Italy Emphasizes Warm Attitude Towards Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"The countries of the South Caucasus are seeking close integration into the European family–and we find cooperation in political and economic reforms–strengthening of democracy to be promising," said Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister Margarita Boniver during her July 18 meeting with Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian. Stating that in a year Italy will take over the EU presidency–the Italian diplomat said the regional visit of the delegation led by her should be regarded in this context.

In connection with bilateral relations–Boniver emphasized the warm attitude of her country towards Armenia and readiness to be useful.

In President Kocharian’s estimation–the Armenian-Italian political dialogue is developing quite successfully–and there are successes in the economic sphere as well. According to the president–the economic model chosen by Italy is of interest to Armenia. He called the recent opening of a new building of the Italian embassy in Yerevan an important event that will make it possible to boost its work in Armenia.

According to the presidential press service–Kocharian briefed the Italian official on the political and economic reforms in Armenia. According to him–serious institutional reforms have been carried out and they are a solid basis for stability in the country.

The two also discussed the Karabakh conflict. According to Boniver–as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group–Italy is ready to render the necessary support in the settlement process.

According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s Public Relations Department–the deputy foreign minister of Italy also met with Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian.

"Issues concerning Armenian-Italian bilateral relations–cooperation in international structures–process of settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict were discussed with Boniver. We also referred to the process of integration of Armenia with European structures–particularly–Armenia-EU relations," said Vardan Oskanian during a joint press conference.

Referring to bilateral relations between the two countries–Oskanian stressed that the relations formed during ten years can be evaluated as positive. "But we think that we have many possibilities to enlarge and deepen our relations. We agreed to pay maximum attention to development of bilateral relations both in economic and cultural spheres. Concerning this some agreemen’s were reached during our meeting with Italian deputy foreign minister," said Oskanian.

The Italian deputy foreign minister–also stating the importance of strengthening and deepening of bilateral relations–said that necessary conditions must be created for Italian investors. According to her–the agreement on air communication signed between Armenia and Italy will support the deepening of Italian-Armenian cooperation.

Referring to Karabakh conflict–Boniver said that Italy is ready to help as a mediator. "Our position is coincides with EU’s and we are sure this conflict must be solved via peaceful negotiations," she said.

At the end of the meeting–the sides signed an agreement between the Armenian government and the Italian government on air communication.

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