Kocharian Discusses Armenia’s Council Obligations With Top Parties

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Robert Kocharian and leaders of the main political parties discussed commitmen’s to be made by Armenia for its impending membership in the Council of Europe at a meeting on Tuesday–the second in four days. Agreement was reached on a set of measures that will bring Armenia’s legislation into conformity with the standards of the influential organization promoting democracy and human rights–participants said.

According to Vartan Ayvazian–chairman of the second-biggest Stability group in parliament–there is a consensus among all parties represented in the National Assembly that a number of legal amendmen’s should be enacted in time for a crucial meeting of the Council of Europe’s political committee. The committee which will meet in Paris on March 7 will make a final recommendation on whether or not Armenia qualifies for accession. A report submitted to it by an Italian rapporteur in December advocated Armenia’s membership. But it also said Yerevan should assume a number of obligations on human rights–legal and judicial reform and commit itself to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Some of these obligations require changes in the country’s legislation.

The membership issue was also discussed on Tuesday at a session of the Armenian security council–in a sign of its importance for the authorities. Ayvazian told RFE/RL that Kocharian and the party leaders also agreed to hold a separate meeting on the political situation in Armenia–which has been volatile since the assassinations in parliament. Their previous gathering held on Friday focused on economic and foreign policy matters.


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