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Pashinian Discusses ‘Democratic Reforms’ With EU Council Head


Belgium -- Incoming European Council President Charles Michel speaks during a handover ceremony in Brussels, November 29, 2019.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian telephoned European Council President Charles Michel on Monday to discuss Armenia’s relations with the European Union and reforms announced by his government.

“Armenia's democratic reforms agenda was at the heart of the discussion,” the EU’s top decision-making body said in a statement. “The president of the European Council stressed the importance the EU attaches to Armenia's reforms path.”

It said the two men “pledged to further develop EU-Armenia bilateral cooperation, including commercial ties.”

They also discussed their “expectations” from the EU’s next summit with Armenia and five other former Soviet republics included in its Eastern Partnership program, added the statement. The summit is due to be held in Brussels in June.

Pashinian’s office released a virtually identical readout of the phone conversation which it said took place “at the initiative of the Armenian side.”No other details were reported.

Michel’s predecessor, Donald Tusk, praised the Armenian government’s reform agenda when he visited Armenia and met with Pashinian last July. Tusk also hailed the “effective implementation” of the EU’s Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Armenia signed in 2017.

Pashinian told Tusk that the CEPA will not only lead to closer ties between Armenia and the EU but also help his government carry out political and economic reforms promised by it.

While seeking closer partnership with the EU, Pashinian has repeatedly made clear that Armenia will remain part of Russian-led military and trade alliances of ex-Soviet states.

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