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The MEPs adopted a critical but concurrent urgent resolution concerning the crisis in Armenia
Strasburg – France – The European Parliament adopted an urgent resolution yesterday on the situation which prevails in Armenia since the State of emergency was instituted after the presidential elections of February 19th, 2008.

By this resolution, the European Parliament “expresses its concern at recent developments that have taken place in Armenia, with the violent police crackdown on opposition demonstrations”. The Parliament “calls for a prompt, thorough, transparent, independent and impartial investigation of the events” and “calls on the Council and the Commission to offer EU assistance to the Armenian authorities for such an investigation”.

The Commissioner Louis Michel intervened on behalf of the European Commission and answered Parliament’s requests by giving Armenia EU assistance in the field of police and judiciary cooperation. Referring to the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Commissioner qualified the balance of Armenia as being “more and more positive”. He also added that a third of the European cooperation budget granted to Armenia is dedicated to reform its judicial system.

In an obvious show of appeasement, the resolution also calls on the Armenian authorities to “lift the State of emergency, mitigated by a presidential decree on 10 March 2008” and “take all measures necessary to ensure the return to normality”. The European Parliament also supports the EU special representatives and OSCE in their efforts to “facilitate dialogue between the political forces and to investigate the possibilities to resolve the political crisis in Armenia”.

An amendment which was tabled by the EPP group (European Popular Party- Christian Democrats) and adopted in plenary session by the whole of the MEPs mentioned the difficult situation in the South Caucasus because of the blockade imposed by Turkey, which “threatens Armenia’s economy and the regional stability”. Moreover, referring to the recent attacks led by Azerbaijan thanks to the internal disrupted situation in Armenia, the resolution regrets the loss of life during the attacks and “calls on all sides to return to the negotiation table”.

“We welcome the European Parliament’s fair and balanced reaction regarding the regrettable developments which occurred in Armenia. This resolution proves that Europe has the sincere will to help Armenia to overcome its current difficulties, and we think that, by its repercussions in Armenia, it will be useful to reach the objective”, declared Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.

“After 70 years of totalitarian regime, Armenia has been developing a system of democracy for only 17 years. We are convinced that these deplorable events must be seen in this context: a normal growth crisis of this young Republic’s evolution towards a State of Law. The authorities and the opposition have to draw the right conclusions from this crisis in order to work for a progressive and reinforced democratisation”, concluded Hilda Tchoboian.


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