25 June 2018
On June 20, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, on a working visit in Brussels, met with Nicolas Tavitian, director of AGBU Europe, at the Armenian Embassy in Belgium.
The Foreign Minister expressed his great appreciation for the global work of AGBU, which he considers an essential partner in advancing the issues of the pan-Armenian agenda. Mnatsakanyan emphasized that strong community structures are one of the pillars for sustainable development of Armenia. Noting that AGBU has “more offices in the world than Armenia has Embassies”, Mnatsakanyan added that “AGBU is a little like the United Nations” for Armenians!
The Foreign Minister and AGBU Europe’s director pursued their discussion about the new possibilities of cooperation with the state and the public structures of Armenia, in light of the new political dynamic in Armenia. They agreed to make the most of this new dynamic to further develop Armenia’s relationship with the European Union, highlighting that the government’s current priority is the implementation of CEPA, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU.
The reforms that Armenia will be conducting aim first and foremost at Armenia’s own development, insisted the minister, not only at complying with EU requirements. In that sense, the leadership in Armenia is following no one else’s agenda but their own, even as Armenia seeks to maximize cooperation with partners such as the EU.
Tavitian suggested that this may be the moment to broaden policy discussion in Europe on the future EU-Armenia relations, implicating in particular also the considerable relevant expertise that exists in the European diaspora. AGBU is prepared to play a leading role in promoting this public debate.
Mnatsakanyan and Tavitian also addressed the key question of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Minister emphasized the importance of this issue for Armenia and said that he believed the EU had a role in the matter, in creating an environment conducive to peace. Tavitian took this opportunity to brief the Minister on AGBU Europe’s campaign for EU engagement in Nagorno-Karabakh.