ARF and Europe’s Socialists Meet

BRUSSELS (ARF Press Service)–A meeting between the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Party of European Socialists met Wednesday at the European Parliament to discuss the development of peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

The meeting was presided over by Miguel Angel Martinez of Spain, who hailed his long running relations with Armenia’s and the ARF, saying the purpose of the meeting was to express solidarity with Armenia’s and the ARF.

Present at the meeting were 11 PES delegates and staff. The ARF was represented by the ARF’s representative to Socialist International and co-chairman of SI’s CIS, Black Sea and Caucasus Commission Bureau member Mario Nalbandian; Bureau member and chairman of the ARF parliamentary bloc Vahan Hovannesian; chairman of the Armenians parliamentary commission on foreign relations Armen Rustamian; ARF Political Affairs Director Giro Manoyan; ARF Western Europe Central Committee chairman Richard Ananian; ARF Greece Central Committee member Ricardo Yerganian and European Armenian Federation for Justice chairman Hilda Tchoboian.

In his welcoming remarks, Nalbandian conveyed the ARF Bureau’s decision to strengthen relations with Socialist parties and said that the meeting aimed at furthering relations. “We are here to hear and make our positions heard,” said Nalbandian.

Welcoming remarks were also presented by a member of the Green Party and the chairperson of the Europarliament delegation to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, Marianne Izler Begen of France.

The meeting continued with its agenda and the following panels:

The first panel focused on the current state of the South Caucasus with Manoyan being joined by Romania’s former foreign minister Adrienne Steven on the panel.

The second topic was Euro-Armenian relations with Havannesian and Rustamian being joined by members of the Europarliament’s foreign relations committee, Bulgaria’s Yevgeni Kirilov, on the panel.

Hovannesian and the Vice-President of the Europarliament’s Socialist bloc Ian Marinous Viesemaine presented suggestions for peace and stability in the South Caucasus for the third panel.

At the end of the meeting, all parties concluded the importance of such meetings and pledged to continue organizing similar events in an effort to strengthen relations, as well as obtain tangible solutions to issues of the South Caucasus.

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