FM Kotzias visits Armenia, agrees on actions designed to enhance bilateral relations

Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias was received by Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan on Thursday, while on an visit to Armenia. During the meeting they expressed a joint desire to upgrade cooperation between Greece and Armenia and raise it to a strategic level.

In order for this to happen, Kotzias said, three asymmetries had to be addressed: the gap between the mutual friendly feelings of the two peoples and the level of bilateral relations, the gap between the very highly developed political relations and the level of economic relations and the gap between the will to promote cooperation and the implementation of agreements made.

In this context, they agreed to form a joint committee supervised by the foreign ministries of the two countries to examine the existing legal framework and decide what needs to be updated or replaced, as well as identify areas where new agreements might be signed. The aim is that the legal framework will reflect the excellent cooperation between the two sides and the prospects for expanding this cooperation in the future.

In relation to economic cooperation, they agreed that a business forum should take place in Yerevan in the second half of 2017 and the most promising areas for economic cooperation identified. The two sides additionally highlighted the importance of cooperation in cultural issues, promising to fully exploit existing possibilities and take such cooperation one step further.

Kotzias also proposed closer cooperation on a foreign ministry level to enhance political dialogue, as well as the transfer of Greek knowhow to assist Armenia’s efforts for closer cooperation with the EU.
Karapetyan welcomed the Greek foreign minister’s proposals, saying that Armenia gives great weight to Greece’s contribution in efforts for closer dialogue between the EU and the Euroasiatic economic community.

Earlier on Thursday, Kotzias met Armenian Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakyan, in the presence of the Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Eduard Sharmazanov, and the two sides again expressed a desire for closer cooperation, especially between the respective Parliaments of the two countries, with emphasis on economic and trade ties.

Kotzias also presented an invitation to the Armenian Parliament Speaker from Greek Parliament President Nikos Voutsis to visit Greece after the upcoming elections in Armenia.

Finally, in a working dinner with Armenian Defence Minister Vigen Sargsyan, Kotzias discussed security issues and cooperation in training between the two countries. He concluded a round of meetings on the first day of his visit by meeting Catholicos Karekin II, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.