Armenian President to attend Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will participate in the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius on 28-29 November, according to a press release issued by the European Commission today.

The third Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius will bring together heads of state or government from the 28 EU member states with those of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

The summit will be chaired by the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy who, together with the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, will represent the European Union. The summit will be hosted by the President of Republic of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite.

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, and the Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, will also attend the summit.

The six partner countries will be represented by the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, President Georgi Margvelashvili of Georgia, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and Vladimir Makey, Foreign Minister of Belarus.

The Vilnius summit will review progress in establishing new Association Agreements, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTAs) between the EU and some partner countries. These agreements are designed to support reform with the aim to accelerate political association and economic integration. Association Agreements, including DCFTAs, are expected to be initialled with Georgia and the Republic of Moldova. The offer of signing an unprecedented Association Agreement and DCFTA with Ukraine is still on the table. This requires the necessary political will by the Ukrainian leadership, determined action and tangible progress on the conditions set out in December 2012.

A visa facilitation agreement with Azerbaijan and a framework agreement on Georgia’s participation in EU crisis management missions are expected to be signed at the summit. An aviation agreement with Ukraine is also expected to be initialled.

The participants are expected to take stock of other progress made in the Partnership, welcome the conclusion and implementation of Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements and to agree on an ambitious agenda for the way ahead. The Vilnius summit is to set out a number of goals to be attained by the Partnership by 2015.

In line with the incentive based approach (“more-for-more”) key themes for the partnership in the coming years should be: implementation of Association Agreements, strengthening of democracy and rule of law through the pursuit of reform of the judiciary, further steps in economic integration, gradual steps towards visa free regimes, energy security and strengthening the Partnership’s multilateral dimension, enhancing the involvement of civil society in general and the business community in particular.

A joint summit declaration will be adopted.

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