BRUSSELS—The European Union-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee concluded its 13th session Friday and issued a joint statement that touched on all facets of Armenia-EU relations, especially the steps the two are taking in ratifying a comprehensive free trade agreement.
Under the co-chairmanship of Milan Cabrnoch (European Conservatives and Reformists Group) and Samvel Farmanyan (Republican Party of Armenia), the 13th meeting of the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee carefully addressed the key elements of furthering EU-Armenia relations. The Committee heard John Kjaer, from the European External Action Service and Avet Adonts, Ambassador of Armenia to the EU.
The PCC discussed the negotiations for a new Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), should be concluded before the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Vilnius in November next year. The European Parliament and the Armenian National Assembly in their combined Parliamentary Cooperation Committee positively evaluated the ongoing negotiations and the connected reforms in Armenia, calling for a conclusion of the negotiations if possible before the Vilnius summit.
As for the regional stability and security issues, the PCC conclusions reiterate the need for a peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Basic Principles, “stresses the importance of reaching an agreement on Basic Principles for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as an important step towards a comprehensive peace agreement to ensure lasting and sustainable peace; further stresses the importance of creating suitable conditions for a future legally-binding free expression of will concerning a final status solution.”
The PCC “deplores the decision by the President of Azerbaijan to pardon Ramil Safarov, a convicted murderer sentenced by the courts of a Member State of the European Union, and expresses its deep concern over his subsequent glorification after his extradition to Azerbaijan; regards this gesture as not only contrary to the spirit of international law but as contributing to further tensions in the region, exacerbating feelings of injustice; condemns any provocation that would add further tension to an already tense and fragile situation”; and
“Is deeply concerned that such acts could jeopardise reconciliation attempts and further undermine the future development of peaceful people-to-people contact in the region, which is a significant way to achieve lasting and sustainable peace.”
Moreover, the document highlights the EU-Armenian common ground on the planned opening of an airport in Nagorno-Karabakh, “welcomes all statements contributing to the peaceful settlement of the conflict and reminds that regarding the planned opening of an airport in Nagorno-Karabakh, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have received renewed assurances from all sides that, in accordance with international law, they reject any threat or use of force against civil aircraft and will refrain from politicizing the issue.”
As for the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, the document calls upon Turkey, in particular, to meet its commitments:
“Believes that the Armenia-Turkey normalization process and the OSCE Minsk Group negotiations should not be linked and supports all initiatives aimed at facilitation of regional cooperation, thus ending the policies of economic isolation of any country in the region.”
“Recalls the European Parliament resolution of 1987 on recognition of the Armenian Genocide; is however encouraged by the fact that the issue has, in recent years, become the focus of open and public debate in Turkey itself, which could contribute to reconciliation between the two neighboring nations ensuring their peaceful co-existence and lasting cooperation,” said the document.