EDWARD NALBANDIAN PARTICIPATED IN THE 14TH SESSION OF ARMENIA-EU COOPERATION COUNCIL
On December 9 Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian participated in the 14th Session of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council in Brussels.

The delegation of the European Union was headed by the Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius representing the EU Council Chairmanship and Štefan Füle, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy.

During the meeting which was held under the chairmanship of Armenian Foreign Minister the bilateral cooperation agenda was discussed, the work implemented during this year, the developments of the "Eastern Partnership” initiative in the context of the Vilnius Summit, the reforms implemented in Armenia, the Armenian Chairmanship in the Council of Europe and in this framework the cooperation between the EU and the CoE were summarized. The sides also touched upon the steps to be undertaken for the further development of relations.

Miniser Nalbandian stated that Armenia remains committed to the common values which constitute the foundation of Armenia’s relations with the European Union.

"Based on the results and progress which we have jointly achieved in the recent years we wish to move forward the partnership with the EU in all possible areas as reflected in the Joint Statement between Armenia and the EU issued at the Vilnius Summit as well as in the letters that we exchanged with the High Representative Ashton.”- Minister Nalbandian stated.

The Minister emphasized that the strengthening of democratic institutions and the improvement of judiciary system, the promotion of human rights and rule of law, good governance, fight against corruption are important parts of Armenia-EU agenda, and that the EU’s continuous support can be instrumental for the effective implementation of the reform process in Armenia.

Minister Nalbandian noted that Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements concluded with the EU have been ratified and will enter into force from January 2014. Armenia is looking forward to launching visa dialogue as a next phase of the cooperation in this area which could lead to a visa free travel for the citizens of Armenia in the future.

Edward Nalbandian attached importance to the signed Protocol to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which will allow Armenia to participate in a broad range of EU programs and to cooperate with EU agencies. Armenia is also determined to enhance sectoral cooperation, take steps for the establishment of more favourable environment for the purposes of encouraging investments and broaden trade relations.

Edward Nalbandian stressed that it is necessary to work to identify the legal framework of Armenia-EU cooperation based on the common achievements.
The agenda also included regional issues and the ways of their resolution.

Upon the request of the European side Edward Nalbandian briefed about the recent developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiation process - the summit meeting on November 19 in Vienna between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the results of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Kyiv, according to the instructions of the Presidents.

The European side welcomed the resumption of meetings between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and reaffirmed support to the efforts of the three Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

The Session of the Council was followed by a joint press conference of Edward Nabandian, Linas Linkevičius and Štefan Füle.

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