Dear Mr. Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank my colleague José Manuel Albares Bueno for the warm welcome and fruitful discussions.
I am glad to visit Madrid on the jubilee of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Spain, which surely is a good opportunity to reevaluate the potential in the relations between our two countries and to give a new impetus to the mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation. In this context, it is also noteworthy that in the history of our diplomatic relations, today is the first visit of the Foreign Minister of Armenia to Spain with a bilateral agenda.
I would also like to commend the decision of the Spanish Government to establish a resident diplomatic representation in Armenia. I am hopeful that in the near future the representation will also provide consular services, which will greatly contribute to the growth of tourism between the two countries. I am confident that this important step will be a positive contribution to the further activation of Armenian-Spanish interstate relations.
Armenian-Spanish cooperation is based not only on the centuries-old relations between the two peoples, but also on the fundamental values of democracy, protection of human rights and the rule of law. In this context, I want to emphasize that as a result of the elections held in 2018 and 2021, the Armenian people definitely chose the path of democratic development, and the Armenian Government is fully implementing the agenda of democratic reforms approved by our people.
Today, during our discussions, together with my colleague we referred to the prospects for the development of cooperation between Armenia and Spain in the fields of trade and economy. Although the volume of trade turnover between Armenia and Spain is not big, it is gratifying that, for example, in 2021, as compared to 2020, we have a 36% increase, and in 2022 the volumes of the first four months have increased almost three times compared to 2021.
We also emphasized the implementation of ambitious programs in high and information technologies, renewable energy, tourism, creative education and a number of other fields. I consider the launch of the first Armenian satellite into space as a significant example of Armenian-Spanish cooperation, which is the first, and surely not the last excellent result of the cooperation between the Armenian “Geocosmos” and the Spanish “Satlantis” companies.
Spain is also one of the important states in the European Union, and in this regard, we exchanged views on the prospects for the further development of the Armenia-EU partnership.
Obviously, we also referred to a number of issues of regional stability and security. I have presented to my colleague in detail the situation around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the vision of the Armenian side regarding the process aimed at establishing stability and security in the region.
I reaffirmed the position of Armenia to continue negotiations with Azerbaijan for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the international mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.
We also touched upon the humanitarian consequences of the 44-day war. We discussed the Armenian POWs being held in Azerbaijan to this day, the Armenian cultural heritage in the territories fallen under the control of Azerbaijan, and other remaining humanitarian issues.
I want to emphasize once again that the Armenian government is making the necessary efforts on its part both in the direction of unblocking regional infrastructures and transport routes, delimitation and border security, as well as the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, and the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
I will conclude my speech with this.
Mr. Albares, I am once again grateful for the warm welcome, and taking this opportunity I want to officially invite you to Armenia.