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7th Annual Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting

Foreign Ministers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, as well as from the EU Member States gathered in Brussels today for the 7th annual Eastern Partnership (EaP) Foreign Ministers' meeting. The meeting takes place exactly one year since the EaP Summit in Riga, and serves as a platform for discussing reform progress in the six countries and reaffirming the EU's commitment to the region's security, stability and prosperity, a press release from the EEAS said.

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini chairs the meeting. “Let me … mention the fact that we are having, just now, a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of the Eastern partners. It is a very important meeting in between the two Summits in Riga last year and the one coming up next year. This is extremely important for us to always keep the balance between our attention to the South and to the East in different issues that, even when they get a little bit out of the mainstream media, keep a top position on our agenda. This is the case of our work with Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, but also Belarus as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan, of whom I met the Presidents in Vienna last week before their meeting”,- remarks Federica Mogherini .

Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations is also present at the event.

According to the EEAS, reform remains at the heart of the EaP and the EU is committed to match each Partner's own ambitions on their reform path. “For Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, this is set out in comprehensive Association Agreements. New agreements are foreseen with Armenia and Azerbaijan, while relations with Belarus are evolving,” the EU press release highlighted.

The Foreign Ministers’ meeting will define activities ahead of next year's EaP Summit: from stepping up cooperation in areas that will deliver tangible benefits for citizens, including in education, training and research, to facilitating youth employability, innovation and entrepreneurship through the Erasmus+, Creative Europe and Horizon 2020 programmes, the EEAS said.

On 12 October 2015 the Foreign Affairs Council authorised the European Commission and the High Representative to open negotiations on a new, legally binding and overarching agreement with Armenia, and adopted the corresponding negotiating mandate. The official launch of negotiations took place on 7 December 2015. The new agreement will replace the current EU-Armenia Partnership and Cooperation agreement.

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7th Annual Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting
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