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Implementation of EU-Armenia Agreement is Related to the Issue of Stable and Long-term Development of Our Country: Hearings at the National Assembly

Implementing the provisions of the Agreement is vitally important from the point of view of continuity of reforms in our country and is related to the problems of sustainable and long-term development of our country. Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Karen Nazaryan stated this at the National Assembly during the discussions on the ''EU-Armenia: Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership". "The agreement emphasizes the promotion of close and regular partnership on equal bases, the strengthening of relations between Armenia and the EU and the implementation of reforms. It focuses on the issues of promoting international security and peace, the peaceful resolution of conflicts in agreed formats. There is a specific and distinctive reference to the peaceful and long-term settlement to the Karabakh conflict. It is important that the agreement reaffirms the EU's commitment to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs' efforts and approaches to the Karabakh conflict settlement based on international law and principles," the Deputy Minister said. The agreement deals with the approaches to the fight against international crimes and their prevention, launch of negotiations on visa liberalization with Armenia, trade and investment development, competitiveness promotion, economic modernization and reconstruction. It is a step towards large-scale reforms to approximate Armenia's commitment to bringing its legislation closer to the relevant EU legislation. "The agreement is not merely a new legal document, but a reflection of the value system that is based on fundamental freedoms of human rights, which we call for," Karen Nazaryan said. The representative of the Center for Perspective Studies and Initiatives, political scientist Tigran Torosyan considers the agreement signed between Armenia and the European Union as unprecedented for Armenia, both with its involvement and the real possibilities provided. According to the expert, the agreement is also extremely important in the context of post-Soviet transformation process, since in more than two dozen countries, over the past quarter century, this is the only case when integration takes place simultaneously in two directions. "This, of course, gives a lot of opportunities, but simultaneously presents extremely serious challenges: the current tense geopolitical competition, overcoming the restrictions that are emerging when implementing one-way steps," said Torosyan during the hearings, stressing that if no action is taken in this direction, the agreement may remain just a good opportunity document. EU Ambassador to Armenia Pyotr Svitalski, in his turn, highlighted the fact of holding such discussions, noting that the EU-Armenia agreement is not a bilateral cooperation agreement, as it is not just an agreement between Armenia and the EU, but also between Armenia and EU member states. "Part of the steps outlined in the agreement will be implemented very soon, but we expect the participation of the member states for the prospects of its implementation," Svitalski said. The ambassador pointed out that there is no provision in the agreement that can be viewed as ''contradicting'' to anything. "This agreement will be a very good role model for other EU member states that are also members of other unions," the ambassador noted. For the implementation of the agreement, Svitalsky also highlighted the factor of the Armenian and EU parliaments and civil society. Member of the Republican Party of Armenia, Margarit Yesayan, in turn referring to the role of civil society, noted that apart from the diplomatic sector, the civil society also had a great role in signing the agreement. Liana Hovhannisyan emphasized in her speech that Armenia succeeded in avoiding the seemingly inevitable dilemma in such situations. "In order to be able to implement the agreement, it is very important for every citizen to clearly understand it. We must not forget that the European direction is important for us as it is human-centered and is based on the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms. It is important that citizens see the prospects of the country's development in this direction," Liana Hovhannisyan said, highlighting the role of public sector, media, expert circles and NGOs in terms of raising public awareness.

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