Gabrielian Sums Up President’s Visit to Luxembourg

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The most important aspect of the ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreemen’s between the European Union and the three Caucasus states was that it marked the beginning of a dialogue and establishment of partnership between all sides–Presidential Spokesman Vahe Gabrielian told a press briefing Tuesday summing up the results of President Robert Kocharian’s visit to Luxembourg.

This agreement–as well as agreemen’s signed between Armenia and EU in 1996–and agreemen’s between the EU and Georgia and Azerbaijan will go into effect on July 1. They are aimed at strengthening and deepening cooperation between the EU and the three South Caucasus states–creating relevant preconditions for dialogue–stimulating democracy and human rights protection–and supporting these countries in transition to market relations. The agreement is also aimed at stimulating trade–investmen’s–and economic ties–as well as expanding legislative–cultural and technological ties.

Gabrielian said that the agreement establishes a Cooperation Council to involve ministers of EU-member states and Armenia in order to ensure a political dialogue. To discharge its daily duties–the Council will also have a commission on cooperation. The agreement provides for the development of parliamentary ties–for which a commission for parliamentary cooperation will be formed.

The spokesman referred to the importance of the joint statement adopted in Luxembourg. Through this document–the EU and all states of the region reiterate their willingness and intention to use the Partnership and Cooperation Agreemen’s as a basis for further developing relations based on common values–principles and ideas.

Acknowledging that conflicts in the region pose obstacles to the political and economic development of the states and cooperation between these countries–the EU expressed its willingness to support the efforts being made by the states and international organizations towards settling these conflicts. The statement emphasizes the role of developing regional cooperation–regional infrastructure. Various railroads and motorways will begin to operate. The need for operating the Yerevan-Julfa railroad is being stressed.

The EU hails steps directed at further integrating these states into regional structures–in particular–into the European Union and the World Trade Organization.

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