Ararat Mirzoyan, left, with Josep Borrell

BRUSSELS (Public Radio of Armenia) — Armenia and the European Union have decided to launch work on an ambitious new partnership agenda, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell said at a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Brussels on February 13.

“This decision sends us a strong signal of mutual interest in a new strategic phase in our relations and will provide a clear roadmap and vision for the way forward,” he said, adding that “the future starts today.”

Borrell welcomed the steps taken by Armenia in the fight against corruption and urged Armenia to further address the challenges in the fight against discrimination, hate speech and disinformation.

He also congratulated Armenia on becoming the 124th state party of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, describing it as a “very important and courageous decision.”

“We discussed options to start visa liberalization dialogue,” Borrell said, encouraging Armenia to step up reforms to progress in the issue.

He reiterated EU’s commitment to support Armenia’s participation in the Black Sea Electricity Cable project and other regional connectivity projects.

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

Referring to regional security issues, the EU High Representative said the latest shooting at the border was deplorable. “It again illustrates the urgent need for the distancing of forces, something the European Union has been advocating for a long time,” Borrell said.

“Today I have to reiterate the European Union’s full commitment to supporting a sustainable and lasting peace based on the principles of sovereignty, inviolability of borders and territorial integrity. The EU Mission in Armenia has recently been reinforced and will continue to contribute to ensuring an environment conducive to normalization efforts,” he stated.

The High Representative noted that the EU will continue to support Armenians displaced from Nagorno Karabakh, adding that the Commission has announced an additional €5.5 million in humanitarian aid.

The course of implementation of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), democratic developments in Armenia, as well as the joint steps implemented for developing partnership in new directions and the existing prospects were also discussed.

The security issues in the South Caucasus were discussed.

During the visit to Brussels, Mirzoyan also met with Gert Jan Koopman, the Director-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.

(Armenpress contributed to this report.)

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: