Dear Chief Negotiators and members of the negotiating teams,
The European Union and Armenia open today negotiations on a new overarching framework for the deepening of our bilateral relations. We just had, with the Minister, a very good and intense exchange of views on all of it and more.
This will allow us to turn the page on the uncertainties created back in 2013. The work done by Armenia and the EU negotiators in the past, during more than three years of hard negotiations, will not be lost. That will be our common ground: we will not start from zero, our negotiations will work on what was built already. We have identified a potential ambitious scope for our future cooperation.
The future Agreement is meant to replace the current outdated Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and to reset our relations within the wider framework of the reviewed European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership.
Our shared common values and strong commitment to democracy, human rights, rule of law will be at the basis of the new agreement. These will create favourable conditions for stronger cooperation in sectors such as energy, transport, and environment; for new opportunities for both sides' trade and investment; and also for increased mobility to the benefit of our citizens, both in the European Union and in Armenia.
We aim for a comprehensive framework agreement covering political, economic and sectoral cooperation and taking into account Armenia's more recent commitments, derived from its participation in the Eurasian Economic Union. The precise name of the agreement will have to be defined at a later stage, based on the concrete outcome of the negotiations.
And without the intention to place speed above substance, still let me say that I hope and I'm sure that the new Agreement will be negotiated relatively rapidly and will enter into force rather soon. As our negotiating teams know each other well, I'm sure that they will, that we will be working together very well.
The EU negotiating team will do its utmost to properly fulfil the mandate received from the EU Member States and aims to conclude with Yerevan a modern and ambitious future Agreement, and I am looking forward to that.