SOCHI, Russia – Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian participated in the meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State that took place today in Sochi, reported the press service of the Armenian President.
The meeting was presided over by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Issues related to the further development of cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, and humanitarian spheres as well as other key areas of CIS activities were discussed at the meeting.
In a narrow format, the Heads of State exchanged views on cooperation within the framework of the CIS. They also discussed issues related to CIS presidency, as well as the date and venue of the next regular meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State.
The meeting also focused on the joint efforts in economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, defense policy, external borders protection, countering terrorism, as well as the challenges arising from the Commonwealth’s adaptation to new realities.
CIS Executive Committee Chairman-Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev presented the outcome of discussions held in both narrow and extended formats.
Later today, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is due to meet in Sochi.
The following is the text of Serzh Sarkisian’s speech:
Dear Mr. Chairman,
Dear Heads of State and Delegations!
First of all, I wish to thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for the traditionally warm welcome and hospitality, and for organizing the summit at such a high level.
The agenda of today’s meeting, as well as the list of issues included in it reflects the effectiveness of the active chairmanship of the Russian Federation in the Commonwealth, primarily aimed at the furtherance of the CIS, considering its adaptation to contemporary realities.
I would like to dwell on a number of issues that seem to be topical from our point of view as regards the Commonwealth and interstate cooperation. We have initiated several substantive discussions on a number of issues reflected in last year’s decision on adaptation. We support this process, which should be reflected in the cooperation of States interested in all possible areas of interaction.
Another important area of joint work is cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. We support the Statement “On support of the family and traditional family values” as proposed by the Russian side, well aware that the institution of the family is the basis of society and a cohesive factor for peoples.
Being interested in expanding cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, we believe that the Cultural Capitals interstate program is a useful initiative in terms of preserving and developing cultural ties between CIS countries.
Next year the Armenian city of Goris is due to be proclaimed as the cultural capital of the Commonwealth. We are now inviting the representatives of CIS countries to the events that will be held throughout the year in that beautiful part of Syunik Marz of Armenia.
I also want to emphasize the significance of the Year of Book due in 2019 and the Year of the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War in 2020.
Five years ago, in connection with the 500th anniversary of Armenian printing, UNESCO proclaimed Yerevan the world capital of the book – an event that we widely celebrated with the participation of guests, including from the CIS countries.
Prioritizing the development of human capital, we set the broadening of the scope of book readers as the leitmotif of numerous events, since the availability of a reading and developed society is crucial for us.
I am sure that the forthcoming celebration of Great Victory anniversary is another reason to honor the memory of those who died in the fight against fascism. In Armenia, there is no family to have been spared by this tragedy: every second Armenian front-line soldier never returned home. It is also a good opportunity to jointly oppose attempts to reanimate the ideology of fascism, the spread of xenophobia and racism in the world.
Armenia has repeatedly stressed the need for the international community to oppose a united front to such phenomena as international terrorism, extremism and organized crime. I support the adoption of relevant documents streamlining CIS countries’ joint efforts in the fight against money laundering, financing of terrorism, drug trafficking and other cross-border crimes.
In conclusion, I would like to wish good luck to our Tajik colleagues and, personally, to President Emomali Rahmon, who is taking over the chairmanship in the Commonwealth, and to express our willingness to assist them with the implementation of all planned actions in the best interest of CIS nations.