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Armenian PM, Tusk Discuss Relations and Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (left) and European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels on March 5.

BRUSSELS -- Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and European Council President Donald Tusk have met in Brussels for talks on relations between Yerevan and the European Union and on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Speaking to journalists after the talks in Brussels on March 5, Tusk said the EU "will continue to support Armenia's journey towards becoming a consolidated democracy and creating a better economic future for its citizens."

"We are determined to make the promise of the comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement (CEPA) a reality with real benefits for both Armenia and the EU," Tusk said. noting that the EU bloc is the biggest recipient of exports from Armenia.

"The vast bulk of the agreement is already provisionally applied and has a real impact," Tusk said.

Visa-Free Travel

Pashinian said he and Tusk also discussed visa-free travel to the EU for Armenian citizens.

"The citizens of Armenia are looking forward to the opportunity of freely traveling to the European Union in the near future," Pashinian said.

"We do hope that the political decision in this matter will be taken shortly since this will produce tangible results for our citizens and give our partnership even more visibility," Pashinian said.

On Azerbaijan's mainly ethnic Armenian-populated breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Tusk stressed that the EU "fully supports" the Minsk Group co-chairs and their efforts to solve the conflict.

"I am encouraged by the recent contacts between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan and welcomed the current decrease in tension," Tusk said.

"The EU continues to believe that the status quo is unsustainable," Tusk said. "The conflict does not have a military solution and needs an early political settlement in accordance with international law."

"Preparing the respective populations for peace is an important step towards settlement, which we are ready to support," Tusk said.

Pashinian said Yerevan appreciates what he called the "continued balanced position" of the EU on Nagorno-Karabakh.

"This is a valuable contribution to peace and security in our region," Pashinian said. "I reiterated that Armenia is fully committed to the exclusively peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."

With reporting from Brussels by RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak
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