Post-Council of Europe Reaction Continues – Armenian Paper


Haykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
4 May 04

Haykakan Zhamanak headlined “The Strasbourg passions have not calmed
down yet” on 4 May

On Saturday (1 May), in Zvartnots airport (Yerevan, Armenia) several
hundred armed young men met Shavarsh Kocharyan and Artashes Gegamyan
returning from Strasbourg with the following slogans: “Gegamyan –
president of Azerbaijan” and “Shavarsh Kocharyan – an agent of

As one of the young men holding the slogans said, they were angry
because Gegamyan and Shavarsh Kocharyan took our dirty linen to

Yesterday, in the National Unity party office Artashes Gegamyan and
Shavarsh Kocharyan invited a press conference. It became clear that
the latter were not insulted because of an action organized at the
airport, which Gegamyan called just a clownery. “In the municipal
offices they organized special consultations and reported how many
persons they would bring, and gathered only enough people to fit in
six buses, and they were taken to the airport.

But the most painful thing is that while the situation of the country
is really serious, our authorities are dealing with such clownery. It
is obvious that the authorities are doing everything possible to stop
the Armenian delegation’s authorities,” Artashes Gegamyan said. By the
way, the opposition members of our delegation also said that in
Strasbourg they informed Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Walter Shvimer and PACE chairman Piter Schider of the scenario
according to which Armenian events will develop. “We told them that
the Dashnaks (an opposition party – The Armenian Revolutionary
Federation – Dashnaktsutyun) will immediately say that Turks are mixed
up in this matter, in fact blaming PACE that Turks and Azeris have
levers to affect this structure.

We said that in the expected scenario the Republicans will follow the
Dashnaks, so that the Dashnaks stop speaking of 30m US dollars that
were stolen in the water system. Certainly, they were surprised if
they may be so much simple to try to suspect that the Council of
Europe is not an independent body. But as we landed in the airport and
saw that our predictions have become reality, we immediately informed
PACE that the scenario mentioned by us, has acted,” Gegamyan said. As
for Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan’s statement made last week that
the Turks, Azeris and Armenian opposition members must be praised for
discussion of Armenia’s issue in PACE, Shavarsh Kocharyan informed
that neither Turks nor Azeris participated in voting on adopting the
resolution as well as a discussion on Armenia. “They were not in the
hall. That is, our European counterparts told us that the delegations
of those two countries made a political decision not to participate in
any discussion concerning Armenia,” Shavarsh Kocharyan said.

Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Tigran Torosyan also invited
a press conference during the second part of the day. The latter
specially stressed that it is funny that some people take some
fragments from the document and comment on them as they like. “The
people are trying to appropriate nonsense victories or defeats to
themselves or their opposites. This is not a place for winning or
losing, this is not sport. This is a document which suggests
decisions,” the head of our delegation said. And as Foreign Minister
Vardan Oskanyan selected some fragments from the resolution adopted by
PACE and quoting them said about defeat of the opposition, we tried to
clarify from Tigran Torosyan if such efforts of Vardan Oskanyan were
also funny. Certainly, the latter tried to give a diplomatic shape to
Oskanyan’s announcements, but he was not successful.

So, unlike some our officials, Tigran Torosyan confessed that the
resolution adopted by PACE is a half step back from the PACE
resolution on Armenia adopted in January. “Positions of Armenia after
the January resolution were very much favourable. Today the point on
stopping the authorities took us a half step back. Certainly, it is
not desirable for our country to get such kind of decision, but it is
not late to correct everything and return our positions to the January
state,” Tigran Torosyan said.