Prime Minister Stresses Importance of Council of Europe Membership

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The new situation in Armenia will not produce any impact on Armenia’s candidacy to membership of the Council of Europe–Rapporteur on Armenia of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Demetrio Volchich said at his meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Aram Sargsyan November 10.

Volchich presented his condolences to the Armenian prime minister in connection with the tragic events on October 27. He positively assessed of a number of legislative initiatives of the Armenian authorities and other measures aimed at settling the problem of Armenia’s PACE member candidacy.

"Armenia’s membership to the European community will promote social solidarity in the country–investmen’s–creation of new jobs–and integration into the regional economy," Volchich said.

In his turn–Sargsyan stated that his readiness to continue Vazgen Sargsyan’s policy based on the creation of efficient economic mechanisms and powerful democracy. He pointed out that Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe is of strategic importance to the country.

The sides also addressed the Karabakh settlement–and stressed the importance of the Kocharian-Aliyev meetings. They also addressed the issue of Armenia’s participation in the OSCE Summit in Istanbul.

Volchich also met with Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly Armen Khachatrian November 10.

Presenting the current situation in the country–Khachatrian addressed the activities of the Unity parliamentary faction and pointed out that the main goal of the bloc led by Karen Demirchian and Vazgen Sargsyan was Armenia’s prosperity and progress. He reported that the active cooperation between the government and Parliament promised to be constructive and effective. The Unity faction–the Parliament majority–set itself a goal to establish active cooperation with other factions and deputy groups. Legislation which would meet the requiremen’s of the Council of Europe and European standards of freedom of speech–press–conscience and human rights was to have been developed.

Khachatrian highly appreciated the steps taken towards the Karabakh settlement and stressed that the parties’ mutual willingness to settle the conflict by means of negotiations can be observed. The latest meetings between the Armenian and Azeri presidents and the regular meetings between the leaders of parliamen’s of the three Transcaucasian states testify to this fact.

The speaker of the Armenian Parliament reported that the political forces represented in Parliament currently intend to cooperate in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Khachatrian expressed the opinion that the tragic events on October 27 will not produce any impact on democratic processes or hinder them.

In his turn–Volchich assured Khachatrian that the act of terrorism committed in the Parliament has no connection with the democratic processes in Armenia that are in a realistic and correct course. "If we were not sure of it–this visit–which was planned a month ago–would not take place today–we would be expecting further developmen’s," Volchich said.

According to the PACE representative–the unity between the authorities and people is evident in Armenia today. He expressed confidence that the Parliament’s new leadership will continue constructive activities–and democratic processes will develop. Volchich pointed out that there are no changes in viewpoints and positions concerning Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe

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