Other interests: Armenian delegates think PACE fails to live up to its own values

Other interests: Armenian delegates think PACE fails to live up to its own values

Armenia is reconsidering its relationship with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), a structure that according to the head of the Armenian delegation to the PACE David Harutyunyan stands for, rather, its own interests than values.

Armenia believes that the PACE is too soft and “understanding” towards Azerbaijan, as European countries and politicians have oil and gas interests in Azerbaijan.

With this Yerevan connects the fact that the PACE president, an ethnic Turk Mevlut Cavusoglu was able to get the decision on the resumption of the work of a subcommittee on the Karabakh settlement. The work of the subcommittee is being boycotted by the Armenian delegation, which considers it impedes the settlement of the conflict.

To the question what will happen to the subcommittee on the Karabakh issue next year, after Cavusoglu’s departure from the PACE president’s post, Harutyunyan said: “Everything depends on the political situation. Unfortunately, the PACE no longer attaches importance to values. It attaches increasingly greater importance to interest.”

At the same time, the Armenian media have published information according to which the new PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon, who will serve from January, promised to stop the work on the reopening of the PACE Sub-Committee on Karabakh.

Armenia will for two more years remain under PACE monitoring on the development of its democratic institutions and the 2008 post-election events when 10 people were killed during the dispersal of demonstrators in Yerevan.

The PACE adopted a resolution on “the activities of democratic institutions in Armenia”. In its draft version the Assembly referred to prerequisite to consider the March 1, 2008 page closed. But following protests from some Armenian deputies that wording was changed. Representatives of the parliamentary opposition suggested withdrawing the point to that effect from the draft resolution. The proposal was met only partially. The wording itself was left, however, certain reservations were added, in particular, that Armenia will continue to be under monitoring and the government has the obligation to complete the investigation into the March 1, 2008 events.

And the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC), which during the days of the PACE meeting was holding round-the-clock protests in Yerevan, sees the PACE resolution as a deal between the Armenian government and European nomenclature. The ANC believes that the Assembly, like many other organizations, is a complicit in the March 1 events, as, based on its political interests, considered the elections in Armenia to be in compliance with democratic standards. Inspired by this assessment, the government decided to disperse the demonstrations, ANC leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan believes.