The joint press conference of the foreign ministers of Armenia and Lithuania16 September, 2019
Thank you very much for the very warm welcome, I am very happy to be in Vilnius for an official visit. It is not the first opportunity of discussing the very important agenda with Lithuania. As Linas was saying, we had many opportunities, multilateral formats and many other occasions that we use very actively to work on bilateral agenda.
But now I am very glad to be here, because we have a very focused agenda towards strengthening and deepening the relations between Armenia and Lithuania. I think it is very important to underline that the foundations of these relations are very solid, have been very solid all the time. These are the relations between the two nations that are relatively small in international arena but very consolidated in their solidarity and in their strength and confidence for strong independence in creating for our nations and for our people. So that is the very solid foundation that we know, that we have and օն which we are building our relations.
Yes, they are multifaceted, they have many layers. On the multilateral level we have been very good partners traditionally, the UN, all the way to other regional organizations, the EU format is extremely important. Lithuania is a big supporter of Armenia’s agenda within the EU.
I am really very grateful, Linas, that you are supporting us on visa liberalization dialogue, we are very keen to accelerate this process and start the dialogue. We have, of course, very important framework of cooperation which is the legal frame of the cooperation, CEPA with the EU, and here we have extraordinary opportunities of expanding our relations with the EU in all ways; the political dialogue, the freedom and justice system, sectoral cooperation, regulatory approximation. We are very keen to take this agenda further and use the opportunities within CEPA. And we very much appreciate very strong support of Lithuania in this.
Linas has also mentioned the very good cooperation we have with Lithuania on training our military officers and legal framework is very helpful in that. And Lithuania has traditionally been a very important partner in that, which we appreciate very much.
On bilateral agenda, we have come to a point where there is an excellent opportunity to take lead forward, we have identified those areas. We are both nations who rely very much on our national talent, on the talent of our people, on the capacities of our people, things like innovation, creativity, an important driving force for the development of our nations. In Lithuania, in Armenia we have our own record and I think we are working now towards consolidating this cooperation and making sure and, as Governments, helping our actual stakeholders, to come together and explore the ways in which they can work together.
We discussed various areas, whether it is in biotec, bioscience, fintech. We, in Armenia, are very interested to explore those. We also have our own interesting experience, our interesting good progress in IT, IT solutions. The IT sector is very solid in Armenia and grows very fast. The creative education, we have some examples of creative education, smart education in Armenia, which we are also very keen to share with our Lithuanian partners.
And over all, smart development is what is on our agendas both in Lithuania and in Armenia. We also touched upon the parts of culture, holding our people together and we will certainly continue cooperation in this field, education, culture. So we have no limit of cooperation and this is a cooperation between nations which have deep respect towards each other and good experience, good record of cooperation. We have a good political dialogue, we are looking forward to ongoing visits. Very soon, we will have a visit.
The parliamentary level of our cooperation is extremely important and we are also consolidating. After our elections in the Parliament we have made sure that we keep up the parliamentary cooperation levels very active.
So far as Armenia is concerned, I do represent the Government which is very confident with its mandate, the strong mandate of the people with our determination to strengthen, to deepen the message of the Velvet Revolution, which is strengthening democracy, strengthening the institutions of democracy, in every possible way. And there has been only more and more determination on the part of our Government, our Prime Minister, to keep up with the reforms in Armenia. We are very confident about who we are, what we are doing and we will carry on with these reforms with strong determination.
To wrap up, once again, I am very glad to be in Lithuania, and I want to take this opportunity to say that you should also keep coming to Armenia and it is a very good place to be, very warm and friendly place to be, and a lot of interesting things to do, so I'm doing some touring promotion, and I’m very confident about what I’m saying because it is indeed a good place to visit, a friendly place where Lithuania has deep respect, Lthuanian people have deep respect and good friendship. Thank you very much.
Question: Ministers, in what areas do you see opportunities to expand cooperation with Lithuania.
Minister: Well, this is what I was saying exactly. I mean especially in the areas, where our economy is relying on the human talent. As I mentioned we have very interesting developments in the IT sector, IT solutions, Creative Education, and there are many examples that will take a lot more time than we have now to expand it, but this is what we discussed.
Lithuania, exactly in the same way, has a very interesting experience in what we discussed today: bioscience, biotechnology, fintech. I am taking it back to Armenia, trying it with the actual stakeholders. Our job is to bring those stakeholders closer together to discuss the actual prospects of this. Those are the areas which are of interest to us. There are many such areas, especially in what depends on the human mind. Science, Education, Advanced Technologies, these are the areas in which we do see interest in important potential.
This is just an example, because as I said, do not forget about other important areas that I mentioned, in multilateral, through the EU, through the issues related to cooperation on military training, areas which are related to reform process.
We are very interested to know about some areas of reform that are taking place in Lithuania, You know, we are not blessed with what is beneath the earth, but we are blessed with what is with our people.
So, in every area we have very interesting potential and ongoing cooperation. But first of all, I want to underline, those areas which depend on human talent, on advanced technologies, on advanced science, and where we both had an interesting experience, worthy of sharing, worthy of building on for better, deeper cooperation. Thank you.