Igitian Speaks at Council of Europe Meeting

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–An Armenian parliamentary delegation attended the regular session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly April 22-24 in Strasbourg. The agenda included issues relative to the presidential elections in Armenia–United Nations reforms–migration–and regulation of radioactive waste.

Hovannes Igitian–chairman of the parliament standing Committee on Foreign Relations said at a news conference on Tuesday that the report on the presidential elections in Armenia was softer than expected. Indeed–according to Igitian–reporters’ preliminary conclusions on Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe is subject to changes–because it mentioned the importance of holding elections with a new election law–improvement of the political situation in Armenia–and the Karabakh problem.

And–currently–according to Igitian–almost all political forces of Armenia are ready for the adoption of a new election law with no suspended political parties. Regarding the Karabakh issue–the Armenian delegation suggested that the Council of Europe representatives visit Karabakh and themselves assess the essence of the problem there. According to Igitian–Council of Europe representatives will visit Karabakh in June.

At the discussion on UN reforms–Igitian emphasized that Azerbaijan’s accusations against Armenia are groundless–because–in reality–hostilities are between armed forces of Azerbaijan and Karabakh. He said that Azerbaijan’s propagandist assertion that Russia has allegedly supplied Armenia with $1 billion worth of arms is not true either. In this regard–a trilateral commission was formed and has already thoroughly investigated the case. Igitian noted that it would be better if the United Nations reacted more quickly to human rights violations which would prevent further confrontation when a state launches military action against national minorities.

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