ArmInfo. The Iranian side is very interested in launching a free economic zone in Meghri. The issue has become especially urgent after the war in Artsakh, said Deputy Minister of Economy of Armenia Varos Simonyan on June 3 in parliament, responding to the question of MP from the Prosperous Armenia faction Mikayel Melkumyan, how justified it is at present to hold discussions with the Iranian side regarding the use of the Meghri FEZ.
According to Melkumyan, two years ago the parliamentary commission conducted research and clarified a number of obstacles to the launch of the FEZ. So, according to him, we are talking, first of all, about the problems with the alienation of lands. Currently, the FEZ is located on a small area of 1.7 hectares, and talks about the possibility of deploying the zone's activities on such small areas are simply frivolous. The MP noted that the FEZ is officially registered within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, within the framework of which Belarus received 6 access zones, Kazakhstan - 8 zones, Kyrgyzstan - 1. "It is surprising that quotas and zones have been allocated, and the zone is inactive," Melkumyan said.
In addition, Melkumyan recalled the trial, within the framework of which the illegally alienated land plots are returned to the state. The MP urged to listen to the proposal of the Mayor of Meghri, who offered 50 hectares of land located adjacent to the border in exchange for border areas. "Nevertheless, nothing has been done so far," the MP stated.
As Melkumyan stated, over the past three years, the country's authorities have not done anything to resolve the issue. However, the acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, at a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who arrived in Armenia on a working visit, declares that the FEZ can become a very strong fulcrum for the further development of the economic sector. "So what motivates our activity," he asked. In response, Deputy Minister of Economy stated that Yerevan does not intend to wait for the completion of the trial and the purchase and return of land plots.
To restart the Meghri FEZ, Armenia is negotiating with partners, in particular, from Iran. Three groups from Iran visited Armenia, who have already made a corresponding proposal. In the near future, Armenia plans to select the operator of the Meghri FEZ on a competitive basis and launch the FEZ activities on an area of 1.7 hectares, on which the administrative building is located. Then they will use the nearby territory of 5 thousand, and at the next stage, it is planned to acquire nearby territories, and then, at the third stage, they will take advantage of the proposal of the head of the Meghri community.