Armenia willing to assume greater engagement with the EU, Foreign Minister says

Armenia is willing and ready to assume greater ownership and engagement with the EU, its member states and partner countries towards transforming our common area into a secure, stable and prosperous neighbourhood, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said, addressing the 10th Informal Dialogue of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Eastern Partnership Countries.

Minister Mnatsakanyan reiterated the unwavering and strong commitment of the new government led by the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resolutely deliver on the clear mandate of the people of Armenia and to consolidate the rule of law democratic principles, fight against corruption, the protection and the promotion of the rights of the Armenian people to secure fairness and equal opportunities for all in economic social and other activities.

He also reiterated that the developments in Armenia over the months of April and May were of strictly domestic nature, they concern Armenia, they are about Armenia and are about the aspirations of the Armenian people.

“In our foreign policy priorities, as formulated in the Government programme, Armenia pursues continuity, predictability and reinforced engagement with all its friends and partners on the basis of sovereign equality and in consolidation of our efforts to promote the interests of Armenia and advance mutually beneficial cooperation and partnership,” the Foreign Minister stated.

I have arrived in Minsk from Brussels, I have arrived in the very small hours of the morning following the delay, so I’m still looking forward to enjoy Minsk if I had that opportunity.

Armenia’s top diplomat briefed the attendees on the results of his meetings in Brussels and noted that Armenia will continue to decisively pursue the mobility partnership and visa liberalization agenda with the European Union.

“Amongst other things, the political significance of this agenda is in promoting people to people contacts, as human interactions represent a fundamental source of advancing mutual respect and understanding in interstate relations,” he added.

“Eastern Partnership continues to be an important platform for advancing the spirit of co-operation on the basis of shared principles and set of values. We will continue to insist on advancing such spirit in our relations and to work towards building trust and mutual respect amongst partner countries. This message of Europe born out of the deprivations of the Second World War remains as relevant as ever. And Commissioner Hahn has been referring to it, the message of stability in your statement as well. The turbulence of the present international and European agenda should compel us to reinforce such message and action,” Zohrab Mnatsakanyan stated.

He noted that sustainable peace remains a challenge to the  region. “Armenia is committed to the exclusively peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the internationally agreed format of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. The status and security of Nagorno-Karabakh are the overarching priorities of Armenia. The environment conducive to peace is crucial for enhancing the effectiveness of the negotiation process and should be given a prominence. Escalation along the Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan and along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, war mongering and the hate rhetoric, denial of genuine people to people contacts should be firmly rejected. Both EU member states and Eastern partner countries should resolutely withhold all activities contributing to the arms race in the region and tolerating actions, which undermine the peace process or challenge the agreed format of negotiations. The concept and message of Eastern Partnership is pertinent and reinforcing in reiterating Armenia’s commitment to peace,” Mr. Mnatsakanyan said.

“The government agencies and the civil society of Armenia have been significantly benefiting from participation in multiple activities within the Eastern partnership. We continue to receive additional support for the reforms and institutional capacity building in Armenia and underline the importance of the incentive-based approach as defined in the Brussels Declaration. I would also want to underline the importance of sustained engagement of our civil society organisations in promoting the Eastern partnership agenda,” the Foreign Minister added.

In conclusion, he said, Armenia is willing and ready to assume greater ownership and engagement with the EU, its member states and partner countries towards transforming our common area into a secure, stable and prosperous neighborhood.

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