Kocharian Meets with PACE Election Monitors

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The election-observing mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe met with Armenian President Robert Kocharian Wednesday where the head of the delegation, John Prescott, expressed his hopes that the upcoming presidential elections will be yet another step forward for Armenia on its road to democracy.
"We are resolute to hold very good elections," Kocharian told Prescott and the other commission members. "We think that the presence of the PACE missions will help promote this goal."
Prescott commented on the parliamentary elections of 2003 and 2007, noting the positive developmen’s and progress between the two. The upcoming election must be democratic and its results must be acceptable for everybody, he said.
In related news, the future mission to the Caucasus by the PACE Committee on Culture, Education and Science will be the focus of attention for the Armenian delegation to PACE, head of the delegation David Harutyunyan told journalists Wednesday.
"Raffi Hovhannissyan, who is a member of the delegaiton is holding very effective talks within the framework of the PACE Committee on Culture, Education and Science," he said. "Meetings have been held with the Chairman of the Committee, Rapporteur O’Hara as well as representatives of the Azeri delegation."
"Discussions connected with the visit of the mission still continue, and negotiations are underway," Harutyunyan said.
It’s no longer a secret for anyone in the Council of Europe that the ban by Azerbaijan to visit Nakhichevan and other areas of concern was an artificial obstacle to prevent any investigation in the region, Harutyunyan said.
The PACE Rapporteurs to Armenia are expected to arrive in Armenian after the presidential elections, according to Harutynuyan.
The visit, he noted, will most probably take place in the early summer, after which, the Armenian delegation to PACE will receive preliminary report on the visit and will have time to respond.
Discussion about Armenia’s commitmen’s to PACE will most likely be discussed next winter, he added.
Commenting on the visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan by Lord Russel Johnston, chairman of the PACE ad hoc committee on Nagorno Karabakh, Harutyunyan told reporters that Lord Johnston will meet with the leadership of the two countries to discuss issues connected with the future activity of the Committee in Karabakh.

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