By Emil Danielyan
President Robert Kocharian instructed senior government officials on Thursday to come up with a comprehensive plan of action that will accelerate Armenia’s integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
Kocharian said they should draw up and present to him a timetable of “concrete activities” stemming from Yerevan’s commitments to the Council of Europe, the European Union and NATO within the next two months. It must then be implemented by various Armenian government agencies in a coordinated manner, he said.
The instruction was issued at a meeting of a presidential commission tasked with coordinating the Armenian government’s efforts at European integration. The body comprises Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, Trade and Economic Development Minister Karen Chshmaritian and parliament speaker Tigran Torosian.
A statement by Kocharian’s press service said each of the officials briefed the Armenian leader on relevant steps that are being taken in their respective areas of responsibility, with Torosian focusing on the adoption of laws stemming from the recently enacted amendments to Armenia’s constitution. The amendments were strongly endorsed by both the Council of Europe and the EU.
The statement said the meeting also discussed Armenia’s participation in the EU’s European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) program which will entitle it to a privileged partnership with the bloc. Armenian and EU officials have been negotiating on an ENP action plan for the last several months.
The Kocharian administration is also stepping up Armenia’s cooperation with NATO, having launched an “individual partnership action plan,” or IPAP, with the U.S.-led alliance late last year. Sarkisian was quoted by Kocharian’s office as briefing the meeting’s participants on his recent visit to Brussels during which he discussed IPAP’s implementation with top NATO officials. No further details were reported.