ARMENIA EXPRESSES READINESS TO WORK IN DIRECTION OF ELABORATION OF ARMENIA-EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT AND CREATION OF ALL-EMBRACING FREE TRADE ZONE
Dec 9, 2009
BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 9, NOYAN TAPAN. The first meeting of EU Eastern
Partnership Foreign Ministers took place on December 8 in Brussels.
Armenia’s delegation led by Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian also
participated in it.
Foreign Ministers of states involved in the Eastern Partnership
program and EU member countries, representatives of the European
Commission and European Council, European Parliament were present at
the meeting presided by Foreign Minister of Sweden, Chairman of the
EU Council of Foreign Ministers Carl Bildt.
The Foreign Ministers estimated the work done within the framework of
the new cooperation format and outlined the steps to be undertaken,
exchanged thoughts on more efficient use of the Partnership potential.
E. Nalbandian in his speech made at the meeting mentioned that Armenia
seeks to further strengthen its relations with the European Union.
According to his characterization, the Partnership initiative creates
additional possibilities of cooperation with the European Union in
the political, economic and humanitarian spheres.
The RA Foreign Minister speaking about EU’s intention of establishing
legal-contractual relations of new level with partner countries said
that it is evidence of the positive results of cooperation established
over the past ten years. He expressed Armenia’s readiness to work in
the direction of elaboration of Armenia-EU Association Agreement and
creation of an all-embracing free trade zone.
E. Nalbandian emphasizing that all initiatives proposed by the
partnership program are important for Armenia and other partners drew
a special attention to the issue of facilitation of entrance visa
provision as it will essentially promote contacts between societies
and people. "Educational, cultural and youth exchanges are of much
significance and we should encourage the initiatives promoting them,"
the RA Foreign Minister said.
E. Nalbandian attached importance to regional cooperation within the
framework of Eastern Partnership. He emphasized that Azerbaijan’s
renouncing the partnership envisaged by the program can endanger
Partnership’s success. According to the Minister, such a policy by a EU
partner state discredits the proper idea of cooperation, and the lack
of any response by the participant countries further depreciates it.
EU countries’ Foreign Ministers in their speeches attached importance
to cooperation between the Partnership member states and undertaking
of concrete steps. As a model example of cooperation by the European
Union they mentioned the activity of the EU advisory group in Armenia,
which assists implementation of reforms in the legislative, executive,
and court and legal spheres.
At the meeting, a decision was made to hold the next ministerial
meeting in the second half of 2010 and the next summit of Eastern
Partnership in 2011.