PACE Rapporteurs Meet with Parliament Say ‘No Sanctions against Armenia’

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament Arthur Baghdasarian received on Thursday the co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Jerzy Jaskiernia and Ren Andr–as well as one of the co-secretaries of the Commission Valrie Clamer to discuss issues relating to Armenia’s fulfillment of its commitmen’s before the Council of Europe (CE).

Speaker Baghdasarian said that Armenia’s leadership is determined to fulfill its commitmen’s before the CE and that the Parliament will discuss the ratification of Protocol 6 in the beginning of its autumn sessions. Referring to other commitmen’s–Baghdasarian said that the Parliament is focused on reforming Armenia’s Constitution and Election Code and is considering the creation of an ombudsman institution to examine Armenia’s integration into European structures.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting–Jaskiernia said–"We expect that Protocol 6 will be ratified by Armenia before PACE’s plenary session slated for September. I think that the Armenian authorities want to cooperate with the CE; we place great emphasis on cooperating with the Armenian delegation in the CE–and hope that at the January session–we will be able to report that Armenia has completely fulfilled its commitmen’s."

He spoke of other commitmen’s that must be fulfilled during the coming months. Jaskiernia stressed that laws must be implemented to reform the electoral system–military service requirement–pluralism–and freedom of the press. He also outlined the importance of implementing constitutional reforms.

Referring to the ratification of the Armenian delegation’s credentials at PACE–Jaskiernia said that Armenia must be given a chance to fulfill its commitmen’s before the January session. "I hope that the credentials of the Armenian delegation are ratified so that Armenia can take steps forward."

Co-rapporteur Andr–also referring to the ratification of the delegation’s credentials–said that no sanctions would be applied. "I am optimistic–and I think that Armenia will fulfill its CE commitmen’s," he stressed. He added that he was satisfied with the results of the meeting with the Armenian Parliament.

"I think Armenia believes it is necessary to bring its systems to European standards–but there is still much work to do–particularly regarding the death penalty issue. I am sure that in the near future Armenia will finally ratify Protocol 6. And be assured that the CE is aware of the importance of this step that Armenia must take in order to fully cooperate with the CE and EU," stressed Andr.

He said that his delegation has also discussed the death penalty issue with the political opposition of Armenia and that they have a political position regarding the elimination of the death penalty. Andr did not say if the opposition’s stance was positive or negative–but stated that there was a time when he also was among the political opposition in France–and understands what the situation is like. ** Protocol 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights abolishes the death penalty in peacetime.

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