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YEREVAN. – The 10th sitting of the Inter-Parliamentary Committee on Cooperation between the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia (RA NA) and the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus was held Monday in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan, and during which RA NA Vice Chairman, Inter-Parliamentary Committee Co-Chair Eduard Sharmazanov delivered welcoming remarks.

“Dear participants of the 10th jubilee sitting of the Armenian-Belarusian Inter-Parliamentary Committee,

“I am glad to welcome you in the National Assembly. I hope that effective discussions will be held during today’s sitting. Our bilateral parliamentary agenda is rather full: it includes the issues of the parliamentarians’ cooperation on the international platforms, as well as the problems concerning the expansion of trade and economic ties. One of the most important items of the Armenian-Belarusian bilateral strategic relations is parliamentary cooperation; in that sense, our Committee has a weighty role and serious works to do.

“Dear colleagues,

“During the last years the Armenian-Belarusian cooperation has got a new content, particularly, our parliamentarians actively cooperate in the frameworks of the CSTO PA, the IPA CIS, and the OSCE PA. Nevertheless, let me stress that we have a lot to do; there are also shortcomings. We should take steps for more active, effective and coordinated work, and particularly, we should have distinct position on the issues sensitive for the two countries. Here, I would like to note that still in the year 2000, our states adopted a statement within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty, where it distinctly reads that politico-military cooperation between the CST member states should be of prior importance towards third countries, which are not included in that politico-military treaty, today already the CSTO. I believe that we all understood what I speak about.

“I also note that in October 2016, the Presidents of our countries adopted a statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh [(Artsakh)] problem’s peaceful settlement within the framework of the CSTO Yerevan Forum. Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, I would like to note that Armenia favors an exclusively peaceful settlement of the problem, [and] within the framework of the [OSCE] Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship format. We refuse a military solution of the problem for ensuring progress in the negotiations, and condemn the bellicose rhetoric. To ensure progress in the settlement process of  Vienna, the Saint Petersburg and Geneva agreements should be brought to fruition, as soon as possible. Artsakh declared its independence in accordance with the USSR laws, and it has the same right to declare an independent statehood as Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and our duty is to protect that right,” Sharmazanov said in particular.

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