasion to express his gratitude for the sincere attitude toward the Armenian people and especially toward the Armenian community of Argentina.
“My official visit to Argentina is taking place on the eve of your country’s Independence Day on the occasion of which I would like to cordially congratulate the Argentine authorities and the Argentine people and wish them success. We attach great importance to our relations with Argentina, and I am happy that we periodically hold high-level meetings and our relations continue to develop in a multilateral format as well. We are committed to enhancing the Armenian-Argentine relations in political, cultural and other spheres. I am pleased that the documents to be concluded today will give us that opportunity,” said President Serzh Sargsyan.
The RA President also emphasized the role of the Armenian community of Argentina in the friendly bilateral relations, including in strengthening the trade and economic ties. According to President Serzh Sargsyan, it is no accident that Argentina is one of the largest investors in the Armenian economy. He added that those around 400 million dollar investments are gradually influencing the Armenian-Argentine relations.
At the meeting President Serzh Sargsyan also expressed his gratitude for the Law on the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide passed with the direct involvement of the previous President of Argentina Nestor Kirchner. The president stressed that next year is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and events are to take place not only in Armenia but also in different countries of the world, including Argentina.
On behalf of our people and on his own behalf Serzh Sargsyan expressed his gratitude to the Argentine authorities and the Argentine people for recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
At the end of the negotiations a number of documents aimed at promoting and enhancing the cooperation between the two countries were concluded. Particularly, the Agreement on Working Holiday Program between the RA government and the AR government, the Economic Cooperation Agreement between the RA government and the AR government, the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding between the RA Ministry of Education and Science and the AR Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovative Production and the Agreement on Exchange of Information on Tax Matters between the RA government and the AR government were concluded.
On July 6, within the framework of his official visit President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting with Argentine Foreign Affairs Minister Hector Marcos Timerman. At the meeting a wide range of issues regarding the promotion of the Armenian-Argentine bilateral and multilateral relations was discussed. On the same day, President Serzh Sargsyan also held a meeting with the eminent Argentine Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian.
On July 7, the Armenian President also visited San Martin Square and laid a wreath at the monument of the champion of the Argentine independence San Martin and paid tribute to his memory. Afterwards, Serzh Sargsyan visited the municipality of Buenos Aires and held a meeting with the Head of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires (mayor) Mauricio Macri. Moreover, within the framework of the official visit today a meeting was held with the President of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies Julian Andres Dominguez.
On July 7, an official dinner was held in honor of President Serzh Sargsyan who has arrived in the Argentine Republic on an official visit.
On July 7, President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting with the Head of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires (mayor) Mauricio Macri.
In the context of the Armenian-Argentine interstate relations the parties put special emphasis on decentralized cooperation which has a special role in reinforcing the friendship of the two countries’ peoples and in mutual recognition of cultural values. Serzh Sargsyan and Mayor Mauricio Macri stressed that the first step toward that goal was taken about one and a half decade ago when Buenos Aires and Yerevan were declared sister cities.
At the meeting Serzh Sargsyan emphasized Mauricio Macri’s visit to Yerevan in 2012 during which the ceremony of transferring the title of international capital of books from Buenos Aires to Yerevan took place. The RA President noted that the visit gave a new momentum to the cooperation between the two capitals and expressed hope that such visits and mutual contacts will be regular and will embrace an inclusive agenda geared toward promoting mutual collaboration. Serzh Sargsyan underscored that Armenia is ready to encourage and support new initiatives and projects in Yerevan-Buenos Aires formats.
The Armenian President also touched upon the presence of Armenians in Buenos Aires which is a firm bridge linking the two countries together. According to the president, the Armenians who fled to Argentina as a result of the gravest crime – the genocide of 1915 – committed against the Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire were shown a sincere attitude. Serzh Sargsyan was glad to note that over the past years Armenians have been actively involved in the development of both Argentina and Buenos Aires and have enriched the life of that city notable for its multiculturalism.
Taking the occasion, President Serzh Sargsyan extended his deepest gratitude to the city authorities of Buenos Aires for officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide, as well as for their decision on building a genocide museum in Buenos Aires which according to the president, is Argentina’s another valuable input into the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide.
President Serzh Sargsyan also congratulated the mayor of Buenos Aires and the friendly people of Argentina on the occasion of the country’s Independence Day to be marked on July 9 and wished peace, prosperity and further achievements.
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Mauricio Macri handed the key to Buenos Aires and the Honorary Visitor Diploma to the Armenian President on the occasion of his visit. Prior to leaving, Serzh Sargsyan left a note in the honorary guest book of the municipality.
President Serzh Sargsyan also held a meeting with the President of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies Julian Andres Dominguez.
At the outset, the Armenian President noted that during his foreign visits he attaches great importance to his meetings with heads of legislatures, since it is hard to overestimate legislators’ role in developing interstate relations and creating an atmosphere of mutual trust. According to the president, in the context of the Armenian-Argentine relations Armenia lays special emphasis on the parliamentary collaboration. Serzh Sargsyan mentioned that the Law on the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide passed by the Argentine Senate and the Chamber of Deputies opened a new page in the history of the Armenian-Argentine ages-old friendship and gave a special meaning to the two countries’ inter-parliamentary ties. The parties emphasized the need for stimulating reciprocal visits of various parliamentary delegations and encouraging contacts between different inter-parliamentary friendship groups.
On July 7, within the framework of his official visit to the Argentine Republic President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting with the representatives of the Armenian community of Argentina.
By the decree of the RA President a number of honored workers of the Armenian community of Argentina and Argentine friends were awarded RA medals for reinforcing the Homeland-Diaspora ties and making a significant contribution to the preservation of the Armenian Identiy, as well as for carrying out active public and benevolent activities. At the meeting, President Serzh Sargsyan handed the RA state awards, congratulated the awardees and wish them success.
On the occasion of President Serzh Sargsyan’s visit to Argentina the members of the Armenian community organized a great cultural event.
The Armenian President presented his appreciation to the community and noted that on July 8 a notable event will take place in Buenos Aires: an Armenian Genocide Museum will be founded. Moreover, the president donated one of the French-Armenian painter Jansem’s genocide theme graphic paintings to the Armenian community of Argentina which the well-known painter had given to the RA President some time before. Serzh Sargsyan was pleased to hand the painting to the Armenian community of Argentina as the first exhibit of the Armenian Genocide Museum to open in Buenos Aires.
The community presented a presidential scepter symbolizing the state authority to President Serzh Sargsyan. It was delivered to the president by the leader of the Argentine diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church Archbishop Gisak Muradyan.
On July 8, on the second day of his official visit to the Argentine Republic President Serzh Sargsyan, accompanied by Chief of Staff of the Government of City of Buenos Aires Horacio Larreta and the representatives of local self-government bodies and the Armenian community of Argentina, attended the groundbreaking ceremony of an Armenian Genocide museum at the neighborhood of Palermo in Buenos Aires. After the consecration of the memorial plaque, Chief of Staff of the Government of City of Buenos Aires Horacio Larreta and Chief of the RA Presidential Administration Vigen Sargsyan opened it. On the occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony the president made a speech before the participants.
Ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on May 6 of 2014 the government of the city of Buenos Aires decided to allocate a free area for construction of an Armenian Genocide museum in capital’s Palermo district. On June 10, with the participation of the RA embassy in Argentina and under the patronage of Hay center and the Armenian diocese of Argentina the official ceremony of handing the legal documents of the area allocated by the city authorities of Buenos Aires for the purpose of building an Armenian Genocide museum took place.
On his official visit to Argentina President Serzh Sargsyan on July 8 visited the local organizations of the Armenian national parties – the ARF, the AGBU, the ADL – and familiarized with the cultural, charitable and sports activities of those organizations, as well as with the works carried out by the local Armenian periodicals.
During the reception at the center of Armenia Cultural Association after Edward Seferian the president thanked for the activities carried out by the center and for the warm hospitality extended to the Armenian delegation. At the reception the representatives of the center handed a present carrying the note “We are honest soldiers” to the Armenian President. On this occasion, the acknowledgment speech of Serzh Sargsyan reads, “These words impose a high responsibility because everyone of us is a soldier; a soldier within the framework of his duties, a soldier within the framework of his responsibility, a soldier for his ideal, and I am very delighted that our national organizations and our national parties make us to be proud and this is by what we are distinguished from others. I perfectly understand that our opponents try to be active not only in this part of the world, but also in other parts. They try to pursue their interests, and we do not have the right to accuse them of that since it is their duty to do it. Our goal is to reinvigorate efforts at keeping this fire burning in the coming generation thereby reinforcing the Armenian statehood on one hand and strengthening the Diaspora and our organizations on the other hand. We can make each other stronger. Together we can do a lot. I perfectly understand the aim of their activities in South America – Argentina, Uruguay – and in other places. They also put their efforts in places where we are stronger. Nevertheless, if we are to lose this battle, after a long period of time we will be substituted by others. I am confident that this will never happen. On the contrary, I am confident that the number of our buildings and our supporters will continue to grow. Indeed, owing to this ideal, we are all soldiers, yes, we are soldiers, and we will continue to be soldiers. This is the only way to strengthen Armenia. I am very grateful for your warm reception. Thank you. Together we can do a lot.”
At the AGBU Serzh Sargsyan presented his appreciation for the warm reception and in the honorary guest book of the Union underscored that the Armenian authorities highly appreciate the patriotic activities carried out by the Union in the Diaspora, especially in those communities which are geographically far from our Motherland. “What I saw here is impressive and promising. I wish the AGBU center of Buenos Aires to keep on carrying out its patriotic mission with the same zeal and devotion in the name of the rise and long life of our people.”
At the editorial office of the Sardarapat newspaper the Armenian President stressed that he is very proud of our compatriots who have found such an impressive national institution thousand km away from our historical հօmeland and continue to carry out with credit the mission of keeping the Armenian spirit alive. The Armenian President wished everybody inexhaustible vigor and strength in order to keep on working with the same devotion in the name of the rise and long life of our people. Moreover, the president wrote down the same words in the honorary guest book of the editorial office.
On July 8, the Armenian President took part in the official opening ceremony of Armenian Immigrants’ Square (Armenia) in Buenos Aires. Later on, the president held a meeting with representatives of the Armenian organizations in Argentina and benefactors. At the request of the president the meeting took place in a question-and-answer format during which Serzh Sargsyan answered the questions of the participants related to national preservation issues, the Armenia-Diaspora ties, regional challenges, Armenia’s internal and foreign policy, and its economic priorities, development opportunities and a number of other topics.
President Serzh Sargsyan also visited Saint Grigor Lusavorich Church. The Armenian President laid a wreath at the memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide located in the yard of the church and paid tribute to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. In addition, the president placed flowers at the monument dedicated to the memory of the Artsakh freedom fighters.