PARIS (ArmRadio) —Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met with French legislators during his visit to Paris on May 13 including his French counterpart French Jean-Marc Ayraul, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir, Jean Bize, Chairman of the French Senate European Affairs Committee, and members of Parliamentary Friendship Groups of the Senate of France and National Assembly of Armenia.
The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and France discussed issues related to the political and economic, humanitarian cooperation on the state, parliamentary and decentralized level.
Nalbandian and Ayraul hailed the high level of bilateral relations. They referred to the perspectives of further development and expansion of cooperation. Nalabndian stressed that there are about 160 companies with French capital are operating in Armenia, and noted that our country welcomes the growth of French investments and new initiatives in that direction.
The process of settlement of the Karabakh conflict was high on the agenda of the meeting.
Nalbandian briefed his French counterpart on the situation created as a result of Azerbaijan’s aggressive actions against Nagorno-Karabakh, and stressed the importance of the consistent efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs towards excluding the reoccurrence of events that happened in early April and solving the conflict in a peaceful way.
The Ministers agreed that the use of force is unacceptable, and there is no alternative to peaceful settlement. They emphasized the importance of the 1994 and 1995 agreements on ceasefire and stressed the need for their full implementation.
In this context they attached importance to establishing methods of investigation of ceasefire violations and border incidents and the extension of liabilities of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.
Nalbandian reiterated that if favorable conditions are created, Armenia will continue to work jointly with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs towards solving the issue through peaceful means.
The Armenian Foreign Minister invited Ayraul to Armenia.
Nalbandian also had a meeting with French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir.
During the meeting, stabilization of Karabakh’s conflict and the steps regarding the peace process were discussed.
The parties underlined that the main objective of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs is to reinforce the ceasefire established by the 1994 agreement and implementation of confidence-building measures with a view of restoring the negotiation process.
Desir and Nalbandian discussed Armenia-EU relations and the current talks on formation of a new Armenia-EU legal basis.
The Armenian Minister wishes to start the dialogue on visa liberalization on the basis of the existing achievements.
The parties exchanged views on a number of urgent regional and international issues.
Nalbandian met with Jean Bize, as well, Chairman of the French Senate European Affairs Committee.
The sides discussed efforts towards overcoming the consequences of large-scale military actions unleashed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh, and possibilities of peace talks.
Nalbandian spoke about Bize’s statement from April 7, assessed the situation and proposed steps towards the peace process. Implementation of methods for investigation of the cease-fire violations was stressed.
During the meeting, Armenia-European Union relations, negotiations on a new legal framework for cooperation, and start of the dialogue on visa liberalization were reflected on.
On the same day, Nalbandian met members of Parliamentary Friendship Groups of the Senate of France and National Assembly of Armenia, with whom he discussed a range of issues on the development of the Armenian-French relations, cooperation between legislative bodies of the two states, and cooperation within Parliamentary Assemblies.
Overcoming consequences of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh was the main topic of discussion during the meeting, while Nalbandian thoroughly presented to the French Senators efforts exerted by Armenia and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in this direction.
Further topics of discussion were developments unfolded in the Middle East, the fight against terrorism, and migration crises.