Armenia authorities, opposition agree on start of dialogue

Armenia authorities, opposition agree on start of dialogue

May 11 2004

YEREVAN, May 11 (Itar-Tass) – Armenia’s authorities and the opposition
have succeeded in agreeing on the start of a political dialogue and
the formulation of an agenda for talks, Parliament Speaker Artur
Bagdasaryan announced here on Monday night at the close of a regular
meeting between officials of the ruling pro-president coalition and
the opposition.

Bagdasaryan said, “Political consultations that have been held in the
parliament of Armenia from February to May have yielded the first
positive results,” said the Speaker’s statement circulated by the
parliamentary press service.

Members of the factions represented in the National Assembly “agreed
on the start of a political dialogue. An appropriate agenda is to be
formulated on May 13,” the Parliament Speaker pointed out.

The demand for a political dialogue between Armenia’s authorities
and the opposition is contained in a resolution passed by the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that considered the
internal political situation in Armenia on April 28.

The opposition continues to insist on President Robert Kocharyan’s
resignation. The opposition also demands that that the arrested
activists of the opposition be released, that the opposition be given
airtime in live television broadcasts, that residents of Armenia’s
regions be given an unimpeded access to Yerevan for participation in
anti-government actions.

The authorities of the republic refer to the opposition actions as
“manifestations of political extremism”. The opposition rally that
took place in downtown Yerevan on the night from April 12 to13 was
dispersed by police.

The opposition has taken a time-out in the holding of meetings in
Yerevan for the period from the coming Wednesday to May 14.