YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"One of the priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy is the European direction–and we are seeking to become a full member of the European family as soon as possible," President Robert Kocharian said during his June 15 meeting with a delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy Umberto Ragneri. Italy currently chairs the Council of Europe.
According to an Italian diplomat–both Italy and the Council of Europe have warm feelings towards Armenia and attach great importance to Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe. He spoke highly of the Armenian government’s efforts in this direction. Ragneri said that although Armenia is going through difficult times now–the country has not deviated from the path it embarked on and has remained loyal to the principles of democracy.
Kocharian said that in the matter of Council of Europe membership Armenia has traveled quite a long path–remained consistent and produced comprehensive work. He emphasized that there is a general viewpoint regarding Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe that it has admittedly become a uniting factor and is unequivocally accepted by political and public forces.
The sides were unanimous in their opinion that the country’s integration into European structures will promote further democratic processes and will also create conditions for the establishment of stability in the region–translating prospects of peace into reality.