The European Union is a reliable political and economic partner for Armenia, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said at a joint press conference with Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy. Minister Nalbandian attaches particular importance to the creation of free trade zones, easing of the visa regime and the start of the talks on the Association Agreement.
EU Commissioner Štefan Füle also attached importance to the development of relations with Armenia. The Commissioner's visit to our country marks a breakthrough in the Armenia-EU relations, especially under the Eastern Partnership Program.
For his part, Mr. Fule noted that the European Union wishes stability and development for EU's eastern neighbors. “We are glad that our cooperation with Armenia is gradually developing and reaching a new level. I hope that talks on Association Agreement will start in near future and I hope that a part of this agreement will be the so-called economic integration, i.e. a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, a strong tool that the EU offers to Armenia to help it integrate in European market,” he said.
The recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh people's right to self-determination is the top priority of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, Minister Nalbandian stated, adding that “our position has not changed in any way.”
“We have repeatedly stated and not only we, but also the three Minsk Group Co-Chairs realize as well – that the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh people's right to self-determination, which can actually be exercised, is the top priority of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. If this major problem is resolved, the others will be easier to discuss and solutions will be found,” Nalbandian said. Štefan Füle reiterated EU support for the OSCE Minsk Group activity.
Touching upon the Armenian-Turkish relations, the Commissioner said “EU backs ratification of the Armenia-Turkey Protocols without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe. According to him, EU assisted the process of normalization of relations between the two states and is ready to aid in solution of transboundary issues after the protocols come into force.
Štefan Füle urged Turkey to press on with stalled reconciliation efforts with Armenia and linked the issue with Ankara's EU membership bid.
"Good relations with neighbors are very important in the framework of any country's entry to the European Union," Füle told journalists.
"The EU must also make efforts to help both sides end this deadlock," he added.
Public Radio of Armenia