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WASHINGTON, May 7. /TASS/. Yerevan expects the European Union to formulate its mandate allowing it to begin negotiations on signing the Association Agreement with Armenia by the end of this month, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said on Thursday. He was speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Answering a question from a TASS correspondent, he said, "We very much hope that during the summit [of EU Eastern Partnership program] in Riga [scheduled for May 21-22] the European Union will give a mandate to a team of its negotiators to begin talks with Armenia." Armenia assumes that such work will then allow "to come to an agreement on a new legal basis for our relations with the European Union," the country’s top diplomat said.
He recalled that during the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius held on November 28-29, 2013, his country and the EU expressed "intention to strengthen, expand and deepen partnership and cooperation in all formats and dimensions, taking into account Armenia’s commitments in other integration processes", referring to the integration associations in the former Soviet Union.
"We confirmed this stance" during the meeting of the Armenia-EU Cooperation Council that took place in January, "and we completed the consultations between the European Union and Armenia in March," Nalbandian added.