YEREVAN, October 5. /ARKA/. Today Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan had a working dinner with EU countries ambassadors and the head of the CE delegation, the foreign ministry’s press office told Novosti-Armenia News Agency.
Armenia-EU relations, including negotiations and programs, and the Association Agreement’s agenda were discussed during the dinner.
The process of Karabakh conflict settlement and a wide range of regional and international issues were discussed as well.
On February 27 the EU’s Trade Commission decided to launch negotiations on a deep and comprehensive free trade area with Armenia to boost economic growth and investment.
The launch of the trade negotiations was conditioned upon Armenia fulfilling a set of “key recommendations”. These were issued in June 2009 and covered necessary reforms in key regulatory areas related to trade, in order to prepare Armenia for the upcoming negotiations.
According to EU, Armenia made substantial reforms notably in the fields of technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and the protection of intellectual property. The EU supported Armenia in this process, providing technical assistance in the framework of the European Neighborhood Partnership Instrument and the Comprehensive Institution Building program, as well as with the EU Member States’ support.
The EU has been negotiating an Association Agreement with Armenia since July 2010 in the framework of the Eastern Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy. The future Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area will be part of this Agreement, which aims at closely associating this country to the EU both in economic and political terms, in line with the Eastern Partnership objectives. The future trade relations will therefore expand significantly beyond the scope of current cooperation, set out in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements, in force since July 1999. -0-