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Interviews, articles and comments

Answers of Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to the questions of Aravot daily


Question: Mr. Minister, recently demonstrations have been organized in front of our diplomatic missions abroad. How do you view such actions?

Edward Nalbandian: Certainly, our compatriots living abroad have the right to express their views about the events taking place in our Homeland. However, I do not think that intruding the diplomatic missions of Armenia, hindering their work, as well as attempting to discredit the representations of their own Homeland and displaying that online could be considered as a manifestation of patriotism. I am convinced that there are civilized ways of expressing opinions.

Question: Mr. Minister, there have been reactions from abroad to the recent protests, which have also been reflected in international media. How would you comment on that?

Edward Nalbandian: The international structures and our partner countries are well aware of the processes taking place in Armenia, first of all, since the reforms aimed at consolidation of democracy in Armenia have been implemented in cooperation with them. What has been accomplished in this sense, especially in the last decade, leaves no doubt that the progress achieved with regards to protection of fundamental freedoms in Armenia is sustainable and irreversible.

It is also due to this cooperation that the constitutional reforms, and the parliamentary elections held in Armenia last year received mostly positive assessment of the international structures. It is on this basis that Armenia passed to the parliamentary system of governance.

The free manifestations and rallies in our country would be unimaginable in the absence of the consistent and continuous reforms implemented during recent years.

Perhaps, it is not quite right to draw parallels, however, are there countries that could consider tolerating the lasting hindrance of their citizens’ freedom of movement, attempts of forcefully entering the educational, public and other institutions, disrupting their activities, damaging private and public property, violating public order, etc.?

It is clear that the actions of law-enforcement agencies have not only been proportionate, but also in many cases, more than restrained. The professional, proportionate actions of the law-enforcement bodies, which have been in line with the international standards for maintenance of public order, should also be credited to the years-long cooperation with the OSCE and other partner institutions.

As you rightly mentioned, the coverage of international media has been quite wide. And it is natural. Both local and international media agencies, immediately and without any hindrance, broadcast the events happening in our country. This is also an important democratic indicator, just like the freedom of Internet and social networks in Armenia and the existence of vibrant civil society, which has been formed during the recent years. All these have become possible due to the consistent policy of Armenia that has been repeatedly praised by our international partners.

Respect of fundamental freedoms, consolidation of democratic institutions, existence of vibrant civil society, freedom of speech and assembly are among the achievements of Armenia.

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