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Foreign Minister of Armenia participated in the Informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership
11.07.17 11:07
Foreign Minister of Armenia participated in the Informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership

On July 10, in Chisinau, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian participated in the informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries, attended by the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service Jean-Christophe Belliard.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Nalbandian said: "On many occasions we have underlined the importance of the Riga Joint Declaration, the four main areas of cooperation, the principle of differentiation and other provisions have guided our efforts within the Eastern partnership during the past two years. Armenia has registered sound achievements: Horizon 2020, COSME, launching negotiations on the Common Aviation Area Agreement, as well as the “Creative Europe”, that we intend to finalize soon, but first of all, the new Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement that we initialed and plan to sign in Brussels this November.

Armenia and the EU have finalized the Partnership Priorities for 2017-2020 and tomorrow in Yerevan we are going to start the talks on the Single Support Framework of the EU assistance to Armenia for the same period.

Among the pending issues I would mention the launch of the Visa Liberalization Dialogue. Facilitating and intensifying the mobility and people to people contacts has been put in the core of the Eastern Partnership and should continue to remain as such”.
In his remarks Minister Nalbandian touched upon the perspectives of the cooperation, noting, particularly: “I would like to refer to the ideas expressed by Johannes Jahn at the Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, specifically, the ones related to the expansion of the TEN-T network, harmonization and reduction of the roaming tariffs and funding the development of the Small and Medium Enterprises of partner countries in local currencies. I believe that these proposals can be integrated in the agenda of our future cooperation, which I hope will be equipped with many other productive programs.”

Speaking about the document “20 deliverables for 2020”, the Foreign Minister underlined, that it, indeed, is a programmatic plan of action, that outlines the prospects of cooperation within the Eastern Partnership.

“It goes without saying that drafting of the Final Declaration is one of the most challenging tasks ahead of us in preparations of the Summit. Armenia stands ready to contribute to the meaningful document that will reflect the true spirit of cooperation and direct our efforts for the years to come. The agreed language of the Riga Declaration may serve as a basis for overcoming contentious issues as they arise. I share the opinion of those colleagues who believe that there is no need to poison the atmosphere of the upcoming Summit with the issues that we all know can block the consensus.” - added Edward Nalbandian.

Concluding the speech the head of the Armenian Foreign Ministry stressed, that: “The successful cooperation with the European Union has contributed to the Constitutional reform process and parliamentary elections held in Armenia this April, that were praised by our partner countries and specialized international organizations. Armenia is committed to continue the reforms. The European Union has been and will remain our trusted partner in these processes. Armenia appreciates the partnership with the European Union and looks forward to the future fruitful cooperation.”

The meeting was followed by the joint press conference of the heads of delegations.

At the meeting with media representatives, responding to the comments of the head of the Azerbaijani delegation on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Edward Nalbandian, particularly, underlined: "Time and time again the representatives of Azerbaijan abuse this platform making provocative statements instead of addressing its theme - the cooperation within the Eastern Partnership.

The security in our region continues to be challenged by the persistent threats of Azerbaijan to use force in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. On April 2016 Azerbaijan unleashed a large scale aggression against Nagorno-Karabakh that was accompanied by grave violations of international humanitarian law, atrocities against civilian population, including children, women and elderly persons, mutilation of the bodies, Daesh-style beheadings.

On July 4th Azerbaijani leadership once again resorted to the tactics of notorious terrorist organizations and as many times before used its civilian population as a human shield for shelling the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh by heavy weaponry, including by TR-107 multiple rocket launcher systems. In response, the Defense Army of Nagorno-Karabakh was obliged to exercise self-defense against the aggressive actions of the Azerbaijani side.

As long as Azerbaijan fails to implement its international commitments under 1994-1995 trilateral ceasefire agreements, refuses to implement the Vienna and St. Petersburg Summit commitments, especially on the creation of the mechanism for investigation of the ceasefire violations, that can become also a mechanism for prevention, the Azerbaijani leadership bears full responsibility for all consequences.”

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