Switzerland-Armenia Parliamentary Group Visits Yerevan

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Members from the Swiss Federal Assembly’s Switzerland-Armenia Parliamentary group were in Yerevan on Wednesday meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian on the first leg of a two-day visit aimed at bolstering bilateral ties between the two landlocked mountainous countries.

The group, headed by Christine Egerszegi-Obrist, met also with National Assembly Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan and with the members of the Armenia-Switzerland friendship group for talks focused on the deepening of interparliamentary cooperation between Armenia and Switzerland.

Thanking the visiting delegation for the Swiss Federal Assembly’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 2003, Sarkisian said he appreciated the “rather interesting” agenda of bilateral cooperation formed over the past years.

He also underscored the “special importance” of parliamentary ties and “multifaceted” relations between Yerevan and Bern as a means to further Armenia’s drive toward integration with Europe.

“We seek to develop European values, and our objective is to have Armenia become a modern, strong country, where its citizen will feel safe and protected,” Sarkisian said during discussions which also centered on developmen’s in Armenia-Turkey relations and the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process.

“Our objective is to reach a peaceful resolution to the [Karbakh] conflict based on mutual concessions, while taking into consideration the historical realities, and primarily, the future of people,” Sarkisian explained.

Speaking on Armenia-Turkey relations, Sarkisian said Armenia is ready to establish relations with Turkey without preconditions, adding that the two country’s can discuss the existing issues after they have normalized ties.

The head of the Switzerland-Armenia parliamentary group noted the geographic and cultural similarities between Armenia and Switzerland. Neither has access to the sea or significant natural resources, she said. But both have great dreams and capabilities, she added.

During meetings with their Armenian counterparts in the Armenia-Switzerland friendship group, Dominique de Buman, the Swiss parliamentary group’s co-chair, spoke of the vital role parliamen’s play in democratic states. He also discussed the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Switzerland’s parliament.

Abrahamyan thanked the Swiss Deputies, on behalf of the National Assembly, for their active support to the adoption of the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and expressed confidence that their visit will contribute to the development of interparliamentary ties between the two countries, which “will, in turn, have a positive influence on the development of interstate ties in the trade-economic, scientific-cultural, healthcare and other spheres.”

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