Armenian PM, Cologne Mayor discuss cooperation in IT and cultural spheres
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker in the frame of his official visit to Germany.
Welcoming Nikol Pashinyan to Cologne, Federal Republic of Germany, Henriette Reker said she was highly honored to host the Armenian Prime Minister at the Cologne City Hall. She noted that they closely followed last year’s political developments in Armenia, and witnessed with enthusiasm the successful completion of the popular movement and the fact that the citizens of Armenia managed to achieve democratic changes in a peaceful way.
“You are raising hopes in all those who stand for the promotion of democracy in the world,” the Mayor of Cologne said, addressing Nikol Pashinyan.
The Armenian Premier thanked Mrs. Reker for her appreciation and kind remarks, noting that he was glad to visit the Cologne City Hall in the frame of his official visit. “We were able to achieve democratic changes in Armenia and implement a process that turned the impossible into possible. We called it an Armenian non-violent velvet revolution,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The head of the Armenian government pointed out that at this point his government’s agenda implies translating the popular movement into an economic revolution so that freedom could lead to wellbeing. In this context, the Premier highlighted the importance of attracting foreign investments, including investments from Germany.
As for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the Mayor emphasized that her city had contributed to it with a khachkar placed in commemoration of Armenian Genocide victims. She stressed the need for continuing the process of recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide in a bid to develop a global memory policy.
In turn, Prime Minister Pashinyan noted that Armenia and the Armenian people highly appreciated the adoption of a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide by the German Bundestag in 2016.
“We believe that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not just a mere statement of the historical fact; it is crucial in terms of preventing future genocides. The truth should be exposed to come to its condemnation. Let me mention that the promotion of the process of genocide prevention is an important part of Armenia’s foreign policy, and the Republic of Armenia is an active participant in that process,” Nikol Pashinyan said. In this context, the Prime Minister advised that the 3rd Global Genocide Prevention Forum was held in Yerevan on December 9, last year.
The parties discussed opportunities for developing bilateral cooperation. Touching upon the prospects for building closer ties in the IT sphere, Nikol Pashinyan welcomed the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the respective universities of Cologne and Armenia earlier today.
The Prime Minister next referred to the activities of the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, noting that it has already become a global brand. Tumo centers are already operating in Yerevan, Stepanakert, Paris; it is envisaged to open such centers in Moscow, Beirut, Tirana and Berlin.
Impressed by Armenia’s IT development experience, the Mayor of Cologne said she would consider the possibility of visiting Armenia in order to get acquainted with the technological progress on the spot.
Praising the Armenian commitment for the role played in the development of Cologne, Henriette Reker highlighted the fact that the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church is located in Cologne.
Highly appreciative of the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Cologne Technological University and Armenia’s National Polytechnic University, she expressed readiness to promote bilateral ties in other spheres as well.
In this context, Nikol Pashinyan pointed out that Cologne holds a special place in the preservation of cultural heritage and suggested considering the possibility of establishing cooperation with Gyumri, the second largest city of Armenia. He underscored that the earthquake-hit Gyumri boasts a rich cultural heritage, and the exchange of experience with Cologne could benefit both cities. The Mayor of Cologne welcomed the proposal and expressed readiness to discuss the details.
Nikol Pashinyan signed the book of Honorary Guests of the City Hall. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for Federal, European and International Affairs Stephan Holthoff-Pfortner hosted an official dinner in honor of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
Later on, Nikol Pashinyan and his spouse Anna Hakobyan toured Cologne Cathedral to get acquainted with the history of the renowned spiritual and cultural monument.
The Prime Minister is next scheduled to meet with representatives of the Armenian community in Cologne.