CATHERINE ASHTON: EU COMMITTED TO FURTHER DEEPEN RELATIONSHIP WITH COUNTRIES OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS
"I welcome the adoption by the General Affairs Council on 10 May
of the negotiating directives for the future Association Agreements
between the EU and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The adoption of these negotiating directives is a clear sign of our
strong commitment to further deepen the relationship between the EU
and the countries of the South Caucasus, on the basis of shared values
and principles, including democracy, the rule of law and respect
for human rights," Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the
Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of
the European Commission, said at a sitting may 10, Regnum reports.
Ashton called the Association Agreements an important instrument
to upgrade relations beyond "existing commitments with a view of
political association and gradual economic integration with the EU."
Referring to the Eastern Partnership, Ashton said the program "provides
an ambitious framework for taking the relationship with the countries
of the South Caucasus to a new level."
"Successful implementation of the Eastern Partnership with the active
engagement of the partner countries both in its multilateral and
bilateral track will strengthen relations on the basis of shared values
and will help advancing political and economic reforms, consolidate
governance and foster regional stability, prosperity and confidence
building," C. Ashton highlighted.