Relations with Armenia can become even more productive, PM says

Greece
Wed, 28 Feb 2024 7:51 GMT
Greece and Armenia have historic ties that stretch across the centuries and can now become even more productive in view of the common challenges that lie ahead, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
Relations with Armenia can become even more productive, PM says

Greece and Armenia have historic ties that stretch across the centuries and can now become even more productive in view of the common challenges that lie ahead, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday, during joint statements with his Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinyan in Athens.

The Armenian prime minister's visit was a significant step in consolidating the already excellent relations with Armenia, Mitsotakis said, adding that they will have the opportunity to discuss bilateral cooperation in areas such as renewable energy sources and technology. 

"We are also collaborating in the defence sector," Mitsotakis added, saying his talks with his Armenian counterpart had additionally touched on ways to improve Greek-Armenian trade relations.

Regional developments were also discussed, Mitsotakis told reporters, noting that the two countries shared many common positions. "We are steadfastly opposed to any form of threat or use of force, always on the side of international law, absolutely dedicated to respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of every state. We believe in dialogue. Armenia, after the war of 2023, better understands the values of peace. The decisions you will take will shape the course of your country in the coming years," he said.

Mitsotakis noted that roughly 100,000 refugees from highland Karabakh need relief: "Greece will stand at your side in every diplomatic effort for a permanent peace treaty with Azerbaijan. Only a sustainable agreement can open up the path. Greece supports your initiative "Crossroads of Peace" announced by the prime minister in December so that the region can be converted into a hub for trade... only joint prosperity is able to silence guns and the progress of peoples deflect the plans of authoritarian leaders."

The Greek prime minister expressed full support for Armenia's orientation toward the West and said it was natural for Greece to be prepared to help build this new, liberal democracy. He also declared Greece's support for Armenia in the protection of its important cultural heritage in areas such as highland Karabakh.

Mitsotakis concluded by referring to the good prospects for a bilateral agreement on the migration and employment of Armenians in Greece, saying the many ties between the two people make their integration into Greek society easier, while pointed to the large and thriving Armenian community in Greece "which is the most fertile link in the chain of friendship and solidarity that joins our peoples."

Armenian PM Pashinyan: Bilateral relations are making rapid progress

On his part, Pashinyan stated that his visit to Athens is important and that he will have the opportunity with the Greek prime minister to discuss bilateral issues, as well as Armenia's relations with the EU.

He also thanked Greece for its support of the Armenian community living in Greece, noting that there was also a Greek community in Armenia which contributes to economic and commercial life. 

"It reflects the historic ties between the two countries. Our relations are developing at a great speed and, as a result of today's visit, we will give them a fresh boost. You also noted the sectors of defence and security. We have a long history of cooperation and I am certain that it will become more effective," Pashinyan said, addressing Mitsotakis.

The prime minister of Armenia thanked Greece for its help in developing his country's cooperation with the EU, adding that the results of the reforms will soon become even more visible.

He also said that they discussed the issue of the displaced Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as regional developments. "I briefed the prime minister on the efforts on Armenia's part to reach a reconciliation agreement and how far on this road we are in order to make progress. A ministerial meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan will be held in the near future and I hope we will make progress," Pashinyan said.

The Armenian premier also said that on a bilateral level, Greece and Armenia are collaborating in many sectors, they have made good economic progress and it was an opportunity to take steps to deepen this cooperation.

"We have a high level of dialogue. Bilateral trade is not impressive. I hope that in the context of the intergovernmental committee meeting we will have the opportunity to discuss the details of our cooperation in trade," Pashinyan underlined.

AMNA

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