RA Foreign Policy Priorities in the RA-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (Reference)
Recently the EU published the "Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement Between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and Their Member States, of the One Part, and the Republic of Armenia, of the Other Part" initialized with Armenia, the final signing of which is expected in the near future. "Armedia" IAA presents a series of materials on the most important issues that have become topics of hot discussions.
Later, if necessary, taking into consideration public interests, we will also address those issues that are not included in this series.
The agreement refers to the foreign affairs issues in the introduction, in Part II, Article 3-11. The overall size is nearly 11 pages.
In the introduction of the agreement there is a reference to the Karabakh conflict. In particular, it cites the Armenia’s commitment to peaceful resolution of the conflict, the three principles of Helsinki Final Act as well as the EU support to the negotiation process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group format.
The agreement reads: "RECOGNISING the importance of the commitment of the Republic of Armenia to the peaceful and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the need to achieve that settlement as early as possible, in the framework of the negotiations led by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs; also recognising the need to achieve that settlement on the basis of the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, in particular those related to refraining from the threat or use of force, the territorial integrity of States, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples and reflected in all declarations issued within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship since the 16th OSCE Ministerial Council of 2008; also noting the stated commitment of the European Union to support this settlement process."
In addition, in Article 3 in the section "Political Dialogue and Reform; Cooperation in the Field of Foreign and Security Policy", it is stated that the political dialogue between the EU and RA should: "i) promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts; j) promote the purposes and principles of the UN as enshrined in its Charter and the principles guiding relations between participating states as set out in the OSCE Helsinki Final Act"
The Article 8 states: "The Parties underline the importance of existing agreed formats for the peaceful settlement of conflicts" – in that way confirming their loyalty to the mediation under the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group.
There is no direct reference to the Armenian-Turkish relations, however, Article 3 states that the political dialogue between the RA and EU should: "k) promote regional cooperation, develop good neighbourly relations and enhance regional security, including by taking steps towards opening borders to promote regional trade and cross-border movement."
In the Article 8, there is a statement that refers both to the Armenian-Turkish relations as well as to the Karabakh conflict: "The Parties shall intensify their joint efforts to improve conditions for further regional cooperation by promoting open borders with cross-border movement, good neighbourly relations and democratic development, thereby contributing to stability and security, and shall work towards the peaceful settlement of conflicts.
There is no direct reference to the Armenian Genocide in the document, however Article 6 states: "The Parties agree to closely cooperate to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes by making use of appropriate bilateral and multilateral frameworks."
Cooperation on Foreign Policy Issues
On foreign policy issues, there is no reference to coordinating the approaches, while the emphases are on strengthening cooperation and raising the efficiency.
"Political dialogue on all areas of mutual interest, including foreign policy and security matters as well as domestic reform, shall be further developed and strengthened between the Parties. Such dialogue will increase the effectiveness of political cooperation on foreign policy and security matters, recognising the importance the Republic of Armenia attaches to its participation in international organisations and cooperation formats and its existing obligations arising therefrom," Article 3 reads.
Besides the bilateral cooperation with the EU, the cooperation on international and regional platforms is also highlighted: Article 5 states:
"The Parties shall intensify their dialogue and cooperation in the area of foreign and security policy, including the common security and defence policy, recognising the importance that the Republic of Armenia attaches to its participation in international organisations and cooperation formats and its existing obligations arising therefrom, and shall address in particular issues of conflict prevention and crisis management, risk reduction, cybersecurity, security-sector reform, regional stability, disarmament, non-proliferation, arms control and export control. Cooperation shall be based on common values and mutual interests, and shall aim at increasing its effectiveness, making use of bilateral, international and regional fora, in particular the OSCE."
In the section on the cooperation in political and security spheres, there is a reference to the cooperation on non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, on the control of the export of small arms and light weapons and conventional arms.
A separate Article refers to the struggle against terrorism: "The Parties reaffirm the importance of the fight against and the prevention of terrorism, and agree to work together at bilateral, regional and international level to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," Article 11 reads.
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