BRUSSELS, November 14, 2006 -- The European Union today signed accords with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia in Brussels.
The agreements offer aid, improved trade, and more political cooperation in exchange for political and economic reforms.
EU Foreign Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Monday (November 13) that the accords would help defuse separatist disputes in the three South Caucasus countries.
She also told RFE/RL that each of the three South Caucasus nations has its priorities.
“We’ve started a new chapter. A new chapter because we have now three action plans with the three countries in the Caucasus region. Each and every one of the countries has its priorities. We of course want to transport our values as well -- human rights, democracy, rule of law,” Ferrero-Waldner said.
In Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are trying to secede, while Azerbaijan has a dispute with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov said the EU agreements “offer up a common vision for the future.”
Mamedyarov was speaking in Brussels, where he met his Armenian counterpart Vardan Oskanian. The two are due to meet again today and both expressed optimism that progress will be made on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
If successful, the talks will pave the way for a meeting of the two countries' leaders.