EU keeps close watch on Southern Caucasus

16:30, April 07, 2010      

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European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Tuesday welcomed the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey while anther high-ranking official kicked off a visit to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

"The European Union encourages Armenia and Turkey to remain committed to the process of normalization and calls on both countries to ratify and implement the bilateral protocols without preconditions and in a reasonable timeframe," Ashton, high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement.

The EU welcomes the decision of the Armenian President to submit both protocols to the parliament as well as the recent declaration by the President of Turkey to remain committed to the normalization of relations with Armenia, said the statement.

Ashton said the EU believes that the full normalization of bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey would be an important contribution to security, stability and cooperation in the Southern Caucasus.

"The EU will continue to provide its political and technical support to this process and stands ready to help implementing the steps agreed between the two countries," the statement added.

Meanwhile, commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) Stefan Fule started a three-day visit to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia from April 6 to 9.

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