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10/01/2013

The EU-Armenia Friendship Group has been established in the European Parliament

Inauguration ceremony hosted by the founder and President of the group, Dr Eleni Theocharous and attended by an Armenian delegation headed by the speaker of the Armenian National Assembly the Hon. Hovik Abrahamyan.

Eleni Teocharous - Member of
European People's Party (EEP)

Members of European Parliament took the initiative and decision to establish the EU-Armenia Friendship Group with the aim of promoting and enhancing economic, commercial, cultural and political relations between the two parties. Armenia is an integral part of Europe and it is the duty of the Group to advance good relations in terms of mutual respect and cooperation with the purpose of bringing Armenia closer to the EU.

On the occasion of the inauguration of the EU-Armenia Friendship Group on the 9th of January 2013, attendees gathered from both Brussels and Yerevan circles to celebrate the creation of this new European Parliament based body which will be dedicated to deepening and enhancing EU-Armenia relations.

The inauguration ceremony was hosted by the founder and President of the group, Dr Eleni Theocharous, Christian Democrat MEP representing the island of Cyprus, and was attended by numerous MEPs, Brussels based professionals and also by an Armenian delegation headed by the speaker of the Armenian National Assembly the Hon. Hovik Abrahamyan.

The Group presided over by Dr Theochaurous also includes four Vice Presidents from across the political spectrum of the European Parliament. These include Dr Charles Tannock, UK Conservative MEP for London; Michele Rivassi, French Green MEP for the South East of France. Frank Engel, a Christian Democrat representing Luxembourg and Mitro Repo, a Socialist MEP representing Finland.

In her opening speech Dr Theocharous said:

"We are here today to establish the EU Armenia Friendship Group and create a forum with the purpose of advising, assisting and sharing European values and principles with our Armenian counterparts while at the same time promoting Armenian culture and economic and political interests for mutual benefits and respect."

Dr Theocharous went on to state:

"I am absolutely sure that this is the first step towards a successful cooperation in which we will aim at serving noble and democratic ideals that will strongly anchor Armenia and its people to the European Union and the European family. We can only become richer with the Armenian culture, music art and poetry and brighter with the light reflecting the magic of the Masis, the Ararat and entire Armenia."

In his welcoming address the Hon. Hovik Abrahamyan said:

"Armenia's European policy is a conscious choice which is anchored in our shared valued system abundant culture and Christian heritage. Armenia is truly a part of the European civilization not only in terms of its past but also its present and its firm commitment to democracy, the rule of law, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights."  

Mr Abrahamyan went on to say:

"The creation and membership of those in the group not only justifies the great success of Armenia's European integration path but also the deep respect and warm feeling for the Armenian people. I assure you that these feeling are mutual and reciprocated."

The aim of the friendship group is to bind together Members of European Parliament who have an interest in Armenia, and will allow closer interaction between Members of the European Parliament and their counterparts within the Armenian Parliament and also officials from the Armenian government. It will act as an advisory body alongside a forum of discussion for all issues of concern and relevance to enhancing EU-Armenia relations.