India, Armenia sign three agreements

Yerevan (Armenia): India will help Armenia to build satellite and remote sensing data matters and train Armenian scientists as both the countries on Tuesday signed three agreements to boost bilateral cooperation.

The agreements were signed after Vice President Hamid Ansari held talks with the top leadership of Armenia including President Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.

The two sides stressed that there cannot be double speak on the issue of terrorism.
During the talks, Ansari stressed that there cannot be bad or good terrorism. The two sides acknowledged that there cannot be double standard on terrorism and the international community should speak in one voice against the menace.

Armenia stressed that how it had voluntarily supported India in international forums including the United Nations.

Briefing about the meetings, MEA Secretary (East) Preeti Saran said that the two countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the Vice President’s visit starts a new chapter in their relationship.

During the talks, the two sides identified connectivity as an important aspect of their relationship and agreed that there is need to enhance cooperation as far as direct flights between the two countries are concerned, Saran said.

They also agreed to liberalise the visa regime issue to improve people-to-people contact, she added. Both the sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in the agricultural sector and a joint working group will meet soon to finalise the broader outline, she said.

They also agreed to enhance space cooperation in which satellite, remote sensing data matters, training of scientists are important aspects. India will help Armenia in this sector, she said.

The two countries also agreed to enhance cooperation in the broadcasting and film sector especially Bollywood. “Armenia has invited Indian film industry to shoot films in their country. A team from Bollywood is expected to come Armenia to explore the possibility,” Saran said.

Armenian president told Ansari that Bollywood films are popular in his country and his grand daughter was fond of Bollywood music. India had helped Armenia in many fields including establishing a centre of excellence, Param super computer besides setting up a number of computer labs in schools. IT and machine making is an important area of thrust for both the sides and a possibility of a joint venture will be worked out, she said.

Ansari handed over an invitation from President Pranab Mukherjee to Armenian President Sargsyan to visit India. Sargsyan accepted the invitation. Armenian Foreign Minister also invited his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

The Armenian President hosted a lunch in honour of Ansari. Earlier, Ansari visited the Armenian genocide memorial and paid tribute to the victims with a minute of silence. He visited the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI), watched the displays and left a note in the guest book. He later planted a fir tree in the memory Alley.