By Steven G. Traylor, journalist
President Serzh Sargsyan has received an invitation from the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite to attend the European Union Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for Vilnius, Lithuania later this year.
The invitation was extended by the President from Lithuania’s new ambassador to Armenia Erikas Petrikas last Friday, as the ambassador presented his credentials in a ceremony in Yerevan.
The Eastern Partnership, consists of Armenian, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine and is seen as a mechanism by the European Union as a forum for discussing free trade, visa concerns, and regional issues important to all member countries.
Schedule for the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, the meetings will be Chaired by the Presidency of the European Union Lithuania who takes over the revolving presidency in July through December 2013. Ireland currently holds the role of President of the EU till the end of this month.
In Brussels, Stefan Fule, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy was quoted as saying, ”We will not only have, hopefully, an Association Agreement with Ukraine and also initialed with Moldova, Georgia, Armenia but also quite some progress in the visa liberalization action plan process, some countries being able to sing readmission treaties and visa facilitation treaties. For the first time, we will be able to deliver on concrete infrastructure projects, in particular thanks to the Lithuanian Presidency and with our support, we will deliver on our ambitions, we will reach an agreement on the Eastern Partnership transport network, including a network suitable for any international financial institution and I hope it we be only one of the steps”.
The Vilnius summit will come four years after the launch of the Eastern Partnership and will be an opportunity to discuss progress in areas mobility and internal reforms, under the leadership of the European Union.
The Eastern Partnership initiative covers bilateral and multilateral EU cooperation and is scheduled every two years with member states.