Formula For A Dialogue

Lilit Poghosyan

Hayots Ashkhar Daily
Published on July 02, 2008

A Dialogue without Preconditions

In response to our questions, RPA representative HERMINE NAGHDALYAN,
member of the PACE Armenian Delegation, presents her assessments on
Resolution # 1620 which came to replace Resolution 1609 as a result
of the PACE discussions "devoted to" Armenia.

"The proponents of Mr. Ter-Petrosyan insist that our delegation managed
to misguide the Europeans and get a ‘feeble’ resolution passed by the
Council of Europe, thus mitigating the tough positions enshrined in
Resolution # 1609. Do you share this viewpoint?"

"It doesn’t matter what the delegation managed to do; the important
thing is what our state and people gained as a result. The PACE
Resolution and the Council of Europe in general do, anyway, have
a certain mission. And that mission does not consist in praising
someone and condemning the other.

The task of the Council of Europe is to help us and propose mechanisms
enabling our country to continue its path towards democracy and be
able to resolve the challenges it faces.

This is how I personally imagine and estimate both resolutions, and
I do really see our cooperation and the activities of our delegation
in the Parliamentary Assembly.

For me, it doesn’t much matter to what extent the assessments on
Resolution 1620 were mild or balanced. Much more essential is the

In my opinion, the first thing enshrined in the document is the
political will of the Armenian authorities to resolve the existing
situation and move forward towards democracy, even though such will
is still estimated as unsatisfactory."

"Will we manage to establish ‘perfect democracy’ in our country
by January?"

"To my mind, the essential thing is to make right decisions and move
along the path. As regards the time limits, these are, after all,
conventionalities. We should realize that democracy is not a static
condition; it is a process, and if we are ready for it and willing
to pass through that path, it should make itself visible. And our
state and people should be the first to see it."

"Despite being more balanced than the preceding document, the
Resolution seems to be mostly focusing on the authorities, and it
says almost nothing about the tasks of the opposition. Moreover,
there is an impression that the opposition possesses only rights,
without any obligations."

"By saying balanced, we mean that certain assessments have been
made with regard to the behavior, attitude and manifestations of
both parties.

It’s a different matter that more assessments were made with regard
to the authorities, and they are required to do more. I consider this
approach logical.

But there is such a saying: tango is a dance for two people, and
sometimes one of them has to take a step backwards. I repeat that
we, both the authorities and the opposition, are going to solve the
problems faced by our country and people together."

"The authorities seem to have already taken that backward step. In
particular, they have mitigated their attitude towards holding the
organizers and perpetrators of the March 1-2 events accountable with
the strict enforcement of the law. Many of them were subjected to
conditional sentence, and the precautionary measure against others
was changed. Some people have been acquitted. Whereas the opposition
continues to set preconditions through ultimatums."

"I believe after the adoption of this Resolution there will be a
backward step inside the opposition camp as well. As regards the
preconditions, there can be only one precondition for all kinds of
dialogues; that is, a dialogue without preconditions."

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