On January 10 the Brussels meetings continued. In the morning the NA delegation left for the European Parliament. During the working breakfast an effective talk was held between the NA President Hovik Abrahamyan and the EP President Martin Schulz.
The NA President thanked for the invitation and warm reception, recording that during the recent years the upward nature of the development of the EU-Armenia relations was the evidence of the fact that Armenia-European Union was mutually beneficial.
Both sides highlighted the political dialogue going on within the framework of parliamentary cooperation. By the NA President’s assessment, Armenia actively takes part in the works of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly with multilateral format of the Eastern Partnership. He also touched upon the issue of holding the Euronest plenary session in Yerevan in 2014, expressing satisfaction for the consent of a number of members of the Euronest Bureau.
The issue of reaching to end as early as possible the negotiations on the Armenia-European Union Association Agreement was also discussed.
The NA President touched upon the problem of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, noting that the peaceful settlement of the issue continued to remain one of the most important priorities of the RA foreign policy. He said that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, as prior step, for a long time they had tried to get agreement in the issue of the snipers’ withdrawal, creation of the investigation mechanism of the cases of the ceasefire breach.
"I am sure that you know what side impedes the adoption of such decisions and their implementation. I assure you that the Armenian side is the propagator of peace, stability and security in the region, and will constantly take its steps within the framework of the principles of the international law," Hovik Abrahamyan said.
At the same time he said that they used to make bellicose statements on solving the Karabakh problem through military, and the Azerbaijani armed forces used to regularly organize provocations in the contact line with the Nagorno Karabakh.
Hovik Abrahamyan highlighted the settlement of Armenia-Turkey relations in terms of regional, as well as international view. He noted that Armenia had constantly undertaken constructive initiatives, had remained adherent to the spirit of protocols signed in Zurich, whereas Turkey continued forward preconditions lacking in the protocols, which from the beginning were inadmissible for Armenia with the very simple reason that the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh problem had no relation to and could not have any relation to the problem of the regulation of the Armenian-Turkish relations.
After the meeting the NA President and the President of the European Parliament made a joint statement. It was recorded that the year 2012 had been marked at high level of the RA-EU cooperation, and the continuity of those relations was highlighted. There is bilateral interest to reach to a final phase the negotiations on the creation of the Association Agreement and Deep Comprehensive Free Trade Area during the year 2013. It stems from the political agenda, reflecting the wish of Armenia’s citizens. The positive influence of that process on the inner reforms aimed at Armenia’s economic development and strengthening of democracy was highlighted. It was noted with satisfaction that the entry visa regime facilitation and readmission treaties between Armenia and the European Union were signed. Armenia was adherent to its promise, and the EU citizens was given opportunity to enter Armenia without visa. The NA President expressed hope that soon the European Parliament would ratify the treaty of entry visa regime facilitation to the European Union countries for the RA citizens, which would pave path in future for full liberalization of that process.
Both sides talked about the presidential elections to be held on February 18 in the RA and the political atmosphere created over it. The NA President assured that the Armenian authorities had political will for holding elections free, fair and in accordance with European standards.
In the joint statement they also referred to the Karabakh conflict and the situation in the region.
Hovik Abrahamyan also said that he had invited the President of the European Parliament Mr Martin Schulz to visit Armenia.
On January 10 the RA NA President Hovik Abrahamyan also met with the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.
The NA President expressed his satisfaction for the opportunity of meeting again, stating that during the recent years the active cooperation of the high ranking officials of the European Union and Armenia was the evidence of the fact that Armenia-European Union relations were at high level. Hovik Abrahamyan highlighted his visit to Yerevan in July of the last year, particularly, his impressive speech made in the National Assembly, noticing that it was accepted with big warmth and approval by the NA deputies and in general, by the community.
The NA President noted with satisfaction that the EU-RA cooperation had greatly contributed to the formation of the civil society in Armenia and the development of the state administration institutions. He assured that Armenia would steadfastly continue the elaboration and implementation of the concrete steps in the expansion of the relations.
Hovik Abrahamyan deemed absolutely admissible the thought expressed in Yerevan that it was not possible to fully make use of the Eastern Partnership, if there was continuously threat of conflict and instability. He assured that the Armenian authorities and the society realized the importance of this problem, and they were ready to withstand all possible challenges in the region.
"We welcome the use of the principle ‘more for more’ and in the phase of the implementation of wide-scale reforms we expect the serious support of the European Union," Hovik Abrahamyan said.
Issues pertaining to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh problem and regulation of Armenia-Turkey relations were discussed.
In the course of the meeting both sides also touched upon the situation in Syria. Upon the request of the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the NA President told about supporting of thousands of Syrian Armenians who found asylum in Armenia, the efforts made by the RA authorities and NGOs and steps taken for facilitating their concerns.
The NA President Hovik Abrahamyan and the members of the delegation had been to St Mary Magdalene Armenian Apostolic Church of Brussels, met with spiritual leader Father Zatik Vardapet Avetikian, then the NA President laid a wreath at the cross-stone monument of the Armenian Genocide victims.
The official visit of the President of the National Assembly to Brussels ended and the delegation led by the NA President Hovik Abrahamyan returned to Yerevan on the same day, on January 10.