Press Statement by Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan on the results of the Armenia-EU Partnership Council

21 June, 2018

High Representative Mogherini,

Thank you for a very warm welcome․ This is indeed a very symbolic and important time in our relations that we have gathered for the first Partnership Council after the signing of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. It is also happening at the time, which follows the important developments in Armenia.

Indeed we have reconfirmed and emphasized the important and fundamental mandate that the Government has from the people, from the public of Armenia to strengthen principles of constitutional order, rule of law, democratic principles, promotion and protection of rights for fairness and equal opportunities in every activity - economic, social and other activities in the country. And the Government is absolutely determined and very forceful to take this mandate forward and to deliver on the expectations of the public and to deliver on the mandate that the Government firmly hands for this purpose. I also thank you very much for the support of the European Union, the support and the readiness to work with us on promoting this agenda. You have been an important partner for Armenia on these matters. We expect to take this further and to manifest it in support and assistance from the European Union.

Obviously, as the first Partnership Council has been taking place following the activation of the provisional application of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, our discussions focused on the implementation of the Agreement. For us it is a landmark agreement which is not only the legal foundation of the relations but it is also a very important instrument for Armenia to advance its reforms and partnership that is based on system of values that we share. We focused on the specific aspects of the implementation of the CEPA, on its sectoral partnership in such fields as trade, energy, transport, communications and others. We have talked about the elaboration of a roadmap for further implementation of the CEPA. I have already mentioned that the CEPA has this phase of provisional application following the ratification of the Agreement in the Armenian Parliament. We do look forward and encourage all our partners, member-states of the European Union to accelerate the process of ratification in their Parliaments.

We have discussed the EU-Armenia Partnership Priorities. It is another significant document that regulates and guides our cooperation. We also informed our partners in the European Union that we have been re-establishing the Inter-Agency Commission which has been tasked to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the CEPA in our activities, in our work domestically. We stressed our commitment to actively interact within the Eastern Partnership framework. We attach importance to the Eastern Partnership 20 deliverables for 2020. We have exchanged information on the steps that have been already implemented in this regard. It is our conviction that these targeted actions can contribute to the promotion of regional coherence, cooperation and dialogue between the EU and the Eastern Neighbors and amongst the partners themselves.

We also exchanged views on launching the visa liberalization dialogue. It is an important commitment form the Riga summit of the Eastern Partnership. We have been consistent in taking our actions, making steps towards the implementation of visa facilitation and readmission agreement. And we are looking forward to move on with this agenda and we insist to be judged on our own merit. We also emphasize that the visa liberalization is important in many ways, not least, and perhaps mostly that it will promote the people-to-people contact, promote more interaction amongst our public and it's a very good way of fundamentally strengthening relations we have with the European Union.

We exchanged views on various issues on our international agenda. The High Representative Madame Mogherini has already underlined the areas in which we have strong cooperation, we share views and we work together on various issues of the global agenda. And among those we have of course discussed the issue of Syria, Iran nuclear deal.

Of course we have also discussed Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution. We have reiterated the position of the Government on this, its strong commitment on the peaceful settlement of the conflict within the internationally agreed format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. I have once again underlined the emphasis we put on promoting an environment conducive to peace. And also we do rely on our partners in the European Union, amongst its member states to make their contribution to such an environment which is conducive to peace and to take such actions which don't work in the opposite direction. In this context once again I would like to welcome and express our deep appreciation for the very consistent and strong support of the EU for the peace process within the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.

I would like to thank you very much for the hospitality and hosting us today, for organizing the first Council meeting. We have an excellent agenda together. We had an opportunity to meet briefly in New York when you were visiting and attending an important Security Council meeting, but this is the first time I have an opportunity in this new capacity to meet you. I really thank you very much, I feel very comfortable and very confident. Thank you very much for all that friendship and partnership that you have been so generously sharing.

Once again I look forward to continued work, continued cooperation and continued engagement with you. We have an interesting and important agenda whether it concerns relations between Armenia and the European Union and its member-stated or whether it concerns the global agenda. The way in which we have managed to conduct this meeting, we have finished our work much earlier. And this is an indication that we can work very productively and very constructively and efficiently. I want this spirit to be sustained and I think we have excellent work to do together.

Thank you very much.

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