Prime Minister Pashinyan, Secretary General of International Organisation of la Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo issue statements
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Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan received the Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo.
After the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan and Louise Mushikiwabo issued statements summarizing the results of the meeting.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan – Dear media representatives, Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to once again welcome Mrs. Louise Mushikiwabo and assure her that the Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie is an always an expected desired guest in the Republic of Armenia. We highlight Armenia's membership in the International Organization of La Francophonie and express our satisfaction with the role and level of Armenia's participation in this important international organization. One of the purposes of the Secretary General's visit was to sum up Armenia's presidency at the Francophonie Summit.
As you know, within the framework of the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan in 2018, Armenia assumed the presidency of the organization for two years term. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 18th summit to be held in 2020 was postponed, during which Armenia continued to hold the presidency. We took on this important role with great responsibility and readiness, but, unfortunately, it must be noted that we had to cancel a significant part of the programs adopted at the Yerevan Summit that we were going to implement due to the pandemic. We attach great importance to the proper preparation and holding of the next 18th summit of the Organization. Armenia, as the presiding country, intends to participate in the event at the highest level, to make active efforts to develop the documents to be adopted. During today's meeting with the Secretary General, we touched upon a wide range of international and regional issues, first of all, of course, security and peace in the region. I particularly emphasized the solution of the humanitarian issues that have emerged after the 44-day war, in particular, the immediate release of the Armenian prisoners of war and civilian hostages, as well as we highlight the proper protection of the Armenian historical, cultural and religious heritage.
Armenia is grateful to the Secretary General of the Francophonie for her support to our country in the fall of 2020. We are thankful to you, Mrs. Secretary-General, for the solidarity you have shown to Armenia and the Armenian people. The Government of Armenia is thankful to the Secretary General for sending an observation mission to the June parliamentary elections in Armenia. This was the first time that representatives of the Francophone family visited Armenia to observe the parliamentary elections. Armenia is ready to continue large-scale cooperation with the International Organization of La Francophonie, especially in the field of French language teaching, both in schools, universities and among Armenian civil servants. Armenia supports the Secretary General of the Francophonie in the implementation of the reforms arising from her position. In this context, Armenia also supports the Secretary-General's proposal for reforms in the activities of the organization's bodies. Thank you.
Secretary General of International Organisation of la Francophonie Louise Mushikiwabo - Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister, I am very pleased to be in Yerevan, the city where I was elected Secretary General. I have particular dependency on this country for a number of reasons. We spoke on the phone during the extremely difficult situation for Armenia related with war and pandemic, but I am glad to be able to meet with you now as the incumbent chairman, to talk about everything that has happened since 2018. Of course, we also met in Paris to discuss these issues, but since then a lot has happened in the world, in this country, so, first of all, I am glad to be here.
I once again congratulate you on being elected leader of this beautiful country and your beautiful voctpry. It was an honor for our organization to be able to send observers to these elections. They reported to me. We express great satisfaction with Armenia's participation in various programs and initiatives of our organization, and for your active measures, despite the sanitary situation that has complicated everyone's life.
As for the cooperation between our organization and this beautiful country, we are very interested in finding initiatives that will be related to the interaction between Armenian and other Francophone youth, be it in Africa, Asia or Europe. We are consulting together with Ambassador Ter-Stepanyan, who represents Armenia in the International Organization of La Francophonie. We try to find programs and initiatives that will meet the expectations of the Armenian youth. This, of course, is a supplement to our classic collaboration in the framework of the French language. And we are always happy to be back to this country, to hear more and more French-speaking voices.
But Francophonie does not refer only to the French language. French is a common language for the OIF member states, but, first of all, everyone has their own national language, they have other foreign languages. Francophonie is free of these complexes today. French can coexist with other languages. This is the reality of all our member states. So, of course, we give importance to the French language, which allows young Francophones to find a job, have new opportunities, travel, and understand the world. This is the Francophonie today. Armenia greatly contributes to the activities of our organization, let me emphasize once again, in a situation that is quite difficult.
The International Organisation of la Francophonie is very sensitive to Armenia’s political issues, which we discussed with the Prime Minister a while ago. We were following the developments, the pain of Armenians during the war. Our Organization has 88 member states, some of which have very close relations with Armenia, some are even involved in political developments, like France, which is also the headquarters of our Organization. And there are countries which are less sensible towards this issue. But the Organization, naturally, attaches great importance. Armenia is a member state of our Organization and is currently the presiding country, therefore, we remain very sesnitive and attentive towards this country. We are always ready to listen to the Prime Minister, the Armenian authorities. And, of course, the Prime Minister remains the incumbent Chairman until the next summit, which is to be held in Tunisia in about a month and a half. So we will keep in touch with the Prime Minister so that he can support this process until he passes the presidency to the next President, Tunisia.
Mr. Prime Minister, I would like to thank you for your hospitality, for the hospitality of Armenians. Indeed, we felt at home from the moment we arrived and thank you on behalf of the Organization”.