Ashot Ghoulyan’s Opening Remarks at the Joint Sitting of the Standing Committees on Foreign Relations of the Artsakh Republic and the Republic of Armenia
09 December 2017

Dear colleagues,

I welcome not only our today’s joint sitting and our colleagues arrived from Yerevan to participate therein, but also using the occasion; I would like to share with you my impression that our practical ties with the RA National Assembly of the 6th convocation have become more intensive and targeted.

Very recently, on November 10, we held a regular joint sitting of the interparliamentary commission on cooperation in Yerevan, and Artsakh MPs found useful the results of the meeting. Even there was an opinion that scheduled time for discussing foreign policy issues was not enough.

We passed a huge way of developing comprehensive relationship between the two Armenian republics and interparliamentary ties occupy a serious place therein. Common economic, financial, linguistic, religious, educational and cultural environment naturally supposes a necessity of a common front to withstand the external challenges, and there are no secondary issues in this structure.

If we add the unsettled Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict to this, then the importance of our regular meetings and constant updating of our perceptions of the operative and global situations will become more than obvious.

Today, one cannot imagine foreign relations and diplomacy without parliamentary component. It’s impossible not to mention that involvement of parliamentarians in expanding international ties is growing. 

In this context, we should mention that the role of the parliamentary diplomacy is important not only for the countries, whose foreign policy capacities are limited (even though temporary), but also for the influential regional and global actors.

The proportion of the parliamentary diplomacy in the enlargement of the external political ties of the Republic of Artsakh is vividly great. Just a comparison should be brought: the MPs come second to journalists among the foreigners who visit Artsakh on a business propose.

And that interest is expressed through the activities of Friendship Groups and Circles since 2013 as well as the resolutions recognizing the independence of Artsakh on a state legislative level. And the Republic of Artsakh is the only one among new generation states treated with this unique attitude so far. 

The current level of the cooperation between our two parliaments allows setting a higher bar for the parliamentary participation in foreign affairs. On numerous occasions, I repeatedly stressed that the National Assembly of Armenia is a unique bridge for us in making contacts with the MPs of different countries. In the above mentioned achievements, I would like also to highlight the diligent efforts and consistent work of our colleagues in Armenia. This refers to both branches of power: legislative and executive.

What I say does not mean that we have nothing to do anymore. On the contrary, the geopolitical changes taking place in our immediate neighborhood (and not only) in the last year dictates us quite another thing. In reality, serious shifts are taking place in the international relations, which can serve as a ground for the new political transformations.

In such a situation, we cannot weaken our vigilance. Hence, the targeted and coordinated use of parliamentary potential is required and actual for solving the issues of our common foreign policy agenda. I am hopeful that today we will continue the interesting discussions started in Yerevan.

Wishing good luck to all of us and our today’s meeting.