A meeting between Nikol Pashinyan and Emmanuel Macron took place at the Elysee Palace

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and French President Emmanuel Macron made statements to media representatives before the meeting at the Elysee Palace.

The French president said in his speech.

"Thank you, dear Nicole, for being in Paris on this crucial day. February 21 is the day when Misak Manushyan and his friends in the resistance movement were killed for the freedom of France, and the motherland fully recognized them, and they will be summed up in the pantheon. Misak Manushyan and his wife Meline will be enshrined in the pantheon, where France enshrines its great people. It is also France's gratitude for the struggle for freedom.

Your presence today is very important to all of us. I once again want to tell you, to repeat, that you can count on France's support for Armenia, its independence, territorial integrity, democratic process, and aspirations for peace.

I would also like to salute you for your courage and determination to move forward on this path, dear Nicole. Armenia's membership in the International Criminal Court is also a shining example of this commitment. At this moment, as we commemorate Misak and Meline Manushyan, war crimes continue on the continent of Europe, and the fight for freedom, more than ever, requires a fight against impunity.

Our meeting will allow us to discuss the discussions to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The recent incidents in Syunik prove that the danger of escalation remains real. France regrets that an Azerbaijani was wounded as a result of the shooting on February 12, which was also accepted by the Armenian leadership with complete transparency. Still, France expresses regret for the disproportionate retaliatory strike by Azerbaijan, as a result of which the Armenian side suffered four deaths and one wounded. France will continue to support efforts towards a just and lasting peace. We are convinced that this can only be achieved by respecting international law, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of borders.

At the meeting in Prague in 2022, you and Aliyev reaffirmed your commitment to the Alma-Ata Declaration, and Azerbaijan must resolve the ambiguity. I think it is more than necessary for Azerbaijan to clear up the ambiguity regarding the territorial integrity of Armenia; as far as maps are concerned, then conscientious work should be done for border demarcation and boundary, which will serve as a basis for the withdrawal of forces from both sides of the border.

We also call for implementing the International Court of Justice's decision on November 17, 2023. According to this decision, Azerbaijan must ensure that persons who have left Nagorno-Karabakh since September 19, 2023, and who wish to return can do so safely, unhindered, and quickly.

We want the South Caucasus to be a region of peace, integration, and cooperation; communication channels must be factors of integration, not division. I have visited Central Asia and want communication links between Central Asia, the South Caucasus, and the European Union to develop. And I welcome your "Crossroads of Peace" initiative in this common ambition.

We will also discuss issues aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation. France will continue to support infrastructure development in Armenia with the participation of our enterprises. We will also continue to develop cooperation in the field of defense. France has given its consent for the delivery of defense military equipment. And France will continue in the spirit of its responsibility in that area, not wanting any escalation.

France also continues its humanitarian commitment to the refugees of Nagorno-Karabakh, providing 29 million euros in aid in 2023.

France will continue to resolutely support the development of relations between the European Union and Armenia. Here, too, we are progressing in favor of sovereignty and our common strategic interests. The observation mission of the European Union has been strengthened from now on. It aims to contribute to stability, provide unbiased information to the international community, and secure vulnerable populations in military contact zones. Armenia should also take advantage of the European instruments of peace. The European Union and Armenia want a timetable for a new partnership.

Here are a few ways to remind you. And you know that beyond words, France stands by Armenia because justice, freedom, and international law are essential to us.

Once again, I want to salute the courage, and on this particular day, I reaffirm France's support to Armenia and all Armenians."

In turn, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted.

"Thank you, honorable Mr. President, dear Emmanuel. First, thank you for announcing today's invitation and for making me and the delegation of the Republic of Armenia participate in this genuinely epoch-making and emotional event.

Today, we will be present at the ceremony to enshrine the remains of one of the heroes of the French Resistance movement, our compatriot Misak Manushyan, in the pantheon of the most outstanding French citizens, and it is a great honor for us to be present at today's event and ceremony. Today's event also shows the depth of existing relations between our countries and peoples because they are political, economic, human, and cultural, and a deep, emotional connection connects us. I also want to thank you for the decision you made because, indeed, this once again emphasizes not only our friendship and the depth of our relations but also a unique and special appreciation to the Armenians who contributed to the establishment of France, which is an honor and great pride for us.

I am grateful for highlighting that contribution. With your permission, I also emphasize that we have such an event with a profound context this year. This year is the 100th anniversary of Charles Aznavour, and I hope that in September in Yerevan, we will participate together in the gala concert dedicated to Aznavour's 100th anniversary. And I want, Mr. President, to emphasize my invitation to visit the Republic of Armenia on a state visit again.

The relations between Armenia and France are at a particularly dynamic stage. And here, of course, your role is unique, Mr. President, and I want to emphasize that. Thank you for your approach to developing and deepening our relations. Our ties are deepening in the field of economy; our ties are deepening politically. And I must also emphasize your contribution to creating a favorable environment around Armenia.

You mentioned the quadrilateral meeting in Prague on October 6, 2022, where cornerstone principles of regional peace and stability were highlighted. If these principles are adhered to, peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is achievable and realistic. Once again, I emphasize our loyalty to the agreements reached.

Mr. President, I especially want to thank you for your support in Armenia's resistance. You emphasized that we have established new relations in the defense field, which is essential for ensuring security and stability in the region. In that regard, it is known that there are criticisms, and I want to emphasize that the Republic of Armenia, as I said, recognizes the territorial integrity of all its neighbors. In this sense, the development of the defense capabilities of the Republic of Armenia cannot cause worries for anyone because our only task is to form the right balance in the region and to protect the territory, borders, territorial integrity, and independence of the Republic of Armenia, which is legitimate, sovereign, recognized by the international community. And we are increasing the resilience of our country.

I also want to emphasize that I want to express my special thanks to you for your support of Armenia's democratic reforms. In this context, we enter a new dynamic phase in our relations with the European Union. Here, I must emphasize the personal support of France and you in this case because the European Union is also crucial for developing democratic reforms and institutional capacities of our country.

Of course, I will also have the opportunity to share thoughts about our region and the international situation today. The last time we had a discussion was in Granada, and during this time, some events happened. Also, I would like to share some information about the meeting and other discussions in Munich a few days ago. Of course, there are many issues on our agenda, but fortunately, our agenda of bilateral relations and our cooperation on international platforms is perfect and extensive. It is essential to have this opportunity here. However, we remember that our primary mission today is to honor the memory of all the heroes who sacrificed their lives and contributed to the independence and statehood of France. Thank you".

Next, the meeting of the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of France took place, during which the consistent development and strengthening of multi-sectoral cooperation between Armenia and France, the processes taking place in the South Caucasus region, and other topics of mutual interest were discussed.