PARIS–After concluding his visit to the US, President Serzh Sarkisian went to France, where he met with that country’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday.
At the meeting, which took place after an official welcoming ceremony, the presidents of the two countries discussed the process and prospects of development of multifaceted Armenian-French relations.
Welcoming the President of Armenia, Sarkozy said that he is looking forward to his state visit to Armenia, adding that the framework of the visit itself is intended to demonstrate exceptionally good relations between the two states.
Sarkozy emphasized that France is Armenia’s friend and will always stand by its side. He also stressed that France is the second largest investor in Armenia and expressed France’s desire to come up with new projects to advance that relationship.
Sarkisian said that his visit to France coincided with the 20th anniversary celebrations of Armenia’s independence.
“We are proud of our relations with France, and we attach the utmost importance to the established close relations between our two states,” said Sarkisian who also hailed France’s continued support in Armenia’s development.
During a working dinner, the two leaders also discussed cooperation in the areas of energy, infrastructure development, education and culture.
They also addressed regional issues and discussed the current state of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
Prior to his meeting with Sarkozy, Sarkisian met with the Speaker of the French Parliament Bernard Accoyer, who characterized the inter-parliamentary relations with Armenia as unique.
The two emphasized the need for expanding inter-parliamentary diplomacy and highlighted the important role friendship groups play in the two countries’ legisatures.
On Wednesday, Sarkisian met with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon. The two discussed economic development, Euro-integration.
Fillion outlined France’s role in the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia and pledged that his country will also probe the possibility of implementing road and railway construction and strategic development ventures.
Sarkisian and Sarkozy attended a gala concert by renowned singer and the current Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland, Charles Aznavour at the Olympia concert hall. The concert was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.
“I would like to express my gratitude to both presidents, as their presence is highly important in our struggle,” Aznavour said in his welcoming remarks.
The unique show brought together several Armenian and French artists, including singer Hasmik Papian (soprano), pianist Tigran Hamasyan, comedians Michel Leeb and Laurent Gerra. Aznavour’s daughter, Seda, also performed during the concert.
Sarkisian arrived in Warsaw, Poland Thursday to take part in a summit of European Union leaders and members of the Eastern Partnership Program.