09, 2009

Introductory remarks by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan at the joint briefing with the President of Croatia

album picture
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I express my heartfelt gratitude to the President of the Republic of Croatia, my dear colleague Mr. Stjepan Masic for hosting me here, in Croatia.

Armenia attaches great importance to the necessity to deepen relations with Croatia and the Balkan states in general in all areas – political, economic, and cultural.

The Armenian and Croatian peoples had similar destinies, the past full of hardships and today that fact can serve a strong base for friendship, mutual respect, and trust. The history of our nations also has amazing interlinks, which testify to the ancient Armenian-Croatian historical ties and cultural interfusion. I was pleased and amazed to learn that the patron of your beautiful Dubrovnik and of Dalmatia, Sveti Vlaho, is actually Armenian bishop of Sebastea, Saint Barsegh (Saint Blaise).

Even though after independence due to objective reasons the Armenian-Croatian relations were of somewhat erratic nature, the situation now is cardinally different and there is an opportunity to enrich our agenda with various issues. Today, it can be stated that the reciprocal visits of the two Presidents laid the foundation for the Armenian-Croatian political dialogue. Now, we need to establish formats for regular contacts and ensure interaction of different groups of our societies. Establishment of interparliamentary ties, creation of the intergovernmental commission and contacts between local authority bodies will become important elements of that dialogue. We have also spoken about the necessity to deepen our cooperation in international structures.

Armenia welcomes the opportunity for cooperation with Croatia in all formats provided by the EU and particularly, in the framework of the Eastern Partnership and Black Sea Synergy programs. I am confident that the Memorandum on cooperation for European integration, which is to be signed between our Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the framework of this visit, will considerably facilitate that processes.

We have discussed a number of issues pertaining to the Armenian-Croatian relations in the atmosphere of complete mutual understanding, including the possibilities and prospects for deepening our economic cooperation. I hope that participation in the Business Forum of the businessmen who arrived with us will make an important contribution to the development of economic and trade relations between our two countries.

We have also spoken about international and regional issues that present mutual interest. I told my colleague, President of Croatia about the latest developments in the Nagorno Karabakh peace process. Croatia, as a country, which gained independence after the collapse of Yugoslavia, knows only too well the value of the right of people for self-determination and possible consequences of opposing that right by military force. Use of force against the people who strive for self-determination only fortifies that people’s right - legally, politically, and morally. We reiterated our position that regional conflicts must be solved through peaceful means and negotiations, excluding use of force. We expressed shared confidence that with this regard regional cooperation could play an exceptional role. I also told President Mesic about the current situation with the Armenian initiative aimed at normalization of our relations with Turkey. We agreed that lifting the blockade against Armenia by Turkey and establishment of normal relations between two neighbors were not subject to any conditionality. It is the only modus vivendi between two neighboring states in the 21st century.

I would like to once again express my gratitude to Mr. Stjepan Masic for the invitation to visit Croatia and warm reception.

Thank you.

← Back to list