YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A delegation led by Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Sirka Lisa Antila arrived in Armenia on Monday at the invitation of Armenia’s top legislator Armen Khachatrian.
According to the National Assembly Public Relations Department–the delegation was welcomed by Vice-Speaker Gagik Aslanian. Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of Armenian-Finnish Friendship Arsen Darbinian and Armenia’s Ambassador to Finland Vladimir Karmirshalian also attended the meeting.
Armen Khachatrian expressed hope that not only inter-parliamentary relations–but also economic cooperation will develop between the two countries. They outlined areas of possible cooperation–such as agriculture–science–education–public health–jeweler’s art–high technologies–and others. Antilla thanked the speaker for the reception–reminding those present of her promise to establish a Finish-Armenian parliamentary friendship group in the parliament of Finland as soon as she returns to Helsinki.
Finland recognized Armenia’s Independence on December 30–1991 and diplomatic relations were established March 25–1992. According to the Armenian president’s decree–Vladimir Karmirshalian was appointed the Ambassador to Finland on March 7–2000. Finland’s Ambassador to Armenia Timo Lahelma presented his credentials to the President of Armenia Robert Kocharian on March 13–2001.
It should be mentioned that Finland is the first country that granted women the right to vote and run for election in 1906. Among the 200 deputies in Finland’s parliament–74 are women–8 of the 18 members of the government and the leaders of 2 parties among the existing 7 are also women. Among the seven candidates for the post of the president four were women–and the newly elected president of Finland is also a woman–Tarya Halonen. The parliament leader is also a woman.