On November 25, Secretary of State for European Affairs Mikolaj Dowgielewicz led the 12th EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council session, as a deputy of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. Stefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, represented the European Union.
The 12th session of the EU-Armenia Cooperation Council addressed several crucial issues such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and necessity to implement further reforms in the fields of democracy and the rule of law, human rights and cooperation within the Eastern Partnership. Furthermore, expectations towards the Council include plans of starting negotiations on visa facilitation and readmission agreements, and on building the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline linking the EU with Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
The aim of the special meeting was to evaluate actual cooperation priorities regarding both sides. The EU was encouraging Armenia to make continued progress towards the Association Agreement, but in particular to satisfy trade criteria through signing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). According to the spokesperson of MFI Press Office, other subjects explored at the session covered transport, energy cooperation and dealing with autocracy. In addition, the talks were to concentrate on cooperation with the programme of the Eastern Partnership. The upcoming parliamentary (May 2012) and presidential (February 2013) elections have created a background for exchanging opinions about, i.e., respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Basing on materials of the Press Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Translated by KD