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On June 7, in Rome, the first session of the Armenian-Italian Intergovernmental Commission took place. The objectives of the Joint Commission are both the development and strengthening of commercial cooperation. Minister Nalbandian chaired the high-level delegation that included the Deputy Foreign Minister Garen Nazarian, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Armen Harutyunyan, the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications and IT Arman Khachatryan and the Deputy Minister of Culture Arev Samuelyan.

The Ministers noted with satisfaction, that during the 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Italy, the two countries succeeded in building an active political dialogue and deepening the collaboration in different fields. The perspectives of and the envisaged steps for the development of the relations between the two countries were discussed. The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Italy highlighted the importance of establishing in Armenia a Regional Centre for Preserving and Restoring the cultural heritage,the participation of Armenian peacekeepers within the Italian contingent in Lebanon, under the auspices of the UN, the signing of Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement the Republic of Armenia and the European Union anticipated this fall.

The Ministers exchanged views on the priorities of the Italian Chairmanship in OSCE in 2018 and touched upon the developments in Middle East, Syria and Iraq, migration flows, fight of the international community against terrorism. Edward Nalbandian presented the efforts undertaken by Armenia and the OSCE Co-Chair countries towards exclusively peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict.

The Intergovernmental Commission was followed by a Country Presentation in which more than 200 Italian entrepreneurs interested in the Armenian market took part. The Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy Benedetto della Vedova, and the Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian had their opening speeches.

The Country Presentation offered an opportunity to illustrate both commercial and industrial potential of the Caucasian country which, thanks to its geopolitical and economic characteristics, is an ideal gateway for access to the Eurasian and Iranian markets. The opportunities for collaboration with foreign companies have been presented thanks to the new economic climate favored by the macroeconomic, legal and tax policies carried out by the Government. The main areas discussed during the Country Presentation were Agro-industry, Infrastructures (Energy, IT, Transport), and Machinery (for textiles and agro-industry). The signing ceremony of several bilateral documents took place during the event.

Edward Nalbandian delivered a comprehensive lecture on Armenia’s foreign policy the Italian Society for International Organization operating under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy. Before the lecture Minister Nalbandian met with Franco Frattini, President of the Italian Society for International Organization and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy.

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