06, 2014

Welcome speech by President Serzh Sargsyan at Vienna’s city hall


Honorable Mr. Mayor,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am glad to have one more opportunity to be hosted in marvelous Vienna which is fairly considered as the pulse of the European civilization. Indeed, Vienna is one of those unique cities where the past and the present, traditions and progress are perfectly harmonized. A city which bears the indelible imprint of the imperial epoch and at the same time stands out by its harmony, elegance and philanthropy.

Today, I also have an opportunity to enjoy the unique architecture of this gothic building which is a testimony to your capital’s rich history.

And finally, honorable Mr. Mayor, today I have the honor to meet with a skillful and experienced political figure in the person of you, under whose many years’ wise leadership Vienna has continued to flourish over the last 20 years maintaining and strengthening its leading position among the best cities of the world.

Add this to the fact that in Vienna, at the crossroad of civilizations, beside the historical and cultural heritage present everywhere, we can feel the Armenian presence in the form of churches, cultural and educational institutions and monuments which I think, gives Vienna’s culture distinctive coloring.

The role of the Mekhitarist Congregation located at one of the nice-looking corners of Vienna in preserving our peoples’ age-old traditions of friendship is invaluable. In addition, the statue of Franz Werfel installed in the center of Vienna, the Armenian Square, makes this international city closer to us.

I am happy that as a symbol of our enduring ties, today in Vienna we are to take part in the opening ceremony of one more Armenian building, Hayastan multifunctional center, and on this occasion, I would like to express my gratitude to you.

Your personal role and the role the municipality of Vienna in promoting cultural dialogue is evident for which I would like to cordially thank you and the entire municipality staff once again. I am full of hope that our cooperation will last forever and your valuable experience and knowledge will continue to serve the enlargement of the cooperation between Yerevan and Vienna.

We already have positive examples of that cooperation. Already 8 years have passed since Yerevan’s Kanaker-Zeytun district and Vienna’s 4th district established friendly ties. Many years ago, under your patronage the first Armenian-Austrian musical festival entitled Vienna Welcomes Yerevan was held in Yerevan and one year later, the second festival was organized dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann and the 150th anniversary of Gustav Mahler.

I am sure that the above-mentioned successful examples of cooperation set the stage for promoting collaboration both between our capital cities and administrative units at a decentralized level. Today, cities play a great role in strengthening relations between two peoples and the importance of peoples’ diplomacy in bilateral relations gradually increases.

I am confident that there is great potential for cooperation between the two capital cities and I strongly believe, Mr. Mayor, that Vienna will put all its efforts into the peaceful resolution of different regional conflicts in the future as well. And of course, I am grateful to you for affording me and the Azerbaijani President such an opportunity at the end of the last year targeted at the conduct of negotiations concerning the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

I have been hosted in Austria many times and every time I have left for my homeland with countless impressions. It is natural that I get the greatest impressions in Vienna. In Vienna one takes pride in deeds done by such humans which make great efforts at creating more prosperous and more civilized living conditions for next generations.

Thank you.

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