The Council of Europe on Thursday launched its “Action Plan” for Armenia, official Yerevan warned of threats of more imminent attacks by Azerbaijan.
The Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berge was in Yerevan on Tuesday at an official “Action Plan” presentation, during which Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan warned that the threat for renewed escalation by Azerbaijan remains high.
“We live in a region full of security threats. It’s more than two months that the humanitarian crisis in Nagorno Karabakh continues as a result of Azerbaijan’s blockade of Lachin corridor,” Mirzoyan said in his speech at the event.
He said that Azerbaijan continues to keep Armenian prisoners of war and civilians captive and the fate of many missing persons and victims of forced disappearances remains unknown.
Sovereign territories of Armenia continue to remain under Azerbaijani occupation as a result of attacks in May and November of 2021 and September of 2022. “And the danger of Azerbaijan instigating a new escalation remains high,” Mirzoyan said.
In his presentation, Berge, the Council of Europe official, explained that the so-called “Action Plan” represented a crucial part of the overall cooperation between the Council and Armenia.
He said that Armenia has been a member of the Council of Europe for more than two decades and has continually made important contributions in the organization, and at the same time benefited from the organization’s expertise and joint cooperation.
Berge added that it has been interesting to follow the evolution of the relationship and new initiatives over the years, including major reforms.
“The Council of Europe has very much appreciated the excellent cooperation with Armenia and the progress made in several areas, at least through the most recent joint action plan which concluded last year. What has been achieved within that framework is substantial and significant,” Berge added, citing Armenia’s new judicial and criminal codes, as well as Yerevan’s anti-corruption strategy and other reforms of key importance.
“The new action plan we are launching today is designed to help Armenia take further steps forward in dealing with them,” Berge added.
The action plan includes new areas of cooperation in the plan, such as freedom of expression, also for the media, measures to protect personal data, social and labor rights, environment, good governance, local government reforms, joint fight against cybercrime and other areas.
“Overall it is intended to make life better for the people of this great country, underpinned by the commitment from the Armenian authorities and with the support and cooperation of the Council of Europe. Looking back, much has been achieved in this country in recent times, but together we can achieve yet more. I am very grateful to the Armenian authorities for their firm determination and political commitment , as well as to the EU and all the partners and donors who are providing the financial support required,” Berge said.