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PM Receives Delegation Led by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council President

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received a delegation led by Laurent Wauquiez, President of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council (France).

Welcoming the guests, Nikol Pashinyan said: “Our peoples are bound by deeply-rooted historical ties, warm friendship and privileged relations. The role of the Armenian community in France is of great importance in this respect, a sizeable part of which is settled in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region. Armenia is eager to deepen political, economic, cultural and human bonds with France. Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes is an economic leader in France and I am confident that we will find areas of mutual interest for cooperation.”

Nikol Pashinyan described the ongoing decentralized Armenian-French cooperation as quite effective and successful, noting that there are several memorandums of cooperation signed between nearly 30 Armenian and French cities, more than a dozen of which represent the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. Decentralized Armenian-French partnership forums are being held, the next session of which is due next fall in Lyon, France.

With reference to current interaction, the Premier highlighted the launch of Yerevan-Lyon-Yerevan direct flight since April, 2018, the educational programs implemented jointly with Lyon, featuring on the one hand the mutually beneficial cooperation between Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and the French University of Armenia and, on the other hand, Yerevan Architectural University and Saint Etienne National School of Engineering. Another success story is the French-Armenian vocational training center in Yerevan.

Laurent Wauquiez introduced the members of his delegation, which comprised Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Regional Council Vice President Nicolás d’Aragón, as well as the leaders of a number of French communities twinned with Armenian cities: Bourg-lès-Valence Mayor Marlène Mourier, Mayor of Dessin Laurence Fautra and First Deputy Mayor of Lyon Georges Kepenekian. He appreciated the significant contribution made by the Armenian community of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region to the development of his region and France, in general, and went on to note that the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region is ready to act as a bridge between Armenia and the European Union.

The President of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Council said he had been closely following the Velvet Revolution in Armenia, traced down the developments that came in the wake of it, and his first visit to Armenia evidenced their willingness to wind up interaction. He considered promising cooperation in tourism, alpine skiing, renewable and solar energy, thermal water, emphasizing the availability of adequate potential. He suggested sending an expert group to Armenia to get acquainted with the opportunities on the spot.

Prime Minister Pashinyan conveyed Armenia’s interest in the furtherance of cooperation in the aforementioned areas and expressed readiness to take specific steps to that effect. The parties agreed to hold continued discussions on the prospects of cooperation in all fields of mutual interest through joint work of local agencies and the French Embassy in Armenia. Views were exchanged on the plans of expanding the activities of the French School in Armenia and the French University in Armenia.

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