Armenia Moves Toward European Family of Nations

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The head of the European Commission Delegation to Armenia Torben Holz met with Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian on Wednesday to hand the President his credentials.

President Kocharian was quoted by his press office as saying that Armenia highly honors its relationship with the European Union and particularly–the European Commission.

Kocharian told Holz that one of the principle objectives of Armenia’s foreign policy was to be integrated into the European community of nations. He added that throughout the last few years–Armenia adopted European standards in its developing programs.

The two discussed the entire scope of Armenia-European Union cooperation–emphasizing the agreement on Partnership and Cooperation among the three South Caucasian countries and the EU for the implementation of programs promoting democratic reforms and economic prosperity.

Holz stressed that the countries must be more transparent–thereby creating an environment of confidence–which would then become the foundation for the development of relations among all three Southern Caucasus countries.

President Kocharian replied by saying that Armenia has always advocated regional cooperation among the Caucuses. The two diplomats also discussed issues pertaining to the current sate of Karabakh conflict and the safety of the Armenian power grid.

Armenia’s Social Security Ministry and the European Social Charter Secretariat began a two-day seminar on Thursday to discuss the Charter’s revised option.

Armenia’s Social Security Minister Razmik Martirosian signed the revised Charter on October 18–and committed to ratify it by January 25–2004. Eighteen countries have already ratified the old version and six others ratified the revised option.

A senior official of the ESC Daniel Levi-Pes said that the Charter was passed in 1961–however constant revisions were made to the Charters until the 1990’s.

The revised option was approved in 1996. Armenia–like other members of the Council of Europe agreed to ratify it and draft a corresponding policy. Although–several provisions of the Charter have been deemed illegal under Armenia’s current legislature–Armenian government officials believe it will provide the government with the opportunity to implement programs that would reduce Armenia’s poverty rate.

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