11, 2009

Statement by President Sargsyan for the Press during the state visit to Hungary

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Ladies and Gentlemen:

I express my heartfelt gratitude to my colleague, President of the Republic of Hungary Lazslo Solyom, for hosting me in Hungary on a state visit.

Mr. President,

Your hospitality and state status of this visit underscored once again your determination to move the centuries-long Armenian-Hungarian friendship into the realm of interstate partnership.

Armenia attaches great importance to the further development of the Armenian-Hungarian relations in political, economic, and cultural areas. During the meetings, which were conducted in the atmosphere of friendship and constructive approach, together with the President of Hungary we discussed the current stage of our interstate relations and their perspectives, exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest. We stressed the necessity to maintain the continuity of our political dialogue, discussed promising areas for economic cooperation, and underlined the important role of rich cultural heritage of the Armenian and Hungarian peoples in strengthening relations between our two countries.

Taking into consideration the fact that Hungary is an EU country, while Armenia is involved in the initiatives which facilitate cooperation with the EU structures, we reached the agreement to view possibilities of cooperation within that framework, as well as in the framework of the European Neighborhood and Eastern Partnership programs.

We are confident that the agreements, which have been signed a little while ago, will enlarge the scope of bilateral relations and will create new opportunities for the mutually beneficial cooperation. Among them I would like to invite special attention to the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, which is one of the basic documents for trade and economic cooperation. The agreements signed in the areas of justice and agriculture will also bring their contribution to the development of the multifaceted cooperation between Armenia and Hungary. I hope, that the Armenian-Hungarian business forum that opens today in Budapest, as well as contacts and agreements established in the framework of the forum, will also become a serious impetus for the strengthening of economic ties between our two countries.

Using this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to the Hungarian justice system for its unequivocal and fair stance regarding the murder case of the Armenian officer Gurgen Margarian. At the time of the murder, I was the Defense Minister of Armenia and that horrendous crime shocked me to the core, as I am sure it shocked normal people all over the world. It is tragic that the unspeakable crime such as this one can be praised by some individuals as a heroic act. I am confident, that had not the Hungarian justice adopted such a resolute position, that kind of atrocity might be occurring in other countries as well.

With the President of Hungary we spoke also about a number of regional issues, stressing the importance of stability and cooperation and the resolution of the existing conflicts by peaceful means and through negotiations, based on the principles and norms of international law. We expressed confidence that the conflicts must be solved based on just and durable solutions, which is possible only if they are based on the human rights and peoples’ will rather than on political expediency.

I once again express my gratitude to President Solyom for accepting my invitation to visit Armenia. I am confident that the reciprocal visit of President Solyom will allow to continue this high-level dialogue, sum up the implementation of the reached agreements, and identify new prospects for the development and deepening of the multifaceted Armenian-Hungarian relations.

Thank you.

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