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Official News

Thursday, 25 October 2007



On October 24, 2007, RA Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan arrived on official visit to France from Washington. On the first day of the visit, a sumptuous reception was organized reception in honor of the Armenian Prime Minister, attended by members of the Senate and National Assembly of France, mayors, heads of authoritative Armenian organizations of France. Serzh Sargsyan has addressed the gathering with greeting remarks which read as follows in particular:





"Dear Reverends and Right Reverends,



Dear Mister Minister,



Dear Senators and Deputies,



Dear Ambassadors,



Dear Mayors and Members of Town Councils,



Dear Heads of Armenian Organizations of France,



Ladies and Gentlemen,



I am happy to meet with you and it is a great pleasure for me to see that so many important personalities have come together to honor me with their presence. This testifies to your dedication to the French-Armenian friendship. Most of you are well known in Armenia as today's architects of this friendship and I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you. Both in Armenia and in France, we have had several opportunities to discuss issues of current and future interest. I am here today to discuss with the top leadership of your country several key issues high on the French-Armenian cooperation agenda and the prospects of bilateral cooperation. I am confident that our meetings will go off in an atmosphere of mutual understanding as usual.



This confidence of mine is not accidental: it is based on both past and present-day warm and close ties of friendship that we characterize as privileged without hesitation. The mutual understanding and the reciprocated close contacts between the top management of our countries have become traditional. In fact, our presidents have a number of meetings each year, let alone the contacts between government members, parliamentarians, local self-government representatives. I can assert with certitude that the level of our bilateral cooperation is exceptional not only on a European scale.





France is our reliable partner in Europe which constantly backs us on the way to European integration. In particular, we think much of the assistance received from France under the European Neighborhood Policy.



France is sincerely interested in easing the tensions in South Caucasus and bringing peace to our region and undertakes constructive steps in this direction. You are all well aware that France is actively involved in the Karabakh peace process as co-chair of the OSCE Minsk group.



Today we are successfully cooperating with France in most various spheres. There are currently 120 enterprises with French equity operational in Armenia, including such renowned companies, as Alcatel, Veolia, Rubbish, Credit Agricole, Air France, Pernaud Ricard etc. Sanofi-Aventis and Societe Generale, too, are going to get engaged in Armenia.



Our government attaches high value to cultural, scientific and educational exchanges between our two countries and welcomes any joint undertaking in these areas. Armenians have traditionally had a bias for France and the French language and, in this respect, I find it quite natural that the French University of Armenia has been a success story. I am well aware that as young as it is, the University is considered to be among the best such institutions in the world. It is also one of Armenia's best universities today and we are truly pleased with the achievements of this joint project.





Perspective and mutually advantageous cooperation is being developed on the decentralized level. Friendly ties are in place between 25 towns and administrative units of Armenia and France. It is difficult to overestimate the role of the Armenian community of France in the strengthening of mutual relations. In case each of them carries out 2-3 projects annually, we will have quite an impressive number of similar events altogether. I would like to thank once again the mayors and members of municipal and regional councils in attendance, as well as the representatives of the French-Armenian friendship group of your parliament who are at the origin of said cooperation.



An undeniable role is played in the strengthening of the Armenian-French friendship by the Armenian community of France. They are a living bridge between our two countries and peoples. We are proud of those great names that those of Armenian origin have accorded to France. Our government highly appreciates the numerous humanitarian, health care and educational projects implemented in Armenia by France-based Armenian organizations and individuals. I wish to thank sincerely the representatives of the Armenian community of France in the person of clergymen, the chairman of the council for coordination of the activities of the Armenian organizations of France, the heads of Armenian establishments, as well as entrepreneurs, lawyers, physicians, scholars and news reporters.



Here, I would like to evoke of an event which has undoubtedly been a landmark in the history of our bilateral relationship - the Year of Armenia in France, which in a way summed up the wealth of our centuries-old ties and today's hectic interaction agenda. From the very outset, Armenia's high authorities and the government attached a great importance to this event. The celebrations of Armenia's Year in France were made possible thanks to the joint efforts of our two countries' public, non-governmental and cultural organizations and the devoted work of many individuals.



Highly appreciative of the special attention given to the celebrations of Armenia's Year in France by the political authorities of France, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the people of France, to your government, local self-government bodies, as well as all those organizations and individuals owing to the efforts of which Armenia's Year in France was translated into a true holiday of friendship.



I am confident that the Year of Armenia in France will stimulate strongly the expansion of not only cultural, but also economic, educational and scientific cooperation between the two countries, as well as the development of ever closer ties between individuals to the benefit of our two countries' and peoples' traditional friendship.



I have strong reasons to assert that the current atmosphere of mutual sympathy between our two peoples will be furthering in future. In this connection, I have made a noteworthy observation one of these days: on the way to the office, I often happened to see school-bound boys and girls holding briefcases on which it was written: "Armenie-mon amie" (Armenia -my friend). I feel that these 3 words may well describe the future of the Armenian-French relationship in the person of these children who are aware of a friendly country, a friendly people and have an idea of France.



In conclusion of my remarks, I would like to greet you again. Let peace and prosperity always be with our peoples and let our friendship lasts for ever.



Let God safeguard France, let God safeguard Armenia and long live the friendship between Armenia and French."



Later today RA Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan is scheduled to have a meeting with Prime Minister of the French Republic Francois Fillon.

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