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 Friday, October 22 2021 14:57
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Speaker of Armenian Parliament held talks with CoE Secretary General, Head of OSCE PA and Vice- President of French Senate

Speaker of Armenian Parliament held talks with CoE Secretary General,  Head of OSCE PA and Vice- President of French Senate

ArmInfo. Within the  framework of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament of  the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) the RA NA  President Alen Simonyan had a meeting with the Secretary General of  the Council of Europe (CoE) Maria Pejcinovic Buric.

Thanking the CoE Secretary General for the meeting, the RA NA  President noted that this year turned 20 years of Armenia's  membership to the Council of Europe, highlighting the cooperation  with the Council of Europe and the support of the organization to the  process of democratic reforms going on in our country.

He highly assessed the role of the CoE and PACE monitoring structures  in strengthening democracy in Armenia and the work done within the  framework of the initiated reforms.  Alen Simonyan touched upon the  observation of the snap parliamentary elections held in Armenia in  June 2021 and the given high evaluation.

The sides referred to the large scale war unleashed against Artsakh  by Azerbaijan and the post-war situation. Alen Simonyan has stressed  that Azerbaijan continues holding Armenian prisoners of war and the  civilians in hostage, and initiating false criminal proceedings. The  Speaker of the legislative body underlined the necessity of keeping  this problem in the centre of attention by PACE.

Issues regarding human rights and democracy were discussed.

At a meeting with Margareta Cederfelt Alen Simonyan highly  appreciated the role of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in the  development of inter-parliamentary dialogue. The President of the  National Assembly of Armenia stressed the important role of  parliamentary diplomacy in the currently environment of international  relations. In the context of security and lasting regional peace, the  parties raised issues related to the deliberate shelling of the  Armenian civilian population and civilian infrastructure during the  hostilities unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh, the immediate  repatriation of prisoners of war and captured civilians held by  Azerbaijan.

Cederfelt praised the early parliamentary elections in Armenia in  June 2021, adding that a full report on them will be ready soon. She  stressed the importance of democracy in all electoral and  post-electoral processes.

At the meeting with Pascale Gruny Simonyan noted that meetings with  French colleagues are always distinguished by a warm and friendly  environment. The sincere friendship between the two countries and  peoples is also evidenced by the support provided by France and its  people to Armenia and the Armenian people last year - in countering  the coronavirus pandemic and during the war. In this context, they  also mentioned the adoption by both chambers of the French parliament  of resolutions condemning the Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression, as well  as calling for the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

The head of the RA legislative body stressed that Armenia has always  highly appreciated the weighty role of France as the co-chairing  country of the OSCE Minsk Group - the only internationally recognized  format for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The parties touched upon inter-parliamentary relations, noting their  special role in the development and enrichment of the political  dialogue between Armenia and France.

The Vice-President of the French Senate conveyed to A. Simonyan the  invitation of the President of the Senate to visit the French  Republic. She also presented the proposal of the Chairperson of the  Senate to sign in the near future a Memorandum on cooperation with  the RA National Assembly. The conversation also touched upon the  effective Armenian-French parliamentary cooperation at multilateral  platforms.

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