European Union

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France wants to have ties with both Georgia and Russia

France wants to see Abkhazia and South Ossetia returned to Georgia and at the same time it wants to keep good relations with Russia, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said at a press-conference after meeting Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, News Georgia reports.

Foreign minister of Portugal visits Azerbaijan

Portugal is planning to develop cooperation with Azerbaijan in all spheres, the Foreign Minister of Portugal Luis Amado said, Trend reports. He said that the position of the two countries coincides on many issues. He also added that Azerbaijan is an active participant of the EU's Eastern Partnership initiative. The minister invited his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov to visit Lisbon.

Turkey builds special boats for Armenian pilgrims

Turkey is building special boats for Armenian pilgrims due to arrive on the island of Akhtamar on September 19 for a service in an Armenian church, anspress reports. According to Anadolu, the boat owners will not only make sure that the boats are comfortable and safe, but also that they meet the standards of EU. Building a boat takes approximately 2 months, and each one costs $42 000. There will be 40 boats for the pilgrims.

EU special representative offers Abkhazia opportunity to develop economic ties

The Special Representative of EU to the South Caucasus, Peter Semnebi, offered the government of Abkhazia the opportunity to develop economic ties, despite political disagreements, RIA Novosti reports, citing Abkhaz Premier Sergey Shamba's spokesperson.

Iranian gas export is not limited by Nabucco

The interests of Iran as a gas exporter are not limited by the Nabucco project, Iranian Minister of Oil Masud Mirkazemi said in Moscow at negotiations on Nabucco, ITAR-TASS reports. Nabucco is 3,300 km long and will connect the European Union with the gas fields of Central Asia and Middle East. The pipeline will go through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria.

Turkish leader in Slovenia

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has arrived in Slovenia for talks with Slovenian President Danilo Turk, TRT reports.During the two-day visit, the two presidents will exchange views on bilateral relations including politics, economy, commerce and culture, and seek new opportunities for future cooperation and various regional and international issues concerning the two countries.Gul will also meet Parliamentary Speaker Pavel Gantar later in the day.

Armenia sets great store by association treaty with EU

The implementation of a new Agreement on Association between Armenia and the EU promises new prospects for closer cooperation, the speaker of the Armenian National Assembly Ovik Abramyan said. Negotiations on the treaty will start on July 19, Novosti Armenia reports. He noted that this treaty symbolizes a new level of cooperation. The Armenian side carried out serious preparations to improve the effectiveness of the negotiating process, in particular structural reforms .

French parliament passes bill banning the wearing of veils in public

The French parliament has passed a bill banning the wearing of veils in public. The law has still to be ratified by the senate. If passed, the law could require women wearing face-coverings to be fined up to 150 euros.. France has the largest Muslim population in the EU, numbering around 5 million, Reuters reports.

Turkey sets dialogue with EU

In the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul ministers held a meeting ‘Political dialogue Turkey-EU’, TRT reports.Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu, the High Representative of the EU for International and Security Affairs Catherine Ashton, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule and the state minister and head of the delegation at negotiations with the EU, Egemen Bagysh, were present at the meeting.

EU to allocate 43.5 million euros in aid for Georgian refugees

The European Union will allocate 43.5 million euros in humanitarian aid to relocated displaced people in Georgia. According to the Georgian Finance Ministry, the agreement will be signed today at 04.30 AM, local time, in Rustavi, Business Georgia reports.The funds will be spent on the improvement of living conditions of displaced people.

RWE considers Nabucco best choice

The German energy concern RWE remains committed to the pipeline project Nabucco, despite its intention to consider Gazprom's proposal to participate in Russia's South Stream project, Trend reports.

EU Special Representative for South Caucasus arrives in Tbilisi

The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus has arrives in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Tuesday morning. Peter Semneby told journalists that he intends to hold a series of meetings with politicians in Georgia and also to visit Abkhazia, Trend reports."I'm going to discuss conflict resolution and EU's role in this process in Sukhumi. I look forward to an interesting and meaningful meeting in Abkhazia, including talks with leaders of the republic," he said.

Upcoming round of discussions in Geneva can be postponed

According to the South Ossetian presidential aide for a post-conflict settlement, Boris Chochiev, the 12th round of Geneva discussions on security and stability in the Caucasus may be postponed because of the ignorance of the co-chairmen about refugee's problems, reports "Georgia Today". "Two things are paramount," he said, "Security and solving the refugee problem. In the upcoming project, none of our proposals were taken into account". He pointed out that South Ossetia wants the Medvedev-Sarkozi agreements to be realised.

Third session of subcommittee on Georgian-EU cooperation

The Georgian Foreign Ministry held the third session of the subcommittee for cooperation of Georgia and the European Union on legal issues, freedom and security, Georgia Online reports.The chairs of the subcommittee are the director of the department for European integration of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, Tea Akhvlediani, and the head of the department for Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and the South Caucasus of the general directorate of foreign affairs of the European commission, John Caer.

Azerbaijan invites international observers for parliamentary elections

All the international organizations invited to observe the Azerbaijani parliamentary election have arrived, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Vagif Sadykhov said, Trend reports.He added that the Foreign Ministry had invited the UN, the OSCE, the EU, the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS and other organizations. The parliamentary elections are planned to be held in autumn 2010. The last elections were held in November 2005. The elections use a majority vote system with 125 electoral districts.

NATO Secretary Generalurges EU to be fairer to Turkey

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has urged the European Union to be fairer to Turkey, TRT reports.In an interview with a Dutch newspaper, he noted that it is important to keep close relations with Turkey as a partner of NATO and the EU. Rasmussen said that EU should take additional steps concerning Turkey’s membership. Also, the role of Turkey in EU military issues of should be extended, he said.

Role of Germany in EU South Caucasus policy discussed in Berlin

The policy of the EU in South Caucasus was discussed in Berlin, Trend reports, citing the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry. The document was prepared by the German community of foreign policy (DGAP). The head of the community's Otto Wolf institute, the deputy head of the social-democratic fraction of Bundestag, the former state secretary of the German Foreign Ministry, Gernot Erler, and the special envoy of the ministry, Patricia Flor, as well as others participated in the discussions.

Obama urges EU to accept Turkey's membership

US president Barack Obama believes Turkey should become a?full member of the European Union, he said in an interview to Italian newspaper Corriera della Sera."Turkey is a country of great strategic importance, which always linked West and East. Turkey is NATO's ally. Moreover, it's a democratic state with a majority Muslim population and it should become an important model of development for other Muslim states of the region. We believe these reasons are more than enough to accept Turkey into the EU," Obama said.

EU's Ashton welcomes Georgian outreach to breakaway zones

The European Union's top diplomatic representative, Catherine Ashton, on Thursday welcomed Georgia's plan for rapprochement with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, calling it a "significant step forward."Georgia attacked the two Russian-backed regions in August 2008. Russia responded by invading Georgia, recognizing the breakaway?entities?as independent states and stationing troops there, Trend reports.

Russian foreign minister calls on EU to open airspace for Iran Air

Russia considers the European Union can't use the Security Council resolution on Iran as reason to ban Iranian planes from carrying out flights in European airspace, ITAR-TASS reports.Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov noted that if the ban is not about flight security, but was imposed in the aftermath of resolution 1929, this would be unacceptable to Russia.The European Union said flights by Iran Air had been banned because the planes don't meet security standards.Ответ

Ahmet Davutoglu heads to London

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu will arrive in London on a one-day official visit. The meeting with new UK foreign minister will see discussion of Turkey's entry to the European Union, the issue of Cyprus, the "Freedom Flotilla" crisis and diplomatic efforts in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, TRT reports.

Catherine Ashton to visit Tbilisi in July

The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, will visit Tbilisi in late July, Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze told journalists today."Currently, talks are underway on the agenda and details of the visits," he said.Invitations were sent to both parties and now the parties will specify the details of their visits, Trend reports.

Russian-Iranian alert partnership( Part 2)

Russian-Iranian alert partnership( Part 2)

Many different events have taken place in the history of Russo-Iranian relations, both positive and negative. However, the parties have always sensed and been aware of each other's significance. 

Alexandros Petersen: Secretary Clinton’s visit to the Caucasus should be seen in the broader context of US policy

Alexandros Petersen: Secretary Clinton’s visit to the Caucasus should be seen in the broader context of US policy

A recent visit of the US Secretary of State to the Caucuses Hillary Clinton once again draw the world attention to the problems of the region. VK interviewed one of the leading experts on these issues Alexandros Petersen, senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.Do you think it was done on purpose that Clinton’s visit to the region practically coincided with president Medvedev’s visit to the US?Secretary Clinton’s visit to the region should be seen in a broader context of the US policy both: towards Russia and Eurasia.

EU restricts Iran Air's activity on its territory

The European Commission has revised the list of prohibited airlines in the EU, increasing the restrictions put on Iran Air. Two-thirds of Iran Air airplanes are now prohibited from entering the air territory of the European Union, Trend reports. "There can be no compromise when issues of air communication safety are affected. We have evidence that safety regulations are being violated and we have to secure the safety of air communications for our citizens", said European Commissioner Siim Kallas.

EU airspace closed for Iran Air

The European Air Security committee has closed EU airspace for two thirds of Iran Air planes, the committee's spokesperson Helen Kerns said, RIA Novosti reports.This measures concern all of the Iranian company's  Airbus-320, Boeing-727 and Boeing-727 planes. Kerns stressed that this decision had no political motives and was dictated by security concerns only.Iran Air is the major Iranian Air company, with a fleet of some 50 planes

US urges Armenia to revise law on radio and television

Washington has called on the Armenian authorities to revise a law on radio and television. US state secretary Hillary Clinton said at a meeting with the representatives of non-governmental organizations that Washington shares the wariness of the OSCE and the EU about the proposed law, which limits a pluralism of opinions, Armenia Today reports.

Media and Economic Forum takes place in Turkey

The Media and Economic Forum opened yesterday in Istanbul.

Turkish President: joining the EU is one of the main aims of our foreign policy

The President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, declared that there should be no doubt about the course of the country’s foreign policy and that Turkey is a part of Europe,

Iran sends warning letter to EU

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has sent a letter to European countries about the tightening of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and warned of possible negative consequences for the European Union, Trend reports.According to available information, the letter was delivered to EU officials. The letter also states that the imposition of sanctions against Iran will inflict more damage on European countries than on Iran.