President Armen Sarkissian's working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany
President Armen Sarkissian arrived to the Federal Republic of Germany on a working visit.
President’s first stop is Heidelberg where he met with the Mayor of the city, Professor. Dr. Eckart Würzner. At the meeting, the parties spoke about the great potential for cooperation in the area of science. Eckart Würzner noted that Heidelberg is one of the fastest growing cities of Germany. He underscored that the city possesses a great potential in the scientific area, particularly in medical science. “We hope that we can cooperate in this and other areas,” Professor Würzner said.
In response, President Armen Sarkissian expressed gratitude for the warm welcome. “This city is developing splendidly: It’s a combination of science, education, and new technologies,” the President of Armenia underscored. He spoke about the aspiration to make Dilijan town in Armenia a leading center of IT and artificial intelligence. President Sarkissian invited Eckart Würzner to visit Armenia to share his experience of city administration.
In the framework of his working visit to Germany, President Armen Sarkissian visited the University of Heidelberg which is one of the oldest universities of Europe and has produced multiple Noble Prize winners. The President met with the leadership of the oldest university of Germany, with the Rector, Professor Dr. Bernhard Eitel, familiarized with the educational programs of the University and discussed opportunities of cooperation with the educational institutions of Armenia.
In the library of the University of Heidelberg, where the President familiarized with the medieval books deposited there and works on their preservation, he spoke about activities and rich experience of Matenadaran – the Research Institute and Museum of Ancient Manuscripts in Yerevan and underscored that the two structures could jointly carry out significant programs.
In the afternoon, President Sarkissian made a presentation for the faculty and students of the University. In his remarks, the President of Armenia spoke about the trends existing in the contemporary world, development of technologies in the new world, and importance of innovations. “Armenia is on the crossroads of civilizations, and we have to face the fact that we are located on the boundary of different civilizations, destinies, beliefs, ideas, and religions,” Armen Sarkissian noted.
Now, in the 21st century, the world is changing dramatically. The 21st century will be a period of time when thanks to science, technologies, and new means of education the excitement regarding new inventions will be incredibly high and will reflect on the social and political life of the new world.” The President underscored that in the new world, Armenia has an important role to play. “We are a small but truly a global nation, very closely interconnected, a nation which has cherished education for centuries. We are the people who lived at the crossroads of different civilizations, cultures, and religions and were able to survive.
This is another quality which is important in the 21st century. In our country, which has scarce natural resources, we have an excellent school of science and technologies which was developed more than one hundred years ago. We have a great cultural heritage, Christian heritage. We are a young nation and a young state, which has an excellent chance to build a new state in the new world based of the power of science, discoveries, innovations, and a high-quality education,” President Sarkissian said. He stressed our country’s traditions in the area of natural sciences.
“In the new Armenia of the new world, there are many ways in which we can work with Germany, particularly with Heidelberg. And in that cooperation we need to focus on the future, new technologies, and technological education. We have good mathematicians who can be helpful in developing artificial intelligence. We can conduct joint research in the areas of mathematics and physics. And in this context, you can use the Armenian global network since when we say Armenia, we mean not only Armenians living in Armenia proper, we mean Armenian researchers all over the world, as well as scientists and entrepreneurs.
I truly have the idea and the mission to make Armenia a successful scientific and technological country. In this, we need to move forward with our friends, and I view the University of Heidelberg as such a partner. I am looking forward to building bridges between the Armenian universities and Heidelberg,” the President of Armenia said. Later, the President of Armenia took questions from the audience.
Responding to the question on the steps, which the government needs to take so that small groups are more free and independent in their innovations, the President of Armenia said in particular,
“We need to understand how we can help young people. We need to create the environment which will allow them to reach success. Otherwise, they will leave. And this is true not for Armenia only. Great talents move to places where they can call to life their ideas and innovations. Since the world is a small place after all, it is not necessary to move physically to California or Silicon Valley. Living in Armenia, we need to be part of the processes going on in the Silicon Valley. This is what we need to accomplish in Armenia.”
Responding to another question, regarding the resolution of the NK conflict, Armen Sarkissian said, “The situation in the small place, which is called Nagorno Karabakh, which we call the Republic of Artsakh, unless it is managed properly, can be explosive as long as the frozen conflict is not settled. For me, there is no alternative to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Any other option will be disastrous for all sides. And in this case, it’s not important how powerful you are, or how much money you spend on weapons, or how large is your army. Different interests and challenges are present in this region. It’s truly a crossroad of civilizations. Look what’s going on: Syria, Middle East are not too far away, also Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Russia. Even the slightest destabilization will be devastating here. Thus, there is only one way – a peaceful resolution of the conflict. And I hope that the resolution of the conflict will be based on reason, on human values. I hope that the ultimate solution will be made taking into consideration the rights of the people of Nagorno Karabakh.”
On the question from the audience regarding the negative sides of the world’s interconnectivity and what the President of Armenia would advise doing to overcome the negative trends, President Sarkissian said, “The world is a complex place. As a global nation, we have a great number of Armenians who live abroad, outside Armenia, however, they have a great impact on the processes in Armenia. Interconnectivity has many sides, both positive and negative. Along with globalization, industrial and scientific revolutions, human creativity and educational import, there is an important factor which is called morality. In the absence of human morality, your technological advancement instead of a tool will become a weapon. All this has a chain interconnectivity. There is one simple truth: We are all humans and whatever we do should be done with human reason and morality, and with a certain soul in everything we do. Otherwise, we will be prone to bad things. It’s not important who you are, what’s your nationality, one should be just human.”
In the framework of his working visit to Germany, President Armen Sarkissian met with the President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis.
The President of Armenia hailed the traditionally friendly relations of the two countries and underscored that there is great potential for expanding the cooperation. The Armenian-Latvian cooperation was stressed in particular in the framework of Armenia-EU relations.
President Sarkissian highlighted importance of ratification by the EU member states of the CEPA agreement. President Sarkissian also said that the Latvian reform experience in a number of areas might be useful for Armenia.
The President of Latvia in his turn noted that they were ready to share their knowledge and experience with Armenian partners.
Noting that the two countries can cooperate successfully in the areas of education, science, high technologies, and telecommunications, President Armen Sarkissian said, “We can help each other and learn from each other.”
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Germany of a working visit, participated in the official opening ceremony of the Munich Security Conference.
The opening of this prestigious international gathering was attended by heads of state and government from many countries, political and public figures, diplomats, experts of the security area.
In the framework of his working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, President Armen Sarkissian met in Munich with Roland Bush, a member of the Board of Directors of Siemens – one of the world’s largest industrial and technological companies.
The interlocutors discussed issues related to cooperation and opportunities of using innovative technologies and experience of Siemens in Armenia. President Armen Sarkissian and Roland Bush spoke in particular about perspectives of cooperation in the area of artificial intelligence development and preset the possible areas of cooperation.
“There are great capacities in the areas of artificial intelligence development and mathematical know-how. These are areas where we can think of doing more. There is a great need in the world for specialists of artificial intelligence, and this is a good opportunity,” Roland Bush said. By the invitation of President Armen Sarkissian, Roland Bush will visit Armenia in the nearest future.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sarkissian noted, “We’ve had a wonderful meeting and looking with optimism into the possible cooperation in the future.”
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Germany on a working visit, met with the President of Albania Ilir Meta. The meeting was initiated by the Albanian side. The parties noted that the bilateral relations have great untapped potential and stressed the importance of the works aimed at the development of cooperation.
Speaking about regional conflicts, and the NK conflict in particular, President Sarkissian underscored, “Any statement by any country in favor of this or that party of the conflict is not helpful for a peaceful resolution. There is a format in the framework of which the negotiations are conducted.”
Noting that Albania has good relations with Armenia and with Azerbaijan, President Ilir Meta said, “We wish both countries success in finding a solution to the problem.”
In the framework of his working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, President Armen Sarkissian in Munich met with the Executive Director of the World Food Program David Beasley.
The parties spoke about the production and export of healthy foods, programs implemented all over the world to fight famine, food assistance, school nutrition, and in this context, the expansion of the Organization’s cooperation with Armenia.
D. Beasley noted that as a result of conflicts and wars, the number of people dying of starvation is rising.
“The President of Armenia is a political figure, who is thinking not only about his people but also is interested in the role Armenia can have in fighting hunger resulting from conflicts. These are critical issues for us, and Armenia can become our important partner,” Mr. Beasley noted. He underscored that they anticipate to achieve in cooperation with Armenia more than there is today.
President Sarkissian stressed the importance of cooperation with the World Food Program not only from the viewpoint of their ideas but also the know-how, administration system, and expertise.
“The Program is a road, a getaway, a door towards outside world which needs huge amounts of food and water. I believe while developing its agriculture and food production, Armenia should think not only of itself but also about taking steps for exporting it. Cooperation with the World Food Program can be mutually beneficial. It can help us in solving our internal problems to supply the population of our cities and villages with high quality products, developing at the same time our agriculture and food production, turning from local into international which will make us stronger, more successful, and prosperous,” President Sarkissian said.
In the framework of his working visit to Germany, President Armen Sarkissian met in Munich with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
At the meeting, the parties discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest. In particular, they spoke about expanding strategic cooperation in different areas, issues related to food security and efficient administration of water resources.
Armen Sarkissian noted that the two countries possess great opportunities for cooperation, and Armenia can play a significant role related to the production and supply of high quality water and food.
The President of Armenia invited the Emir of Qatar to conduct an official visit to Armenia.
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in his turn invited the President of Armenia to visit Qatar.
President Armen Sarkissian met in Munich with the President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Stephen Heintz.
The parties discussed opportunities of cooperation in the areas of scientific research, climate change, efficient administration of water resources, and implementation of joint programs.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund was established in 1940 by the members of the Rockefeller family. Since its inception, it has supported changes directed at the creation of a more civilized, stable, and developed world.
President Armen Sarkissian sent a congratulatory message to the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić on the occasion of Serbia’s Statehood Day.
Stressing the importance of developing cooperation with Serbia on the bilateral as well as multilateral levels, President Sarkissian expressed confidence that through the joint efforts, the friendly relations between Armenia and Serbia will expand and deepen for the benefit of the two peoples.
In the framework of his working visit to Germany, President Armen Sarkissian met with the President of the Munich International Security Conference, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger.
President Sarkissian noted that the Munich Conference is becoming more prestigious by year while the issues under discussions reflect the current challenges of international security.
President Sarkissian stressed the importance of W. Ischinger’s contribution to the success of this prestigious international forum.
In the framework of his working visit to Germany, President Armen Sarkissian visited today the Technical University of Munich.
At the beginning of the meeting with the leadership and faculty of the University, President of the University Wolfgang Herrmann welcomed the visit of the Armenian President to the University and noted that they were highly honored to host President Sarkissian who is also a scientist. He presented the main directions of the activities of the establishment, particularly in the areas of natural sciences and medicine.
Noting that traditions in the area of science not only need to be enforced but also developed and brought to a new level, President Sarkissian said, “I aspire to strengthen cooperation between German and Armenian universities, between the scientists of the two countries.”
He underscored that Armenia relies not on natural but on human resources. “Our main locomotive will be new technologies, innovations, and startups. I am here to start a new partnership and assist in all efforts which are directed at developing Armenia’s scientific and technological potential,” President Armen Sarkissian said and invited all those present to visit Armenia.
Wolfgang Herrmann hailed activities of the President of Armenia aimed at the development of science in Armenia and noted that they were ready for cooperation. He underscored that the Technical University of Munich is conducting high-level exchange programs.
In the framework of his working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, President Armen Sarkissian visited today the European Southern Observatory which is one of the world’s largest centers on astronomical studies.
At the meeting with the leadership of the Observatory, Director General, Professor Xavier Barcons spoke about the activities of the institution, conducted studies, and research works. He noted that this renowned international center has had multiple high-ranking guests but Armen Sarkissian is the first president to visit the Observatory.
President Armen Sarkissian spoke of the achievements of the Armenian scientific mind and success of the Armenian specialists in the area of education.
“As the President of Armenia, my goal is to revive scientific traditions of our country, to make Armenia a scientific center,“ President Sarkissian noted. He presented the achievements of the Armenian scientific mind, spoke in particular about the works conducted at the Burakan Observatory and Physics Department of the Yerevan State University.
“I wish to push Armenia forward as a country which is based on science, education, and ideas. We are ready to cooperate with reputable international centers such as yours and become partners,” Armen Sarkissian said.
The President invited representatives of the center to Armenia to participate at the first ever Armenia Summit of Minds.
Professor Xavier Barcons welcomed the proposal of the Armenian President and expressed readiness to launch cooperation.
After the meeting, President Sarkissian toured the premise of the European Southern Observatory, familiarized with the construction works of the biggest in the world optical telescope.