05, 2008

Today President Serzh Sarkissian held a meeting with the Heads of Missions of the EU member states accredited in Yerevan, and the representative of the delegation of the European Commission

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President Sarkissian said that these meetings are a proper format for the discussions of the issues on the Armenia-European Union agenda.

According to the President of Armenia, further deepening of the relations with the EU will undeniably expedite Armenia’s democratic as well as economic development.

Viewing the implementation of the Action Plan in the framework of the New Neighborhood policy as a priority for Armenia, the President stressed that the Plan is in full agreement with the program of the Government of Armenia and the logic of the planned large-scale reforms. Serzh Sarkissian also mentioned that experience of the European Commission is very important for Armenia. President of Armenia said that he is satisfied with the results of the first year of the Plan’s implementation as well as with the assessment presented at the EC’s Progress Report. He noted that the assessment is overall balanced and fair. Serzh Sarkissian also said that Armenia is striving to join the EU’s General System of Preferences (GSP) trade regime, to receive from the EU the status of the country with market economy, and to sign with the European Union a free trade agreement. With this regard, the priority directions in the coming years will be the improvement of the investment climate in the country, improvement of business environment, and fundamental changes in the customs administration.

Speaking about political developments, Serzh Sarkissian said that regardless the post-election developments, the implementation of democratic reforms remains a necessity, and that we will continue to work in that direction. S. Sarkissian told those present that right after the presidential elections he had offered cooperation to all political forces and received a positive response from the majority of them, which allowed the creation of the political coalition. He mentioned with pain the impossibility of preventing the events of March 1. Regardless of the fact that one of the candidates was speaking about the events months before they actually took place, President Sarkissian stressed that the authorities are responsible for all the processes going on in the country and that they see the elimination of their consequences in the unequivocal implementation of the recommendations of the corresponding PACE resolution. In addition, they entirely correspond to the principles laid out in the President’s pre-election platform and to the principles of cooperation of the Political Coalition. “The recommendations of the working group have been approved by the members of the Coalition, and we are determined to fully implement them,” underscored the President of Armenia.

President Sarkissian spoke also about the simplifying procedures for obtaining the entry visas to the EU member states and the EU regional center for cultural issues to be established in Yerevan.

The President of Armenia also presented his views on the NK peace process, reiterating that the official Yerevan advocates the peaceful resolution of the conflict, on the basis of comprises. Meanwhile, the opposite side very often comes up with belligerent statements. However, the President of Armenia thinks that there is still a hope for a peaceful resolution - as long as the negotiations are continued on the basis of fundamental principles.

Regarding the Armenian-Turkish relations the President of Armenia said that our country is ready to establish normal relations with Turkey without preconditions and to discuss all contentious issues on the base of intergovernmental relations and negotiations.

On behalf of the diplomats the Ambassador of France, Serzh Smesov expressed satisfaction that the tradition of conducting these meetings keeps up and noted that they are very useful for them.

The Ambassadors welcomed the determination of the Armenian authorities to fully implement all recommendations of the PACE resolution.

During the meeting the President of Armenia also provided clarifications on other issues raised by the diplomats.

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