Successful Elections in Armenia a Stepping Stone for Council of Europe Membership

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Presidium issued a statement Tuesday–saying discussions on Armenia’s proposed membership to the Council would begin immediately in light of the country’s recent successful presidential elections.

The statement was issued by Demetrio Volcic–who arrived in Armenia as an observer from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. His report said the Council of Europe and OSCE evaluated the presidential elections in Armenia as comparatively positive–though there had been violations which did not reflect on the election outcome. These results correctly reflect the will of the population. The report of the Council of Europe mission also says that as compared to the election of 1996–this presidential election showed clear progress in the process of establishment of democracy in Armenia–and is a decisive step towards Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe.

A delegation of the National Assembly of Armenia led by the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee–Hovhannes Igitian–left for Strasbourg–Monday–to attend the session of the Council of Europe Interparliamentary Assembly on April 20-24.

The agenda of the session provides for discussions of issues of democratic activities of parliamentarians–UN reforms–as well as cooperation between the Council of Europe Interparliamentary Assembly and the European Union.

The activities of the International Organization of Migration and the Council of Europe Convention on Environmental Protection by Means of Criminal Law are also expected to be addressed.


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