Referring to the negotiations over the Armenia-EU framework agreement, the Ambassador said that the procedure was quite successful and the next meeting would take place in December.
''Generally, the fact that such an agreement will be concluded, is already a success. The RA government gives a message to EU that Armenia is willing to go through the path of reforms and modernization, and the European Union is an important partner on that path. I am convinced that the EU and its Member States are eager to convey new impetus to this cooperation and the agreement,” Matthias Kisler said.
He added that after the summer phase of the talks, a considerable progress has been made.
"I cannot say when the agreement will be signed but there is an impulse from the RA Government that it will be signed next spring," the Ambassador added.
Speaking about the visa facilitation process, the German Ambassador said. "I would single out the point of the visa facilitation from the agreement with the EU. I share the desire of RA citizens to travel to Europe with a simplified procedure. But it is not clear yet when the dialogue on visa facilitation between Armenia and EU will start. Before officially starting the negotiations, each country can carry out certain steps in that direction, this would greatly facilitate the transition to the official stage."
The Ambassador also stressed that in order to achieve facilitation of the visa, certain conditions should be met. "As an advice, based on the experience of the South-Eastern European countries, there are certain conditions that must be carried out for the state to undergo the procedure of visa facilitation."
As a reply to the remark that Armenia is behind its neighbor country Georgia, considering that Georgia is making concrete steps in this direction, the Ambassador said that the states' positions should be considered separately. "Of course, Georgia is ahead of Armenia on this issue, although it can be a stimulus for Armenia."
Speaking about the Armenia-Germany relations and economic cooperation, the Ambassador said that Germany is the third largest partner for Armenia, after Russia and China.
According to him, the trade turnover between Armenia and Germany has increased this year.
“New financial allocations of Germany comprised 54.4 million euros this year. In addition, 22 million euros was allocated to the regional programs. After the intergovernmental talks at RA Ministry of Finance a protocol was signed today,” the German Ambassador said.
Summing up the year of 2016, the German Ambassador said that it was a unique year in terms of the development of Armenian-German relations.
“The year was significant in terms of intense mutual visits. It is worth to mention the visit of President Serzh Sargsyan to Berlin in April. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German Foreign Minister, arrived in Armenia at the end of June; Germany chairs the OSCE this year. The year was also significant by the abundance of parliamentary visits,” the German Ambassador said.
As a reply to the question why, however, the arrival of large German companies was not visible, and what the reason was - the legislative gaps, insufficient business conditions, or corruption, Ambassador Kisler said that German entrepreneurs were interested in the countries where the market was large.
“They are interested in the country's political stability to make investments. Unfortunately, the German media headlines regarding Armenia and the region were not talking about regional stability. The subject was Karabakh conflict. Such matters are obstacles especially for small and medium businesses in terms of their economic interest,” Kisler added.
The Ambassador noted that German entrepreneurs said that here, in Armenia there were many opportunities not only in terms of trade but also in the production organization. The fact that Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union is an additional attraction.
As it is known, the German Embassy is the NATO Contact Embassy in Armenia, and the German Ambassador was pleased to mention that NATO Week in Armenia successfully ended the previous week.
"This in its turn proves how closely the military relations between Armenia and Germany are," Matthias Kiessler said.
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Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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