On February 7, the joint sitting of the RA NA Standing Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Riksdag of the Kingdom of Sweden was held.
In his opening remarks the Chair of the RA NA Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Artak Zakaryan, welcoming the delegation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Swedish Parliament, expressed conviction that the holding of the joint sitting will have its role and importance in the right development and direction of the potential existing in the relations of the two countries. Highlighting the activation of the cooperation with the Parliament, Artak Zakaryan has noted that the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Groups have been formed in the parliaments of both countries, which is of importance in the development of the relations. The Committee Chair expressed hope that after the RA parliamentary elections it will be possible to have pretentious programmes and joint activities at parliamentary level.
Touching upon Armenia-EU cooperation, Mr Zakaryan has noted that Sweden, as co-author of the Eastern Partnership, has a big role. “We assess the support shown by the Swedish side in the success of that cooperation and we hope that from now on we can also rely on the support of your country, including in the process aimed at the EU visa facilitation for the RA citizens,” the Committee Chair said.
It has been noted that the European Union has been and continues to remain one of Armenia’s most important counterparts: Armenia highlights the beginning of negotiations on signing of new legal format document with the EU.
Talking about the peaceful regulation of Nagorno Karabakh conflict, Artak Zakaryan has noted that Armenia highly assesses the balanced approach of Sweden in the peaceful regulation of the conflict in the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair format. “We also emphasize the posture of the Swedish parliamentary delegation to PACE during the discussions on Nagorno Karabakh, which does not retreat different Azerbaijani provocations directed to impeding the process of the peaceful settlement, remaining faithful to the official position of its country,” Artak Zakaryan said.
Referring to the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the Committee Chair has stated that it is not only the problem and wish of the Armenian people’s historic justice. It is the demand of the justice of the world’s civilized peoples for the creation of the human most fundamental principle: i.e. the severe precedent of the violation of the right to life, and its impunity became a basis for the implementation of the new genocides in future – Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, now Syria. “We are grateful to all individuals and countries, which through many years have supported us during our struggle. I am glad that Sweden is among them, and its parliament adopted a Resolution on recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 2010. I hope that the Sweden’s current policy will adopt the policy of implementation of the 2010 Resolution, which it has promised,” Mr Zakaryan said.
Thanking for the warm reception, the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of Parliament of the Kingdom of Sweden Kenneth G. Forslund has expressed conviction that it is important for Europe to have good relations, which promote the welfare, democracy, the freedom of speech, the strengthening of women’s rights, which in its turn will make easy the cooperation. “In Sweden we believe those values, we are the propagator in different spheres, we consider important them in our work,” Kenneth G. Forslund. In his word, the main platform of the implementation of Sweden’s foreign policy is Europe jointly with the UN. The MP highlighted the contacts existing between the two parliaments and the development of the two parliaments.
The RA Deputy Foreign Minister Karen Nazaryan delivered a speech on the theme The Political Agenda in the Context of Armenia-EU Relations. He expressed his gratitude for Sweden’s active involvement within the Eastern Partnership of the European Union, as well as the continuous cooperation with Armenia. In the Deputy Minister’s Armenia actively takes part in the discussions, meetings at different formats of the Eastern Partnership, presents its vision on the further cooperation and makes different recommendations. It has been noted that the negotiations over go on rather intensive. At present, Armenia together with EU member countries and structures is in the phase of differentiating and specifying the priorities of the Partnership in 2017 and in 2020.
The RA Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments Garegin Melkonyan delivered a speech on the theme The Economic Agenda in the Context of Armenia-EU Relations . He presented the RA-EU trade turnover volumes, noting that Armenia-European Union relations occupy high place in the RA trade policy and economic relations, as the EU is considered Armenia’s main trade counterparts. In the Deputy Minister’s word, joining the Eurasian Union, Armenia has developed its trade-economic ties with the European Union, and other Western or Eastern partner countries.
At the sitting the sides also touched upon the bilateral cooperation at the inter-parliamentary platforms, the integration of the Syrian Armenians, who had taken asylum in Armenia from Syria and other issues of bilateral issues.