YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The recurrent 8th sitting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council was held in Luxemburg Tuesday where Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian headed the Armenian interagency delegation comprising representatives of the Ministries of Trade and Economic Development, Finance and Energy. Portugal’s State Secretary for European Affairs Manual Lobo Antunes, representing the European Union delegation, chaired the Council.
At the beginning of the meeting the parties noted Armenian President Robert Kocharian’s visit to Belgium last week marked the continuation of the political dialogue between Armenia and the European Union.
Issues concerning the process of implementation of the Armenia-EU Action Plan of the European Neighborhood Policy, questions of political, economic and energy cooperation were discussed.
Special attention was paid to the settlement of conflicts, the process of reforms underway in Armenia, the upcoming presidential elections and human rights issues.
Oskanian presented the session with a summery of Armenia’s political and economic reforms, noting that Armenia is adamantly committed to the painful but necessary reforms that will bring the countries political standards closer to the level of European ones.
He noted that the Action Plan is a guiding line for the economic reforms in Armenia.
The European side noted that the progress is visible, pointing to the rise in macroeconomic growth and the reforms in the judicial area. State Secretary Antunes reconfirmed the EU’s commitment to comprehensive support for Armenia, noting that Armenia is gradually and steadily approaching Europe with regard to democratic development.
He underlined that the European Union anticipates more courageous steps on behalf of Armenia, particularly pointing to the role of mass media in the election period. Reference was also made to the poverty reduction program implemented in Armenia and cooperation in the fields of energy and the economy.
The sitting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council was followed by a joint press conference, featuring the heads of the Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijani delegations as well as the EU presidency.