09, 2009

President Serzh Sargsyan arrives to the Republic of Croatia on official visit

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At the invitation of the President of Croatia Stjepan Mesic, the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan arrived today to Croatia for a two-day official visit.

The delegation headed by the President of Armenia comprises the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsian, Chairman of the Armenian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (Employers) Arsen Ghazarian, President of the Chamber of Commerce Martin Sargsyan, other officials and businessmen.

After the official ceremony of welcoming the President of Armenia, which took place in the White Mansion on Veliki Bryn island, Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Stjepan Mesic conducted a one-on-one meeting. The Presidents of two countries hailed the current level of political dialogue between Armenia and Croatia. At the meeting the parties discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation, international topics, and other matters of mutual interest.

Expressing gratitude to Stjepan Masic for warm welcome, the President of Armenia noted that the agreements reached during the official visit of the President of Croatia to Armenia, were being implemented. Absence of any unresolved issues between the two states as well as similarities in the history of the two peoples encourage further deepening of cooperation between Armenia and Croatia. The two sides stressed that there is political will to move that cooperation forward on all directions. President Sargsyan positively assessed the fact that there are many businessmen in the Armenian delegation and noted that at the business forum, which is to open tomorrow, the sides would have ample opportunities to discuss concrete projects and initiatives on cooperation in different areas.

The two Presidents spoke in particular about the possibility of cooperation in the tourism area, noting that it would be supported by considerable resources. The parties agreed that one of Armenia’s regions and one of the leading Croatian centers for tourism would start cooperation, while Armenian students would be provided with the opportunity to study tourism industry in the Croatian universities.

The two sides discussed also prospects of establishing joint programs in the area agriculture.

The President of Croatia expressed confidence that deepening cooperation between Armenia and Croatia would contribute to the expansion of regional ties between the Balkans and the South Caucasus region. Noting, that this was his first visit to the Balkan region, President Sargsyan said that Armenia and Croatia had the same system of values and that it was necessary to use the existing great potential for the development of bilateral relations. He also said that reciprocal visits of the Presidents during this year would undoubtedly give an impetus to that process.

President Stjepan Masic spoke about Croatia’s road taken after independence, country’s current foreign relations agenda, and informed on the EU accession process. It was also noted that tomorrow the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Croatia would sign a Protocol on political consultations for European integration, which is important for putting cooperation in that area on a firm footing. Serzh Sargsyan stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation in various EU formats and initiatives. The parties agreed also to cooperate in different international structures.

The President of Armenia told his Croatian colleague about the recent developments in the Armenian-Turkish political dialogue, presented Armenia’s vision regarding normalization of bilateral relations, and informed on the current stage of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict resolution process. The President of Croatia hailed the initiative of the Armenian President aimed at the normalization of relations with Turkey and expressed confidence that normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations would in turn contribute to the strengthening of regional peace and security.

With regard to the institutionalization of cooperation the two Presidents stressed the importance of creating the intergovernmental commission, which will deal with the implementation of the reached agreements and enhancement of cooperation in new areas on a permanent basis.

After the one-on-one meeting, negotiations were continues in the extended format.
In the afternoon, the President of Armenia attended the official dinner in his honor given by the President of Croatia and visited the exhibition on Veliki Bryn island dedicated to the renowned political figure Josip Broz Tito.

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