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17 Jul 2018

Armenian delegation in Brussels discuss visa liberalization with EU leaders

Armenian delegation in Brussels discuss visa liberalization with EU leadersThe Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has paid a visit in Brussels this week, where he met European leaders, with whom he discussed visa liberalization, among others.

Tigran Balayan, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Armenia, confirmed that Armenia-EU visa liberalization was in the agenda of the PM’s visit to Brussels.

“We  expect the provision of the relevant mandate by the EU Commission, on the launch of the [respective] dialogue,” Balayan said, adding that such thing does not mean Armenia will get visa liberalization tomorrow, instead only that the dialogue should start.

The Armenian delegation to Brussels was headed by the EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, who assessed the messages given to PM Pashinyan by EU leaders as highly positive for Armenia.

“I understand that the PM had the opportunity to convey his messages to the leaders of the European Union. We will be here in Armenia in a very constructive mood to transfer this declaration of support into concrete action. My duty as the EU Ambassador is to see how we can support in real terms through concrete action the reform course of the Armenian government,” he said, adding that though the process takes time, the European Union is in a very constructive mood.

On April 11, the Parliament of the Republic of Armenia ratified the “Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the European Union”, with 95 votes pro out of 95, which is asserted that will raise the relations between Armenia and the EU to another level.

The Agreement had been signed in Brussels on November 24 last year, by the Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

Armenia is one of the countries who aspire to reach a visa liberalization agreement with the EU, which enables its citizens to travel to the Schengen Area visa-free for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.

In March this year, the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn paid a visit in Armenia, during which he warned that issues as visa liberalization cannot be solved in one day. He also claimed that Luxembourg supports people who wish to travel to the EU, stressing out that “many Armenian citizens who visit the EU as tourists apply for asylum,” thus highlighting the importance of Armenia signing a law on readmission of these people.

“I think that the EU will achieve liberalization of the visa regime with Armenia, although I cannot say when it may happen,” he said, adding that Armenia is still moving in the right direction in this regard.

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