PARIS (RFE/RL) — French President Emmanuel Macron met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in Paris on Friday for talks focused on an upcoming summit of Francophonie nations to be held in Yerevan next month.

According to the Armenian prime minister’s spokesman, Macron and Pashinian also discussed issues pertaining to the business forum to be organized within the framework of the Francophonie summit in the Armenian capital.

Greeting Pashinian, Macron reportedly highlighted the importance of the Armenian leader’s visit to France, expressing conviction that “it will promote and give a new impetus to the further development of friendly relations between the two countries.”

The French president underlined that his country is ready to continue the efforts aimed at “expanding close cooperation with friendly Armenia in different spheres.”

The French leader reportedly expressed confidence that the upcoming Francophonie summit in Yerevan will be held at a high level. The Armenian prime minister, for his part, said: “I am convinced that our meeting will give a new quality to our privileged relations based on centuries-old historical friendship.” He stressed the importance of Armenia’s hosting the 2018 Francophonie Summit, describing it as one of the most important events in Yerevan since the South Caucasus country gained independence in 1991. Pashinian reaffirmed his government’s commitment to ensure a successful holding of the summit and expressed confidence that “it will contribute to the further rise of the reputation and influence of the Francophonie.”

The French president is due to visit Yerevan for the events on October 11-12.

During the meeting at the Elysee Palace the two leaders also addressed the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, the spokesman, Arman Yeghoyan, said to RFE/RL’s Armenian service.

Along with the United States and Russia, France co-chairs the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group, an international format promoting a peaceful resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

According to the information posted on the prime minister’s official website, Pashinian praised the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, including France’s efforts aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the region. The prime minister underlined that Armenia is committed to continue negotiations to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

“The Armenian prime minister and the French president attached importance to a peaceful settlement of the problem through the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs,” Pashinian’s spokesman added.

The two leaders reportedly agreed to discuss the agenda of the French-Armenian relations in more detail during Macron’s state visit to Armenia next month.

During his two-day visit to Paris the Armenian prime minister also held meetings with representatives of the French-Armenian community as well as with business circles of France.

Addressing members of the French Enterprise Movement today, Pashinian, in particular, called for French investments in the Armenian economy.

“I want to assure you that all investors will have dialogue-based relations with the Government of Armenia within the limits of honesty and legitimacy. Those who engage in economic activity will not have competitors in the government, since business and politics should be separated, and those who are engaged in politics should not engage in business. The Armenian government has been able to enforce this condition within a short period of time because it enjoys full confidence of the Armenian people,” Pashinian said, as quoted by his press service.

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