Armenian assembly promotes cooperation with diaspora, supporters abr

Armenian assembly promotes cooperation with diaspora, supporters abroad

AP Online
Jun 18, 2004

Armenian lawmakers met with ethnic Armenian and other colleagues from
foreign legislatures on Friday for the first plenary session of a
group called the Armenian Parliamentary Assembly of Friendship.

About 70 delegates from countries including the United States, Russia,
France, Canada, Georgia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Argentina, Brazil and Iran
took part, reflecting the global reach of the diaspora from this small,
economically struggling Caucasus Mountain nation.

The stated goal of the assembly is to join forces to improve democracy
in Armenia _ where the opposition says President Robert Kocharian
won a second term last years in fraud-marred elections _ to solve
problems facing the country and Armenians abroad.

“We have accumulated great experience in work with the diaspora and
with those countries where there are Armenian communities, and we are
interested in deepening and enriching it in all ways,” Kocharian told
the group.

Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian said lawmakers should work to develop
the economy and democracy in Armenia, achieve international recognition
of what Armenians call a genocide of up to 1.5 million Armenians by
Turks in 1915-1923, and settle the conflict with Azerbaijan over the
disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The assembly is expected to hold plenary sessions twice a year in
the capital, Yerevan.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress