BRUSSELS — The meeting of the Cooperation Council between the EU and Armenia was held in Brussels on Monday. Discussions on the further development of relations, including such issues as political dialogue, negotiations on a new framework agreement between Armenia and the EU, mobility, human rights, the pace of reforms and others.
The meeting was chaired by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. The EU was represented by Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn and Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders.
According to a press statement, “the European Union and Armenia reconfirmed their joint commitment to enhance and deepen their cooperation in all areas possible and compatible with Armenia’s new international obligations deriving from its accession to the Eurasian Economic Union”.
“The Cooperation Council reviewed recent political, economic and social reforms in Armenia. The EU took note of progress achieved in implementing these reforms and of Armenia’s commitment to continue on this positive trajectory, while at the same time encouraging Armenia to accelerate reforms in specific areas, notably democracy and the rule of law, anti-corruption, human rights and fundamental freedoms, constitutional and judicial reform,” read the statement.
The Cooperation Council addressed also regional issues of common interest, including the prospects for the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
On the latter, the EU reaffirmed that the status quo is unsustainable and that the peaceful resolution of this conflict remains a priority issue for the EU. The security situation along the Line of Contact and the international border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is a matter of serious concern.
The EU reiterated its call for restraint and further engagement in the OSCE-led negotiation efforts. Moreover, the EU reiterated its support to the negotiations mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs aimed at settling the conflict. It encouraged further dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan, including at the level of Presidents and welcomed the summit held on the initiative of the Co-Chairs in Switzerland on 19 December 2015 which provided an important opportunity for exchanges on the way ahead. Furthermore, the EU reiterated its willingness to support peace-building activities and its readiness to provide reconstruction and rehabilitation support to the regions affected by the conflict, once a peace deal is struck.