BRUSSELS — Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met with Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, this morning on the sidelines of the session of the EU-Armenia Partnership Council in Brussels, Belgium. The EU-Armenia Partnership Council discussed the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict. The first session of the council with Mnatsakanyan and Mogherini leading the delegations. A press conference was given upon the conclusion of the sitting.
“We see this is a conflict that needs an early political settlement. We continue to fully support the mediation efforts and proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and we will continue to accompany the process with all our determination,” Mogherini said at the joint press conference with Mnatsakanyan.
Minister Mnatsakanyan reiterated Armenia’s strong commitment to the peaceful settlement of the conflict within the internationally agreed format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. He emphasized the promotion of an environment conducive to peace and underlined that Armenia expects European partners to take steps towards establishing such an environment.
He appreciated the consistent and strong support of the EU to the peace process within the OSCE Minsk Group.
Mogherini stressed the importance of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations.
“We continue to encourage both sides to continue to engage in this process without preconditions,” Mogherini said.
The parties also discussed the implementation of the nuclear deal on Iran and addressed the situation in Syria. Mogherini hailed the hospitality that Armenia gives to Syrian refugees.
The High Representative said she hopes the EU-Armenia relations will make even greater progress in a spirit of partnership
The Armenian Foreign Minister, in turn, urged European colleagues to accelerate the process of ratification of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement in their parliaments.
“We exchanged views on the visa liberalization dialogue. We are taking steps on our side towards the successful implementation of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement. We are looking forward to move on with this agenda,” Mnatsakanyan said.
He stressed that visa liberalization is important in many ways, mostly in the sense that it will promote the people-to-people contacts. He added that it’s a good way for fundamentally strengthening the relations with the European Union.
High Representative Mogherini refrained from indicating any concrete time frames for the launching of the Visa Liberalization Dialogue that would lead to the establishment of a visa-free regime as a final goal.
“That is a decision in the hands of the Council. It’s a question to be put more to member states than me,” Mogherini stated.
She noted, however, that the successful implementation of the Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreement could lead to the Visa Liberalization Dialogue.