On the occasion of the official visit to London of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, HE Mr Ararat Mirzoyan, the inaugural Strategic Dialogue between the United Kingdom and Armenia was held on 13 November 2023.
This first Strategic Dialogue was an opportunity to mark the strong cooperation and friendship between our two democracies. With the increase globally in threats to democratic values, human rights, rule of law and the freedoms we strive to protect for our citizens, working together on issues of mutual concern is more important than ever, not only to build trade and stability, but also to protect our shared core values. We reaffirmed the aspiration to build our partnership over the coming years.
During the dialogue, the Minister for Europe of the United Kingdom, Leo Docherty MP, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, discussed a range of global and regional issues of mutual concern, and ways in which the UK and Armenia can work together going forward. These included:
Governance and rule of law, where through its programming in Armenia the UK is supporting the digitalisation and streamlining of public services, the improvement of gender equality in the police force, and will soon begin working to support Armenia’s border management capacities to tackle security and migration issues.
UK-Armenia defence cooperation, which continues to expand with increased numbers of personnel from the Armenian military and Ministry of Defence, and police (MOIA) personnel receiving English Language training instruction, as well as places on UK senior and junior command and leadership courses, and multi-national peace-keeping and mine-awareness packages. Both parties looked forward to the sixth round of UK-Armenia Staff Talks later this month.
Trade and economic ties, notably the recently held UK-Armenia Business Forum in London, where the Minister of State for Regulatory Reform, the Earl of Minto, and Armenian Minister for the Economy, Vahan Kerobyan, welcomed an audience of Armenian and British businesses to discuss the wide range of trade and investment opportunities between our countries.
The Ministers agreed on the absolute necessity of the establishment of peace and stability in the South Caucasus based on the mutual recognition of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of borders on the basis of the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration, and the opening of regional connectivity links based on full respect of each country’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.
The Minister for Europe emphasised the UK’s commitment to supporting those affected by the long-running conflict, including through £1 million of funding to the International Committee of the Red Cross announced in September.
Finally, both parties looked forward to continuing to enhance the relationship between the UK and Armenia beyond this inaugural Strategic Dialogue, including through the upcoming visit by the Minister for Europe to Armenia, and through the agreement of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which we collectively hope to conclude in the coming months.