Armenia Opts for European Union FM Says

YEREVAN–(Noyan Tapan)–The visit of the official delegation of Armenia to Belgium opened a new page in Armenia-EU relations. In an interview–Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said that this visit is regarded as Armenia’s step towards joining the European Union.

According to Oskanian–"this is not a reality," but an opportunity to see the prospects of Armenia. He added that despite the current economic situation in Armenia–"we eventually see ourselves as a member of the European Union." Oskanian also stressed that the institutional and economic reforms being carried out in Armenia’should serve this very goal.

Oskanian described the visit as very effective and added that its positive results will become evident during the next months. During the visit–an agreement was reached on holding a regional conference on information technologies in Yerevan this October. The conference will be held under the aegis of the European Union. Oskanian said that just like Baku is the regional center of the EU’s TRACECA program and Tbilisi is the regional center of regional environmental programs–Yerevan will become the regional center for programs on information technologies. A concrete agreement on problems of the energy sphere was reached.

Oskanian said that the organization of a business forum on Armenia in 2002 under the EU’s aegis–similar to the one held in New York this year–was among the issues discussed during the visit.

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