Тhe RA NA President Galust Sahakyan and Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan received the Parliamentary Delegation of France


 On September 22 the RA NA President Galust Sahakyan and Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan received the Delegation of the France-Armenia Friendship Group of the Senate of the Republic of France headed by Phillip Caltenbach.

Welcoming the members of the delegation in the RA National Assembly, the RA NA President Galust Sahakyan has noted that France occupies a special place on Armenia’s foreign political agenda. According to the RA NA President, Armenia has its unique place on the foreign political agenda of France, judging from the paid and paying visits to Armenia and Artsakh during this year. Galust Sahakyan has noted that in the development of inter-state relations with France the historical-cultural ties between the two nations and the existence of the Armenian big and influential community in France serve a serious factor. The RA NA President has documented that the Armenian-French relations have been steadily developing since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, and today the political dialogue, the effective cooperation established at inter-parliamentary level, the cultural, educational, scientific connections are characteristic to the relations between Armenia and France. In the opinion of the Head of the parliament, the stable dynamics of high-level political dialogue is provided by the mutual visits of the Presidents of Armenia and France, the state visit of the President of the Republic of France Mr François Hollande paid in May of this year, the peaceful settlement of the NK conflict, his commitments in the universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide and condemning of its denial will give a new impetus to the Armenian-French relations. The RA NA President noted with satisfaction that the Armenian-French Friendship Groups formed in the parliaments of the two countries have a significant contribution to the development of the inter-parliamentary relations. Highly assessing the effective activities of the friendship groups he expressed hope that those groups using at best the inter-parliamentary diplomacy opportunities will continue their weighty contribution to the development and rapprochement of the bilateral relations.

Galust Sahakyan noted with special satisfaction that on March 19, 2013 “Friendship Circle with Artsakh” had been created with the participation of a group of deputies and former parliamentarians of the NA and the Senate of France. He welcomed the French MPs’ frequent visits to Artsakh, including the visit of the Head of delegation Phillip Caltenbach. In the RA NA President’s word, every such visit is important, as every delegation or person, who visited Artsakh, has an opportunity to be convinced that Nagorno Karabakh is an established state. The RA NA President expressed hope that France, adhering to its value system and principles, will contribute to the struggle for the justice and freedom of Artsakh people. Galust Sahakyan also expressed hope that the French Parliament will be consistent in presenting a new, legally invulnerable bill condemning the denial of the Armenian Genocide, taking into consideration the French President’s commitment and resoluteness in this direction, as that draft law is close to the character of France and will have its significant role in the struggle for justice.

Phillip Caltenbach, the Head of France-Armenia Friendship Group of the Senate of the Republic of France, conveyed to the RA NA President the greetings of all members of the friendship group and thanked for the reception. He has documented that the Armenian-French relations go to the depth of the two nations’ history: the Armenians have been next to the French at all crucial moments for France and fought together with them. Touching upon the creation of the new bill banning the denial of the Armenian Genocide and its adoption, Mr Caltenbach noted that under the pressure of the international community Turkey should recognize the Armenian Genocide, in order the events not to be repeated. Speaking about Artsakh, Phillip Caltenbach has noted that about 20 years everybody waits for the peaceful settlement of the NK conflict, and in that context the restoration of peace in the region is important. He noted that in 2002 he had been to Artsakh and now has a wish again to be there and prove his adherence to the Artsakh people. Phillip Caltenbach mentioned that the delegation had come to Armenia for more reinforcement and rapprochement of the two countries’ friendly relations.

The Delegation of France-Armenia Friendship Group of the Senate of the Republic of France also visited the Memorial Complex of the Armenian Genocide to pay tribute to the memory of the genocide victims. The members of the delegation also have been to the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, getting acquainted with the exhibits proving the undeniable fact of the Armenian Genocide.

Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan received a Philippe Kaltenbach-led French Senate delegation consisting of France-Armenia friendship group members.

Welcoming the guests, Hovik Abrahamyan stressed the need to further develop and deepen the Armenian-French relations in different fields of activity.

“We welcome your visit to Armenia, which will promote high-level cooperation in the political, economic and other fields. The ties of friendship between Armenia and France are of great significance,” the Prime Minister said.

The Head of Government thanked Philippe Kaltenbach for his pro-Armenian activities, in particular, for introducing the history of the Armenian Genocide to the international community. Hovik Abrahamyan highlighted the importance of the steps taken by the French authorities toward criminalizing the attempts of Genocide denial.

The Premier underscored the role played by the French co-chair in settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group.

Pointing to the availability of strong relationship between the two countries, Philippe Kaltenbach noticed that reciprocated high-level visits may add momentum to bilateral cooperation in the economic, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres.

With reference to the Armenian Genocide 100th anniversary, Philippe Kaltenbach said the failure to condemn tragedies like that may lead to their recurrence. Speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mr. Kaltenbach said France is ready to step up efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

The parties next took the opportunity to discuss issues related to Armenian-French economic relations and regional integration processes.

Talking about his government’s strategic priorities, Hovik Abrahamyan said favorable conditions are being created for foreign investors.

At the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister presented the guests with nominal watches.

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