YEREVAN (Public Radio of Armenia) — On March 1, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini met with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and President Serzh Sarkisian.
Minister Nalbandian said her first visit to Armenia would positively impact the development and deepening of Armenia-EU relations. Mogherini said, in turn, that the establishment of closer cooperation between Armenia and the European Union will benefit not only the two parties, but also the region, as a whole.
The parties discussed a wide range of issues related to the development of Armenia-EU cooperation that included creating a new legal framework for bilateral relations.
Nalbandian reiterated Armenia’s willingness to reinforce and expand the comprehensive cooperation in all fields of mutual interest. The parties referred to the joint steps needed for the further development of bilateral ties – political dialogue, mobility, human rights, economic reforms, and Armenia’s participation in different EU programs.
The Armenian Minister expressed gratitude to the EU for the long-term support and assistance, which has played a considerable role in the implementation of reforms and development in Armenia.
The interlocutors exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and stressed the importance of mobilizing the efforts of the international community to fight terrorism. Nalbandian noted that Armenia has provided refuge to more than 20 thousand refugees, thus becoming the third country with the number of Syrian migrants per capita. The Minister said the Armenian side values the EU support.
The implementation of the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was also on the agenda.
Nalbandian briefed the EU High Representative on the negotiations on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and how they are under way within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. Mogherini reiterated the EU support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group towards the resolution of the conflict. The parties agreed that the non-constructive steps and belligerent rhetoric serve to drag out the status quo.
Minister Nalbandian assured of Armenia’s willingness to maintain the consistent efforts towards an exceptionally peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.
Following her meeting with Nalbandian, Mogherini met with President Sarkisian, where the two discussed the challenges regionally, Armenia-EU relations, and other international developments
Both agreed that the 4th Eurasian Neighborhood Summit in Riga in May 2015 was an important milestone in Armenia-EU relations, which served a basis for future cooperation.
President Sarkisan praised the launching of negotiation on a new Armenia-EU legal framework and hoped that the parties would successfully complete the process.
Sarkisian also touched upon the large-scale reforms in Armenia, when referring to the constitutional changes that were adopted last December. The President stressed that our country is determined to continue the reforms in different spheres and values EU’s financial and expert assistance.
The Karabakh conflict was against a topic discussed between the two. Sarkisian emphasized the position of Armenia to settle the conflict through peaceful means. Mogherini also assured the support of the EU to the Minsk Group and their process of finding a peaceful solution. She stressed \the three core principles that lie in the basis of the talks that included– non-use of force or the threat of force, the right of peoples to self-determination and territorial integrity.