EU extends hand to Armenia

BRUSSELS, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- European Neighborhood Commissioner Stefan Fule said Monday it was time to start a new era of bilateral cooperation with Armenia.

"Armenia can count on the continued EU support to advance political, economic and social reforms and improve the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms," he said in a statement.


Fule led a delegation to Armenia in September for informal partnership talks.

He said he welcomed Armenia's commitments to get in line with European standards related to visa facilitation and other reforms.

"At the same time, we have, however, encouraged acceleration of the efforts in specific areas, notably democracy and the rule of law, anti-corruption, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and judicial reform," he said.

Armenia has been pressed to resolve a territorial dispute with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both sides warred briefly over the disputed territory though the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said November talks between both countries may be "a warranty for peace."

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