Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and EU HR/VP Federica Mogherini at a joint press conference on May 23, 2017 in Brussels (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia)
BRUSSELS, Belgium (RFE/RL)—The European Union and Armenia reiterated their commitment to shared values and praised the current work over a new agreement to be signed later this year as their top diplomatic representatives met in Brussels on Tuesday.
At a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward after the 17th meeting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said that the EU is “looking forward to Armenia’s active and constructive stance in preparation of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit” to be held in Brussels in November.
The new EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, negotiations over which were launched in late 2015, was initialed in Yerevan in March. Its signing is expected at the Brussels summit.
“The European Union is willing to expand and deepen cooperation with Armenia. We are already the first trading partner for the country, the first international donor and the strongest supporter of reforms. We are ready to continue supporting Armenia’s reform process across a range of issues, including economic development, the business environment, the judiciary, human rights, the fight against corruption – issues that are very concrete and relevant for the citizens of Armenia,” Mogherini said.
“We have discussed today our shared values, including our commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, which underpin the new agreement and our future cooperation. We were discussing how far we have come in the recent years and months. We launched negotiations in December 2015, the two of us here in Brussels, and we come now with good results that are the result of the hard, good work of our respective teams, who I would like also to thank for the good work we have managed to do.”
The EU official said that the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was also discussed during her meeting with Armenia’s representative. “The European Union believes the status quo is unsustainable and that the conflict needs an early political settlement in accordance with international law. The European Union continues to fully support the mediation efforts and proposals of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] Minsk Group Co-Chairs.