Panorama.am - 24/11
Within the framework of his working visit to the Kingdom of Belgium, President Serzh Sargsyan today met with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
Thankful for the warm welcome, President Sargsyan stressed that Armenia is interested in intensifying the Armenian-Belgian dialogue and making mutually beneficial the cooperation with the friendly Belgium, the presidential press service reported.
The interlocutors agreed that during the past 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Armenia and Belgium have developed relations in many areas based on mutual trust and understanding. President Sargsyan and Prime Minister Michel also agreed that their meeting is a good opportunity to outline ways of furthering cooperation. They highlighted the need for expanding cooperation on international platforms, especially within the EU.
With reference to EU-Armenia relations, Serzh Sargsyan expressed confidence that the signing of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement will open a new chapter in the history of bilateral relations, providing ever new opportunities for the deepening of relations with the European Union and its member states, including Belgium. From the perspective of promoting the Armenian-Belgian bilateral cooperation agenda, the President of Armenia highlighted the activation of high-level political contacts and expressed the hope that the dialogue between Armenia and its friendly and reliable partner Belgium would be continuous, supported by regularly paid mutual visits.
President Sargsyan underscored that Belgium is of special importance to Armenia because it granted shelter to our compatriots who had survived the Genocide and whose descendants are today the cornerstone of the Armenian community in Belgium. The President conveyed to Charles Michel the appreciation of the Armenian people for his statement of June 18, followed by the adoption of a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide in the House of Representatives on July 23, which completed the process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Belgium. Note that the Belgian Senate passed a similar resolution on the Armenian Genocide as far back as in 1998.
The parties praised the Armenian community of Belgium, which was said to play an important role in the promotion of bilateral relations. Serzh Sargsyan and Charles Michel next discussed issues related to Armenian-Belgian trade relations and cooperation in a number of mutually beneficial fields. The President suggested that Belgian companies consider the possibility of engaging in Armenia’s economy, taking into account the business-friendly investment environment created in the country, as well as Armenia’s involvement in different integration processes.
As the President pointed out, Armenia’s proactive membership in the International Organization of La Francophonie is another opportunity to deepen bilateral cooperation in the fields of science and culture, municipal governance and other spheres. Noting that next year Armenia will be hosting the 17th Summit of La Francophonie, the President thanked Belgium for support, and availed himself of the opportunity to invite Prime Minister Michel to attend the Summit due to be held in October, 2018.