YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A meeting with journalists marking the change of presidency in the European Union took place at the British Embassy in Armenia on Tuesday. Spain was elected president of the EU during the first six months of 2002.
British Ambassador to Armenia Timothy Jones announced that the British Embassy would represent the Spanish Presidency of the EU in Armenia–since Spain has no diplomatic representation in Armenia. The Ambassador said that his country’s representation of the EU in Armenia testifies to the trust existing within the organization and is the best expression of its "international personality." The British Ambassador said that although there are a number of unresolved problems between Great Britain and Spain–such as–for example–the Gibraltar problem–they do not hamper the relationships within the union nor do they prevent the two countries from developing further cooperation.
The program of the Spanish presidency of the EU was presented during the meeting. Among the priorities of the program are–in particular–combating terrorism–security and justice–successful introduction of the euro–a more prosperous–dynamic Europe–EU enlargement–and foreign relations (a better representation of Europe).
Italy’s Ambassador to Armenia Paolo Trabalza emphasized the importance of the recent introduction of the single currency – the euro – as a factor of economic integration of EU-member countries. He called this event a "peaceful revolution."
It was said during the meeting that the EU is–collectively–the largest donor to Armenia. Among the EU programs concerning Armenia the meeting participants mentioned those of the TACIS–the Food Security Program–within the framework of which 1 million euros’ worth of emergency food aid was donated to Armenia recently–as well as EU assistance in closing the Armenian Medzamor Power Plant. A considerable role is assigned to Armenia in two long-term programs of regional cooperation – TRACECA and INOGATE.
The British Ambassador confirmed the EU position to close down Armenia’s Medzamor power plant. The EU believes that the operation of nuclear power plants is unprofitable–especially considering the problems connected with the burial of nuclear wastes and other environmental hazards.
Also attending the meeting were Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of France Gilles Courregelongue–Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Germany Peter Speyrer–Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Greece Eleni Sourani and European Commission Ambassador Turben Holtze.