February 14, 2006 - 17:15 AMT
EU Partnership with South Caucasus Should Speed up in 2006
February 15-17 EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner will visit South Caucasian countries. As the EU delegation to Armenia told PanARMENIAN.Net, Benita Ferrero-Waldner's visit is aimed to demonstrate EU commitment to its pledge to lay foundations for strengthened relations between the EU and South Caucasus via the European Neighborhood Policy and supporting reforms in partner states.» Benita Ferrero-Waldner is expected to meet with Armenian, Azeri and Georgian presidents, speakers and FMs. Major subjects of the talks in will be the working out of Action Plans within the European Neighborhood Policy, «frozen conflicts» and energy security issues. On the eve of the visit Benita Ferrero-Waldner stated that «by including the South Caucasian countries in the European Neighborhood Policy we opened a new page in our relations with South Caucasian countries.» «I hope we will be able to finish work over Armenia's, Azerbaijan's and Georgia's Action Plans which will allow us to intensify our relations. The year 2006 should be that of speeding-up our partnership,» said the EU Commissioner for External Relations.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner also hoped that «we will witness good progress in conflict settlement in the region in 2006.» «In the course of my visit I will explain how we can support countries on their way to more sustainable, prospering and democratic future,» she said. After her visit to the region EU consultations with South Caucasian states, aimed at completion of the work over the Action Plans, will begin.