10, 2021

High level of political dialogue and mutual readiness to develop relations. The Presidents of Armenia and Italy made statements for the press

The Presidents of Armenia and Italy Armen Sarkissian and Sergio Mattarella summed up the results of today's meetings with statements for the mass media.

The Statement of the President of the Republic of Armenia Armen Sarkissian.

"Honourable President Mattarella,

Dear representatives of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

As the President of Armenia, I am glad to be in Italy on a state visit for the first time; I express my deep gratitude to President Mattarella for his friendship, invitation, and this brilliant reception.

Shortly before, we had meaningful and fruitful negotiations with President Mattarella, which are a clear expression of the high level of Armenian-Italian relations.

We stressed the high level of the political dialogue between the two states and the mutual readiness to develop bilateral relations by Italy and Armenia.

In our negotiations, we also touched upon the commercial and economic relations between Armenia and Italy. I hope that these relations will soon reach the level of our dialogue.

Under the conditions of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the trade turnover between Armenia and Italy declined in 2020, but it began to recover in 2021. I am sure that it will soon have a much higher level than in previous years.

Together with the President, we also attached significance to promoting the development of cooperation in modern industry, i.e. in the spheres of information technologies, biotechnologies, and artificial intelligence, in such modern areas, which are related to food security and communication systems, corresponding to the 21st century.

We discussed those necessary changes that could result in contributions to help prevent dangerous climate change.

We also touched upon the opportunities for cooperation in the development of scientific-technical and technological spheres.

I presented to the Honourable President the opportunities and directions of implementing joint projects with Italian companies within the framework of the Presidential ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Initiative.

We attach great importance to bilateral human contacts and relations, particularly in the sphere of tourism. Both Italy and Armenia have a huge historical and cultural heritage. Mr. President and I also stressed the significance of preserving each other's cultural heritage.

We want Italy to be more involved in our education system, which will make our people more familiar with Italian identity, culture and history.

I presented my assessment of the situation around the settlement of the Karabakh conflict to my dear colleague, reaffirming Armenia's readiness to continue working for its peaceful settlement through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

In this regard, we duly evaluated the significance of maintaining balanced positions and approaches to the issues that are sensitive for each other.

We highly appreciate the willingness of the Italian Government to continue supporting ROKEMP (Regional Centre for the Protection, Management and Evaluation of the Cultural Heritage) program, and through it to promote the preservation of historical-cultural heritage in Armenia and elsewhere.

Armenia is grateful to friendly Italy for showing sensitivity to human rights issues.

We highly appreciate the resolution adopted by the Italian Parliament on March 2, which calls for the release of Armenian prisoners of war.

We also welcome the documents adopted by about fifty regional and city councils in Italy in defense of Artsakh and its people.

We attach importance to the participation of the mission of Italian specialists in the process of preservation of the Armenian historical-cultural heritage after the establishment of the ceasefire, as well as the direct cooperation with UNESCO.

One of the best examples of our strong cooperation and friendship is the joint efforts of Armenia and Italy for peace and security within the framework of the UN Interim Force General Command in Lebanon.

I cordially thank you for the decision of the Italian government to provide Armenia with vaccines at this difficult stage of the pandemic.

Armenia highly appreciates the multilateral cooperation implemented with the EU in such spheres as democracy, human rights, protection of fundamental freedoms, joint programs for sustainable development, and effective governance.

I am convinced that with the vision of the future, the dialogue and cooperation established between Italy and Armenia will continue; my visit will not only be the first historical state visit but also a basis for a closer and warmer relationship between Armenia and Italy in the decades to come.

In conclusion, I would like to thank once again my dear Italian friend, exceptional statesman, President Mattarella, who enjoys international prestige, for the warm reception given to the Armenian delegation, and to reaffirm my readiness as the President of the Republic of Armenia, and continue my efforts to expand cooperation between Armenia and Italy in all directions."

In his statement, President Mattarella particularly said:

"It is a great pleasure today to host President Sarkissian, his wife and the delegation on the first historical visit of the President of the Republic of Armenia here in the Quirinal Palace.

The visit is historical, as it coincides with the 30th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Republic of Armenia, on which occasion I once again send my warm congratulations to President Sarkissian.

I am glad that we managed to carry out this visit, which was postponed due to the pandemic. This is the return visit of my visit to Yerevan in July, 2018, about which I still have vivid and warm memories.

Armenia and Italy can boast of great friendly traditions characterized by qualitative growth. We have several areas of cooperation. I thank Mr. Sarkissian for Armenia's involvement in the UN peacekeeping force. Our friendship re-established during the pandemic, when Mr. Sarkissian called Italy and expressed his concern about the difficult situation of the pandemic in Italy.

Our doctors collaborated with Armenian doctors shoulder to shoulder in Armenia.

We talked about our relations with President Sarkissian, I mentioned that Armenia is a reliable partner in the region for Italy."




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