Council of Europe Chairman in Armenia

YEREVAN (Armenpress–Noyan Tapan)–Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian received the Council of Europe Ministerial Committee Chairman–Latvian Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins on January 4 for a one-day visit.

According to the Armenian foreign ministry–the importance of Armenia’s accession to the Council of Europe was stressed by both sides. It was stated that Armenia’s membership in the most respected European human rights organization would foster the country’s further progress towards democracy.

Oskanian briefed the delegation on the work that had been carried out by Armenia in the legislative–executive and other areas to meet the Council of Europe requiremen’s. The foreign minister also announced the Armenian parliament’s approval of the Council of Europe Charter at its last 2000 session December 30.

Berzins spoke of the results of his visit to Baku. Also details regarding Armenia’s formal admittance to the Council of Europe–scheduled for January 17–were discussed. At Yerevan’s Zvartnots Airport–he told reporters he saw no obstacle to the simultaneous admission of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe.

According to Berzins–the results of parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan have been corrected–and this circumstance will have a positive influence on the simultaneous membership of the two countries in the prestigious pan-European organization.

The Latvian foreign minister and officials accompanying him visited the Genocide museum and monument where they laid flowers in memory of the victims. Asked about the possible negative reaction of Turkey to his visiting the Genocide commemorating memorial in Yerevan–the official noted that every country has its own world outlook–history–that every country must remember its historical past to prevent mistakes from recurring in the future.

"I am here to learn more about your country. We want to see you as members of the Council of Europe as soon as possible–hopefully at the end of this month," he emphasized.

Berzins met with Armenian Parliament Speaker Armen Khachatrian–Prime Minister Andranik Margarian and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian. He is also due to meet with Catholicos of All Armenia’s Garegin II and Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Haroutiunian.

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