Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan participated in the high-level conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership


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 On May 14, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan participated in the High-Level Conference dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership. At the conference opening remarks were delivered by Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, Christian Danielsson, Director-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and Teodor Viorel Meleșcanu, the Foreign Minister of Romania.

Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Moldova Pavel Filip, Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius and representative of the National Platform of the Ukraine Civil Society Forum Hennadiyi Maksak participated in panel discussion entitled “Looking forward – future of the Eastern Partnership – towards stronger economies, governance, connectivity and societies" held within the framework of the Conference.

Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, delivered welcoming remarks addressed to the participants of the panel.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan congratulated everyone on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership, noting that the large audience present at this discussion, as well as the participation of the leaders of the six partner countries in the events held the day before prove that the 10 years of the Eastern Partnership were an important and interesting path for all the six partners, while emphasizing that this anniversary is also a good opportunity to outline next stages of the partnership. “The Eastern Partnership is about Europe. I think we all have this reflection, that it is all about Europe, so it’s all about people, it’s all about values. I believe this was very much the driving force behind the build-up of the Eastern Partnership. And now we need to further instil is that we are talking about the same space, the space of values.”

In his remarks Minister Mnatsakanyan emphasized that the Armenian people, who witnessed the calamity of wars in Europe, highly values the capability to jointly build a peaceful and prosperous future. At the same time, each country builds its complex security based on its own interests, and this policy of differentiation is the foundation of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between Armenia and the European Union. "We know that we have this instrument in our hands that gives us the opportunity to build our relations, to build and develop our country, its normative basis, standards, capacities, etc."

“The Eastern Partnership has been an excellent platform to extend this bilateral relationship to a multilateral setting. The Velvet Revolution which happened in Armenia last year, was possible because there was a build-up of those institutions, the civil society, the media, the public institutions, the state institutions, that we had the capacity to absorb the shock, and come-out of this revolution so strong and so confident. This is all about values we cannot put aside: people, so we have to create as much opportunities for people to be in the space together,” the MInister noted by adding that the specific instruments are needed and the visa free movement is amongst them.

“It is encouraging to see so many people around and so many of my compatriots now in this room hanging out with their colleagues, their friends, with people from broader Europe, from the Eastern Partnership countries. This is how it should be. This is all about people” - the Foreign Minister stressed.

Concluding his remarks, the Foreign Minister emphasized: “And finally it is all about peace. Working together within the Eastern Partnership is another important challenge that we have to develop. We have unresolved conflicts. Working together, cooperating, regional cooperation are also a step towards peace. There was a point made about democratic Armenia, if it will be willing to demonstrate political will. In fact it works both ways. We are also expecting that the political will will be such that we will move forward.” The Foreign Minister stressed that there can not be a negotiation in which only one side's wishes are taken into account. At the same time he highlighted the importance of the environment in which it is possible to express that political will.

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