11, 2012

Statement by President Serzh Sargsyan at the joint press conference with the President of Lebanon Michel Suleiman


“Dear Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I once again express my thanks to President Suleiman for the invitation to visit the friendly Lebanon and warm welcome extended to the delegation of Armenia. Last year, at the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence, we had the honor to host the President of Lebanon in Armenia. This year, the President of the Republic of Armenia is conducting an official visit to Lebanon; the regularity of these visits speaks about the high-level dialogue established between our two countries, high-level relations of our two countries, and the desire to further deepen these relations.

Moments ago, we held productive negotiations with President Suleiman: we have discussed opportunities of engaging new areas in the Armenian-Lebanese cooperation, exchanged views on the international, particularly, Middle East and South Caucasus developments. We have also reiterated that our relations are based on good will, mutual trust and respect.

This year is special, since we mark the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. We have noted with satisfaction that the interparliamentary, cultural, educational and scientific ties have been established, signed were over three dozens of documents, whose number will be augmented during this visit, or to be more precise, has already been augmented by two.

We have agreed to use every opportunity to boost our bilateral economic cooperation. We are glad that in the recent period presence of Lebanon in our economy has become more visible.

I have told President Suleiman about the importance we attach to the cooperation with Lebanon on the international arena. In forming its positions, Armenia takes into consideration pan-Arabic interests and interests of Lebanon in particular.

We are deeply concerned with the situation in Syria and with the fate of the Armenians living there. At the gravest time in our history, the people of Syria had heartily received hundred of thousands of the Armenians, and their pain is our pain.

Armenia has always expressed the viewpoint that the bloodshed must stop. We are against the use of force and violence, and not only in Syria. It is impossible to reach a durable resolution without cessation of all clashes from all sides or without a comprehensive political dialogue, which will take into consideration interests of all Syrians. Armenia welcomes the mission of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General and Arab League, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, aimed at the stabilization of the internal situation and establishment of peace.

Please be assured that if the mentioned above initiatives are called to life, there will be peace in Syria and in the nearest future it will be possible to implement democratic reforms which will reflect the collective will and aspirations of all segments of the Syrian people.

We have also spoken about the NK conflict resolution. We have reiterated that in the South Caucasus, Armenia continues to conduct a policy aimed at the establishment of peace and stability in the region. We rule out any possibility of the use of force and remain true to our commitment to solve the problem through the negotiations with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group. Unfortunately, the neighboring Azerbaijan rejects every proposal of the Minsk Group aimed at the confidence building and continues an unprecedented accumulation of weapons, preparing its people for a new war. It is gaudily proved by pardon extended to the murderer Safarov by the President of Azerbaijan and his glorification. It constitutes the continuation of the murder, conducted on ethnic grounds, and presents a telling example of xenophobia and racism.

The Armenians and Lebanese have always stood out for their love for peace. Today too, we have concurred with President Suleiman that changes which reflect the will of the people should be implemented through peaceful means, without use of force, without victims, without terrorism. We learned with great sorrow the news of a terrorist act in Beirut on October 19 and did not hesitate to condemn such a repulsive act which, we hope, will not shatter peace in Lebanon. Present situation in the Middle East is tightly linked to the security of Armenia. We are deeply interested in a speedy resolution of the existing problems and are ready to assist the process within the limits of our capabilities.

In conclusion, I wish that the historical procession of our brotherly nations will be incessant and upward. Let peace, justice and optimism be our constant companions.”

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