Foreign visits

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's official visit to the Czech Republic

04.05.2023 - 05.05.2023

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, together with his wife Anna Hakobyan, has arrived in the Czech Republic on a two-day official visit.

In the afternoon, the Prime Minister of Armenia will have a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala. First, a private conversation between the Prime Ministers of the two countries will take place, and then the negotiations will continue in an expanded format, in the sidelines of an official dinner. Nikol Pashinyan and Peter Fiala will make statements for the media.

Next, the Prime Minister of Armenia will have meetings with the President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, and the President of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil.

Nikol Pashinyan will visit the Center for Transatlantic Relations in Prague.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is on a two-day official visit to the Czech Republic, had a meeting with the Prime Minister of that country, Petr Fiala. First, the official welcoming ceremony of Prime Minister Pashinyan took place, the national anthems of both countries were performed, after which the Prime Ministers greeted the members of the delegations.

Afterwards, Nikol Pashinyan and Petr Fiala had a private conversation, followed by the negotiations continued in an expanded format within the framework of the official dinner.

A wide range of issues related to the further development and expansion of Armenian-Czech relations were discussed at the meeting. In particular, the partnership in the political, economic, and humanitarian spheres and the prospects of their deepening were discussed.

Prime Minister Pashinyan referred to the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted by Azerbaijan's illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor and highlighted the consistent response of the international community to what is happening.

After the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan and Petr Fiala made statements summarizing the results of the negotiations for media representatives and answered their questions.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala - Good day ladies and gentlemen. I am very happy to have the opportunity to welcome the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia here in Prague again. I am very happy because this year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of our excellent diplomatic relations.

During the previous meeting with the Prime Minister, we shared the opinion that we highly value our friendly relations. We agreed that we share the same democratic values and confirmed this by now signing the joint statement on our diplomatic relations. Both sides hope that cooperation will expand and deepen in various fields.

When I mention that we share the same democratic values, I am not saying it just for itself, this statement is not an end in itself, we should value the role Armenia plays in the region. We should also commend the fact that the European Parliament published a report in March this year, in which it emphasized that Armenia is the leader in the region in terms of democracy.

Such things do not just happen, it’s necessary to work in that direction, we must definitely support that position, that situation and support the country. I am sure that we will see its reflection in the relations between our two countries, as well as in the relations between Armenia and the European Union. Armenia is moving forward in this way, rising to a higher level, and this is an interesting factor for additional further reforms.

In October 2022, the Prime Minister participated in the first summit of the "European Political Community". At that summit, we talked about many global issues, various challenges, and we also managed to organize a meeting of the Prime Minister with the President of Azerbaijan, Aliyev. In that sense, Prague became one of the places where an attempt was made to take a step forward in Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.

Armenia is among the priority countries in our transformation cooperation program. That program is mainly about supporting civil society, human rights and independent media. I already mentioned that we have friendly relations between the Czech Republic and Armenia, successful relations, which we want to further deepen.

We also see additional opportunities for deepening our cooperation in the field of economy, science, research and education. Let me mention a few areas, for example, nuclear energy and energy in general. Nuclear energy is very important for both the Czech Republic, and Armenia. Czech scientists are involved in safety improvement works at the Metsamor nuclear power plant, our experts are participating in ongoing repairs, and this is an example of our successful cooperation.

The Czech Republic can also offer many high-quality technologies to Armenia, for example, in the field of smart cities. We presented our smart city technologies last year during a conference we organized for the Eastern Partnership countries. We are also glad to see that our cooperation in the field of aviation continues to deepen. There is a plan, it is possible to produce small airplanes of "Balus Tech" company in the city of Stepanavan, where an airport was built after the earthquake.

There are several other important factors, the 6th session of the Czech-Armenian intergovernmental commission will take place here in Prague. It is an intergovernmental commission that will deal with issues of economic and industrial cooperation. During that meeting, naturally, other areas of cooperation will be outlined.

I am also happy that our societies are able to get to know each other much better now, our peoples have more opportunities to learn about Armenian culture and the Armenian language. I would like to mention two new initiatives. First, at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, in February of this year, a department, or a chair of Armenian art and culture was opened, and in the future, the teaching of the Armenian language will be resumed at Charles University.

You see, ladies and gentlemen, our two countries cooperate in many directions in various public spheres: culture, education, scientific research works, and it is wonderful.

We are not indifferent to all the problems and challenges facing Armenia. We are aware of the difficult situation, the political, security, geographical situation. We are concerned about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which is caused by the blockade of the Lachin Corridor. We agree with the position of the European Union on this matter. We believe that all possible steps should be taken to establish peace and stability in Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire Caucasus region.

As for the territorial integrity and the discussions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, we emphasize the fact that a peace agreement should be signed that will be acceptable to all parties. Through our discussions with the Prime Minister, I understood that Armenia is, of course, interested in the prospect of strengthening peace and stability in the region. Armenia is very interested in finding lasting solutions.

Thank you again, Mr. Prime Minister, for the visit, thank you for having an open and honest discussion with me, thank you for the development of Czech-Armenian relations, thank you for looking for new areas of cooperation. And I can assure you that the Czech Republic will take the necessary steps in its international policy, on all international platforms, to help you achieve lasting stability and peace in your country.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan

Honorable Mr. Prime Minister,

Dear media representatives,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am glad to be in the Czech Republic today on an official visit. The visit takes place on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and the Czech Republic. Armenia attaches great importance to the continuous development and strengthening of relations with the Czech Republic, for which all prerequisites are present. This is also evidenced by the high-level mutual visits between our countries.

I must note with satisfaction that the friendly relations between our peoples, based on a common value system, continue to strengthen and deepen thanks to consistent work.

I am deeply grateful to Mr. Fiala for the invitation and warm welcome. Today, Mr. Prime Minister and I had quite rich discussions in a constructive atmosphere, which cover various spheres of bilateral cooperation. Apart from the bilateral agenda, we also touched on issues of security and regional developments.

I highly commend existing cooperation between our two countries in both bilateral and multilateral formats, including in the context of the Armenia-EU partnership, as well as the Czech Republic's active support for the development of these relations.

I thanked Prime Minister Fiala for supporting Armenia's democracy. In this context, I emphasized the Czech Republic's support for the decision to deploy a long-term EU monitoring mission on the territory of Armenia along the border with Azerbaijan.

I regret to note that despite all efforts, the situation in our region remains tense. The reason for this is that, despite the well-known agreements, Azerbaijan continues the policy of using force and the threat of force, constantly escalating the situation on the border with Armenia, in Nagorno-Karabakh and in the Lachin Corridor.

Azerbaijan's decision to install a checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor and the blockade of the corridor before that are a gross violation of the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020 and the interim decision of the International Court of Justice in February. For four months, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh have been deprived of the possibility of free movement. Moreover, Azerbaijan disrupted the supply of natural gas and electricity to Nagorno-Karabakh. Food is sold in coupons in Nagorno-Karabakh and thus we have a humanitarian crisis there.

We believe that the international community should make a clear and targeted assessment of the situation, especially since in our opinion the above-mentioned actions of Azerbaijan are preparations for carrying out ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. In this context, we consider it necessary to send an international fact-finding team to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Lachin Corridor.

At the same time, I would like to emphasize that despite all the difficulties, the Armenian government has adopted the peace agenda. We believe that peace in our region has no alternative, which is not just a goal, but also a means for the normalization and further development of relations between peoples and states.

We are fully involved in the negotiation process with Azerbaijan and will remain involved in the near future, being ready to record results, and not to negotiate for the sake of negotiation. To achieve this goal, we hope that Azerbaijan will renounce the policy of using force and the threat of force, and we expect that the international community will also issue a similar message addressed to Azerbaijan.

Dear attendees,

Armenia and the Czech Republic have the necessary legal and effective tools for close cooperation, there are the prerequisites for further deepening of bilateral relations, which you also rightly emphasized.

Today, the sixth session of the Armenian-Czech intergovernmental commission is being held in Prague, within the framework of which an Armenian-Czech business forum will also be held. I am confident that both the session and the business forum will further contribute to the expansion of Armenian-Czech economic relations. Armenia attaches great importance to the most effective use of the existing potential of our two countries in the economic, trade and investment spheres, and we are interested in the development of cooperation in all the directions that you have listed.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you again for the warm welcome. I am confident that this visit will add new quality and substance to Armenian-Czech relations. Thank you.

ARMENPRESS news agency - My question is about economic cooperation between the two countries. When we look at the trade and economic indicators, in 2022, of course, there was an increase compared to the previous year, but the indicators seem to be modest, where the main structure is the import from the Czech Republic to Armenia, while the indicator from Armenia to the Czech Republic is even smaller. Where do you see the problems and what priorities will you indicate for the near future in order to activate the economic relations between the sides?

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan - Of course, we also discussed that agenda and talked about the activation of exports from Armenia to the Czech market. Of course, I am thankful to Prime Minister Fiala for his willingness to provide support in this matter.

Of course, we are also discussing these issues in Armenia. There are political, economic and other problems related to entering the European Union market, but addressing this message mainly to our economy, I think that, as I have had many occasions to point out in Armenia, it is important that we work in the direction of constantly raising the quality standards of our production and products. But already now, we can record that there are products that can already be competitive in the Czech market today by their standards. During the meeting, our ambassadors confirmed that this potential exists, and they promised to actively deal with this issue.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala - I would only like to say that we are happy that the volume of trade is increasing. The increase in 2022 was not little, it actually increased by 157 percent, which is a sharp increase in foreign trade. And that's good. Of course, you are right when you say that the foreign trade turnover is not completely balanced. We also talked about what products might be interesting to export to the Czech market. I think we have compiled an adequate list of those products.

As for boosting bilateral trade, it depends on many factors. For example, we agreed that we want to deepen the ties, deepen ties between peoples, tourism. All this will contribute to bilateral cooperation and strengthening of trust. Eventually people will find your products more attractive as well. I believe that there are other steps and measures being taken apart from trade and economic measures that will help to improve the trade balance in the future.

Public TV Company - My question is addressed to the two Prime Ministers. First of all, Mr. Fiala, the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh was already discussed, you mentioned that you understood from your conversation with Mr. Pashinyan that Armenia is ready to establish peace and is moving towards it, but instead, Azerbaijan continues to threaten by setting up a checkpoint in the Lachin Corridor, constantly harshens the rhetoric, carries out aggression against the sovereign territory of Armenia. To what extent is it possible to go to peace under these conditions, how do you assess these actions of Azerbaijan? And also, don't you see the need to impose sanctions on the government and leadership of Azerbaijan? Also, Mr. Pashinyan, how is it possible to make peace with Azerbaijan in this situation?

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala - The Czech Republic can and will support peace initiatives and efforts that will lead to stability in the region. Earlier, in my introductory speech, I said that the recognition of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Armenia and Azerbaijan is of fundamental importance. Here in Prague, a step was taken during the first summit of the European Political Community, which I had the honor of hosting.

It can be considered a historical milestone in the relations between the two countries. Of course, it would not be in the interest of the exisiting situation if I unilaterally assess who and how violates what. Our common goal, the joint goal of the Czech Republic and the EU member states, is to achieve stability in the region and lasting, long-lasting peace, which also means guaranteeing the rights of Armenia, guaranteeing the rights of Armenians. It is an important factor.

We have taken concrete steps in this direction. The Czech Republic contributed to the deployment of the monitoring mission, there are Czech experts in the mission. We are ready to participate in other measures and other similar activities that will help de-escalate the situation and allow us to reach a lasting and comprehensive peace and a peaceful solution.

The Prime Minister informed me in detail about his steps and how he sees the situation, how the negotiations are going. I think this is very valuable for me, because I have a unique opportunity to convey this information to my European colleagues, and based on this, we can consider and find out what steps will be appropriate, what steps the European Union can take to support the efforts for permanent and lasting peace in the region.

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan - Thank you, dear journalists, honorable Mr. Prime Minister, lately, especially from the platform of our parliamentary debates, I have been constantly saying that questions can be answered, approached and responded to from several perspectives.

And I've been trying to test other perspectives in the context of the conversations we've had in the recent period, apart from the ones that are obvious. What the respected journalist said in his question is absolute and complete truth, but I can say the following: In your question, yes, you also rightly question the possibility of peace under these conditions.

I would like to notice that by the logic of changing the point of view, your question and content emphasize the need for peace, because on the one hand, one can ask how peace is possible under these conditions, but on the other hand, based on this, it can be emphasized that peace is necessary. We try not only to have an obvious point of view to that and similar events, not only to approach from the obvious point of view, but also to try to look at it from another point of view. And to your question, also using this platform, and also in the presence of my esteemed partner, I want to emphasize that all of this actually emphasizes the need for peace, and we must serve that need, build our policy by positioning ourselves correctly in relation to that need.

Question from the Czech media - Prime Minister Fiala, you already mentioned the blocking of Lacin Corridor. I want to ask you again: why is the Czech government silent, why is the Czech media silent, how can the Czech Republic influence Azerbaijan and why the European Union does not apply sanctions, because we do not see progress in this regard.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala - I am of the opinion that we should continue to take steps that will lead to a peaceful solution, we have created an opportunity for this in Prague, we support the efforts of Armenia aimed at a peaceful solution. I think that we should not look at the obstacles or the problems on this way, on the contrary, we should try to achieve a lasting peace, and to do this, we need the other side as well. We need Azerbaijanis, we need goodwill from both sides. It is not like that we will remain silent and not comment. During the opening speech, I already said that we have expressed concerns about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the reason for which is the blockade of the Lachin Corridor.

The European Union made a statement, and we support that statement, and there is a call there to ensure the security and freedom of movement of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as a number of other things. But we should think about the future. I highly appreciate the peace-oriented perspective, the perspective with which the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia addresses this issue. I consider this the right approach, it is the right way. He can expect our support, the support of the European Union and other member states, because we have to keep one thing in mind, this cannot be a temporary solution.

We all need to consider how to provide the best approach and ensure development for Armenia, and for this we need lasting, permanent peace and security in the region. This should be our common goal in all our endeavors, we should be oriented at it.

* * *

Prime Ministers of Armenia and the Czech Republic Nikol Pashinyan and Petr Fiala signed a joint Declaration on the relations between the two countries after the meeting.

The Declaration reads as follows,

“The Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala (hereinafter referred to as the Sides) upon the completion of the high-level talks conducted in the framework of the official visit of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to the Czech Republic,

In the context of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Czech Republic,

Mindful of long-standing traditions of friendship and cooperation and a strong sense of solidarity between the Armenian and Czech peoples, a rich historical and cultural heritage, common values of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms being in the core of the bilateral relations,

Aiming to raise the bilateral relations to a qualitatively new level as well as to enhance cooperation in multilateral dimensions,


The Republic of Armenia and the Czech Republic note with satisfaction a steady development and broadening of the political ties and express their unwavering commitment to further intensify the existing high-level political dialogue and economic cooperation at the bilateral level, as well as in the framework of the United Nations, Council of Europe, OSCE, and other international and regional organizations;

The Sides express their readiness to reinforce and broaden cooperation within the framework of the European Union initiatives, including the Eastern Partnership, and in the context of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), including but not limited to the Armenia-EU political and security dialogue as well as political, economic and sectoral cooperation, based on shared values and strong commitment to democracy, human rights, media freedom, and rule of law. The Czech Republic supports EU’s strong determination to enhance cooperation with Armenia, commends the progress of Armenia on the chosen democratic path and the principles of good governance, encourages further progress, and reiterates its readiness to assist Armenia in its reform path;

The Sides underline the importance of democratic principles, promotion and protection of human rights and rule of law;

The Sides attach importance to sharing transformation experience and encouraging cooperation of civil society members and engagement of civil society in reform process;

The Sides underline necessity to reach a peaceful and lasting settlement of all outstanding issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The Armenian side highly appreciates the continuous efforts of the European Union towards creating an environment conducive to lasting peace in the South Caucasus;

The Sides regard the deployment of the European Union Mission in Armenia along the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, launched on February 20, as a substantial contribution to the strengthening of the security in the region; Armenia welcomes and highly appreciates a sizeable personnel contribution of the Czech Republic to the mission.

The Sides recognize the importance of maintaining international peace and security, inadmissibility of threat or use of force, and respect for international humanitarian law;

The Sides are mindful of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter that all states shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means. They stress the importance of all states inherent right to choose their policy course and alliances;

The Sides are aware that the question of future Visa Liberalization Dialogue between the Republic of Armenia and the EU is of the high importance;

The Sides consider the European Political Community as a useful format for the European Union and its partners. Armenia praises Czech Presidency in the Council of the EU for hosting the inaugural summit for EPC;

The Sides attach special importance to invigorating the activities of the Armenian-Czech Intergovernmental Commission, aiming at strengthening the mutually beneficial economic, financial, and scientific ties between the two countries;

The Sides express their support to the further development of cooperation and regular exchanges between the Parliaments of the two countries, including through the relevant friendship groups;

The Sides attach special importance to invigorating the decentralized cooperation and partnership between local authorities of the two countries, as an additional impetus for the development of bilateral relations;

Toward this end, the Sides express their strong determination to make every effort for effective cooperation in the areas outlined in this Declaration”.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a meeting with the President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel at the presidential residence of the Prague Castle.

The interlocutors discussed a number of issues related to the further development and strengthening of Armenian-Czech relations. In particular, cooperation in both the political and economic spheres was emphasized. Cooperation in the fields of high technologies, education, and tourism was considered promising. The Czech side noted that they are interested in the experience of Tumo centers in Armenia and cooperation in the direction of opening a similar center in Prague.

The parties exchanged ideas on the developments taking place in the South Caucasus region. Prime Minister Pashinyan presented details about the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted by Azerbaijan's illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor and emphasized the importance of the international community's consistent response. Both sides emphasized the need to implement the decision of the UN International Court on unblocking the corridor.

In the context of strengthening peace and stability, the deployment of the European Union civilian mission in Armenia was highlighted.

Reference was also made to the Armenian-Turkish dialogue.

Prime Minister Pashinyan laid a wreath at the National Memorial on the Vítkov Hill, paying tribute to the memory of the unknown soldier.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a meeting with the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament Markéta Pekarová Adamová

The interlocutors emphasized the steps aimed at the further development and expansion of cooperation between the parliamentarians of the two countries, as well as aimed at cooperation in international structures. Markéta Pekarová Adamová informed that she plans to visit Armenia in the near future accompanied by the MPs of the bilateral friendship group.

Prime Minister Pashinyan welcomed the initiative and added that Armenia is interested in expanding ties with the Czech Republic in various directions.

At the meeting, reference was made to the processes taking place in the South Caucasus, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh resulted by the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the activities of the European Union's civilian mission in Armenia and other topics.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the Prague Center for Transatlantic Relations, where he gave a speech and answered the questions of representatives of expert circles. The meeting was attended by Tomáš Pojar, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Alexandr Vondra, the director of the center, and members of the Czech Parliament.

In his speech, the Prime Minister, in particular, noted.

“Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to be here today and address this distinguished audience. And I would like to express my appreciation to Mr. Alexander Vondra and his team for organizing and moderating this event.

Armenia has traditionally friendly relations with the Czech Republic based on common values and is willing to enhance our cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. My visit coincides with the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between our countries. During the past 30 years, Armenia and the Czech Republic have developed a solid bilateral agenda covering a wide range of areas, including active political dialogue and partnership in different fields of mutual interest.

Today I would like to speak about Armenia's democratic journey in a region that has been marked by turbulence and uncertainty and to share with you Armenia’s progress towards building a stable democracy in the face of many challenges.

Armenia's commitment to democratic development is a result of the non-violent revolution in 2018, which was inspired, among others, by the principles of the Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, led by Vaclav Havel.

After the revolution, my government initiated wide-ranging democratic reforms that included the fight against corruption, the shadow economy and economic monopolies. We have safeguarded the freedom of speech and expression and turned the page of falsified elections, ensuring that the free expression of citizens’ will is the only legitimate source of power.

As a result, we have been able to achieve impressive economic growth: 7.6 percent in 2019, 5.7 percent in 2021, and 12.6 in 2022. The number of workplaces grew by around 32 percent in 2022 over 2017. Tax revenues grew by over 66 percent in 2022 over 2017. Armenia’s sovereign rating has been upgraded. So have Armenia’s international rankings in respect of economic and democratic performance, most notably regarding the freedom of expression and respect for human rights.

My country currently leads the "Democracy and Good Governance" rating table among the EU Eastern Partnership states in the following 5 areas: fight against corruption, independent judiciary, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of assembly and association, independent media and democratic rights, elections and political pluralism.

Nevertheless, the Armenian people’s trust in democracy is undermined due to the security challenges faced by Armenia in recent years.

In September 2020, Azerbaijan unleashed a war against Nagorno Karabakh.

In May 2021, it invaded the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, and in September 2022, initiated a new large-scale attack against Armenia, occupying some more of our sovereign territory.

These events took thousands of lives, destroyed civilian infrastructure, and caused many people to go missing, in addition to those held captive by Azerbaijan to this very day.

Dozens of thousands of Armenians have been forced to move out of their homes in Nagorno Karabakh, joining the hundreds of thousands that had become refugees because of Azerbaijan’s decades-long Armenophobic policies.

As it is widely known, the 2020 November trilateral statement legally stipulates that the Lachin Corridor must serve as a link between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. However, in gross violation of the said statement, from December 2022 Azerbaijan has imposed an unlawful blockade in the Lachin Corridor, causing a humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh. Moreover, despite the interim measures ordered by the ICJ in February 2023, Azerbaijan unlawfully set up a check-point in the Lachin Corridor, further escalating the situation.

Azerbaijan not only has deprived the people of Nagorno Karabakh of the right to freedom of movement, but also has disconnected the supply of natural gas and electricity. There is a shortage of food and essential supplies in Nagorno Karabakh, and they are currently sold through coupons.

Our belief is that these are not isolated actions, but rather—Azerbaijan’s preparation for ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh. In this sense, we consider it necessary to dispatch an international fact-finding mission to Nagorno Karabkh and the Lachin Corridor; the international community needs to make a clear and pointed assessment of the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh. This is important for not only the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh, but also the future of democracy in our region, because the main question hanging in the air in the Republic of Armenia is WHETHER democracy can ensure security and stability in our region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In spite of all this, our perception of this situation is guided primarily by the following democratic considerations: there is no alternative to peace in our region. On the sidelines of the First Summit of the European Political Community held here in Prague in October 2022, we laid a solid foundation for achieving peace in our region, during the four-party meeting between French President Macron, President of the European Council Michel, Azerbaijan’s President, and myself.

The main outcome of that meeting was that Armenia and Azerbaijan recognize each other’s territorial integrity with the territories that the two republics had when gaining independence from the Soviet Union, as per the 1991 Almaty Declaration, which will be the basis for the subsequent delimitation of the borders. This understanding was reaffirmed during the trilateral meeting held in Sochi on 31 October 2022, where the sides underlined that the outstanding issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan must be resolved only on the basis of the 1991 Almaty Declaration and the UN Charter, renouncing the use of force or the threat of force.

Nevertheless, Azerbaijan continues its policy of threatening the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and using force and the threat of force, constantly escalating the situation on the border with Armenia, as well as in Nagorno Karabakh.

Despite all this, Armenia remains committed to the policy of resolving the outstanding issues through negotiations, and we are ready to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.

At the moment, the main obstacles to signing such an agreement are the following: it has so far been impossible to agree upon language that will clearly state that Azerbaijan recognizes the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia with 29 thousand 800 square kilometers.

The mechanism for safeguarding the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh is still uncertain; so is the Stepanakert-Baku dialogue format, which in our opinion should take place in the framework of an international mechanism.

It has so far been impossible to agree upon mechanisms for overcoming differences in the reading of the peace agreement text.

And finally, there is no agreement on international mechanisms for implementing the peace agreement.

We do, however, continue our efforts in order to succeed in all these areas. For four days now, Armenian and Azerbaijani delegations, with facilitation by the United States, have been negotiating in Washington for resolving all these issues.

To conclude, I would like to highlight that as a result of the four-party meeting held in Prague on 6 October 2022, an important development occurred in the Armenia-EU relationship. It was decided to deploy a short-term monitoring mission of the EU on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, which later evolved into a decision to deploy a long-term mission that started operating in Armenia in February.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the Czech Republic for supporting this decision, which is yet another manifestation of support to Armenia’s democracy.

Thank you for your attention. And we can now take some questions”.

Next, the Prime Minister answered a number of questions from the audience, which related to the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh, negotiations with Azerbaijan, processes taking place in the South Caucasus and other topics.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a meeting with the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic, Miloš Vistarčil.

The interlocutors emphasized the further development and expansion of cooperation between parliamentarians of the two countries, referred to the negotiations and results of Prime Minister Pashinyan's official visit to the Czech Republic.

At the meeting, reference was made to the processes taking place in the South Caucasus, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh resulted by the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the activities of the European Union's civilian mission in Armenia and other topics.

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a meeting with representatives of the Armenian community in the Czech Republic in Prague.

The Prime Minister answered many questions of the attendees, which related to the developments in the region, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the steps taken in the security sector, the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh resulted by the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, opportunities for the involvement of Diaspora specialists in Armenia’s state administration system within the framework of the "iGorts" program and other programs, Armenia-Diaspora relations, economy, tourism, culture and other fields.

In Prague, Prime Minister Pashinyan laid flowers at the khachkar dedicated to Armenian-Czech friendship in the park of Saint Jindrich and Kunhuta Church.

Within the framework of the visit, the Prime Minister visited the European regional headquarters of RFE/RL in Prague. After the meeting with director Jamie Fly, Nikol Pashinyan gave an interview to the Armenian service of the radio station.

The Prime Minister's official visit to the Czech Republic is over.

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