Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Commission Vice-President, will visit South Caucasus this week to reaffirm the strong commitment of the European Union to the region. She will start her visit in Azerbaijan on Tuesday, then continue to Georgia on Wednesday and Armenia on Thursday.
“The main aim of my visit is to show the commitment of the European Union to the South Caucasus,” said Catherine Ashton ahead of her visit. “Over the last year – in the context of the renewed European Neighbourhood Policy and Eastern Partnership – we have engaged in a process of significant strengthening of our relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, including through negotiations of Association Agreements. We are very keen to see the three countries progress with the necessary reforms, with European values as the guiding light. We also want to see steps forward in the resolution of conflicts.”
In Baku, HRVP Ashton will meet Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Prime Minister Arthur Rasi-Zade and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
In Tbilisi, she will hold talks with President Mikheil Saakashvili and Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze; she will also meet the Head of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia Andrzej Tyszkiewicz.
In Yerevan, Catherine Ashton will have meetings with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.