Armenia: Promises Should Be Followed By Concrete Measures, Says PACE


2008-07-29 16:39:00

The release of people detained following the events of 1 and 2 March
is important to start the badly needed process of reconciliation in
Armenian society. "It should be clear that the detention of people
in relation to those events, other than those who committed grave
violent crimes, is unacceptable to the Assembly. I therefore urge
the authorities to use every means available to them to release
these people as soon as possible. Only in this way can the process
of reconciliation and dialogue be assured." said Mr de Puig, CE
press-service reports.

The President of PACE also expressed his concern about the continued
pre-trial detention of a number of opposition leaders, contrary
to the request of the Assembly. "This is an issue that should be
urgently resolved in the coming weeks" he declared. In relation to
the independent inquiry, it is clear that without the participation of
the opposition that supports Mr Ter Petrossian in the Commission set
up by the National Assembly, its work and findings will not meet the
standards of impartiality and credibility demanded by the Assembly. The
President of the Assembly therefore fully supported the proposals of
Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammerberg to constitute a separate
commission, based on parity and consensus and with the involvement of
international experts, to establish the facts with regard to the events
of 1 and 2 March. The President of PACE noted with satisfaction that
these proposals are in principle acceptable to both authorities and
opposition. The PACE President stressed that the Armenian authorities
should not wait until January to achieve tangible results on these two
issues. It is important that the authorities send a clear signal to the
Assembly of marked and irreversible progress before the next meeting
of the Monitoring Committee in September; otherwise there is a serious
risk of repercussions during the autumn session of the Assembly. Mr de
Puig made an official visit to Armenia from 23 to 24 July to deepen
co-operation between Armenia and the Assembly and to encourage the
implementation of Assembly Resolutions 1609 and 1620. During his visit
he met with the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the National
Assembly, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs as well
as, amongst others, members of the different political factions in
the Parliament. In addition, Mr de Puig met with the Human Rights
Defender, the Catholicos of All Armenians and former President Levon
Ter Petrossian. Besides the implementation of Assembly Resolutions
1609 and 1620, the President of the Assembly also discussed the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and relations between Armenia and Turkey. The
President stressed that the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh can only be
resolved through peaceful means and that any attempts to resolve the
conflict by military means would be unacceptable to the Assembly. The
President therefore expressed his full support for the efforts of
the Minsk Group to resolve the conflict based on the principles of
territorial integrity and self- determination in accordance with
international norms and principles. "The Assembly stands ready to
assist the parliaments of Azerbaijan and Armenia to help find a
lasting solution to this conflict, if they so wish." declared Mr de
Puig. The President heard with great interest about the initiatives
taken by the President of Armenia to normalise relations with Turkey,
and offered the full support and assistance of the Assembly to improve
the relations between these two member states of the Council of Europe.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS