Eurospeak: Armenia’s status from the point of view of the Caucausus- Caspian Commission

Eurospeak: Armenia’s status from the point of view of  the Caucausus- Caspian Commission

Dennis Summut, Artur Baghdasaryan

The latest internal political developments in Armenia are a test for relations with Europe, representatives of the Caucasus-Caspian Commission expressed an opinion during the Armenia-Europe 2008 conference in Yerevan last week.

The conference discussed Armenia-Europe mutual relationship and regional issues of the South Caucasus countries with European orientation.

In particular, the main topic for discussion at the conference was the possible influence on the region of the report of the Caucasus-Caspian Commission published in December 2007 and the decision of the European Parliament on the South Caucasus taken in January 2008.

Member of the Caucasus-Caspian Commission, Executive Director of the London Information Network on Conflicts (LINKS) Dennis Sammut began his speech reflecting on the internal political situation in Armenia.

“I have no goal of interfering with your political process, Armenia’s politicians are responsible to the Armenian people and not to international organizations, however there is no doubt that the developments of the recent weeks have been a great test for relations with Europe,” he said.

“Eight deaths, regardless of circumstances, is a tragedy for the Armenian people and for Europe. All political figures must stop for a moment, since it is necessary to start the processing of healing moral wounds, wounds that were opened on March 1,” the commission’s co-rapporteur added.

Sammut says that Armenia’s authorities first of all should think about this, as well as build up confidence towards electoral processes so that “in any event winners and losers accept the election outcome.”

Speaking about regional challenges, Sammut emphasized that there are no speedy solutions to them, but the aforementioned two documents urge European leaders to understand better the problems of the region.

“The Caucasus-Caspian Commission report clearly states that Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan are already European states, it is not longer a matter for discussion, what is being discussed now is how to turn it from an abstract construction into a more tangible result,” Sammut said.

The Caucasus-Caspian Commission is a civil public initiative chaired by Dimitrij Rupel, the Foreign Minister of Slovenia, a country holding the rotating European Union presidency at the moment. The Commission includes more than 20 statesmen from different countries.

Regional countries at the Caucasus-Caspian Commission are represented by young political figures. Armenia’s representative Artur Baghdasaryan was appointed as co-chairman of the Commission.

Speaking about domestic policy issues in his speech, Baghdasaryan said: “I think that we should follow the way of deepening public-political dialogue not only with our neighbors, but also inside the country.”

The leader of Armenia’s Orinats Yerkir party expressed his confidence that the “bile and hatred that had been propagandized for several months on end would bring to violent developments.” And for this reason, according to Baghdasaryan, “today it is very important to establish the spirit of social solidarity in Armenia.”

The cochairman of the Caucasus-Caspian Commission pointed out that as part of the five-year European neighborhood program Armenia will implement large-scale reforms in the spheres of establishing democracy, improvement of mechanisms of human rights protection and in social-economic reforms.