PARIS (MFA) — Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, upon arrival in Paris On May 12, had a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Marc Ayrault. He also held consultations with French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir and French lawmakers.

Foreign Ministers of Armenia and France had a thorough discussion on cooperation in bilateral political, trade and economic, inter-parliamentary, decentralized, humanitarian cooperation and other fields.

Ministers Nalbandian and Ayrault commended the high level of bilateral relations, reflected on possibilities for further development and enhancement of economic cooperation. In this context, Minister Nalbandian stressed that nearly 160 companies with French capital operate in Armenia, and Armenia welcomes French investment growth and initiatives in this direction.

The Ministers touched upon cooperation within International Organization of La Francophonie.

The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue had a central role in the negotiations.

Minister Nalbandian presented to his counterpart the situation unfolded as a result of the aggressive actions of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh, attached importance to consistent efforts exerted with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries to exclude what happened in early April and to resolve the issue exclusively through peaceful means.

The Ministers shared the view, that the use of force is unacceptable, and there is no alternative to negotiated settlement. They stressed the importance and necessity of unconditional implementation of trilateral ceasefire and ceasefire consolidation agreements of 1994-1995, which have no time limitations. In this context, the Ministers emphasized the urgency to create the mechanism for investigation of cease-fire violations and incidents and capacity enhancement of the team of the Personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.

Minister Nalbandian reaffirmed that when appropriate conditions are created, Armenia together with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries will continue to exert efforts for the settlement of the issues through negotiations.

During the meeting Jean-Marc Ayrault reference was made to the stabilization of situation in the Karabakh conflict zone and the steps targeted at restoring the negotiation process.

In this context the parties underlined that the main objective of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents proposed by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs is the reinforcement of the ceasefire established by the 1994 agreement and implementation of confidence-building measures with a view of restoring the negotiation process.

On the same day, Edward Nalbandian met members of Parliamentary Friendship Groups of the Senate of France and National Assembly of Armenia, with whom discussed a range of issues on the development of the Armenian-French relations, cooperation between legislative bodies of the two states, cooperation within Parliamentary Assemblies.

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