Honorable Mr. Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am glad to welcome my Norwegian counterpart, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre. Last year I paid an official visit to Oslo and this is an official response visit to Armenia.
Today we had a good opportunity to continue our dialogue and discuss a wide range of issues related to our bilateral relations, regional and international issues. I am happy also that in these days we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Norwegian humanist Fridtjof Nansen and together with the Minister we would participate in the opening of the monument devoted to Fridtjof Nansen, and we will attend the concert organized on that occasion.
I am glad that the visit of Mr. Støre include not only political, cultural, but also an economic element. Today in the morning we attended the launching of the project financed by the Norwegian MFA which was dedicated to energy security and the development of small hydro energy.
We also had an opportunity to touch upon the issues of our region. Minister Støre presented Norway’s foreign policy, and the Norwegian approaches on the Scandinavian countries and various issues related to that region.
A couple of minutes ago we signed a Memorandum on Consultations between the MFAs of the two countries, which, I think, is important in the context of more intensification of political dialogue between the two countries, as well as cooperation in the frames of the international organizations. Today we signed another document, as well–an Agreement which waivers visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports.
Unfortunately, we have few agreements between the two countries. Last year during my visit, we signed two documents, and today –two more. Today the total number of the agreements reached to five.
We also discussed the possibilities of expanding the legal framework of bilateral relations.
The main thing is that the mutual intent has been expressed by both sides, our and the Norwegian sides, the desire to develop, strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in all possible spheres, and we will do everything possible in order to give a new impetus to our relations in political, economic, cultural and educational spheres.
Question: Mr. Nalbandian, as you have mentioned, today the agreement on exemption from visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports was signed. Does it anticipate facilitation of visa requirements for holders of ordinary passports?
Answer: You know, we are going to sign an agreement with the European Union-the Schengen countries, and I hope that it would happen in the first half of the next year. It would be on visa facilitation regime, and in the frames of it there would be an appropriate facilitation for holders of ordinary passports.