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EU Action Plans For Caucasus 'Few Months Away'

Peter Semneby (file photo) (Photolur) BRUSSELS, June 14, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The EU special representative for the South Caucasus,  Peter Semneby, told RFE/RL today that European Neighborhood Policy Action Plans with Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan will be signed "in a couple of months' time."

Semneby said that minor issues remain with Georgia, while talks with Armenia are also "advanced." However, he indicated the negotiations with Azerbaijan are more difficult.

The EU's high representative for common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana, indicated after meeting Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli today for the first time that some countries could be left behind.

"Of course we would like, as much as possible, to have the relationship with the three countries as close as possible, as joint as possible," Solana said. "But as you know also very well, the Neighborhood Policy has an element which is important in itself, which is [that it contains] tailor-made action plans [specific] to the needs of every country. Not every country is equal, not every country moves at the same speed, but in general terms if we can do it together [that] will be better. But the slowing [down] of one will not affect others."

Semneby confirmed that there are differences between the EU and Azerbaijan on how to address the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. However, he said he is "quite confident" the differences can be overcome soon.