Statement for press by the Foreign Minister of Armenia on the results of the meeting with the Foreign Minister of Italy

03 April, 2022

Hello, dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to welcome in Armenia my colleague Luigi Di Maio, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy. It is noteworthy that this visit takes place on the year of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Italy, which will give a new impetus to the mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries.

Armenia attaches great importance to the continuous development of bilateral relations with Italy, based on rich traditions, historical contacts, common values, and democratic principles.

During today's discussions, we commended the high level of political dialogue and the positive dynamics of high-level reciprocal visits between Armenia and Italy.

We have noted that the volume of bilateral trade turnover and Italian investments in Armenia are growing year by year, and we have both assured that we are interested in increasing the volume of these investments and trade. I consider it necessary to mention that while readiness and existing ties are present, nevertheless there is also a huge untapped potential in the economic sphere, and as I said, we emphasize the work of the Armenian-Italian intergovernmental commission to realize that potential. By the way, Mr. Minister, the commission last met in 2017. I think we can undertake steps towards this direction as well.

Today, together with my Italian counterpart, we have also touched upon the agenda of the Armenia-EU partnership, the cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership.

The activity and expansion of the chairs of Armenology in Italian universities is welcomed.

Dear Colleagues,

Today we have made a detailed reference to the issues of international and regional security and stability. I briefed the situation resulting from the invasion of village Parukh of Nagorno-Karabakh by the Azerbaijani armed forces, regular violations of the ceasefire in the conflict zone, steps aimed at creating a humanitarian crisis in Artsakh, Azerbaijan's policy of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh and other manifestations.

I think that the international community should give a proper and targeted response to these actions of Azerbaijan and support the efforts aimed at establishing peace in the South Caucasus. In this regard, I would like to note that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair states have already responded to the recent escalation of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, stating that it is a consequence of the movement of the Azerbaijani troops.

I reiterated Armenia's willingness to continue the peace talks towards signing of a peace agreement within the framework of the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. I noted that Azerbaijan transferred proposals to us, which we considered acceptable, but not complete and we added our proposals, we voiced our readiness to start negotiations immediately, based on those complete principles, within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.

We also referred to the unresolved humanitarian issues that arose after the 44-day war, and, first of all, the need for the immediate repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war, and in this regard, we highly appreciate the resolution adopted by the Italian Parliament in March of last year.

Of course, the fate of Armenian cultural monuments in the territories gone under the control of Azerbaijan remains a matter of concern. I must emphasize that, as before, now also the UNESCO regional visit with this mission continues to be in great demand.

We also welcome the documents adopted by about 50 regional and city councils of Italy for the protection of Artsakh and its people.

Dear Mr. Di Maio,

Thank you once again for the substantive discussion. I now pass the word to you.

Thank you.

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