European Parliament Adopts Resolution on Armenia

Strasburg, France–The European Parliament Thursday adopted a resolution on Armenia’s post-election situation.
The European Parliament expressed its concern at the recent developmen’s in Armenia. The Parliament called for a prompt, thorough, transparent, independent and impartial investigation into the violent police crackdown on opposition demonstrations earlier this month.
The resolution also called on the Council of Europe and the European Commission to offer EU assistance to the Armenian authorities for such an investigation.
Speaking on behalf of the European Commission, Commissioner Louis Michel said the Commission will be giving Armenia EU assistance in the field of police and judiciary cooperation.
Referring to the European Neighborhood Policy, the Commissioner qualified the balance of Armenia as being "more and more positive". He also added that a third of the European cooperation budget granted to Armenia is dedicated to reforming its judicial system.
The resolution also called on the Armenian authorities to lift the State of emergency, mitigated by a presidential decree on 10 March 2008.
The European Parliament also expressed its supports for EU special representatives and the OSCE in their efforts to "facilitate dialogue between the political forces and to investigate the possibilities to resolve the political crisis in Armenia".
An amendment tabled by the European Popular Party-Christian Democrats and adopted during a plenary session by the Parliamentarians mentioned the difficult situation in the South Caucasus. The blockade imposed by Turkey, it said, threatens Armenia’s economy and regional stability as a whole.
The resolution also regrets the loss of life during Azerbaijan’s ceasefire violations along the Nagorno-Karabakh border and calls on all sides to return to the negotiation table.
"We welcome the European Parliament’s fair and balanced reaction regarding the regrettable developmen’s which occurred in Armenia, stated Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy. "This resolution proves that Europe has the sincere will to help Armenia overcome its current difficulties."
"After 70 years of totalitarian rule, Armenia has been developing a system of democracy for only 17 years. We are convinced that these deplorable events must be seen in this context: a normal growth crisis of this young Republic’s evolution towards a State of Law," Tchoboian added. "The authorities and the opposition have to draw the right conclusions from this crisis in order to work for a progressive and reinforced democratization."

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