Armenia seeks to launch visa elimination talks with EU: FM

Armenia seeks to launch visa elimination talks with EU: FM

PanARMENIAN.Net - Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian attended the Brussels-hosted meeting of Foreign Ministers of the EU and Eastern Partnership states on July 22.

Also present at the meeting were the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle, Armenian Foreign Ministry website reported.

In a speech delivered at the event, Nalbandian welcomed progress in Armenia-EU ties over the last years, stressing intention to further develop cooperation.

Nalbandian noted the significant role of EU’s consistent assistance and support in implementation of reforms in Armenia, strengthening of democracy and institutional capacities.

The Minister further stressed expanding mobility between the societies as a common goal, with Armenia seeking to launch a dialogue on introduction of visa-free regime based on successful experience of EU-Armenia visa facilitation and readmission agreements.

The official also noted the importance of the Protocol to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement on the basic principles for Armenia’s participation in various EU programs and expansion of bilateral sectoral cooperation.

Nalbandian further slammed Turkey’s continuous blockade of the border with Armenia, thus hindering normalization of bilateral relations and use of transport and communication routes between Armenia and the EU.

Dwelling on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement, Nalbandian noted that unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia consistently reaffirmed its commitment to the principles of the international law. He also expressed regret for the absence of political will in Azerbaijan, with the country persistently rejecting all proposals by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

In conclusion, the official thanked the European Union for its unequivocal support to the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Eastern Partnership

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is the first comprehensive initiative introduced into the system of the European Union’s external relations, addressed to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership is designed to help the countries of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus with their approximation to and integration with the European Union. The EaP has injected a new quality into relations between the EU and the countries covered by the initiative through their gradual integration with the European Union.

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