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The European Union (EU) Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, has addressed the need for closer ties between the EU and Armenia, as well as the necessity for a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia. During her speech in the European Parliament, she emphasized that Armenia-EU relations are currently undergoing historic moments, Armenpress reported.

"Armenia-EU relations have never been stronger than today. This was confirmed two weeks ago at the Armenia-EU Partnership Council. Back in October last year, in this plenary session, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signaled Armenia’s readiness to get closer to the European Union," said Urpilainen, emphasizing that the EU is working to move forward in that direction.

According to her, Armenia's previous decisions, which led to political, economic and security dependence, cannot be overcome overnight.

"However, the clear political will of both sides will allow us to move forward in deepening and expanding our partnership. We already have a good foundation, solid frameworks, which is the European Union-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement,’’ said the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships.

She noted that together with Armenia, they had undertaken the preparation of a new ambitious partnership program.

"We have proposed this new partnership program to be based on our shared values consisting of three pillars. First, we will work to strengthen Armenia's resilience and diversify its economy by expanding cooperation in trade, energy, communications, and aviation security.

In order to expand contacts between people, we are discussing options for initiating a dialogue on visa liberalization. Armenia has expressed its strong interest in this issue, and we call on its leadership to intensify work in the direction of relevant reforms. The start of the dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime will be an important political impulse for the citizens of Armenia and will provide leverage for further reforms.

Secondly, the issue of security is becoming an increasingly important element of our relationship. We are pleased to celebrate the first anniversary of the EU mission in Armenia and look forward to its strengthening through the European Peace Facility. We are expanding our dialogue on foreign and security policy issues, including participation in EU unit missions and operations.

Thirdly, increased investment will be of great importance for closer economic cooperation. We are committed to supporting Armenia's participation in the construction of an electric cable in the Black Sea, as well as joining other projects aimed at creating closer ties between the countries of the region. Creating closer ties between the countries of the region has great potential to contribute to peace," said the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.

According to her, the EU continues to assist the displaced Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh by providing financial resources to address their socioeconomic problems.

''Our firm commitment to the process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains unchanged. We are ready to support stable and lasting peace, based on the principles of recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries. We reject any use of force or threat of force and continue to support the peaceful settlement of conflicts," concluded the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen.

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