03, 2012

President Serzh Sargsyan met with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso

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In the framework of his working visit to the Kingdom of Belgium, President Serzh Sargsyan met today with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. At the conclusion of the meeting, Presidents of Armenia and European Commission gave a joint press conference for the representatives of mass media.


Statement by President Serzh Sargsyan at the conclusion of the meeting with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso

Mr. President, I am glad to see you again and appreciate the opportunity to discuss issues of the Armenia-EU agenda. Very important developments have taken place since our last meeting which allowing Armenia and EU to reach a new milestone in their relations. We greatly appreciate the input made by the European Commission and Mr. Barroso personally to the deepening of our cooperation.

I would like to note from the very beginning that our approaches and positions on all issues of our agenda completely coincide. Armenia’s relations with the European Union are anchored in the same system of values which is conditioned by our historical, cultural, religious and linguistic similarities.

At the same time, I am happy to affirm that today our relations develop upward. Recently, relations between Armenia and EU have entered a qualitatively new level; we are registering decisive progress on the entire spectrum of our relations.

We have underscored with mutual satisfaction considerable progress achieved in the negotiations on the Armenia-EU Association Agreement. It will elevate our relations in the legal field to a new level and will set precise guidelines for a close cooperation in the areas of security policy, democracy, economic integration, human rights, energy and others.

Another milestone of our mutual success is the unanimous decision of all EU member states to launch negotiations on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone, which also speaks of the efficiency of the steps undertaken by the Armenian Government on that direction. The European Union is Armenia’s largest trading partner and signing of this Agreement will have a critical influence on further integration, encouragement of investments and will become a serious impetus for the development of the Armenian economy.

We stressed the importance of the start of the negotiations on the agreement for visa regime facilitation with the EU countries which kicked off February 27 in Yerevan. We expect that the negotiations will be concluded successfully in a short period of time and will create greater opportunities for the citizens of Armenia and EU member states to enhance contacts on the different levels.

At the moment, the main elements of our political dialogue with EU are our internal reforms and synchronization with the European agenda for acting as a one entity. We are resolute to go on with the deep and comprehensive reforms in Armenia; we view reforms currently undertaken in our country also as an important part of our unfolding cooperation with the EU.

We welcome and share European Union’s “more assistance for more reforms” principle. In developing certain programs for the implementation of the reforms, we are guided by that very principle. I have also expressed my gratitude to the European Union for the continuous support provided to Armenia.

At our meeting, we have also touched upon the parliamentary elections to be held in Armenia in May, and I have reiterated commitment of the Armenian side to organize and conduct the electoral process in accordance with the European and international standards. We realize the importance of conducting free, fair and democratic elections for the future development and prosperity of our country.

We have also discussed a number of regional issues. I presented to Mr. Barroso the current stage of the NK peace process. The Armenian side sees no alternative to the resolution of the conflict through the peaceful negotiations in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. Regardless of the electoral processes in Armenia and countries involved in the resolution of the NK problem, the Armenia side remains committed to the maintenance of the peace process in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group and conclusion of the work on the Basic principles. Only after that it will be possible to start negotiations on the “Large Framework Agreement.” Negotiations and war-mongering propaganda, racial hatred and acquisition of an unprecedented amount of armaments are mutually exclusive. Those who “play” war should have learned history lessons long ago.

Armenia has always stressed the importance of establishing direct contacts with the authorities of Nagorno Karabakh and the necessity for the EU representatives to conduct regular visits to Karabakh. We have also stressed on many occasions that Nagorno Karabakh is part of the European family, the carrier of the same values which pursues the goal of creating a structure based on the protection of human rights and the rule of law.

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