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CHISINAU, July 11 (Itar-Tass) - The third summit of heads of state and government of the Eastern Partnership, members of the European People’s Party (EPP), opens here on Thursday. Its participants include President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, Prime Minister of Moldova Iurie Leanca, and other politicians.
The agenda includes issues of the preparation for the Eastern Partnership summit due in Vilnius in November, when a number of countries are expected to sign association and deep and comprehensive free trade (DCFTA) agreements with the European Union, and agreements on the liberalization of the visa regime.
Participants in the forum will also reiterate their commitment to introduce European values and goals of the Eastern Partnership.
Preparations for the current summit were accompanied by scandals. Thus, the leader of the opposition Party of Communists and former President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin voiced severe criticism of the forum’s organizers who convened a “congress of losers,” as he put it, in Chisinau. Communists issued a statement saying that the participation of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, “who unleashed a war against his own people, will have negative impacts on the prospects for the Dniester settlement.” In the mean time, local media announced an old-ties-collecting campaign to present them to the Georgian leader.
The European People's Party (EPP) is the major European political party of the center-right. The EPP was founded in 1976 and now unites 73 association from 40 states, as the president of the European Commission, the president of the European Council, 16 prime ministers of the European Union countries and seven states that are not members of the European Union, 13 members of the European Commission, and a biggest group of members of the European Parliament.
Previously, such summits were held in Georgia’s Batumi and in the Armenian capital Yerevan.