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Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the meeting of the Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers

13.05.2019

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 On May 13, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the Ministerial meeting dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, delivered opening remarks during the panel.

In his remarks Minister Mnatsakanyan highlighting this good opportunity to take stock of the first ten years of Eastern Partnership and discuss the prospects of cooperation. “We may have had different views, assessments and perceptions amongst the six partners and amongst the EU members about what the Eastern Partnership is. Nevertheless, the Eastern Partnership has also been marked by a notable degree of progress in developing and deepening relations between the European Union and six Eastern partners. It has also been evolving as an effective multilateral platform to encourage and promote the benefits of regional cooperation amongst the partner countries with different paths and different levels of engagement with the EU. It has been а very important and consolidating platform for our individual cooperation with European Union.”

Within the context of Eastern Partnership for Armenia, Minister Mnatsakanyan highlighted three specific dimensions. First, based on the EU policy of “differentiation,” was the recognition of Armenia’s unique position as a country committed to seeking greater flexibility and diversity of cooperation frameworks, and the signing of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) attest to that.

Second dimension concerns the shared values between Europe and Armenia, Europe and the Eastern partners based on both common civilizational heritage and mutual aspirations for lasting democracy, freedom, dialogue and cooperation. And as the third point, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan outlined Armenia’s unique contribution to the development of democracy and human rights protection in Europe, which was fully demonstrated by Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution” last year.

“We are keen to strengthen our relationship with Europe, based on mutual respect and recognition of interests and security concerns, acceptance of our own responsibilities of democratic governance and accountability, while also expecting European assistance in empowering our reforms and sustainable development, promoting people-to-people contacts, including visa-free travel as well as cultural, educational and scientific exchanges and other exchanges.”

Zohrab Mnatsakanyan expressed hope that the EU can play a pivotal role in creating and crafting new opportunities for more inclusive transport and energy projects with and among partners. In this context Minister Mnatsakanyan highlighted the importance of extending digital, environmental, financial and other sectoral agenda to Eastern Partnership.
Foreign Minister of Armenia also underscored that devaluing the priorities of protection and respect for human rights, promoting democracy and the rule of law throughout the Eastern Partnership space will undermine and inflict irrevocable damage to its concept and to value based relationship, therefore Armenia is willing to work together to extend the Eastern Partnership's capabilities to the rule of law, the stability of democratic institutions and the protection of human rights.

Touching upon the existing challenges Minister Mnatsakanyan underlined that for resisting geopolitical rivalries and confrontation it is necessary to entrench the potential and capacity of cooperation in Europe. Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Foreign Minister attached importance to the sustained support of the EU to the essential right of self-determination for the people of Artsakh and to the peaceful resolution of the conflict within the internationally recognized format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.

Minister underlined that these principles and positions are reaffirmed in the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership agreement between signed Armenia and the European Union.

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