Dates of Macron’s state visit to Armenia to be clarified through diplomatic channels – Ambassador Tolmajyan
YEREVAN, JUNE 26, ARMENPRESS. France continues holding leading positions in Armenia’s economy in terms of investments. The relations of Armenia and France are developing with a great pace in a number of other fields.
Hasmik Tolmajyan – Armenia’s Ambassador to France, gave an interview to ARMENPRESS, talking about the current situation of the Armenian-French friendly ties, the possible visit of President Emmanuel Macron to Armenia and a number of other topics.
-Mrs. Ambassador, how would you describe the current Armenian-French relations?
-The Armenian-French relations are described as unique. It is reflected by the close political dialogue between the two countries and dynamically developing mutual partnership in all areas of bilateral cooperation. The historically friendly ties between the Armenian and French peoples, of course, created a good base for establishing close inter-state relations between the two countries since Armenia’s independence. I also would like to highlight the unique role of the Armenian community of France in terms of strengthening the Armenian-French friendship.
-What are the main directions of promoting the bilateral ties and cooperation?
-The current close political dialogue between the highest leaderships of the two countries has a special place in the Armenian-French unique relations. It is being strengthened with regular inter-state mutual visits: over the past one year Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and French President Emmanuel Macron met five times. Both leaders have used the first possible occasion to meet following the velvet revolution in Armenia.
Armenia highly values France’s attention to the issues which are of vital importance for the Armenian people. France, as an OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair country, has an important engagement in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict’s peaceful settlement process and the strengthening of lasting peace and security in our region. France is also a key partner for Armenia in the relations with the EU. Both countries have an excellent cooperation within the frames of international organizations, such as the UN, CoE and OSCE. I would like to specifically highlight the cooperation within the International Organization of La Francophonie which further intensified during the La Francophonie summit held in Yerevan in October 2018.
-How would you comment on the cancellation of memorandums of cooperation signed with the towns of Artsakh by the French courts?
-Of course, all issues relating to the pan-Armenian interests, the friendship of the Armenian and French peoples, are under our spotlight.
I would refrain to make a comment on the French internal legal processes. At the same time I attach importance to the formation of friendly platforms between the two peoples at various levels, including at the local self-government level, and in this process the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should not be an obstacle and should not be speculated.
-15 countries have already ratified the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA). At what stage is the ratification process of the Agreement by France?
-Armenia highly appreciated France’s support in the context of the Armenia-EU partnership. We are confident that the CEPA will serve as a new platform for deepening the bilateral cooperation.
On March 26 the French parliamentary committee on foreign affairs unanimously approved the bill on ratifying the CEPA and it is expected that France will ratify the Agreement in the near future.
-On April 10 President Macron signed a decree on declaring April 24 as a National Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. How do you assess the French steps towards the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide?
-France played a key role in the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. It is the first country in the world that recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2001 by law. The French President attended the ceremony dedicated to the Genocide’s 100th anniversary in Yerevan. Several dozen monuments, streets, squares in France are dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims.
-Mrs. Ambassador, during the dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France, President Macron announced his plan to visit Armenia. Are there any clarifications regarding the dates of this visit?
-Yes, you are right. The President publicly reaffirmed his plan to pay a state visit to Armenia in the future. Works will be carried out in coming months through the bilateral diplomatic channels aimed at clarifying the dates of the visit. I am confident this visit will give a new impetus to the Armenian-French firm friendship.
Interview by Norayr Shoghikyan
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan
Full version of the interview is available in Armenian.