Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Germany outlined ways to develop bilateral relations

29 June, 2018

On June 29, Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who is in Berlin on an official visit, met with Heiko Maas, the Foreign Minister of Germany.

Welcoming the Armenian Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan, Foreign Minister of Germany Maas noted that this visit is a good opportunity to become personally acquainted and discuss the prospects of developing bilateral cooperation, as well as to make new arrangements.

Expressing gratitude for the invitation and warm reception Minister Mnatsakanyan noted that there is a rich and broad agenda between Armenia and Germany, the two countries cooperate in many directions and have coherent positions and mutual understanding on various international issues. "It is no coincidence that Germany is the first EU country which I visit in my current capacity. This fact speaks for itself and in a best way defines our partnership," said Minister Mnatsakanyan.

The Foreign Minister of Armenia briefed his German counterpart on the recent internal political developments in Armenia, the Government's commitment to continuing the reform process aimed at strengthening democracy, rule of law, equality and justice in economic and social spheres, and the unyielding fight against corruption.

The interlocutors highlighted the peaceful nature of the events of the velvet revolution and the shown restraint, emphasizing the maturity of democracy and state institutions in Armenia. The German Foreign Minister noted that the events in Armenia are obvious examples of peaceful political changes.

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan expressed his gratitude to the people of Germany for the comprehensive support being provided to Armenia since its independence, which played an important role in strengthening the democratic institutions and development of Armenia.

Ministers Mnatsakanyan and Maas noted with satisfaction that the Armenian-German ties are developing dynamically. In that context, they touched upon the schedule of high-level reciprocal visits planned for this year.

The agenda of negotiations included joint steps aimed at developing bilateral cooperation in cultural and scientific-educational spheres. Minister presented the steps that are being taken to advance the creative and innovative education agenda in Armenia, the experience used in that field and the achievements reached. The Foreign Minister also highly assessed the activities of the Goethe Centre in Armenia, expressing hope that it would expand its activities in the future.

The heads of Foreign Ministries exchanged views on issues related to Armenian-German trade and economic cooperation too. In this regard, the Minister highly appreciated the work of German international cooperation agencies - GIZ and KFW, in Armenia. Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted that among the EU countries Germany traditionally is one of Armenia's largest partners, which is actively represented in the Armenian economy. Within the context of bilateral economic collaboration, the activities of "Cronimet", "Siemens" and other companies in Armenia were emphasized.

Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Germany touched upon the Armenia-EU partnership. In that context Minister Mnatsakanyan underlined the importance of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, noting that while being a new milestone in the EU-Armenia relations, it also opens new perspectives of cooperation with the EU member states in bilateral format. Minister Mnatsakanyan expressed hope that Germany, like other EU member states, will soon ratify the agreement.

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Heiko Maas highlighted the importance of establishing a cooperation between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. Minister Mnatsakanyan underlined that Armenia can become a strong and reliable link between these two multilateral platforms.

Within the framework of Armenia-EU cooperation, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan highlighted the issue of launching visa liberalization dialogue, stressing the need to move forward in that direction in order to encourage people-to-people contacts.

Touching upon the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Minister Mnatsakanyan reiterated Armenia's commitment to the exclusively peaceful resolution of the conflict within the internationally agreed format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, noting that the priorities of the Armenian side are the issues of status and security of Artsakh. In terms of the advancement of negotiation process, Minister Mnatsakanyan highlighted the importance of creating an environment conducive to peace, emphasizing in this context that the European partners should be vigilant in all the actions that undermine the efforts in that direction, including those that promote the arms race.

In this context, Minister Maas reaffirmed Germany's unconditional support for the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, highlighting the importance of exclusively peaceful and political settlement of the conflict.

The agenda of the meeting included also the urgent international and regional issues, particularly the situation in Syria and developments around Iran's nuclear programme.

Prior to the meeting, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Germany were introduced to the historical documents related to Armenian-German relations, including the 100-year old documents testifying to the ties between the First Republic of Armenia and Germany.

Following the negotiations the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Germany held a joint press conference.

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