Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ statements after his meeting with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan at Maximos Mansion

It is with great pleasure that I welcome today in Athens my friend the Prime Minister of Armenia, in a visit which is an important step for the consolidation of the already excellent relations between our two countries, Greece and Armenia.

These are relationships that go back centuries, but can become even more productive in the face of the common challenges we face. Especially now that Armenia, with the assistance of the European Union, is acquiring stable and transparent structures, which will allow it to attract investment.

We will also have the opportunity later on to discuss our bilateral cooperation in areas such as renewable energy sources and modern technology, a cooperation that is increasingly reinforced. In this context, a Memorandum of Cooperation has already been signed between ‘Enterprise Greece’ and ‘Enterprise Armenia’.

We are also cooperating in the defence sector, having concluded a special agreement since last December, while we are discussing with the Prime Minister how we can strengthen our trade relations more broadly.

Furthermore, we discussed developments in our broader region, noting that here too our positions are common: both countries stand firmly against any threat and any use of force.

We are always on the side of International Law, we remain fully committed to respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of each state, we believe in dialogue and the peaceful resolution of disputes. After all, Armenia, following the war of 2023, understands the value of peace better than anyone.

And the decisions you are called upon to take now, dear Nikol, will largely shape the course of your country for years to come. I listened with great interest to your ideas and your vision of how you intend to move forward in the new strategic environment.

Indeed, we had the opportunity to discuss this: the 100,000-plus refugees in Nagorno- Karabakh must find relief. I want you to know that Greece will stand by your side in any diplomatic effort for a permanent peace treaty with Azerbaijan.

And I insist that only a viable agreement between Yerevan and Baku can pave the way for a better tomorrow in the South Caucasus. That is why Greece – we have discussed this – supports the ‘Crossroads of Peace’ initiative, which the Prime Minister announced last December, in order to transform the region from a theatre of conflict into a commercial hub linking the Black Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean Sea. For in the end only common prosperity silences the guns and only the progress of peoples repels the plans of authoritarian leaders.

Moreover, we discussed with the Prime Minister the reforms he is promoting with the aim, which we fully support, of orienting Armenia towards the West. It is only natural that, as a member of the European Union and NATO, our country is ready to contribute with know-how and experience to the building of this new liberal democracy.

Just as we will always stand by historic Armenia in its struggle to protect its great cultural heritage, in zones such as Nagorno-Karabakh. Greece, as you know, attaches particular importance to the protection of cultural heritage, for the promotion of which it is actively involved in international initiatives, particularly in the framework of UNESCO.

Finally, all the conditions are in place for us to reach a bilateral agreement on migration and employment of Armenians in Greece in the near future. The friendly country has human resources with unique skills in all fields of work. While, on the other hand, the many things that connect our peoples will also make their integration into Greek reality easier.

It’s something I know personally, I have many Armenian friends. And that is why, dear Nikol, I want to thank you for your presence in Athens today, but also to honour in your person the great Armenian community in Greece. All of them and all those who for years now have been a model of excellence, harmonious coexistence, contribution to Greek society. They are perhaps the strongest, the most vibrant, the most fertile link in this chain of friendship, solidarity and cooperation that will always unite our countries and our peoples.

Again, dear Nikol, welcome to Greece.