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Armenia’s ties with the European Union are developing rapidly thanks to its active involvement in the bloc’s Eastern Partnership program, France’s ambassador in Yerevan said on Monday.


Henri Reynaud pointed to what Armenian and EU officials say is major progress in their negotiations on an “association agreement” which is envisaged by the program covering six ex-Soviet states.

“I don’t know if Armenia is the country that has closed the largest number of [negotiation] chapters or just one of such countries because things are changing very, very rapidly,” Reynaud told journalists.

“In any case, it is part of the club of countries that are advancing most rapidly,” he said.

The talks in question began in July 2010. It is sill not clear when they are likely to be concluded.

The Armenian government and the EU’s executive body, the European Commission, have yet to open official negotiations on two key components of the association agreement: the creation of a “deep and comprehensive free trade area” and simplification of EU visa procedures for Armenian nationals.

Reynaud reaffirmed the French government’s support for Armenia’s European integration, which the administration of President Serzh Sarkisian has declared a foreign policy priority.

The diplomat also praised Armenia’s record of political and economic reforms carried out since independence. He said in particular that the country has succeeded in adopting a “democratic political culture.”
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