EU visa liberalization for Armenian citizens one of key points of Armenia’s agenda – FM
YEREVAN, MAY 15, ARMENPRESS. The EU visa liberalization for the Armenian citizens is one of the key and principled issues for Armenia, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told reporters in Brussels, commenting on the question whether the issue of visa liberalization has been discussed during the meetings in Brussels.
“This is a very important and principled issue for us. We again touched upon this issue during the discussion, because what we do for our country, what we call values and build our country, the call of the Velvet revolution which relates to values, democracy, human rights, rule of law, equal social conditions, is our choice. This choice is out of geopolitics and derives from our national interest, from the people. Everything relates to the person, the citizen, this relates to us, our country and our cooperation with our partners, including within the frames of the EU. National contacts are a principled and important issue, the visa liberalization is one of the most important tools which enables us to strengthen what is called a human interaction. This issue is very important for us. But this is not the only tool, we also pay attention to and try to develop all other opportunities which relate to contacts in cultural, educational, scientific, business and other fields”, he said.
He said the visa liberalization is very important. “I have talked about that that there are numerous notifications, various issues relating to the attitude and policy regarding migration. This is not a sufficient obstacle for us, we cannot accept that and say that OK, the issue is closed. Of course, it will not close and we will continue consistently moving it forward because we insist that everyone is assessed by his values and capacities. We are very sensitive and will not act in a way that will lead to the abuse of the visa regime. We do not welcome actions resulting in problems. Now we are told that there are other countries that use the visa-free regime and abuse that, but this is not a sufficient fact for us. We want to be assessed in accordance with our values and capacities, and it is in this regard that all our experts, respective agencies, dealing with migration, are in touch with the respective European experts to assess to what extent our capacities are developed and are in line with the standards, so that we can launch the visa liberalization dialogue”, the Armenian FM said.
Asked whether he can mention a concrete date for the visa liberalization, the FM said: “This is a matter of every moment for us. This is a great priority for us. But I cannot mention a concrete date. This is one of the key points of our agenda. The process is continuous. We are confident that we have sufficient progress on this matter, and now, by combining all these and moving forward our agenda, we must try to accelerate the process. I want to state once again that this is a very principled issue for us”.
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan