Official visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to the United Arab Emirates
President Serzh Sargsyan arrived on official visit to the United Arab Emirates. After the official welcome ceremony, there took place a meeting of the President of Armenia and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan in the extended format with the participation of the members of the official delegations. The meeting was followed by a tete-a-tete meeting of President Sargsyan and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.
Noting that Armenia is interested in expanding the political dialogue and comprehensive cooperation with the UAE, the President of Armenia expressed hope that negotiations and agreements reached in the framework of the visit will make a considerable input to the development of Armenia-UAE relations.
Serzh Sargsyan noted with satisfaction that relations between Armenia and United Arab Emirates in the last decade have entered a new, more practical phase: the two countries have signed over two dozen agreements on cooperation in different areas, which will be augmented by new agreements to be signed in the framework of the visit.
The parties concurred that the interstate relations of Armenia and Arab states, including the UAE, which are based on a strong foundation of the centuries-long history and friendship of the Arab nations, today are developing successfully. In the context of bilateral cooperation the two sides stressed the importance of regular political consultations as well as reciprocal visits of different level.
The President of Armenia and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan stressed the importance of the works of the intergovernmental commission to speed up the current pace of the Armenian-UAE trade and economic cooperation. The commission, according to the parties, can become a good platform to study each other’s markets, to learn opportunities for profitable investments as well as to follow reforms and innovations in the economies of the two countries. The parties decided to boost the works aimed at the attractions of the UAE investments to the economy of Armenia and to find efficient mechanisms for the implementation of investment programs.
Along with the items on the bilateral agenda, at the meeting parties discussed also current international problems, the crisis in the Middle East, events unfolding there, problems and challenges existing in the South Caucasus, and the NK peace process.
In Abu Dhabi President Sargsyan met with the UAE Vice Prime Minister of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
After the meeting, in honor of the President of Armenia the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan gave official dinner.
In the framework of his official visit to the United Arab Emirates, President Serzh Sargsyan visited the Armenian Church of Holy Martyrs in Abu Dhabi, the Ara Knanoyan Sunday School of the Church, the Grand Mosque of Sheikh Zayed, and the Embassy of Armenia in the UAE. The land slot for the construction of the Armenian Church in Aby Dhabi was gifted by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan in 2006. The newly constructed Church was consecrated on December 12, 2014 and the same day was founded the Armenian National Prelacy of Abu Dhabi. The Ara Knanoyan Sunday School of the Church started its works in May 2016, and currently educates 36 pupils. In the courtyard of the Church there is a cross-stone dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
During his visit to the Church of Holy Martyrs, President Sargsyan laid flowers at the cross-stone and paid tribute to the victims of the Genocide. After the Te Deum prayer held in the Church the President of Armenia made a statement in which he spoke about the role of the Church in the preservation of our national identity and survival of our people. The President also expressed gratitude to the ruling family of the UAE in the person of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Emirate, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan who made possible the construction of the Armenian Church of Holy Martyrs. Serzh Sargsyan underscored that this Church, located at the heart of the Arab world, is a vivid testimony of the religious tolerance, mutual respect and sympathy which create fertile soil for the peaceful coexistence of the representatives of different religions. At the National Prelacy in Abu Dhabi the President of Armenia held a brief meeting with the representatives of the Armenian community and clergy.
During his visit to the Grand Mosque of Sheikh Zayed – the President and founder of the UAE, Serzh Sargsyan at the mausoleum located inside the Mosque paid tribute to the memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan and made an inscription in the Book of Honorary Guests. Later, there took place the ceremony of exchanging gifts.
“The contribution of the founder, President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan to the establishment and flourishing of this wonderful country is invaluable.
During his reign, laid were the foundations for the Armenian-UAE high level interstate cooperation for which I express gratitude of the Armenian people and my own,” wrote the President of Armenia.
At the conclusion of the first day of his visit to the UAE, Serzh Sargsyan in Abu Dhabi met with the representatives of the local Armenian community. The President spoke with our compatriots residing in the Emirate about the results of the meetings held on the first day of his visit, about the current stage of the Armenian-UAE interstate friendly relations and the prospects of the relations which have deep historical roots. He also stressed the importance of strengthening the Armenia-Spyurk relations and importance of consolidating the potential of the nation for the resolution of the issues of pan-Armenian importance and empowerment of Fatherland.
At the meeting, the President of Armenia awarded a group of community members with high state awards. For the considerable contribution to the strengthening and development of the Armenia-Spyurk relations and years-long patriotic work Hrayr Soghomonian, Ara Khanoyan and Harutyun Ohanessian were awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Medal.
In the framework of his official visit to the United Arab Emirates, President Serzh Sargsyan met with the heads of a number of the investment and development companies.
The parties noted with satisfaction the existing friendly relations of Armenia with the Arab world and the UAE in particular, spoke about the high level political dialogue which, according to them, unfortunately so far doesn’t correspond to the current level of the trade and economic relations. According to the parties, there is great potential for the development of the relations in that area and it is necessary to work persistently on that direction.
Visit of the Armenian President to the UAE and fruitful meetings with the highest political leadership of the country, according to the representatives of the Emirates’ investment and development companies, testify to the mutual will and readiness to invigorate the Armenia-UAE relations also in the area of trade and economy. They assured that were greatly interested in Armenia’s investment policies and clear-cut programs and were ready to discuss in that context Armenia’s priorities in different areas, to visit Armenia, to study the conditions firsthand, and to move the negotiations forward.
The President tasked the Chief of the Presidential Administration and the Minister of Economic Development and Investments present at the meeting to continue close cooperation with the companies interested in the investment programs and to present to introduce to them the projects which lie within the scope of their business interests.
President Sargsyan informed his interlocutors that the Armenian side has prepared investment packages which remain in the focus of his immediate attention. He said that he will welcome and provide all necessary assistance to the investors from Emirates who will be prepared to make investments in different areas of the Armenian economy, while the major investments will receive a preferential treatment.
In the framework of his official visit to the United Arab Emirates, President Serzh Sargsyan met with the Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister, Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
At the beginning of the meeting the President of Armenia expressed thanks to the friendly United Arab Emirates for the warm welcome extended to the RA official delegation and expressed confidence that the visit will provide the opportunity to conduct practical discussions and achieve mutually beneficial agreements which will elevate the Armenian-UAE multifaceted friendly relations to a qualitatively new level and will bring their significant contribution to the future development of the bilateral cooperation.
Stressing the importance of historical and cultural legacy of the Armenian-Arab past, a common approach to a number of issues, as well as the presence in the Arab countries of the Armenian communities, Serzh Sargsyan underscored that in Armenia’s foreign policy the Middle East has always occupied a considerable role and 25 years after the Armenian independence our country has been unfoldin an efficient and multifaceted cooperation with the Arab states.
According to the President of Armenia, the relations between Armenia and the UAE with this regard occupy a special place and present an excellent example of cooperation.
At the meeting, the parties praised the relations between the two friendly states and peoples and expressed readiness to develop and strengthen them even further.
President Sargsyan highlighted the importance of deepening the trade, economic and investment cooperation with the countries of the Persian Gulf. He said that Armenia views the UAE as an important hub for transportation from Armenia to the Gulf region and other countries and back, towards Armenia. He informed Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that from the viewpoint of developing relations between the two friendly states, he has made an offer to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan to organize an investment conference in the Emirates dedicated to Armenia. According to the President of Armenia, the experience and good reputation of the successfully organized conferences at the United Arab Emirates will allow the major investment companies from the Emirates and regional countries to turn the conferences into working meetings and create opportunities for the development of investments in Armenia.
The parties stressed the importance of establishing the visa-free regime which will greatly also promote tourism. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum noted that starting next year the Emirates intend to make Fly Dubai flights to Yerevan daily.
The President of Armenia and Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister, Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum concurred that there is a great potential for deepening the cooperation between the two countries.
At the conclusion of the meeting, there took place the document signing ceremony. Armenia and the UAE signed a number of documents aimed at the deepening and strengthening of the bilateral cooperation in different areas. Signed were the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Government of the United Arab Emirates on Cooperation in the Area of Security and Fight against Terrorism, as well a Memorandum of Understanding between the RA Ministry of Emergency Situations and the UAE Supreme Council for National Security, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority on Cooperation in Emergency Situations, Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Government of the United Arab Emirates on Scientific and Technical Cooperation and Agreement on the Expansion of Investment and Business Opportunities between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the RA and the UAE Chamber of Commerce.
After the document signing ceremony the Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister, Emir of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum gave official dinner in honor of the President of Armenia who is in the UAE on official visit.
President Serzh Sargsyan met with the Emir of Sharjah Sheikh Doctor bin Muhammad Sultan Al-Qasimi. The President of Armenia praised the personal great input of the Emir of Sharjah Sheikh Doctor bin Muhammad Sultan Al-Qasimi to the deepening of the RA-UAE relations in different areas. Serzh Sargsyan expressed gratitude particularly for Doctor bin Muhammad Sultan Al-Qasimi’s direct assistance to the renovation of the Haghartsin Monastery Complex and construction of the abbey next to the complex and underscored that years ago the visit of the Sheikh to Armenia left its profound imprint on the relations of the two countries and the mentioned above wonderful and benevolent gesture is a good example of the interfaith dialogue and tolerance.
The President also highly praised Sheikh Doctor bin Muhammad Sultan Al-Qasimi’s personal involvement in the opening of the trade and economic center, and stressed the importance of that step from the viewpoint of developing and deepening of the bilateral trade and economic relations. Serzh Sargsyan noted that through its vigorous activities the Center will promote the bilateral economic ties.
The parties concurred that the regular nature of the first direct flight between the two countries - Sharjah-Yerevan-Sharjah-testifies to the increase of the mutual interest of the parties toward each other.
At the meeting with Emir of Sharjah, President Sargsyan spoke also about Armenia’s desire to invigorate relations with the investment and development organizations of the Emirates and said that certain agreements towards that end have already been reached in the framework of his visit.