Closed borders counter the essence of EU values, Armenian President tells EPP summit

President Serzh Sargsyan, who is in the Republic of Moldova on a working visit, participated at the Third Summit of the European People’s Party (EPP) Eastern Partnership Leaders. At the Summit discussed were issues related to the agenda of the Eastern Partnership as well as the preparatory works for the summit in Vilnius.

At the Summit, President Serzh Sargsyan made a statement. He spoke about cooperation in the framework of Eastern Partnership, the process of fulfillment of the obligations which Armenia assumed by joining this partnership initiative, and reforms being implemented in our country. In the context of regional developments, President Sargsyan spoke about the unacceptability of the Azerbaijani policies of translating energy cooperation into energy dictate which silences even explicit cases of violation of human rights and democratic principles. Serzh Sargsyan referred also to the illegal blockade of Armenia and underscored that closed borders as a phenomenon counters the very essence of the European Union and its system of values.

In the framework of the Summit, President Sargsyan participated also at the joint press conference. He spoke about the results of discussions and presented Armenia’s position on a number of issues which are critical for Armenia. Serzh Sargsyan assessed discussions held at the Summit as effectual and constructive. He expressed confidence that the Summit has had its positive contribution toward the achievement of the EPP’s as well as Eastern Partnership objectives. “First of all, I would like to thank the Moldovan side for hosting this Summit. Only months ago, in Yerevan we hosted a similar event and we are grateful to Mr. Martens for establishing this tradition and format of Eastern Partnership Summits.

An important element of Eurointegration processes for the partner states is the interaction with the European political parties, political culture and finally, rapprochement of the systems of values. The European People’s Party plays an important role in the dissemination of the European identity and in deepening cooperation with the partner states.

Today, we have discussed agenda issues of Eastern Partnership as well as issues related to the preparatory works for Vilnius Summit. For us, these are very tangible, concrete issues. To be efficient, Eastern Partnership should be comprehensible and lucid for each citizen of a participating state. We also should asked ourselves how this or that agreement makes the life for citizens easier, how it changes the life quality for the citizens of Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia. Regardless of whether it comes as economic advancement, political stability, or stronger democracy, our citizens should see clearly what they get from this process.

Cooperation formed during Eastern Partnership’s four-year existence demonstrates that it holds great potential for deepening regional cooperation and partnership. In our understanding, Eastern Partnership in its essence is an initiative aimed at creating cooperation and not contradictions; it is not directed against any state or a group of states. This Partnership is aimed at the final elimination of dividing lines.

In the framework of the Partnership, Armenia attaches the utmost importance to ending the practice of keeping borders closed. The Agreement on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade, which is currently being negotiated with the European Union, will not be functioning properly after entering into force, if the Armenian-Turkish border remains closed as it is today. We believe that the European Union should take the issue of closed borders very seriously since as long as there are closed borders, trade with the EU Tax Union cannot be efficient,” President Serzh Sargsyan said at the joint press conference.

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