Statement by Foreign Minister of Armenia during the joint press conference with Foreign Minister of Lithuania

20 June, 2024

Statement by Foreign Minister of Armenia during the joint press conference with Foreign Minister of Lithuania.

"Dear Minister, dear friend,

Dear colleagues, media representatives,

I would like to express my gratitude for the warm welcome extended to me and my delegation during our visit to Vilnius. I am glad to be back to friendly Lithuania after my previous visit in 2021 in my previous capacity as the President of the National Assembly of Armenia. Our countries enjoy strong friendship and cooperation built on solidarity, shared values and goals of lasting prosperity for our citizens.

I should note with satisfaction that our recent reciprocal visits and active interactions underscore the continuous and evolving partnership. And I would also like to highlight your, my friend, personal input and contribution in deepening our bilateral relations, but also deepening our dialogue and relations, the dialogue of Armenia and the EU. 

In today’s discussions, we reaffirmed our commitment to deepen our bilateral ties, touching upon a number of issues of bilateral agenda including the key spheres like economy, IT, energy, tourism, culture and education. We are ready to explore avenues to enhance our economic cooperation recognizing the potential for trade and investment as well as existing opportunities and experiences in the other sectors, in high-tech. 

Of course, we recognized the important contribution the interparliamentary cooperation makes towards deepening the bonds between the two countries. 

We also reviewed the main items and topics of cooperation in multilateral fora where we will continue to actively engage and support each other’s initiatives.

Dear friend, 

In our bilateral partnership, apart from everything, I would like to highlight the solidarity in difficult times. One of the vivid examples was the recent assistance allocated by the Lithuanian Government in the aftermath of the floods in regions of Armenia at the end of May. We highly value this gesture: in times of ongoing challenges, be it natural or man-made, readiness to support and overcome the challenge jointly is more important than ever.

And here comes the main point which unites us: democracy and commitment to democratic principles and determination to continue building democratic societies despite the ongoing challenges both globally and in our region. Despite all the difficult circumstances we have been facing recently, our Government undertook all the necessary measures to pursue its ambitious reform agenda across all sectors to the benefit of Armenia’s citizens. And we are glad that we were able to make important progress, but we also recognize that it was possible also because of continuous support of our partners like the USA, EU and its member states, including Lithuania. Among other activities, I would like to recall Armenia’s participation in the “Future of Democracy, High-level Forum on Defending Against Authoritarianism” held in Vilnius last November. But these processes in Armenia are not merely about democracy itself, but the challenge to prove the resilience of democratic societies and to deliver tangible results. 

With exactly that purpose we are deepening the partnership with the European Union, currently working on the implementation of Armenia's Resilience and Growth Plan and the new Partnership Agenda. And today’s signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between our countries on cooperation on European Union related matters shows the utmost importance we both attach to the significantly deepening of relations between Armenia and the European Union, to the aspirations of our citizens. Another example which we highly appreciate is Lithuania's contribution to the EU monitoring mission in Armenia. We believe there are still important milestones to reach, one of them being the launch of visa liberalization dialogue aimed at bringing our citizens closer to the EU.

Dear colleagues,

Today we also discussed international and regional security topics. Continuing our earlier conversations, I presented to my counterpart where we stand on normalization of relations with neighbours and efforts to build lasting stability in the South Caucasus. 

As you are aware, we started delimitation of the border with Azerbaijan based on the 1991 Alma-Ata declaration. In this regard, we of course appreciate the position expressed by Lithuania’s MFA following the delimitation agreement in April. 

Now it is very important to ensure the continuity of the delimitation based on the same Alma-Ata declaration and reaffirmation of mutual recognition of territorial integrity, as it is vital for ensuring clarity on the border and avoiding any provocations in the future. It is also of utmost importance to finalise the peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan: we have sent very constructive proposals to the Azerbaijani side, and we are ready to finalize them and conclude the treaty during the upcoming month as we have already proposed. Unfortunately, we have not been hearing from the Azerbaijani side so far. Moreover, Azerbaijan is bringing new issues which at least raises questions about their genuineness towards the final goal of establishing peace in our neighbourhood and broader region.

Dear colleagues,

Of course, while we exchanged views on our vision of a peaceful South Caucasus and possibilities of economic development, we touched upon the topic of connectivity as well and the "Crossroads of Peace" initiative. There is no doubt that if implemented it can bring significant benefits for our region and beyond, both for the public and private sector as well. 

Concluding my remarks, I am glad we have agreed on further steps to enhance our partnership, we have a strong commitment and desire to make those steps and the bonds between our nations put on us a big responsibility and make them inevitable. 

Dear Gabrielius, once again, thank you for the comprehensive discussions, hospitality and friendship."

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