RA Minister of Nature Protection Artsvik Minasyan met with the delegation led by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the Republic of Armenia Jonathan Lacôte; Advisor to the Ambassador Alec Bourtou and Consular Officer Claire Lewis chef were in the delegation. First Deputy Minister of Nature Protection Erik Grigoryan, Advisors to the Minister Artsrun Pepanyan, Vahagn Khacatryan and heads of corresponding subdivisions also attended the meeting.
Addressing the members of the delegation, Artsvik Minasyan congratulated Jonathan Lacôte on assumption of office and noted that the potential of environmental issues is of importance in close cooperation between two states, as France attaches great importance to environmental protection and is directly involved international policy development and implementation procedures. With reference to it, the Minister considered normal the agreement streamlining the measures directed to the reduction of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere adopted within the framework of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Paris, which Armenia joined, formally ratifying it at the sitting of the National Assembly (February 9).
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Jonathan Lacôte thanked for the congratulations and noticed that his country played a crucial role in environmental protection in international relations, conditioned by the fact that environmental issues are fully included in the French diplomacy agenda. The Ambassador stated that the Ministry of Nature Protection is an important player in bilateral cooperation and informed that the work in this direction is not only carried out by the embassy, but also within the cooperation framework of local self-government bodies of the countries.
The sides were of the same opinion that environmental protection can only contribute to the economic growth and from this point of view, two issues are regarded as primary concerns for the French side: ecotourism and the protection of Lake Sevan. "Veolia Djur" CJSC has already been involved within the framework of "Jinj Sevan" project scopes.
Artsvik Minasyan touched upon the details of the " Debt for nature swaps" project initiated by the Government of the Republic of Armenia and noted that it will enable developed countries to comply with international commitments in the field of environmental protection, yielding Armenia's debt to implement environmental programs in the republic. The Minister briefed that the Republic of France is among the five largest countries in the debt-paying country, along which it is envisaged to start direct negotiations. A. Minasyan also added that French companies, as providers of services or companies investing in technology, will also be involved in the implementation of the " Debt for nature swaps" project.
The Ambassador noted that the French side was interested in ''Debt for nature swaps'' project and proposed to discuss technical issues with narrow staff and software documents during the future meetings.
At the end of the meeting the Minister of Nature Protection expressed confidence that the good launch of cooperation with the newly appointed ambassador would be an excellent consequence of the centuries-long friendship between the Armenian and French peoples.
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