Rep. Hastings Meets With Oskanian Baghdasaryan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and National Assembly Speaker Artur Baghdasaryan held separate meetings Tuesday with Congressman and Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Alcee Hastings.

The Foreign Ministry press service said the minister highly praised Hastings’ personal contribution to the OSCE PA activity and particularly pointed out the organization of its session in Washington in July.

Noting the dynamic development of the Armenian-American relations–the two discussed issues of mutual interests–specifically emphasizing the organization of the constitutional reforms referendum–scheduled for Nov. 27.

Oskanian presented Hastings with an outline of Armenia’s domestic political situation as it prepares for the Constitutional Referendum.

The sides also discussed regional issues including the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict resolution and Armenian-Turkish relations.

National Assembly speaker Baghdasaryan also met with Hastings who was accompanied by US ambassador to Armenia John Evans.

The Parliament press office said they discussed a set of issues on fostering cooperation between the Armenian parliament and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

Hastings was quoted by the press office as saying that the US government is doing everything possible to create the best possibilities for Armenia to display its adherence to democracy in the course of 2007 and 2008 national elections.

"On November 27 (Armenia’s Constitutional Referendum) you will have an opportunity to show to the world that Armenia is moving towards democracy development," Hastings said.

He added that he had read the proposed amendmen’s–which call for clear separation of branches of power–vesting the judiciary system with greater independence and ensuring higher level of human protection.

Baghdasaryan spoke in favor of the international community’s approach to the region’s countries–as suggested by the political developmen’s–saying that an Azeri-Cyprus confrontation should not hold up EU plans to foster its diverse ties with other countries of the region.

The press office said also the problem of human trafficking was also discussed.

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