YEREVAN. – The first ever visit of a minister of foreign affairs of India to Armenia testifies to the deepening of relations between the two peoples and countries. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan stated this at Wednesday’s joint news conference in Yerevan with his visiting Indian colleague, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
"India is a key partner of Armenia, and strengthening relations [with India] is one of Armenia's priorities; it is reflected in the government's program," Mirzoyan added.
He noted with satisfaction the agreements reached during their talks, and confirmed the readiness of the Armenian side to implement them as soon as possible.
The Armenian FM reminded that this year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and noted their successful cooperation at the bilateral level and within the framework of international organizations.
"India can contribute to the stability and development of the South Caucasus. We highly value India's principled position on a peaceful settlement [of the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict] within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group mandate," Mirzoyan said, adding that Armenia has repeatedly stated that force cannot be a means and the conflict shall be settled through peace talks under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, and based on the well-known principles.
The Armenian official emphasized that Yerevan lauds the statement of the Indian side on the inadmissibility of the presence of the Azerbaijani military in the sovereign territory of Armenia. For his part, Ararat Mirzoyan confirmed their support for India's position on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
The FM of Armenia noted the development of Armenian-Indian bilateral relations in several spheres, and stated that the Armenian side has great expectations in connection with the implementation of programs in a number of domains.
In his turn, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar noted that his current visit to Armenia marks the beginning of a new stage of cooperation between the two countries. According to him, their talks in Yerevan were productive, and the two parties’ positions coincide in most issues.
The Indian FM reminded that India was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia, and the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations will be broadly celebrated.
However, their relations goes back centuries—until the Middle Ages—there is a great Armenian heritage—churches, cemeteries, and education institutions—in India, the Armenian heritage in his country is preserved with care and respect, and the contribution of the Armenian community in the history of India is great, added the Indian official.
Also, he thanked the Armenian authorities and people for their kind treatment of Indian students living in Armenia, expressed special gratitude for the installation of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Yerevan, and promised to visit it today.
In conclusion, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar invited Ararat Mirzoyan to visit India, the invitation was accepted with gratitude, and Mirzoyan promised that he would be accompanied by business representatives in order to establish contacts and strengthen the agreements on location.