Armenia Welcomes Establishment of Euro Atlantic Partnership

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council member-states held in Sintra–Portugal resulted in the establishment of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council–Armenia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Arsen Gasparian said at a briefing in Yerevan on Tuesday.

The EACP is a new organization which cooperates with NATO member-states. The Council is based on two major principles: independence in determining the degree of involvement by each country and the possibility for broader participation in the activity of structures.

"Thus–the EAPC consolidates the NACC’s political space and activity envisaged under the Partnership for Peace Program," an Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokesman noted.

The EAPC will create a mechanism for consultations and direct political relations between the NATO member-states. It will also allow member-countries to participate in the implementation of NATO resolutions as well as being represented in various NATO structures.

Head of Armenia’s delegation–Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian–welcomed the creation of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in his speech to the group. He said that Armenia was interested in extending its relations with NATO and its member-states. He stressed the importance of those mechanisms of the EACP which allow member-states to directly participate in consultations and contacts with NATO–including such areas as conflict prevention–settlement and peacekeeping.

Arzoumanian also reiterated the right of each country to choose its own security structures and alter them in any way they want. He also said that the security of one country cannot be attained at the expense of another country. He went on to say that all EACP member-states are responsible for the general and comprehensive security of European countries.

Gasparian told journalists that Arzoumanian described the Russia-NATO Pact as a major event. Arzoumanian believes that political–institutionalized dialogue between Russia and NATO will promote the establishment of the pan-European security system.

Arzoumanian told the participants of the meeting about the problems of security in Armenia–control over arms and disarmament in his country and specifically the tasks Armenia must solve within the guidelines of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.

"Being committed to the idea of integration in the European structures–Armenia will be actively participating in the EACP and all issues of military cooperation within the guidelines of various European structures," Gasparian said.

In regards to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–Arzoumanian reiterated Armenia’s willingness to maintain a cease-fire and described Armenia’s position concerning Karabakh’s security. Arzoumanian stressed that the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to physical existence–determination of its own fate–free communication with the outside world and security measures based on international resolutions are the basic elemen’s the development of the political process should be based on.

Gasparian reported that the second meeting of Foreign Ministers of the EACP member-states was scheduled for December 17 in Brussels.

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