Ararat Mirzoyan and Josep Borrell meeting in Brussels on February 13

BRUSSELS — Armenia and EU have decided to launch work on an ambitious new partnership agenda, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell said at a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Brussels.

“This decision sends us a strong signal of mutual interest in a new strategic phase in our relations and will provide a clear roadmap and vision for the way forward,” he said, adding that “the future starts today.”

“Armenia-EU relations are developing in a positive way. We discussed the full range of our relations within the framework of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Armenia,” Borrell said, adding that the potential of these relations has not been exhausted yet.

Josep Borrell welcomed the steps taken by Armenia in the fight against corruption and urged Armenia to further address the challenges in the fight against discrimination, hate speech and disinformation.

He also congratulated Armenia on becoming the 124th state party of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, describing it as a “very important and courageous decision.”

“We discussed options to start visa liberalization dialogue,” Borrell said, encouraging Armenia to step up reforms to progress in the issue.

He said the expansion of cooperation in the spheres of trade, energy (nuclear) and aviation security was discussed.

He reiterated EU’s commitment to support Armenia’s participation in the Black Sea Electricity Cable project and other regional connectivity projects.

Referring to regional security issues, the EU High Representative said the latest shooting at the border was deplorable. “It again illustrates the urgent need for the distancing of forces, something the European Union has been advocating for for a long time,” Borrell said.

“Today I have to reiterate the European Union’s full commitment to supporting a sustainable and lasting peace based on the principles of sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity. The EU Mission in Armenia has recently been reinforced and will continue to contribute to ensuring an environment conducive to normalization efforts,” he stated.

The High Representative noted that the EU will continue to support Armenians displaced from Nagorno Karabakh, adding that the Commission has announced an additional €5.5 million in humanitarian aid.

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