Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met Enzo Milanesi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy31 July, 2018
On July 31, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia met with Enzo Milanesi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, who was in Armenia as part of the delegation headed by the President of Italy.
Welcoming the guest, Minister Mnatsakanyan reaffirmed Armenia's readiness to further develop relations between the two countries both in bilateral and multilateral formats. In this regard, the Minister highly appreciated the first ever state visit of the President of Italy to Armenia.
Expressing his gratitude for the reception, Enzo Milanesi noted that Italy attaches importance to the comprehensive agenda formed with Armenia stressing that the visit of the President of Italy is a good opportunity to discuss steps towards deepening of the relations that are centuries-old and are based on cultural commonalities.
The Foreign Minister presented to his Italian counterpart the recent internal political developments in Armenia, noting that the new government of Armenia has proved its commitment to implementing the priorities set out in the Government's programme aimed at strengthening justice, rule of law, providing equal opportunities in social and economic spheres, fighting against corruption. Armenian and Italian Foreign Ministers exchanged views on prospects of cooperation in anti-corruption area.
Noting that recently a positive dynamic is being observed in the Armenian-Italian economic relations, the Foreign Ministers of the two countries touched upon steps undertaken towards deepening bilateral economic cooperation and the activities of the Armenian-Italian intergovernmental commission. In the context of strengthening business ties, the interlocutors highlighted the importance of resumption of direct flights between Armenia and Italy.
During the meeting issues related to bilateral cooperation in the spheres of culture, science and education were discussed. Minister Mnatsakanyan expressed gratitude to the Italian authorities for their careful attitude towards the Armenian cultural heritage and the efforts made to preserve it.
In the context of Armenia-EU relations, the Italian Foreign Minister stated that they are making every effort to move forward the process of ratification of the Armenia-European Union Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. In his turn, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan highlighted the importance of developing cooperation between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union.
The sides also touched upon a number of important regional issues, in particular addressing the developments around Iran's nuclear programme.
Zohrab Mnatsakanyan reaffirmed Armenia's commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, underlining that in the negotiation process the status and security of Artsakh are the priorities for the Armenian side.
According to Minister Mnatsakanyan, continuous militaristic rhetoric coming from Azerbaijan and spreading of Armenophobia are aimed to undermine the peace efforts. Armenian and Italian Foreign Ministers highlighted the importance of creating the atmosphere conducive to peace for advancing the negotiation process.
Following the meeting, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Enzo Milanesi signed the Protocol Amending the Agreement on International Road Transport of Passengers and Goods between the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Government of the Italian Republic, signed on 7 August, 1999, and the Memorandum of Understanding on scientific and technological cooperation between the Science Committee of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia and the National Research Council of the Italian Republic.