by Tatevik Shahunyan
The relations between Armenia and the USA are at the high level, and simplification of the visa regime between the countries is evidence of it, Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Manasaryan, said during today's parliamentary discussion on fulfillment of the state budget 2013.
He said that citizens of the USA may visit Armenia without a visa, just the same way, as a certain category of Armenian citizens may visit the USA without a visa. He means the announcement of the Embassy of the USA in Armenia, made on 21 May, according to which children under 10 and adults which have already become 79 may visit the USA without a visa, Sportsmen, culture workers, and scientists may a US visa for 10 years.
Touching on the work implemented by the Foreign Ministry in 2013, Manasaryan said that over the reported period Armenia went on developing the priority directions of its foreign policy - the Karabakh conflict settlement and the international recognition of the Armenian genocide. "The efforts of the Armenian party on the Karabakh settlement are understood by the world community. And we have developing contacts with the OSCE MG", - he said.
According to him, the international community understands Armenia's stand on normalization of relations with Turkey without any preconditions. "Armenia continues the strategic partnership with Russia, the integration into the Eurasian Economic Union and other international structures. We give high priority to the relations with Georgia and Iran", he stressed.
In 2013 Armenia boosted cooperation with Arab countries and Latin America and promoted interaction with India, China and Japan. In June 2014 a Japanese delegation will arrive in Armenia to discuss the logistics of opening of an embassy in Yerevan. "We have high-level relations with China. We are implementing several projects. The Public Television will be renovated and re-equipped due to the Chinese funds. Scanners will also be purchased for the customs points and a Chinese school of regional significance will be launched in Armenia", said Manasaryan.
For his part, when presenting the Armenian Foreign Ministry's budget fulfillment, Chief Treasurer of Armenia Atom Janjugazyan said that over the period under review a total of 11.7 bln AMD was provided to the Ministry, of which 7.5 bln AMD was spent on maintenance of the diplomatic missions. A total of 20 programs were implemented. The emergency fund allocated extra 350 mln AMD.