Armenia Participates in First Armenia EU Cooperation Council Meeting

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–An Armenian delegation led by Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian participated in the first meeting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council held in Luxembourg October 12. Participating in the meeting were also representatives of the EU and EC member-countries.

The meeting marks the beginning of a new stage in the Armenia-European Union relations. Besides the issues related to bilateral and regional cooperation–those of political dialogue and related problems were put on the meeting’s agenda. During the meeting the sides also discussed the possibilities of developing bilateral economic cooperation–the problem of the Armenian nuclear power plant–Armenia’s membership in the World Trade Organization and the Council of Europe–as well as the need for bringing the Armenian legislation to conformity with the European standards and the EU’s possible assistance in this matter.

The sides agreed that necessary assistance in the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict will be among the main priorities of the Armenia-EU cooperation. On behalf of the EU member-countries the EU chairman highly appreciated the recently launched dialogue between the Armenian and Azeri presidents and expressed willingness to render assistance to the parties–taking into consideration the EU member-countries’ interest in the establishment of peace and stability in the region.

During the meeting the sides also addressed Armenia’s relations with its southern neighbors–Turkey and Iran–as well as the development of relations with these countries. In conclusion–the sides signed a document that will serve as a basis for the Armenia-EU relations in 1999-2000.

Oskanian also held a meeting with EC Executive for Foreign Relations Christopher Paten. The two discussed the bilateral cooperation.

Later that day–the Armenian foreign minister held a meeting with his Azeri counterpart Tofik Zulfugarov. The ministers discussed the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict and possible ways of continuing the negotiations.

The Armenian–Azeri–and Georgian foreign ministers held a news conference at the EU Council. Attending the news conference was also the foreign minister of Finland–the EU chairing country.

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