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President meets with Foreign Ministry leadership


Today, President Serzh Sargsyan met with the leadership of Foreign Ministry at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Addressing the audience, the President stressed that at the meeting held in the run-up to the Holiday Season, he mentioned that another meeting was going to be held in such a format to discuss not only the achievements of the Foreign Ministry, but also the existing problems and future plans. The President of Armenia considered today’s meeting to be pivotal from that standpoint.

The discussion focused on Armenia’s foreign policy vision from two main perspectives: mid-term issues of Armenia’s foreign policy and what should be done to make the Foreign Ministry more efficient and up-to-date. Serzh Sargsyan preferred not to touch upon the foreign policy vectors which had previously been discussed in detail, but rather to look at ways of enhancing overall management and coordination efficiency.

“I think that effective foreign policy is just as vital for our country as the ongoing reforms. Moreover, the success of our reforms is closely related to foreign policy. It is important in terms of both international support for reforms and their proper representation abroad, as well as in terms of studying, localizing and mastering the positive experience of some countries.

Foreign policy has an important role to play in raising the country’s security level, protecting our interests on international platforms, ensuring long-term development and, of course, protecting our citizens’ interests and rights abroad.

Increased efficiency in our diplomacy is just an imperative of the day, conditioned by traditional challenges and threats, and the rapid situational changes in our region and the world, as a whole. At the same time, it should be noted that changes not only bring about new challenges, but also open up new opportunities. Diplomats are supposed to predict and understand developments in order to use them as effectively as possible to our country’s best interest.

We can see upward trends in conflicts and crises in international relations, exacerbating contradictions between different security organizations, as well as religious and ethnic skirmishes,” the President said.

In his speech, Serzh Sargsyan attached importance to mid-term and long-term programming in the field of foreign policy and the development of relevant policies. “I think the time has come to reconsider and modernize the national security strategy of the Republic of Armenia. It is no mere coincidence that I am bringing this idea to the Foreign Ministry. The primary challenges facing Armenia’s national security are mainly related to, or rather, directly interconnected with our external environment. I expect that the Foreign Ministry to play a central role in the whole process of reviewing the national security strategy concept.

I think that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has built up the necessary knowledge base, experience and, most importantly, a toolkit for introducing new principled approaches and proposals. But you are diplomats and clearly understand that we need specific conditions for having such a fundamental, strategic and, especially, clearly formulated document,” Serzh Sargsyan noted.

During the meeting, the President presented his observations on Armenia’s foreign policy priorities and some flaws of the Foreign Ministry in their implementation, clearly indicating where good and consistent efforts could lead to better results.

President Sargsyan next referred to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process, which stands high on the foreign policy agenda of Armenia.

“Dear Colleagues,

We have never tried to share with others our own responsibility in dealing with international and regional issues. The peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will continue to be at the forefront of our foreign policy agenda. Certainly, we will steadily continue to support the efforts aimed at the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the format of OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

Our position has been considerably strengthened owing to consistent work done over the past ten years,. And here, I want to thank all the participants of the process headed by the Minister. We were able to stipulate the right to self-determination as a fundamental principle of settlement.

At the same time, while the Nagorno-Karabakh issue will continue to be at the forefront of our foreign agenda, nevertheless, Armenia’s foreign policy should not be restricted and reduced in any way to dealing with this issue.

It is natural that at the heart of our foreign policy should be Armenia’s national interests, since our active involvement in the international agenda may go a long way toward promoting our standpoints,” the President of Armenia emphasized.

Serzh Sargsyan called the attention of Foreign Ministry’s leadership to those major events to be held in Armenia this year, namely the Francophonie Summit, the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia and the May battles, the 2800th anniversary of Yerevan’s foundation and the Third Global Forum on the Crime of Genocide. The President singled out the Francophonie Summit for its coverage and extend, stressing that Armenia is actually going to take a test. In this context, the Head of State pointed out that the proper holding of the event should be a matter of honor for each responsible official in Armenia.

At the end of the meeting, the President said that perhaps his speech was tough enough, but his goal was not to underestimate the work of the Foreign Ministry; his criticism was aimed at improving the Ministry’s efforts, making them more efficacious, the fruits of which could be enjoyed by everyone and especially – the future generations.

“I want you to be sure that your job is really appreciated. I think that the fact alone that we all consider you to be the guardians of our country’s security, our soldiers and officers, at least in the political field, is the highest possible estimate. And since I am convinced that the diplomat should consider himself as such and, therefore, I have greater, I would even say maximalist expectations of you. And I want you to add a little more momentum to your work with the clear understanding that we are facing serious problems,” the President of Armenia concluded.

During the meeting, President Sargsyan answered the questions of interest to MFA leadership. 

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