YEREVAN (Combined Sources) – During a visit to Armenia, an Israeli parliamentary delegation headed by Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Tali Ploskov and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yoel Hasson, had the opportunity to meet with various Armenian officials as well as an Armenian delegation from the Armenian-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship Group.
On September 12, Gagik Minasyan, the leader of the Armenian-Israeli Parliamentary Friendship group, met with an Israeli delegation headed by Tali Ploskov, who’s also chair of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Israel-Armenia.
Welcoming the visit of the guests to Armenia, Minasyan highly appreciated the cooperation of the friendship groups. He expressed hope for even greater consolidation and development of relations, which is important both in terms of economics and humanitarian relations. Minasyan, in particular, noted that economic relations, despite the availability of potential, are unsatisfactory. In this context, the interlocutors emphasized the importance of the “Armenia-Israel Public Forum” initiative, considering it the best platform for the development of Armenian-Israeli relations.
The head of the Armenian-Israeli parliamentary friendship group said that the Armenians are particularly sympathetic to the Jews, which is due to the historical communions of the two peoples.
Addressing the Artsakh issue, Minasyan noted that Armenia is firm in resolving the conflict by peaceful means, while Azerbaijan is trying to resolve the issue by military means, which was also demonstrated by the April four-day war that was unleashed last year.
The meeting also touched upon the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In the assessment of the leader of the friendship group, historical justice has not yet been achieved. “The unrecognized and unpardonable crime opens new doors for a new crime,” Minasyan emphasized. He expressed the hope that the process started on this issue in the Knesset of Israel will bring the process to its logical conclusion.
Deputy Speaker Ploskov thanked Minasyan for the warm welcome and also stressed the need to deepen diverse relations. According to Ploskov, over the past two years, a great deal of work has been done that include the strengthening of bilateral contacts and the implementation of direct flights between the two countries. Both these efforts promote further cooperation.
Turning to the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Ploskov noted that the members of the Knesset of Israel understood the pain of the Armenian people – the question was heard, but, unfortunately, he received a political color. In this context, Ploskov reiterated her thoughts at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex during last year’s visit to Armenia: “If the world did not forgive the Armenian Genocide, there would probably not be a Jewish Holocaust.”
Ploskov emphasized that Israel supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group in resolving the Karabakh conflict, and believes that the problem should be solved exclusively by peaceful means.
Other issues of bilateral interest were also discussed. Members of the friendship groups emphasized the need to deepen ties in the field of economics, high technology, agriculture, tourism, culture, and the expansion of contacts between the two peoples.
The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on September 12. The members laid a wreath at the monument eternalizing the memory of 1915 Armenian Genocide victims and in silence bowing honored the memory of one and a half million innocent victims. The guests had also been in the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute and left a note in the Commemoration Book.
Meanwhile on September 13, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian held a meeting with the Israeli parliamentary delegation. Nalbandian highlighted the recent activation of mutual visits between Armenia and Israel, expressing conviction that regular communication is the most efficient way of strengthening mutual ties.
Israeli officials remarked that their 3-day visit is filled with different meetings, which allows them to discuss the opportunities of deepening cooperation between the countries on different levels.
“Holding of the third session of Public Forum of Armenian-Israeli Cooperation in Yerevan shows that it is becoming an important platform for dialogue,” said the Armenian foreign minister.