12, 2012

Statement by President Serzh Sarsgyan on the results of the meeting with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso at the press conference for the representatives of the mass media

Mr. President,

I am glad to host you in Yerevan for the first time. I recall warmly our meeting in Brussels in March and greatly appreciate the established dialogue between us. Your visit to Armenia is an important impetus for the development of Armenia-EU relations.

Aspiration to have a state structured based on the European values – freedom, democracy, the rule of law, has been ever-present in the hearts of the Armenian people. We view our interaction with the European structures as an important factor of Armenia’s institutional maturing and successful implementation of reforms.

It is no accident that I have reiterated our determination to continue to deepen and develop our cooperation with the European Union. Our goal is before the November 2013 Summit in Vilnius to conclude works on the Association Agreement, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone negotiations, elevating thus our relations to a new level.

We have noted with satisfaction that negotiations on the EU entry visa facilitation for the citizens of Armenia have been concluded. It will be signed soon and we expect that it will enter into force in mid-2013. After that, we will be ready to move on to the negotiations regarding the next, more complex stage – abolishment of visa requirement. From January 2013, citizens of EU will be visiting Armenia without obtaining entry visas. This process has one objective – to facilitate contacts between our societies, increase the number of reciprocal visits, and provide new opportunities for the students, scientists, and creative people.

At the meeting, I have expressed our conviction that it is necessary to deepen cooperation in the framework of the Eastern Partnership program. Closed borders, threats to use force, xenophobia and racism have no place in the 21st century. Moreover, we must declare zero tolerance towards these evils on the territory of our partnership. All our statements and actions become deficient if against this background one of the partner states calls the entire nation of another partner state an enemy, offering a repulsive and classical example of xenophobia.

We cannot pretend that it is normal when Turkey, a member of G-20, which was created for the economic advancement and a country which aspires to become a member of the European Union, is unilaterally and illegally keeps border closed with Armenia, a member of the Eastern Partnership. It runs contrary not only to the simple logic of the Partnership but violates the main principles and norms of international law. In Europe, borders must not be used as dividing lines.

I presented to Mr. Barroso our visions of the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh problem. It is gratifying that we share with the European Union full understanding regarding the resolution of the conflict. Armenia has mentioned on many occasions that Nagorno Karabakh is part of the European family, living with the same values; in this regard, we attach importance to the direct contacts of the representatives of the European Union with Nagorno Karabakh, particularly their regular visits.

In the framework of our dialogue, we have discussed issues of mutual interest related to the human rights in the open and constructive atmosphere. I assured Mr. Barroso that we are committed to conduct presidential elections in February 2013 in line with the highest international standards.

I expressed gratitude to President Barroso for his assistance to the program of reformation in Armenia and readiness to increase that assistance based on the “More for More” approach. We have also discussed the preparation works for the donor conference to be held next year.

Dear Mr. Barroso,

In conclusion, I would like to express thanks for your persistent efforts aimed at the deepening of Armenia-EU relations, strengthening the Eastern Partnership, and establishment of peace and stability in our region.

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