Bilateral Cooperation & International Relations

 

Monetary assistance, EU and IMF

EU to provide 31 mln Euro grant to Armenia
/Feb 21/ArmenPress.am/ 

YEREVAN – The Armenian government approved the proposal to sign the “EU for Armenia: Territorial Development” financing agreement with the European Union, reports Armenpress.

Minister of economic development and investments Tigran Khachatryan said within the frames of the agreement the EU will provide 31 million 250 thousand Euro grant to Armenia.

“The main objective of the agreement is to implement the general and balanced inclusive growth in northern regions of Armenia, Shirak, Lori and Tavush provinces, through the promotion of smart and sustainable agriculture, innovative tourism and creative industry branches. The program aims at assisting and boosting the market-based venture companies which propose solutions to territory specific challenges, as well as to give impetus to small and medium enterprises with an opportunity of quick growth”, the minister said during the Cabinet session.

The agreement is funded by the EU within the frames of the European Neighbourhood Instrument. The timetable for implementing the agreement comprises 72 months.
 

Սվիտալսկի. ՀՀ-ին ֆինանսական հանձնառության 20-25% ավելացում կլինի
/Feb 26/Verelq.am/

Հայաստանին ֆինանսական հանձնառության 20-25 տոկոս ավելացում կլինի : Ավելացումը կլինի « հովանոցային ֆոնդից » : Այս մասին լրագրողների հետ հանդիպմանն ասաց Հայաստանում ԵՄ դեսպան Պյոտր Սվիտալսկին։

Նրա խոսքով, ԵՄ-ն բարձր է գնահատում ժողովրդավարական ու այլ բարեփոխումների ընթացքը Հայաստանում։ Սվիտալսկին նշեց, որ Հայաստանում կա անհրաժեշտ քաղաքական կամք կոռուպցիայի դեմ պայքարում և ԵՄ-ն թեև դա բարձր է գնահատում, բայց միայն կամքը բավարար չէ.

«Հայաստանին անհրաժեշտ են նոր օրենքներ, մենք տեսնում ենք, որ կառավարության ծրագրում արդեն որոշակի նախաձեռնություններ ամրագրված են», – ասաց նա՝ ավելացնելով, որ ԵՄ-ն պատրաստ է կոռուպցիայի դեմ պայքարում աջակցել Հայաստանին։

«Ես հույս ունեմ, որ Հայաստանը կկարողանա ավելի շատ օգտվել այն հնարավորություններից, որ տրամադրում է Եվրամիությունը: Մենք շատ կառուցողական մթնոլորտ ունենք հիմա, քննարկում ենք կոնկրետ ծրագրեր, որից Հայաստանն ակնկալում է, որ ԵՄ-ն կնպաստի երկրի զարգացմանը», – շեշտեց Սվիտալսկին:

ԵՄ դեսպանը կարևորեց այն հանգամանքը, որ Հայաստանում դատական համակարգը լինի թափանցիկ : ԵՄ-ն, ասաց Սվիտալսկին, շատ լուրջ է վերաբերվում արդարադատության վերափոխմանը և կարծում է, որ դատաիրավական համակարգի գնահատման առումով Հայաստանն ունի շատ տարբերվող իրավիճակ, եթե որպես համեմատական վերցվի մինչև 2018-ի ապրիլ-մայիս ամիսները :
 

Monetary assistance provided to Armenia will greatly increase, says EU Ambassador
/Feb 26/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – The money provided by the EU to Armenia will greatly increase in 2019, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, said during a press conference today, reports Armenpress.

“Last year for the first time Armenia received 10 million Euros from the Umbrella Fund, and this is a political signal because being a member of the Umbrella Fund is more important rather than the amount of money received from the Fund. There will be an increase in assistance for Armenia from the Umbrella Fund in 2019 as well. This is again a very important political signal that the EU highly values the process of democratic and other developments”, he said.

The EU Ambassador expressed hope that Armenia will be able to use a lot from the EU assistance in coming years.
 

IMF ready to continue assistance to Armenian Government
YEREVAN – Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan received Head of International Monetary Fund Armenia Mission Hossein Samiei on February 26.

As ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia, the PM highlighted the effective cooperation with the IMF and the continuous assistance of the IMF to economic reforms. Nikol Pashinyan underscored that the Government’s priorities include reforms in various areas, including fight against corruption, taxation, justice and public administration. The head of the government underlined that the reforms are aimed at simplifying the tax policy, improving the business environment, boosting investments, and increasing the independence of the judiciary. According to the Head of the Government, the government’s goal is to make structural changes in the economy.

The head of the IMF mission in Armenia expressed confidence that the joint work will contribute to reforms in Armenia’s economy. Positively evaluating the steps undertaken by the Government, Hossein Samiey added that the IMF is ready to continue to assist the Government of Armenia in promoting reforms and is interested in implementing effective programs.

The interlocutors exchanged views on a number of other issues on the bilateral agenda.

 

Armenia-Iraq Relations

Իրաքյան կողմը պատրաստակամ է զարգացնելու համագործակցությունը ՀՀ էներգետիկ ոլորտի հետ
/Feb 25/Verelq.am/

Իրաքում ՀՀ դեսպան Հրաչյա Փոլադյանը փետրվարի 24-ին հանդիպել է Իրաքի էներգետիկայի նախարար, դոկտոր Լուեյ ալ-Խատիբին (Dr. Loay Al-Khatteeb) ։

Ինչպես հայտնում են ՀՀ ԱԳՆ լրատվության և հանրային դիվանագիտության վարչությունից, հանդիպման ընթացքում կողմերը քննարկել են էներգետիկայի բնագավառում երկկողմ հետաքրքրություն ներկայացնող մի շարք հարցեր, մասնավորապես՝ հայկական կողմը մատնանշել է Հայաստանից դեպի Իրաք էլեկտրականության առաքման, ինչպես նաև այլընտրանքային էներգիայի աղբյուրների օգտագործման ոլորտում համագործակցության զարգացման հնարավորությունների մասին։

Կողմերի միջև պայմանավորվածություն է ձեռք բերվել այդ բնագավառում տեղի ունեցող միջազգային ցուցահանդեսներին մասնակցության վերաբերյալ։ Նախարար ալ-Խատիբը, ներկայացնելով Իրաքի էներգտիկ ոլորտում առկա խնդիրները և ձեռնարկվող միջոցառումները, ՀՀ դեսպանին հայտնել է իրաքյան կողմի պատրաստակամությունը` խորացնելու և զարգացնելու երկկողմ համագործակցությունը։

 

Armenia-Iran Relations

Pashinyan invites Iranian tourists to Armenia
/Feb 27/ARKA/

YEREVAN – The number of Iranian tourists visiting Armenia has increased significantly after the abolition of the visa regime in 2016, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview with the Iranian news agency IRNA.
“Their number is especially large in late March when Iranians celebrate the Iranian New Year Novruz. On these days special measures are taken to ensure the safety of Iranian tourists and the 911 service is available also in Persian,” he said.
“It is obvious that tourism helps our people to get to know each other’s history, culture, traditions, spiritual and religious values, achievements of science and technology. Tourism development is one of the priorities of our country, and we make great efforts to make our country attractive for tourists,” Pashinyan stressed.
According to the National Statistics Committee of Armenia, in 2018 some 1,651,782 people visited Armenia, by 10.5% more than in 2017.  According to the latest statistical data for 9 months of 2018, 7.2% of all tourists arriving in Armenia are from Iran. A total of 1,275,209 people visited Armenia in the first 9 months of 2018.
 

Iran, Armenia sign 2 MoUs on economic coop.
/Feb 27/Mehr News Agency, Iran/

TEHRAN – Two memoranda of understanding for joint economic cooperation were signed between Iran and Armenia on Wed. in the presence of Iranian President Rouhani and

One of the MoUs was signed between Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran and Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia, while the other was inked between the High Council of Free-Industrial and Special Economic Zones of Iran and Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia.

Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, leading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, arrived in Tehran this morning to hold talks with senior Iranian officials.


Iranian president rejects FM Zarif’s resignation
/Feb 27/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani refused to accept the February 25 resignation of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, IRNA reported.

Zarif announced his resignation on Monday.

However, today President Rouhani in a letter said he will not accept the resignation of the foreign minister as the move is against the national interests of Iran.
 

Shortage of funds hinders implementation of joint Iranian-Armenian projects, expert says
/Feb 28/ARKA/

YEREVAN – According to an Armenian expert on Iran Gohar Iskandaryan, all joint Iranian-Armenian projects that should have been financed by the Iranian side were not implemented, because Iran had a shortage of funds. 
ppeaking at a news conference today she said because of hard economic situation Armenia likewise was not able to finance them. In her words, the situation has not changed.
Iskandaryan said the Armenian side needs to intensify work with the Iranian business community but warned about obstacles along the way.
“It seems to me that there is a language barrier problem. Iran’s business elite does not speak English very well, and almost doesn’t speak Russian. Their communication language is Farsi, which Armenian businessmen don’t master,” she said.
At the same time, Iskandaryan added that the language barrier is a purely technical problem that can be easily solved if a political decision is made.
Citing US sanctions against Iran, she said Armenia can organize cooperation with Iran within a certain framework. According to her, Armenia is more attractive to Iran and its entrepreneurs not as a bridge to the Eurasian Economic Union, but as a path to the European market, because Armenia enjoys the preferential GSP + trade regime with European Union that allows it to export to the EU some 6000 products without any or reduced customs duties,


Armenian expert commenting on Iranian president’s statement on transit of natural gas to Georgia through Armenia
/Feb 28/ARKA/

YEREVAN – Gohar Iskandaryan, a specialist in Iranian studies, commenting Thursday on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s statement on his country’s readiness to export natural gas to Georgia through Armenia, said this statement can’t be a mere word. 
“This shows that discussions with Georgia have already been,” she said. “I assume the matter has been discussed also with Russia.”
President Rouhani said yesterday at a joint news conference with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan that Iran is willing to increase the volume of gas supplied to Armenia. 
He also said Iran is prepared to launch tripartite cooperation in exporting gas to Georgia.
Gohar Iskandaryan finds it necessary to talk to Russia over they matter, since Iran conveys gas to Armenia through the pipeline owned by Russia’s Gazprom Armenia, and Armenia can’t afford to build a new pipeline. She finds Russia’s permission necessary. In her opinion, Rouhani’s words give grounds for thinking that certain discussions have already been conducted, and this is what the Iranian president meant.  
Now, she said, Armenian diplomats should talk to Iran, Georgia and Russia for putting these ideas into reality. “It is very important to Armenia to be completely integrated in regional processes,” Iskandaryan said.

 

Armenia, Egypt Relations

Armenia, Egypt sign bilateral agreement to strengthen economic ties
/Feg 28/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – Armenia and Egypt are strengthening the economic ties.

On February 28 the Armenian-Egyptian Business Association and the International Business Relations Support Council signed an agreement according to which the sides are going to implement joint programs.

The Egyptian Ambassador to Armenia highly appreciated the fact that such an agreement has been signed. “We have perfect relations with Armenia in political, cultural and other areas. However, unfortunately, there isn’t a similar high-level cooperation in economic and trade sectors. That is the reason we are trying to work on this direction to contribute to the development of both commercial and economic ties”, he said.

The Ambassador noted that this agreement is a beginning for broad cooperation. The two countries have great opportunities for trade and even investments. He said sometimes certain people in Egypt, who want to invest in Armenia or launch a business, think that the Armenian market is small. But the Ambassador emphasized that many markets are open for Armenia.

The sides of the agreement should implement joint programs for the benefit of the business field in Armenia, as well as hold business forums and international exhibitions within the frames of which important meetings will take place.
 

Egypt to promote Armenian commerce during African Union presidency
/Feg 28/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – Egyptian Ambassador to Armenia Bahaa El Din Bahgat Dessouki says his country will try to present Armenian goods to African countries during its tenure as President at the African Union.

“This year, in 2019 Egypt is chairing the African Union,” he told reporters today. “And we can open the African market for Armenian products also. He said Egypt is ready to promote Armenian goods at the African Union.  

Dessouki, who took office as ambassador a month ago, says he has met with the President of the Chamber of Commerce in Armenia to understand what Armenia needs and what it can offer to Egypt.

The ambassador says he is yet to receive a list of products that Armenia can export to Egypt. The Egyptian ambassador says he too will then submit their list.

Dessouki vowed to provide assistance as soon as he receives the list of potentially exportable goods.


Armenian and Egyptian business people set to expand cooperation
/Feb 28/ARKA/

YEREVAN – The Armenian-Egyptian Business Association and the International Council for the Support of Business Relations signed today a cooperation agreement designed to help step up economic ties between Armenia and Egypt.
Under the agreement, the Egyptian Ambassador to Armenia, Bahaa El Din Bahgat Disukii, the Armenian-Egyptian Business Association and the International Council for the Support of Business Relations will implement a number of projects that will benefit both countries. Also in 2019, they will organize a set of Armenian-Egyptian economic conferences and exhibitions.
Disukii emphasized the agreement for the development of cooperation between the two countries. He said Armenia and Egypt enjoy excellent political and cultural relations, which is not the case when it comes to economic relations. He said both sides need to work hard to change this situation.
The president of the Armenian-Egyptian Business Association Eduard Manukyan stressed that the bilateral agreement should serve the development of economic relations between Armenia and Egypt. “Our job is to present Armenian businesses in Egypt and vice versa. And also help Armenian and Egyptian business people with reciprocal visits,” said Manukyan.
Mariam Manukyan, the president of the International Council for the Support of Business Relations, said an Armenian delegation is to visit Cairo in July to discuss with their Egyptian peers how to increase trade.

 

Armenia, Italy Cooperation

SRC Chairman of Armenia, Head of Italy’s Revenue Agency discuss cooperation prospects
/Feg 28/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 28, ARMENPRESS. The delegation led by Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of Armenia Davit Ananyan is in Italy on a two-day working visit, the SRC told Armenpress.

In Rome Davit Ananyan met with Director General of the Revenue Agency of Italy Antonino Maggiore during which they discussed the cooperation issues between the two structures, in particular, within the frames of the Tax Inspectors Without Borders program.

Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) is a joint initiative of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supporting countries in building tax audit capacity. TIWB Programmes complement the broader efforts of the international community to strengthen co-operation on tax matters and contribute to the domestic resource mobilisation efforts of developing countries.

At the same time, the two officials also discussed the SRC’s role in this program. Davit Ananyan and Antonino Maggiore signed a statement on Intentions to launch the program in Armenia.

During the visit the SRC Chairman is also expected to meet with the Armenian Ambassador to Italy.


Armenia, Russia Cooperation

Over 60% of Armenians Believe Russia Serves as Guarantor of Peace in Country – Reports
/Feb 28/Sputnik News Service/

YEREVAN, February 28 (Sputnik) – Just over 60 percent of Armenian citizens believe that military and political cooperation with Russia guarantees national security, Sputnik Armenia reported on Thursday, citing the results of a poll conducted by local public organization Glas Naroda (People’s Voice). 

While a total of 61 percent of respondents said that Russia should remain Armenia’s key partner, 13 percent said that it was NATO that could be a guarantor of their country’s security. 

In addition, 65 percent of those surveyed voiced the belief that the Russian military base located in the northwestern Armenian city of Gyumri contributed to stability in Armenia and across the region. However, 58 percent of respondents said the protests in which locals call for the base to close were provocative in nature, and 30 percent claimed that these protests did not reflect the opinion of the Armenian people. 

Almost 90 percent of respondents said that Azerbaijan and Turkey were constantly putting Armenia under threat. 

The poll was conducted among 1,200 professors and students from Armenian universities in February. The margin of error is around 1-2 percent.

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