On July 23 in Brussels Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian participated in the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the European Union and Eastern Partnership.
Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission and Štefan Füle, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy attended the meeting, as well. Addressing at the meeting, the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the passed road of the Eastern Partnership from Prague founding summit to Warsaw summit, including the activities implemented ahead of upcoming Vilnius summit are the proof of the viability of the project.
‘The EaP Ministerial meetings give a good opportunity to exchange views on various issues related to the promotion of the cooperation, to sum up completed works and to present expectations, as well as to undertake new steps. It is a pleasure for me to note that after two years since the launching of the Association Agreement, Armenia has achieved significant progress-so far 28 Chapters of the Association Agreement from 29 have been closed and there is just a Chapter left in one sphere to agree upon. Based on a positive experience accumulated during the negotiations over the Associations Agreement, Armenia expects to have a smooth progress in the negotiations over the creation of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. We intend to come to the final stage of the negotiations until the Vilnius summit.
Fostering mobility and people-to-people contacts is another important element of the cooperation. I am pleased to note that the agreements on visa regime facilitation and readmission are now about to be finalized and in the near future we are looking forward to sign and ratify them,’ said Minister Nalbandian.
In the course of the Ministerial meeting a joint declaration was adopted where the sides stressed that the road map presented by the EU High Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission is a good basis ahead of the Vilnius summit to guide with the goals elaborated at the Prague and Warsaw summits.
It was mentioned that the next EaP Ministerial meeting to be held in 2013 would be a good opportunity to review and outline the further steps to be undertaken.
Ahead of the meeting Edward Nalbandian met with Štefan Füle, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy. During the meeting the sides had a thorough talk on the organization issues related to the convening of the donors’ conference providing support to the reforms in Armenia, as well as the schedule of upcoming high-level visits. The interlocutors touched upon the negotiations over the Association Agreement, visa regime facilitation, readmission and the creation of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as well as discussed a number of issues related to the interaction between Armenian and the European Union. In the evening of the same day the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Didier Reynders, the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Belgium had a thorough talk on a wide range of bilateral issues, touched upon the intensification of political dialogue between the two countries, the expansion of legal framework, the holding of regular consultations between the MFAs of the two countries, the promotion of economic cooperation and the steps to be undertaken for the intensification of inter-parliamentary ties. During the talks the sides exchanged views on the Armenia-EU relations.
In the course of the talk between Edward Nalbandian and Didier Reynders the cooperation in the frames of the International Organization of the Francophonie were touched upon. Upon the request of the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs presented the efforts exerted towards the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
Edward Nalbandian invited his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders to pay a visit to Armenia.