U.S. Welcomes Dialogue on Political Reforms in Armenia

06 May 2004

U.S. Welcomes Dialogue on Political Reforms in Armenia
Davidson calls on authorities to investigate assaults on political activists

The United States welcomes the recent dialogue on political reforms between
the Armenian government and opposition parties, and sees the new law on
demonstrations and rallies passed by the National Assembly as a “step in the
right direction” towards greater political freedom, U.S. diplomat Douglas
Davidson told the OSCE Permanent Council May 6.

Davidson also called on Armenian authorities to “fully investigate” recent
assaults on political activists.

Following are Davidson’s remarks:

(begin text)

United States Mission to the OSCE


As delivered by Deputy Representative Douglas Davidson to the Permanent

May 6, 2004

Mr. Chairman, the United States is pleased that Armenian parliamentarians
from the governing coalition and opposition parties met on April 26 and 27.
We encourage both sides to continue meeting and to work within the
constitutional process to promote political reform in Armenia.

The United States has long been concerned about the practice of
administrative detention and the Soviet-era Code of Administrative Offenses
still in force in Armenia.

We note that the new law on Public Demonstrations, Gatherings and Rallies,
passed by the National Assembly on April 28, is a step in the right
direction. However, we encourage the government to work with the Council of
Europe and other experts to further refine the law to bring it fully in line
with international standards.

We also look to the Armenian authorities to fully investigate recent
assaults on political activists and we look forward to the swift and
thorough resolution of these cases.

Thank you very much.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: )