Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan hosted a delegation led by European Council President Charles Michel, who is in Armenia on a working visit. Nikol Pashinyan welcomed Charles Michel’s visit to our country, noting that they had held two meetings over the past month and a half, which testifies to the dynamic development of EU-Armenia relations.
The Acting Prime Minister appreciated the European Union’s decision to provide Armenia with a 2.6 billion euro investment package. He noted that it will add a strong momentum to our country’s democratic reform agenda, and will help develop the economy and infrastructure. Nikol Pashinyan added that the Armenian government is currently working with EU partners to develop an agenda for the planned programs and implement them effectively.
With reference to the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the Acting Premier reaffirmed his proposal to resolve it peacefully, which he had voiced earlier at the Security Council meeting. Nikol Pashinyan underscored the fact that the Azerbaijani authorities have intensified their aggressive rhetoric of late, which makes the Armenian side believe that Azerbaijan is not actually prepared to fulfill its obligations under the trilateral statements of November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021, including the repatriation of Armenian prisoners of war and the steps aimed at unblocking the regional communications.
Charles Michel said the European Union is keen to be more actively involved in stabilizing the situation in the region. The President of the European Council stressed that the 2.6 billion euro assistance package is aimed at implementing deep reforms and promoting economic development in Armenia. He noted that Armenia has the potential necessary for implementing the measures envisaged under the package, and the EU stands ready to provide technical assistance in this matter. “The EU stands ready to support your country in achieving its priorities,” Charles Michel said.
Coming to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Nikol Pashelyan and Charles Michel highlighted the statement made by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on April 13, 2021, the principles set out in it, including the full and comprehensive settlement of the conflict and the clarification of Nagorno-Karabakh’s final status. The parties stressed the need to resume the negotiations as shortly as possible and reinstate the dialogue between the parties to the conflict.
Charles Michel considered it necessary to ensure the return of POWs, refrain from aggressive rhetoric, and unblock the regional communications. He emphasized that the EU is prepared to facilitate the dialogue on demarcation and delimitation between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Nikol Pashinyan hailed the efforts exercised by the international community to safeguard the Armenian historical and cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh, stressing that the Azerbaijani side has already destroyed several Armenian cultural monuments. Charles Michel highlighted the active role to be played by UNESCO in this context.
At the end of the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan thanked the President of the European Council for continued great attention paid to Armenia and to the region in general.