EU Delegation Visits Armenia

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–President Robert Kocharian received a European Union delegation headed by Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh–European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Christopher Patten and Javier Solana in Yerevan on February 20th. The EU representatives announced that Europe is interested in a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Kocharian in turn stated that Armenia upholds European values and its foundation is based on these common values.

The EU officials also met with Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian. Anna Lindh said she was assured by the Armenian authorities that the Karabakh conflict can only be resolved through peaceful means. She added that the European Union is prepared to assist in the resolution of the conflict–as well as assist the region’s economic and political sectors.

The Swedish minister said a quick resolution of the conflict would allow the EU to engage in more cooperation in the Caucasus. "With the enlargement of the EU–the countries of the Caucasus will become neighbors of the EU–and it is important to further our relations with our direct neighbors," said Lindh.

Commissioner Patten announced the EU will continue to provide monetary assistance to help Armenia develop.

President Kocharian told the visiting EU delegation that Armenia considers itself a part of Europe. The President presented the officials with Armenia’s position in the Karabakh peace process–adding that he and his Azerbaijani counterpart are working toward a plan that would ensure permanent peace and stability in the region. Kocharian credits the increasing dialogue between Aliyev and him for bringing about more understanding between the two sides.

According to Kocharian the resolution of the conflict will establish economic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan–which is currently opposed by Aliyev.

The EU delegation will also visit Georgia and Azerbaijan on this trip.

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