YEREVAN — At the invitation of President Serzh Sarkisian, President Tomislav Nikolic of the Republic of Serbia arrived Saturday in Armenia on an official state visit.

Welcoming the dignitary, President Serzh Sarkisian underscored that the Armenian-Serbian friendship has deep historical roots and there has been numerous manifestations of mutual friendship throughout history which is the basis of deepening and strengthening the present interstate relations. Serzh Sarkisian expressed the hope that the visit of the Serbian President will give a new stimulus to promoting political dialogue and bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Tomislav Nikolic thanked President Serzh Sarkisian for the warm reception and noted that since his election as President of Serbia, he has attached great value to developing the Armenian-Serbian relations whose current level, according to the president, is dissatisfying. The Serbian President assured that his country will make maximum efforts to strengthen the Armenian-Serbian interstate ties and deepen cooperation.

At end of the meeting, President Serzh Sarkisian awarded Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic the Order of Glory in connection with his official visit to the Republic of Armenia and on the occasion of the traditional friendship between Armenia and Serbia. President Tomislav Nikolic reciprocally awarded President Serzh Sarkisian the Order of the Republic of Serbia.

Speaking after talks with Serbia’s visiting President, Sarkisian reaffirmed his government’s stated commitment to bolstering ties with the EU while being part of the Russian-led bloc. “Dialogue with the EU is continuing and will continue because we have many converging interests and common heritage, which we are using to continue the reform process in our country,” he said.

Membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will accelerate Armenia’s economic development and not hinder closer cooperation with the European Union, President Sarkisian claimed on Sunday.

“We made that decision to give new impetus to economic progress in our country,” he said two days after signing an accession treaty with fellow heads of state from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan at an EEU summit in Minsk.

The Serbian President visited Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex, laid a wreath at the Memorial to the Victims of the Armenian Genocide and paid tribute to the memories of the innocent victims. He also visited Armavir marz to lay a wreath at the Memorial to seven Serbian pilots who had come to the aid of Armenia following the days of the devastating earthquake in 1988 and killed in an air crash at the outskirts of Yerevan.

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