< February 2018 >
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28

Press conference

Statement and answers to the questions of journalists by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia at the press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar


Good afternoon,

I am glad to welcome in Yerevan my Malagasy colleague and my good friend, the Foreign Minister of Madagascar Mr. Henry Rabary-Njaka. Mr. Rabary-Njaka is visiting Yerevan for the first time, but we have had many opportunities to meet, to discuss bilateral and various other issues of mutual interest, and today I am very glad that this meeting is at last takes place in Yerevan as well, because, as you know, we are preparing for the Summit of La Francophonie, and Madagascar currently is chairing the International Organization of La Francophonie.

It is noteworthy, that this visit of the Foreign Minister of Madagascar takes place in the jubilee year of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.

Today we had a tête-à-tête conversation with my colleague, following which the negotiations continued in an expanded format with the participation of delegations.

We have acknowledged that in recent years, and particularly after Armenia became a member of the International Organization of La Francophonie, the contacts and cooperation between Armenia and Madagascar have considerably intensified. We agreed with the Minister, that in recent years we have accumulated a positive experience of cooperation, which can be a good basis for a further development and deepening of partnership in different spheres.

During today's meeting, we exchanged views on possible ways to further deepen relations between Armenia and Madagascar. Both sides attached an importance to the intensification of bilateral political dialogue, necessity of deepening the trade and economic cooperation, as well as discussed issues related to the legal framework and cooperation in international structures.

It should be noted that our countries have the best cooperation within the framework of the International Organization of La Francophonie and, I should note, that we have supported each other in the issue of hosting the summit of the Organisation. I hope that this positive experience will continue not only within the framework of La Francophonie, but also within other international platforms and organisations.

It is symbolic that Madagascar assumed the Presidency of the Francophonie Ministerial Conference in Yerevan back in 2015 and three years later, in the same place Madagascar will transfer the OIF Chairmanship to Armenia. And it was in Antananarivo, when the decision was made to hold the next Summit of La Francophonie in Yerevan, its sister city. Why do I call it a sister city? Because our two capitals have signed an agreement on this 37 years ago, back in 1981.

Our relationship with Madagascar has begun about 40 years ago and I believe that we have a lot to do not only to refresh, to expand and to deepen our cooperation, but also to give a fresh momentum and a new impetus to it, especially in the light of preparations for the visit of the President of Madagascar to Armenia. In May this year, we expect the honourable President of Madagascar to pay a state visit to Armenia and I think it will be a good opportunity not only to sign numerous bilateral agreements, but also to give a new impetus to economic relations. We intend to hold a meeting of businessmen within the framework of this visit and also to establish interparliamentary relations not only between the parliamentary friendship groups, but also through more active contacts between our parliamentarians within the various parliamentary assemblies.

I briefed my Malagasy counterpart on the preparations for the Summit of the International Organisation of La Francophonie to be held in Yerevan this year, as well as the process of elaboration of the documents to be approved at the Summit.

We highlighted the importance of participation of businessmen from Madagascar in the business forum envisaged within the framework of the Summit, and their involvement in the network of Francophone businessmen that would be established.

Regional and international issues were also on the agenda of the meeting and I should say that we will continue our exchange of views and discussions on various issues of mutual interest during the working lunch as well.

Now it is my pleasure to pass the floor to my colleague, and my good friend, the Foreign Minister of Madagascar.

Question: Mr. Nalbandian, they claim in recent days in Azerbaijan, that the Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels contains some extremely important for them and significant observations on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue related to the territorial integrity. How would you comment on this?

Edward Nalbandian: Do you remember the well known fairy tale hero, who, when happens to be lonely, starts screaming out of fear. Probably Azerbaijan is doing the same.

There is an approach of the Co-Chair countries on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, which enjoys the full support of the EU. It has been stated numerous times. This has been stated also during our joint statement with Mrs. Mogerieri within the framework of the Brussels Summit. The position of the Co-Chair countries is well known as well. By the way, just a few days ago, when the Co-Chairs visited the region, they made a statement, which reiterated again and again that the conflict should be settled in an exclusively peacefully way based on three well-known principles of international law: territorial integrity, equality of peoples and self-determination, non use of force and threat of force.

The European Union not only expresses its full support to the efforts and approaches of the Co-Chairs, but has repeatedly mentioned exactly these three principles as the basis for the settlement of the conflict. This was said at the previous summit, before Brussels, when the reference was made to the five well-known statements by the presidents of the Co-Chair countries, and what have been said in the declarations of previous summits have been reiterated at the Brussels summit.

A month ago, at the annual press conference, when answering a question from one of your colleagues, I touched in a detailed manner upon the provisions of the Declaration of the Brussels Summit and the Azerbaijani distortions.

This persistent distortions by the Azerbaijani side have been labeled accordingly not by Armenia. They were characterized as perversions. But we do share this opinion. You do remember the well-known statement made with regards the Azerbaijan's distortions.

Question: Good afternoon, Minister. The first question concerns the Francophonie, the Summit to be held this year, which will be chaired by Armenia. My question is the following: what specific feature the Armenian chairmanship will have, what topics will Armenia highlight?

The second question refers to the cooperation between Armenia and Madagascar. You spoke about giving a new impetus to the relations between the two countries. How exactly it will be pursued? Is it going to be through cooperation agreements?

Edward Nalbandian: As for the Summit of La Francophonie, which will be held in Yerevan in October, “Living together” has been announced as its main slogan. Why did we choose the ‘’Living together’’? Perhaps the Armenian people is one of the best examples of "Living Together". Due to our history, it so happened, that about two-thirds of our people is spread in around one hundred countries. They live there while being integrated in the best way, live as the best example of the notion of "living together". And in this sense, Armenia can also serve as a role model.

The main idea of the Francophone family is not only the commonality of the French language, but also the unity of the multicultural and multilingual family. The unity around the "Living Together", which we are going to emphasize even more at the October summit in Yerevan.

We are elaborating a serious document on the “Living together” topic called the "Yerevan Pact" or the "Living Together" Pact, which I hope will be approved by all the Francophone countries and will become one of the basic documents for the future activities of the Francophone family.

As we have mentioned at the press conference today, we will pay a special attention to the economic component, and for that purpose the Economic Forum of the Francophone countries will be held on October 10. Within the framework of this forum we intend to create a network of businessmen of Francophone countries. I believe it will be quite beneficial and useful in terms of development of economic and trade relations between all Francophone countries.

As for our bilateral relations with Madagascar, I spoke about the economic component of the Summit of La Francophonie, but I would like to stress that this economic component is also very important for our bilateral relations. We are going to pay much attention to enhancing the legal framework between the two countries.

Today, we discussed the possibility of signing agreements on economic and technical cooperation, cooperation in aviation and tourism and other areas, such as education, etc.

We have only two documents signed between Armenia and Madagascar back in 2015 here in Yerevan within the framework of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie. They are on cultural cooperation and consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs. This is not sufficient for two friendly and forward-looking countries that indeed have a great potential to develop, deepen and expand the cooperation and partnership in various fields. The important thing is that both sides have the aspirations, the desire and we will proceed in this vein.

Question: Mr. Nalbandian, these days we mark the 30th anniversary of the Sumgait pogroms. I would like to ask you to comment on the joint statement of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan and the Prosecutor General’s Office regarding this issue.

Edward Nalbandian: You know, in fact, it's a very strange tandem - the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It reminds me of Vishinsky, who was a prominent, well-known Prosecutor General in the Stalin era and then became Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is the same tendency, which continues after the Sumgait. Azerbaijani side tries to avoid the responsibility and accuses the victim of the crime. I think, it is evident, which country serves as an example for them. It is also obvious what consequences this approach may have, it may backfire for Azerbaijan, as is the case with the country, which Baku is taking as an example today.

Non-recognition of such crimes, denialism and accusation of a victim for the crime provide a fertile ground for new crimes, which is exactly what happened. Sumgait was followed by Kirovabad (Gandzak), then Baku, Maragha and others. Similar crimes have been committed. Or recently, in 2016, during the Azerbaijani aggression in April. The flagrant crimes were committed with the blatant violations of the respective conventions of the international humanitarian law, DAESH-style beheadings, even the mutilations of corpses, murders of children and women, etc. Azerbaijan's attempts to avoid the responsibility are in vain, and sooner or later they will be held accountable.

Question: My question is again about the economic component. When we looked at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, the published figures are for 2015 - 165 000 USD worth import from Madagascar. What mutual interests are there and what are the opportunities in the opposite direction?

Edward Nalbandian: Of course, the figures presented are very small. That is the reason we decided to give a new breath, new impetus to our relationship. As I have mentioned, the relations between the two countries have been established already forty years ago. During the Soviet period the delegations were arriving here, as well as to Antananarivo from Armenia, moreover, friendly relations have been established between the two capitals; students from Madagascar were coming to study in our universities, we even had economic and trade exchanges. But this was not pursued further.

The figures for the recent period, of course, are not only unsatisfactory, there is practically no economic or trade cooperation. That is why together with my colleague we decided, not only today in Armenia but also during our meeting in Paris last November, to take immediate steps aimed at developing the cooperation and relations between the two countries for the fullest possible exploitation of the existing big potential.

With that reason, today, we decided to create a relevant legal framework for the development of these relations, and also discussed various projects that might be of mutual interest.

We discussed the possibility of signing a framework agreement on economic and technical cooperation, as well as organizing meetings between business communities and entrepreneurs. We should promote the establishment of relevant contacts between private sector representatives. The two states will do everything to boost the economic relations.


Related pictures

Full album »

Share |