Artak Zakaryan, the chairman of the Armenian National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, has delivered a speech at the EU Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
His address is presented below.
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to thank the Lithuanian side for hosting, excellent hospitality and rganization this important event – Meeting of Chairpersons of the Committees on Foreign Affairs of Parliaments of the EU and the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy ahead of Vilnius summitof the Eastern Partnership.
It is my pleasure to be in this charming city and participate in this meeting and to share my vision of relations between Armenia – European Union.
I would try to be as brief as possible, just to summarize recent developments in Armenia’s co-operation with the European Union.
The European Union is one of Armenia’s most vital partners.
Wide-scale reforms in the areas of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law make up the core of the Armenia-EU relationship. The Eastern Partnership Instrument created under the EU Eastern Partnership program in cooperation with an important initiative covering a variety of activities in the participating states related to elections, judicial reform, good governance, fight against corruption and cyber-crime.
Armenia aims to continue its comprehensive, mutually beneficial partnership with the EU. From the outset of the Eastern Partnership initiative and even before, we have stated and continue tostate that we aspire to have the closest possible and widest possible relations with the EU, and to be close to the EU. This policy will be continued and the participation of Armenian President in the upcoming summit is yet another prove of our determination.
Our government has undertaken wide-ranging reforms aimed at strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, and good governance, protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, improving relevant legislation, promoting the independence of the judiciary, combating corruption, as well as directed to the expanding of the role of the civil society. In the course of the reform processes, Armenia attaches big importance to the contacts between people, problems on mobility that essentially promotes strengthening of value and cultural fields. In this context we are also happy to recall that the EU-Armenia agreements on visa regime facilitationand readmission has been already approved and ratified both by the EuropeanParliament and the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.
As I have mentioned above by declaring its decision to join Customs Union the Republic of Armenia remains committed to Armenia’s wishes to move forward with the partnership with the EU in all possible directions relying on those achievements and progress which were jointly made in recent years in Armenia-EU relationship.
As I have mentioned, the deepening of cooperation with Europe both on bilateral and multilateral levels in the framework of the Eastern Partnership is one of the priorities in our foreign policy agenda. Armenia continues to be committed to the European values and principles. I am convinced that our political commitments, policy on promotion of human rights and fundamentalfreedoms, cooperation within the frameworks of the Eastern Partnership will be equally important for us in future as well.
The decision made by the Armenian authorities in this historical period is a process directed towards the perspective of economic development, as well as energy and strategic security of the country. It doesn’t exclude and will not limit our commitments and active dialogue with the European Union.
Rapprochement with Europe means for us continuation of the process of deep reforms in our political and administrative systems directed at the stable development of the country, and we are determined to deepen and reinforce the process of our institutional reforms together with our European partners.
We will do our best to find correct ways and mutually acceptable models for further cooperation on bilateral and multilateral directions, as well as to create an atmosphere of mutual understanding to pursue a multi-vector policy.
Concluding my speech let me wish success for the works of this meeting. I am sure that it has its role in the realization of the Eastern Partnership goals.
Thank you for your attention.
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