PITER SEMNEBY: EU IS INTERESTED IN SETTLEMENT OF FROZEN CONFLICTS IN SOUTH CAUCASUS

Noyan Tapan
Armenians Today
Apr 05 2006

YEREVAN, APRIL 5, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. The April 5 joint
press conference of RA Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and Special
Representative of European Union on South Caucasian Countries Piter
Semneby was dedicated to the estimation of the current level and to the
prospects of development of interrelations between Armenia and European
Union, as well as a number of important regional problems. Both
participants of the press conference estimated P.Semneby's visit to
Armenia as efficient. Vartan Oskanian declared that Armenia again
confirms its determination and striving for European integration.

According to him, the next stage of the negotiations between EU and
Armenia on the Actions Plan within the framework of the European
Neighborhood Policy should be held in late April. It is planned that
the discussion of the Actions Plan should be over in May. According to
the Minister, in this respect, the post of EU Special Representative on
South Caucasian Countries becomes more important. P.Semneby reminded
that he visited Armenia in 1988, within the framework of the Swedish
aid to the victims of the Spitak earthquake. "I am glad to return to
the country that creates exact bases for integration to Europe". He
informed that his work will differ from the work of his predecessor
Heikki Talvitie. According to P.Semneby, his mandate accentuates
the issue of Karabakh conflict settlement as EU is interested in
the settlement of frozen conflicts in the South Caucasus. Besides,
the Special Representative's mandate acquires a special importance
also because today EU and Armenia are discussing the Actions Plan
including many issues, part of which has political significance.

Meanwhile, EU Special Representative emphasized that he means the
role of EU after the settlement of the conflicts. "I do not say that
we will replace the OSCE Minsk Group that is working very effectively
in the direction of Nagorno Karabakh settlement. We should consider
how much EU can be useful after achieving peace".