On a visit to France, Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with National Assembly Speaker Richard Ferrand.
The President of the National Assembly welcomed Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to Paris, congratulated him on his birthday and wished him success in his future activities.
“Armenia is a friendly country for France. We attach great importance to the continuous development and expansion of bilateral relations. During the difficult period for Armenia, we were in constant contact with our Armenian colleagues, our lawmakers were by Armenia’s side. With our steps we will continue to contribute to overcoming the challenges facing the Armenian people,” said Richard Ferrand.
Nikol Pashinyan thanked for the warm reception and noted that Armenia has felt the support of friendly France, including the members of the Senate and the National Assembly, in all difficult times. “It is not only about politicians, only a month ago there was a poll in Armenia. When asked to name the most friendly country to Armenia, the majority of respondents answered ‘France.’ Naturally, we are interested in France having a greater presence in Armenia,” said Nikol Pashinyan, attaching importance to the expansion of the presence of French business and investors in Armenia. The Acting Prime Minister stressed that the economic component of bilateral relations should be more weighty.
Nikol Pashinyan referred to the situation in Armenia after the Artsakh war, noting that the main issue is the security situation around the country. The Acting Prime Minister presented the circumstances of the incidents on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and stressed the friendly attitude of France. “In this regard, France expressed a clear, unequivocal, non-misleading position,” said Nikol Pashinyan, noting that Armenia, in cooperation with international partners, is trying to resolve the border situation through diplomacy.
Touching upon the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Nikol Pashinyan stressed the active role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in that process. The Acting Prime Minister also stressed the need for the independence of Nagorno Karabakh by the French Senate, as well as the importance of the resolutions adopted to ensure the return of Armenian prisoners of war.
Richard Ferran added that they are paying close attention to the processes taking place in the South Caucasus. “France is by Armenia’s side, please convey our message to the Armenian people. We will do our best to establish stability and prosperity in Armenia, he said, that Armenia can continue to rely on France in the future.
The French side once again stressed the protection of Armenia’s territorial integrity, the need to ensure the speedy return of prisoners of war held in Azerbaijan, and the preservation of the Armenian cultural heritage in Nagorno Karabakh, the involvement of UNESCO in this matter. “We hope that after the upcoming elections Armenia will restore its unity and move towards the future,” Mr. Ferran said.
He informed that a new resolution on the return of Armenian prisoners of war is being worked out in the French National Assembly. Mr. Ferran said members of the Armenia-France parliamentary friendship group are planning a visit to Armenia.
During the meeting the interlocutors discussed the situation in the South Caucasus region, the forthcoming elections in Armenia, the implementation of democratic reforms in Armenia and a number of other issues of mutual interest.