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On 20 March, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Artak Apitonyan participated in the plenary session of the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation held with the participation of the presidents and foreign ministers of several states, as well as the heads of UN agencies and other international organizations and other high-ranking officials, reported the news service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, according to NEWS.am.

The conference began with opening remarks by President of Argentina Mauricio Macri and UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

In his speech, Artak Apitonyan congratulated the participating states on the 40th anniversary of the Buenos Aires Action Plan and voiced hope that it would be possible to create new and all-embracing platforms for the strengthening of cooperation at the national, regional and global levels by taking advantage of the tremendous potential of the South-South Cooperation and combining the efforts of the international community.

The deputy minister stated that Armenia is making efforts to bring the country’s national priorities into compliance with the prospective and comprehensive process of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which will ensure their harmonization with the pretentious reforms program of the Republic of Armenia.

Apitonyan also stated Armenia’s initiatives to harmonize the actions at different international levels with the universal development agenda such as the events held as part of Armenia’s chairmanship of the Francophonie Summit, the World Congress on Information Technologies to be held in Yerevan and more.

Responding to the allegations of Azerbaijan’s deputy foreign minister regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Aptionyan said Azerbaijan is posing real threats to the survival of the population of Artsakh, the peaceful settlement of the conflict and the harmonious development of the region by avoiding finding solutions based on mutual concessions, rejecting the right of nations to self-determination (a fundamental principle of international law) and continuing its policy on the use of force and the threat of use of force.

Aptionyan also touched upon Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s blockades as a factor hindering sustainable development and the formation of a friendly and neighborly environment.

During the high-level conference, the deputy foreign minister had meetings with his counterparts from several countries.

During the meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala Jairo Estrada, the parties discussed issues on the political dialogue between the two countries and the activation of economic ties, as well as cooperation within international organizations.

The deputy foreign minister and his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son discussed issues on the activation of economic ties and cultural-educational exchanges, and the Armenian deputy foreign minister invited his counterpart to participate in the World Congress on Information Technologies to be held in Armenia.

Importance was also attached to the need to fully use the platform of the Eurasian Economic Union in order to promote economic ties.

Artak Apitonyan and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Jens Frolich Holte discussed a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues and attached importance to Norway’s ongoing support to the reforms of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, the expansion of cooperation at the international level and the establishment of direct ties of the political circles of both countries.

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