Key Committee Begins Protocols Discussion
YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The foreign relations committee of Armenia’s National Assembly Friday began discussion of the Armenia-Turkey protocols, as the parliament parliament’s press office announced that the protocols were part of the agenda of the legislature’s new session, which convenes Monday.
Chairman of the parliament’s foreign relations committee Armen Rustamian, who represents the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, said he plans to urge parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian to remove the protocols discussion from the agenda, until his committee has had a chance to review and offer recommendations.
During preliminary discussions of the protocols on Friday the key parliamentary committee dominated by pro-government lawmakers decided to set up a five-member group to work out, within a week, a procedure in which the protocols will be discussed by the body, reported RFE/RL.
Prior to the committee meeting, a group representing political forces opposing to protocols met with parliament members the Republican and Prosperous Armenia parties, which hold the majority of the seats in parliament.
The opposition delegation included the ARF, Armenia’s Ramkavar Party, Armenia’s Democratic Party, the “New Times” party, as well as “Mayr Hairenik,” “Goyamart” and “Haigandoukht” parties.
In discussing the parliamentary phase of the Armenia-Turkey protocols, the discussion participants agreed to reconvene for future consultations.
The parliamentary press office also announced Friday that draft amendments to Armenia’s Law ‘On International Treaties’ have been placed on the legislative agenda.
Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan was present at the meeting to put forth the amendments, which concern the suspension or termination of procedures related to the signing of international treaties and agreements.
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian spoke about planned changes in the law last December. He emphasized then that Armenia “will resort to corresponding steps” if Turkey, with which it signed diplomatic agreements last October, attempts to protract their ratification, reported RFE/RL.
“I want to clarify to avoid creating the impression that the meaning of the changes is that there is a decision that we should quickly quit [the process],” Kocharyan explained in presenting the bill, reported RFE/RL.
“The Armenian side sincerely seeks to implement the protocols. On the other hand, we will never tolerate this whole process being used for advancing preconditions,” he warned.