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Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan reach Accord with EU

Luxembourg, April 23 (RFE/RL) - The leaders of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have reached a "Partnership and Cooperation" accord with the European Union in Luxembourg, and are to visit the European Commission and NATO headquarters in Brussels today.

Unlike association agreements which the EU has signed with some countries, "Partnership and Cooperation" does not provide for eventual EU membership. The accords signed yesterday looks to financial, economic, scientific and cultural cooperation.

Armenia's President Levon Ter-Petrosyan spoke at the signing ceremony of, in his words, a "rebirth of Transcaucasia... a regional entity of "common interests" and "common destiny."

Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze expressed hopes for developing what he called a "comprehensive Eurasian system of security." Shevardnadze called for a Marshall Plan for the countries of the former Soviet and allied countries. He said the risk of investing in transition economies is insignificant compared to, as he put it, "the perils of a restoration of totalitarianism."

Azerbaijan's President Haydar Aliyev also participated in the signing ceremony, along with the foreign ministers and other leaders of the three countries.