Skip to content .

Service navigation

Main Navigation


Further information

Link to opens in a new window


Press Releases


EU-Troika meeting with Armenia headed by Minister Rupel

Dimitrij Rupel and Vartan Oskanian (photo: Bobo)

Today in Armenia, the current President of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, Dr Dimitrij Rupel, accompanied by the EU Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Dr Benita Ferrero-Waldner, completed a three-day visit to the South Caucasus States. The visit in Armenia commenced with a working meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, and then Dr Rupel and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner had separate meetings with Armenia’s Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsian, the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, Tigran Torosyan, and the President of the Republic of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan.

During the discussions with the representatives of the Armenian authorities, Dr Rupel particularly emphasised the European Union’s commitment to promoting stability in the region, pointing out, however, that this required goodwill and a realistic approach from all the parties involved. The European Union has just extended the term of office of its Special Representative for the Southern Caucasus, thereby providing continuity in EU policy in the region. The Slovenian Foreign Minister also stated that, by extending the European Neighbourhood Policy to the South Caucasus region, the European Union was strengthening its commitment to the region. Last year, the EU started to implement a five-year action plan offering very generous terms to the South Caucasus States. The Slovenian Foreign Minister, Dr Rupel, noted that in spring the European Commission would draw up a report on the progress accomplished in each country under the European Neighbourhood Policy.

The European Union welcomes the progress Armenia has made in many areas, including: macroeconomic indicators, reform of the judiciary, reform of local administrations, parliamentary elections, combating corruption, improvement of the economy and increased investments.

In the political field, the President of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, Dr Rupel, first focused on human rights issues, concerns about media independence and preparations for the forthcoming presidential elections, in respect of which the European Union underlines the need for all candidates to receive equal treatment in the media and, of course, for universally recognised standards for free and fair elections to be respected. Regarding the treatment of the media, the European Union has concerns about the threats and violence against the opposition media which create an atmosphere of fear among journalists in the country.

Dr Rupel invited Armenia to continue diplomatic efforts to settle the sensitive issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, emphasising that the conflicts there represent a major obstacle to political and socio-economic reforms in the region and to consolidating security and stability. Unfortunately, at the recent meetings, Azerbaijan’s President Alliev and Armenia’s President Kocharyan were unable to reach a common understanding on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue; they did, however, manage to reconcile their positions at least in part. The OSCE Minsk Group continues its efforts in this respect, in close cooperation with the European Union. Nevertheless, the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh requires political courage. Clearly, a compromise will have to be reached on the issue; however, for this to happen, public opinion needs to be prepared accordingly. The European Union has concerns about the inflammatory language used and the increased expenditure on arms and expresses its willingness to cooperate in establishing mutual trust.

At the close of the visit, the President of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, Slovenian Foreign Minister, Dr Rupel, also touched upon relations with Turkey and expressed concern regarding the fact that the border was still closed. He gave assurances of EU assistance with a view to establishing diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey.


Accessibility     . Print     .

Date: 08.02.2008