On December 1 Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, participated in the opening ceremony of the fourth Conference on the Armenian-French Decentralized Cooperation. Davit Lokyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia, Taron Margaryan, Mayor of Yerevan, Jean-François Charpentier, Ambassador of France to Armenia, as well as several dozen senior officials of local self-government bodies of Armenia and France attended the Conference and delivered remarks.
In his opening remarks Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, particularly, said:
"I am glad to welcome you in Yerevan at the fourth Conference on the Armenian-French Decentralized Cooperation, the second one that Yerevan hosts. It is a profound pleasure seeing a lot of friends gathered in this hall, who has arrived from France to take part in this special event.
I greatly value this important component of the Armenian-French friendly relations - the cooperation on the local self-government level, and this traditional conference on decentralized cooperation not only because I have been at the beginning of the first Conference on the Armenian-French Decentralized Cooperation, when back in 2006 the delegation of more than a hundred representatives of different regions and cities headed by the Prime Minister of Armenia left for France, but also because local self-government circles as holders of power standing closest to people are best suited to foster the deepening of friendship between the countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Armenia and France enjoy high level of political relations, which is demonstrated by the intensity of high-level bilateral political dialogue, mutual regular visits of the Presidents of Armenia and France, periodic bilateral meetings within international platforms.
In recent years the Armenian-French cooperation in various fields has steadily developed and strengthened, marked by deepening of inter-parliamentary contacts, expanding economic cooperation, continuously enhancing cultural and educational ties. In parallel, the decentralized cooperation between our two countries, which has been established already fifty years ago, received since Armenia’s independence a new impetus.
Today, within the framework of around seven dozen agreements on cooperation between the cities and regions of Armenia and France numerous joint projects in the areas of tourism, agriculture, education, culture, healthcare and others are being implemented annually. This also serves as a unique assistance from the perspective of balanced development of our regions and communities, and Armenia highly appreciates that.
I would also like to highlight the importance of this conference in the context of decentralized cooperation within the International Organisation of La Francophonie. This format has good perspectives: as you know, the member states of the La Francophonie decided in Antananarivo to held the next Francophonie Summit in 2018 in Armenia.
It is my profound pleasure to witness that from conference to conference the Armenian-French decentralized cooperation is expanding by registering a dynamic progress. I am confident that this fourth conference will provide new perspectives in revealing new conceptual horizons of decentralized cooperation. Once again, I welcome you all and wish you effective work and success in your new endeavors."