The Cooperation Council between the European Union (EU) and the Republic of Armenia held its eleventh meeting on Tuesday, 7 December 2010. The EU was represented by Mr Zsolt Németh, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Hungary (Chair of the Cooperation Council meeting) and Mr Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. The Armenian delegation was led by Mr Edward Nalbandyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Peter Semneby, also took part in the meeting.
The parties discussed the implementation of the EU-Armenia European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan and issues related to enhancing EU-Armenia relations, including the ongoing negotiations of a new EU-Armenia Association Agreement within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. The Cooperation Council noted Armenia’s strong commitment to the implementation of the ENP Action Plan, welcomed achievements in some areas and underlined the need to remain focussed on further implementation, also in view of the Progress Report to be published in spring 2011.
The Cooperation Council provided a good opportunity to take stock of latest developments in the South Caucasus, as well as to review recent political and economic reforms in Armenia.
The EU recalled the importance of continuing progress in democracy, rule of law and human rights, in view of the deepening of bilateral relations between the EU and Armenia in the framework of the Eastern Partnership. The EU reaffirmed its readiness to continue its support for the further development of democratic institutions in Armenia, including in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership. The EU welcomed the establishment of a dedicated human rights dialogue between the EU and Armenia, underlining that fundamental freedoms, as well as freedom of expression and freedom of the media, are essential elements in the bilateral relationship, including in the bilateral dialogue with Armenia.
The Cooperation Council took note of the state of play of the process to normalise relations between Armenia and Turkey. The EU underlined the importance of ratification and implementation of the bilateral protocols without preconditions and expressed support for continued efforts in this regard.
The Cooperation Council also explored the state of play concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The EU expressed appreciation for the ongoing dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan and welcomed the recent statement by the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries and the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the OSCE Summit in Astana. The EU expressed its support to the efforts carried out by the Minsk Group and informed about EU support to confidence building measures to facilitate the process of resolving the conflict.
The meeting of the Cooperation Council was followed by a joint ministerial working lunch between the EU and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to discuss the Eastern Partnership and prospects for deeper cooperation between the EU and the three South Caucasus countries, as well as conflict resolution.
Council of the European Union