Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni was in Yerevan today, the last city visited during his mission to southern Caucasus. Following a meeting in Yerevan with his Armenian colleague, Edward Nalbandian, Minister Gentiloni underlined that “the Armenian government and the European Union have committed to convene for various cycles of negotiations for the liberalisation of visas. The High Representative is, in fact, supportive of these negotiations.”
“Conditions exist, as it is not an easy game,” said the Minister. He underlined that “Italy has always been among the countries favourable to an opening. If the EU is a success story, it is due to the capability of attracting citizens from neighbouring countries for cultural and economic reasons, as well as for family reunification purposes.” Minister Gentiloni’s visit to Armenia, the first visit of a foreign minister in four years, is considered within the framework of “solid friendship ties”. On this occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed for the establishment, in Yerevan, of a regional centre for the preservation of the cultural heritage. During the institutional talks, the Minister discussed the “potential to enhance economic cooperation” and announced that Rome will host a meeting of the joint intergovernmental commission in the upcoming months.
The Italian commitment to the entire Caucasian region will be further promoted during the co-presidency and the presidency of the OSCE in 2018, which will deal with the so-called “frozen conflicts”, including ones in South Ossetia and in the Transnistria. “As to the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh,” continued Minister Gentiloni, “we hope to reach a peaceful and diplomatic solution. Italy supports the efforts leading to a diplomatic solution fostered by the co-chair states of the ‘Group of Minsk’ (U.S.A, Russia and France).”