WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America welcomes widespread international recognition that Armenia’s recently concluded Parliamentary elections represented a marked both an improvement over previous votes and yet another step in the continued strengthening of Armenia’s democratic institutions. "We appreciate the uniformly positive statemen’s affirming the free and fair conduct of Armenia’s Parliamentary elections," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "This vote – as an expression of the commitment to democratic self-government long shared by the American and Armenian peoples – strengthens the resolve of America’s leaders to stand by our fellow democracy – an island of freedom and stability in a challenging and troubled region."These Armenian elections were an improvement over previous elections and were conducted largely in accordance with international standards," said Tone Tingsgaard, a leader of the OSCE election monitoring team. Some 300 election monitors worked under the umbrella of the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM), a joint undertaking of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the European Parliament (EP). The IEOM preliminary report, the OSCE said improvemen’s include a "dynamic" election campaign "with extensive media coverage," few irregularities on election day and increased transparency in vote counting. Similarly, the European Union Presidency noted "with satisfaction that the Parliamentary elections held in Armenia on 12 May were, on the whole, conducted fairly, freely and largely in accordance with the international commitmen’s which Armenia had entered into. The Presidency welcomes the fact that, compared to previous elections, significant progress has been made." In a separate statement, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, praised the Armenian people for having "demonstrated greater political maturity through these elections." He went on to state that he is "confident that Armenia and the EU will continue to develop relations in a spirit of partnership." A May 14 statement issued by the U.S. Embassy congratulated "the Armenian people on a more successful poll than previous elections," and went on to note that, "our judgment so far is that this election was an improvement toward international standards."