YEREVAN — India and Armenia on Tuesday signed three agreements to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including military cooperation, after Vice President of India Hamid Ansari held discussions with the Armenian leadership including Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.
“These are matters that the leadership of the two countries discuss on the basis of mutual requirements,” Ansari told reporters when asked about the possibility of Indian-Armenian defense ties. He said that the two states indent to “further our cooperation in the areas of common interest.”
Both sides also stressed that terrorism is a major concern for the world and there cannot be double standard on this issue.
During the discussions, Ansari emphasized that there is nothing like good or bad terrorism. Both sides acknowledged that international community has to speak in one voice against the terrorism and there cannot be double speak on this menace.
Armenia stated that how it had provided voluntary support for India at international forums that also include the United Nations (UN).
Ansari’s talks with Karapetian focused on economic issues, with the Armenian premier saying that his government is ready to put in place “necessary favorable conditions” for Indian companies interested in Armenia. According to official Armenian statistics, Indian-Armenian trade stood at a modest $21 million last year.
Briefing about the talks, Preeti Saran, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, said that India and Armenia are celebrating 25 years of their diplomatic relations and the visit of Vice President begins a new chapter in their ties.
During the discussions, the two countries acknowledged that connectivity between the two sides is a vital aspect of their ties and agreed to augment cooperation in terms of direct flights between the two nations, Saran said.
In order to improve people-to-people contact, the two sides also agreed for liberalizing their visa regimes, she said.
Saran further stated that the two sides also decided to augment cooperation in agriculture sector and a joint working group will soon have a meeting to finalize the details.
There also talks on enhancing space cooperation between the two nations, in which satellite, remote sensing data and training of scientists are some of the vital aspects. And India has extended help to Armenia in this sector, she said.