YEREVAN (Arminfo)–An Armenian Parliamentary delegation visiting Israel on Wednesday voiced its expectation that Israel legislature–the Knesset–will express its official position on the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide in the near future. The Armenian delegation pledged that as two nations that have survived genocides, both countries along with the international community must continue their struggle to prevent crimes against humanity.
The Armenian delegation led by the Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Artak Zakaryan visited Jerusalem and Tel Aviv at the official invitation of the Israeli Knesset from December 12 to 14.
The delegation consisted of the Armenian parliament members Hrant Bagratyan, Karen Saribekyan, as well as the Head of the Institute for the National Strategic Studies of the Armenian Defense Ministry, General-Mayor Hayk Kotanjyan. Armenia’s Ambassador to Egypt Armen Melkonyan and Armenia’s Honorary Consul to Israel Tsolak Momjyan accompanied the delegation as well.
In Jerusalem, the delegation met with the Knesset Deputy Speaker and head of Armenia-Israel Friendship Group Tali Ploskov, the Chairman of the Permanent Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tzachi Hanegbi, the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alon Ushpiz, the Head of the Department of Eurasia Zvi Rav-Ner, and the Chairman of the Trade Chamber Israel-Armenia Tsvi Kan-Tor. These are the first meetings at the level of the inter-parliamentary official relations between the Knesset and the National Assembly, during which different issues aimed at the activation of parliamentary relations and cooperation were discussed.
Zakaryan expressed satisfaction to the Knesset over the participation of the high-ranking parliamentary delegation in the events of the Armenian Genocide Centennial. The necessity of the intensification of the activities of the Friendship Group was also highlighted, and the idea of creating an Armenian-Israeli Forum to was discussed, where the concerned organizations and individuals will be given a possibility to be involved.
Ploskov highlighted the significance of the parliamentary cooperation and noted that the Friendship Group will promote the strengthening of Armenia-Israel relations. During the meeting with the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chair, Tzachi Hanegbi, issues relating to the situation created in the Middle East and in the South Caucasus, the problems of security, as well as the peaceful resolution of the conflicts were discussed.
Hanegbi also elaborated on advancing foreign relations in parliamentary system of government, including how issue of security and defense, the effective management of parliament-government cooperation are managed.
The Armenian delegation also briefed its counterparts on the latest developments of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, highlighting the damage that Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian campaign is causing the peace process.
The delegation had also a meeting with Archbishop Sevan Gharibyan at the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where issues concerning the Armenian community and the spiritual-cultural life were discussed. On the same day, the delegation took part in a Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and met with the representatives of the Armenian community.