Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 January

Armenian President’s participation in PACE winter sitting is significant– Vice Speaker Hovhannisyan

YEREVAN, JANUARY 22, ARMENPRESS. Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Arpine Hovhannisyan, who also serves as head of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) highlights the participation of President Serzh Sargsyan in the upcoming sitting of the assembly.

In an interview to ARMENPRESS Hovhannisyan said the participation of the Armenian President is important not only in terms of the signing of the Armenia-EU agreements, but also in the context of global developments and presentation of the country’s views over vital issues.

Hovhannisyan also touched upon the agenda of the PACE sitting, the procedure of electing a new president of the structure, and the decision of delegation member Hermine Naghdalyan on leaving and rumors on disagreements with her.

Ms. Hovhannisyan, the winter session of PACE will take place January 22-26. Are there issues in the agenda concerning Armenia, or are there issues which might interest us?


If your question concerns issues relating to the interests of Armenia, there are no such issues in the agenda. There are issues in which terms related to Armenia existed, but now they don. However we shouldn’t lose vigilance and we must be attentive. For example, the reports include Azerbaijani delegate Sevinj Fataliyeva’s report on “Protection of Children Affected by Armed Conflicts”, which currently doesn’t include any formulations relating to Armenia. Overall the agenda is rather busy. The visits of both the Austrian President, the Danish PM – on the sidelines of their chairmanship, as well as Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is expected to the assembly.

To what extent do you highlight Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s participation in the works of the sitting of the reputable international parliamentary structure, especially in the context of the Armenia-EU agreement signing that overall further strengthening of cooperation between the sides?

I highlight this visit not only in the context of the question which you mentioned. Undoubtedly, after the signing of the Armenia-EU agreement, it is the first participation of the Armenian President in a multilateral format in the work of such structure and it is extremely important to present Armenia’s stance. And, essentially, there is a very interesting and symbolic moment, because in 2013 the President was again delivering a speech in PACE when Armenia had announced joining the Customs Union, and specifically in this case, by signing the agreement with the EU Armenia is recording and presenting itself as the only state which can have signed agreements with two such structures. And from this perspective, I believe it will be interesting for our European partners to listen to our experience. Certainly, European officials mention that Armenia is unique in this context, one can say the only one, who has signed agreements in similar formats. And overall, I think the President’s participation in the sitting is extremely important both in terms of global developments and the presentation of our views regarding matters of vital importance for us.

She also mentioned that Michele Nicoletti is the candidate for new PACE president. Hovhannisyan said the Armenian delegation has cooperated with Nicoletti for a long time, and that she is an acceptable candidate for the Armenian delegation because she has displayed unbiased approach on all issues.

The full interview is available in Armenian.

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