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Foreign Minister’s, N. Kotzias, statements following his meeting with the Armenian FM, Mr. E. Nalbandian (Yerevan, 10/3/2017)
I would like to thank Edward for his warm welcome here in Armenia, and for our cooperation all of these years being together in the international fora and organizations. Today, like yesterday, we had a very constructive meeting during which we discussed all our bilateral and multilateral interests.
As you know, this year we are celebrating the anniversary for the 25 years of our diplomatic relations, but that stands for our modern States and as I say we have had thousands of years of diplomatic relations, without having official diplomacy.
We explored ways to expand our relations in all the fields. We have three asymmetries in our relations: we have much stronger feelings than the reality of our relations proves, hence we love each other as countries, but we have not deepened our relations enough· we have very good political relations, but our economic relations are still lagging and finally, we have always had the will to cooperate but from our side, as Greece, but we have not done enough to implement everything. So we have agreed to find the way in order to create the institutions we need for our cooperation and to take stock of all our treaties and agreements in order to decide what we are going to do and which initiatives we need to start or restart.
We think that on trade and investments there is a lot of possibilities, so we have agreed to organize at the end of this year a Business Forum, here in Erevan, where Greek companies will come to seek ways of cooperation and investments in fields like energy, health, telecommunications, construction, etc.
For me and Edward, as well, diplomatic relations are not only about economic relations. There are relations in other very important fields, like education, culture, cooperation between universities and research centers. We also discussed how to deepen our cooperation in the field of tourism. We would like to see more Armenians visiting the Greek islands; we would like to see more Greeks visiting the beautiful Armenia.
We have also discussed how we can cooperate in questions regarding European Union and how to find ways in order to deepen the relations between Armenia and EU. As you know, we are one the oldest members of the EU, with a long tradition and expertise. We would like to find ways to deepen our cooperation on European matters. One of the most important issues is to make efforts concerning the visa regime, so that the EU opens up a real discussion for the visa liberalization for Armenian citizens.
Last but not least, we have discussed the cooperation between our Diasporas. We are not big countries – maybe small or medium in size- but we do have very important Diasporas.
We have not only discussed our cooperation, we have also discussed important regional problems, such as the Cyprus issue and the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. We support the peace process, the peace negotiations, the OSCE Minsk group Cochairs’ efforts. We support security and stability in these crisis ridden regions.
Once again, Edward, my good friend, thank you very much for our discussions, for what you have done for the development of our relations. Many thanks to the Armenian people. Thank you!