13:07 10.01.2013

Within the framework of the visit to Brussles, Armenian National
Assembly Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan had a meeting with EU Commissioner
for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy tefan Fule.

The parties discussed the perspectives of development of Armenia-EU
ties, hailed the positive dynamics of development of the political
dialogue and expressed willingness to maintain and continue it.

It was noted that progress had been registered in the Armenia-EU
negotiation process, namely on the Association Agreement and the
creation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. At the same
time the interlocutors confirmed the resoluteness to complete the
negotiations by the end of 2013. This Agreement is of the utmost
importance in moving the EU-Armenia relationship to a higher level. It
goes far beyond a normal free trade agreement. Through the Agreement
the EU will open up portions of its acquis related to the internal
market. But beyond this it encompasses changes that affect citizens
in their daily lives in areas like consumer protection, air quality
and road safety, offering a protective umbrella of high democratic
standards and real guarantees for their rights.

The upcoming Presidential elections were also discussed during the
meeting: "Successful - free and fair - elections really matter and
are crucial for EU-Armenia relations; without them the continuous
reform which we want to see could be undermined. Before the elections
next month, further progress is needed in the implementation of the
current legislative framework, as recommended by the OSCE/ODIHR, while
in parallel the longer-term process of updating electoral legislation
for polls in the future should also continue," said Commissioner Fule.

Broader regional cooperation was also raised, with an emphasis on the
fact that good neighbourly relations are of strategic importance for
Armenia, in particular as regards Russia. It is in the EU's interest
to see good Armenian-Russian relations; they can in turn benefit also
from Armenia's partnership with the EU.

Issues concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process were
discussed, including the issue of possible flights to the airport in
Nagorno-Karabakh. Commissioner Fule reiterated EU's continued support
for the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and their efforts in facilitating
a peaceful settlement. He also stressed the need for the sides to
seek a diplomatic solution to issues relating to this airport and to
avoid any actions that could fuel tensions in the region.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress