Nikol Pashinyan: “Armenia is committed to further developing partnership with the EU based on shared democratic values”
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took part in the Eastern Partnership Summit’s videoconference, which was attended by European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, leaders of Eastern Partnership countries: Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Azerbaijan, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, other European leaders.
The Prime Minister stated in his remarks:
I am very pleased to meet all of you at this video conference. I hope next time we will have an opportunity to meet in person in the Eastern Partnership summit in early 2021.
Over the last two years, the Armenian Government has been implementing comprehensive reforms to develop stronger democratic institutions based on the rule of law and government accountability. Fighting corruption and reforming the judiciary are at the top of our current agenda.
Our efforts, however, have not gone without strong resistance from the former oligopolies and the corrupt circles. Those, who fear to lose their illegally-acquired property, manipulate the mass media, and fabricate fake news to instill distrust of government and its efforts to confront coronavirus pandemic. Despite all these obstacles, we are firmly determined to complete our reforms to achieve irreversible democracy in Armenia.
At each stage of the reforms, we have felt the unconditional support of our European friends. Indeed, the European Union is Armenia’s primary partner in institution building. In this regard, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement is of particular importance.
Armenia is committed to further developing partnership with the EU based on shared democratic values and cultural commonalities. The Eastern Partnership is a driving force of our cooperation. It provides for an effective platform for dialogue and cooperation with the EU and the countries of the region as well. Sustaining its integrity is of crucial importance. Any attempt to create internal divisions will undermine the very philosophy of the Partnership and its impact.
Armenia welcomes the Joint Communication on the policy beyond 2020. The outlined five objectives of the document are in line with our priorities. We believe that the post-2020 deliverables should provide for enhanced resilience and tangible results. The best way to deliver visible results to citizens of Armenia would be the long-awaited launch of the visa liberalization dialogue.
The measures taken to address the coronavirus have once again demonstrated the solidarity and cooperation fostered by the EU and the Partnership. Armenia highly appreciates the support of over 92 million euros to meet the immediate needs of the crisis and mitigate its negative impact.
The global challenges require collective action, not confrontation. Any attempts to take advantage of the pandemic in order to escalate the tension in the region are highly irresponsible and should be condemned by the international community. In this context, the EU’s continuous balanced position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in line with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship approaches, is a very important factor for maintaining peace and stability in our region.
Thank you for your attention.”
During the videoconference, the Prime Minister of Armenia responded to the unfounded and baseless statement issued by the President of Azerbaijan. Nikol Pashinyan underlined the racist policy pursued by that country’s authorities. In particular, he cited the campaign of glorifying Ramil Safarov, who killed with an ax Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan who was asleep in Hungary while attending NATO drills. Nikol Pashinyan stressed that people in Nagorno-Karabakh are determined to build their own future and stand ready to defend their security by responding adequately to any encroachment.
Prime Minister Pashinyan once again called on the President of Azerbaijan to show a constructive approach, and to publicly accept Nikol Pashinyan’s conflict settlement formula, that is, any settlement must be acceptable to the people of Artsakh, to the people of Armenia, and to the people of Azerbaijan.