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Zardusht Alizade: After Ukraine and Syria, Putin wants to play a peacekeeper’s role in Karabakh

Azerbaijani Armed Forces again shelling Armenian positions

Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army: Adversary will receive response for its actions

Two servicemen of Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army die in conflict zone

Hrant Bagratyan stresses the need to expand the scale of dismissals in Armenian Defense Ministry system

Head of EU Delegation to Armenia: Both Armenians and Azerbaijanis should prepare for peace

Parliamentary forces of Armenia ready to sign "gentleman's agreement" on excluding pre-election bribes

Mammadyarov to Sargsyan: Conditions put forward for resumption of negotiations undermine peace process on settlement

Azerbaijani FM: Russia has offered a phased solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Zaruhi Postanjyan: Large-scale armed hostilities in Artsakh are yet to start

Armenian delegation comments on the ban on Artsakh flag at Eurovision Song Contest

UITE: 300 specialists and 50 companies in IT sector and engineering willing to contribute to development of Military Industrial Complex of Armenia

Sharmazanov to Mammadyarov: Baku will not succeed in its attempts to throw dust in eyes of international community

Armenian PR Association to establish with Beeline's support the first national PR award in Armenia

Areximbank-GPB Group staff members visit schools in Armavir region under My Finance Month-2016 project

Armenia's Parliament Vice Speaker: No negotiations are possible unless Azerbaijan stops violating ceasefire

U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez Calls for Leahy Law Investigation of Azerbaijani Abuses

Bako Sahakyan says Karabakh will cede no land and urges world community to reconsider its attitude towards aggressor

Bako Sahakyan: Karabakh conflict cannot be settled, unless Artsakh in involved in peace talks

Konstantin Kosachev: Turkey's stance on Karabakh encourages of one the sides to the conflict to continue it

Azerbaijan continues violating ceasefire arrangements

Armenian Defense Ministry registers 18 incidents on border with Azerbaijan

SCR: Number of railway casualties in Armenia keeps increasingly growing

Ankara hopes Karabakh conflict will be resolved with due regard for 'sovereignty' of Azerbaijan

Beeline extends functions of My Beeline Armenia application

Nikol Pashinyan: Opposition exaggerates Electoral Code's role in holding fair elections

France-Karabakh Circle of Friendship perplexed by lack of Paris' official reaction to Baku's explicit threats

Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army presented evidences of rocket bombardment of Mataghis by Azerbaijani armed forces

Central Bank of Armenia approves merger agreement of ProCredit Bank and INECOBANK

Stratfor forecast: Military escalation will continue to be a possibility in Nagorno-Karabakh, with effects that reach far beyond the bounds of the small contested territory

EU supports peaceful resolution of Karabakh conflict, Malena Mard says

Azerbaijan's armed forces fire more than 240 rounds at Karabakh positions and target Mataghis populated area overnight

Armenia's Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan shells at state border with Armenia

U.S. Department of State: We have remained in contact with both governments and we need to see the peace process back up and running as soon as possible

Manvel Sargsyan: Armenia due to reconsider fundamentally its 20-year-long policy towards Russia

Seyran Ohanyan: There will be no new dismissals in Armenia's defense system

Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army: Adversary's movements noticed on northeastern direction of line of contact

Artsrun Hovhannisyan: Situation in Artsakh is quiet at the moment

Yerevan: The time has come for international community to call Baku to order by using specific measures

Arpine Hovhannisyan: Mihran Poghosyan case is being investigated

Russian foreign ministry: the primary task is to exclude regular outbreak of aggression

Three Armenian servicemen wounded on Line of Contact of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijani troops

Investigative Committee: Identity of the second killed passenger is established

National Revival: Hermine Naghdalyan's statement is a stab in the back of Artsakh soldier

Communist Party of Russia suggests Vladimir Putin to deploy missiles in Cuba to protect Russia and Armenia

Russia thinks military contacts of Baku and Yerevan may be continued

NKR Defense Army: Baku's reports that Armenian side allegedly uses ammunition banned by international conventions are delirium

Oskanian's party not to demand Serzh Sargsyan's resignation

Stepanakert condemns Baku's attempts to denounce unilaterally the trilateral cease-fire agreement of 12 May 1994

Russian Foreign Ministry: Contribution to search for optimal solutions in Nagorno-Karabakh peace process continued

Regional

Shmuel Meirom: Israel is willing to contribute of its experience in the field of economy, but it cannot force Israeli business to invest in Armenia

ArmInfo’s interview of Ambassador of the State Israel to the Republic of Armenia, H.E. Mr. Shmuel Meirom

  • by Emmanuil Mkrtchyan

  • Thursday, July 24, 19:29

 Israel and Armenia plan to sign an agreement of visa-free regime.  At what stage are the negotiations now? What is the goal of the agreement?

 

Agreements  for exemption of visas are meant primarily to encourage mutual tourism and business in the sense that they enable the citizens of the two countries to enjoy an exemption on the visa fee and facilitate the entry to the country which is a signatory of the agreement. This is also a kind of an expression of  friendship between the countries.

 

Israel and Armenia are about to sign an agreement for exemption of official visas for bearers of diplomatic passports only .The next stage, so we hope, will be an agreement for exemption of visas for bearers of national passports as well, the kind of agreement that Israel has with most of the CIS countries.

 

You have recently mentioned that the people of Israel are very sensitive to the issue of the Armenian Genocide. Will the Israelis, the people that survived Holocaust, help bringing the Armenian-Turkish relations out of the current stalemate, if an appropriate discussion is launched?

 

Indeed, as you mentioned, Israelis and Jews in general have a special sensitivity to the tragedy that struck the Armenian People. Israel and Turkey had in the past a friendly and warm relationship compatible with the interests of both sides. In present days these relations are colder and both states are represented in each other by diplomats who are not ambassadors. So that it is doubtful that Israel can influence Turkey's policy. We hope that these relations will improve in the near future and then Israel will undoubtedly be in a better position to contribute to the betterment of the relations between Turkey and Armenia if it is asked to do so.

 

Given Armenia’s high-level relations with its partner Iran, in Israel they are rather cautious about the idea of the North-South communications. Will that attitude change with the positive shifts that are currently observed in the relations of Iran and the U.S.?

 

As long as Iran does not change its policy, and stops  supporting international terror (such as Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist movements) through armaments and money, stops incitement against Israel and threatening to destroy it and try to attack its citizens over the world and as long as it continues its nuclear program, then Israel cannot change its policy. The smiling campaign of President Rouhani is not enough. As long as we don't have a qualitative change of its policy, we ought to keep the sanctions against Iran and even tighten them significantly.

 

Israel supports the idea of independent Iraqi Kurdistan. At first sight, it is rather a contradictory stand, given the continuous Arab-Israeli conflict and Palestine’s aspiration for independence. Would you explain such stand of Israel?

 

I wouldn't draw a parallel between the two things. The Independence of Kurdistan is not on the table. But as far as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is concerned, you ought to know that Israel supports the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State, but the conditions that  the Palestinians put before Israel are not acceptable and even more so after the Palestinian Authority signed a pact of reconciliation with the Hamas terror movement which openly declares its aim of annihilating Israel and launches missiles almost on a daily basis on Israeli villages and towns.

 

What is the reason of such low level of the Armenian-Israeli economic and trade relations? Some experts say Israel’s economic model can be applied also in Armenia. However, there is no information on any serious consultations between the two countries in the field. Neither there is exchange of experience, specialists, technologies or others. Are there any plans to foster the economic cooperation? 

 

Israel is willing to contribute of its experience in the field of economy and finances but it cannot force Israeli business people to invest in Armenia in the same way that Armenia cannot oblige Armenian business people to make business with Israel. To make business there has to be a mutual interest which can be promoted by signing economic agreements (such as, customs agreements, prevention of double taxation etc…) Negotiations are going on between the two countries to sign an agreement on the prevention of double taxation and we already have a civil aviation agreement. Soon we will have in Armenia a special day on innovation aimed at exposing the Israeli experience in the matter. All of this supposed to increase the motivation of business people on both sides.

 

By the way, in the last two years, there was a sizable increase in the number of Israeli tourists visiting Armenia and this is in large part due to the invitation of Israeli journalists (initiated by Israel) to visit the wonderful tourism sites of Armenia. When back to Israel, they wrote several articles on the beauty of the country and this had a big in fluence on Israelis to come and visit Armenia. The direct air route between the two countries has also contributed to that.

 

We hope to see a similar increase in the number of Armenian tourists in Israel.

 

Thank you!

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