Enlarged EU to expand role in south Caucasus ‘neighbourhood’
May 27 2004
The newly-enlarged European Union is to expand its political, economic
and security co-operation with the south Caucasus region as part of its
new “neighbourhood policy,” an EU envoy to the region said Thursday.
Anthonius Devries, the EU’s special ambassador to Azerbaijan, said an
action plan was being drawn up to “strengthen the activities of the
EU on co-operation and integration,” with the three south Caucasus
states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
“New forms of co-operation will appear,” the envoy told a press
“Greater attention will be paid to the energy sector. You can expect
new joint agreements. Co-operation on the fight against terrorism,
on science, education and culture, will be strengthened.”
He added that the EU was ready to take a bigger role in international
efforts to resolve the armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan
over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“If the sides approach us with a request to make more active efforts,
we can look at the options,” said Devries. “We do not rule out that
the EU could have a positive influence on the search for peace.”
The envoy said the specifics of the new relations between the EU and
the south Caucasus would be hammered out over the next few months.
After its historic enlargement on May 1 from 15 member states to 25,
the EU inaugurated its “neighbourhood policy” to foster links with
dozens of countries on the eastern and southern fringes of the new
Europe and prevent the appearance of “new dividing lines.”
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, during a visit to Brussels
earlier this month, urged European Commission President Romano Prodi
to take a more active role in the search for a peace settlement over
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress