PACE Committee Discusses Armenia’s CE Membership

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) met in Rome June 12-13 to discuss the proposal of the Committee for Legal Affairs regarding the introduction of certain changes in the terms set to Armenia as requiremen’s for admission to the Council of Europe. The Committee for Legal Affairs held its meeting in Cyprus in late May during which it decided to introduce certain technical changes in the list of requiremen’s set to Armenia for membership in the Council of Europe that had already been accepted by Armenia by that time. The Committee for Legal Affairs–in particular–suggests that penitentiary facilities be transferred from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to that of the Ministry of Justice not within this year but immediately after the country’s joins the Council of Europe. The Chairman of the NA Standing Foreign Relations Commission Hovhannes Hovhannissian managed to convince the members of the PACE Political Affairs Committee that a year’s term is connected solely with technical and financial problems.

The Committee for Legal Affairs recommended the Armenian side to adopt a law on alternative military service within four years–but due to the efforts of the Armenian delegation in Rome the sides came to an agreement regarding a minimal term of 3 years. The issue of the maximal term is still to be discussed.

Armenia’s delegation to the PACE led by Hovhannes Hovhannissian will call a press conference at the National Assembly on June 23 before leaving for Strasbourg.

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