Statement for Press of the Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan following the meeting with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić17 June, 2022
Dear Secretary General,
I am delighted to welcome the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić in Armenia.
The Council of Europe is one of the key partners of Armenia in the implementation of reforms in the spheres of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. We highly appreciate the support of the CoE to the democratic development of Armenia, and we are convinced to continue the effective cooperation with the organization.
In this context I also want to express my gratitude for the contribution made by the observation missions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE in conducting free and competitive parliamentary elections in Armenia, and emphasize that the elections held in 2018 and 2021 in Armenia were recognized as in compliance with the highest democratic standards by the Council of Europe.
An important tool of cooperation with the Council of Europe is the Action plan for Armenia implemented by the organization. This format of cooperation is of great significance both for the effective implementation of a number of strategic programs of the Government of Armenia and for the implementation of our commitments undertaken within the framework of the CoE in general.
Today, together with Ms. Secretary General , we commended the successes achieved within the framework of the current 2019-2022 program, and I would like to inform you that we have expressed mutual readiness to continue the cooperation in this dimension, elaborating a new - 2023-2026 Action plan.
I would like to emphasize that in 2018 the people of Armenia unanimously chose and reaffirmed in 2021 the path of democratic development, strengthening democratic institutions, protection of human rights and the rule of law, relentless fight against corruption and will not deviate from it. Armenia will resolutely advance with its reform agenda and follow that path in close cooperation with its international partners, including the Council of Europe.
Together with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, we also referred to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the consequences of the aggression against Artsakh in 2020, and the issues of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I particularly emphasized the fact that by attempting to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by the use of force in 2020, as well as by invading the sovereign territory of Armenia, Azerbaijan has grossly violated its commitments undertaken with the accession to the Council of Europe, and this must be properly addressed by the Council of Europe and its member-states.
I reaffirmed the readiness of the Government of the Republic of Armenia to put efforts towards the establishment of stability and peace in the region. In this context, the addressing of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is fundamental, which should include the provisions of ensuring the security and all the rights of the people of Artsakh, and final determination of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The people of Artsakh have the same rights as everyone and the fact of being in the conflict zone cannot deprive the Armenians of Artsakh of their universal fundamental rights.
The humanitarian issues resulting from the aggression unleashed against Artsakh - the issues of the return of Armenian prisoners of war held in Azerbaijan and the humanitarian access to Artsakh remain unresolved, the politicization of which is unacceptable. The Anti-Armenian and warmongering rhetoric, physical and psychological terror against the civilian population are unacceptable in the same way.
We believe that the Council of Europe, its relevant bodies and leaders should be more determined at least in the issues of Armenian prisoners of war and the humanitarian access to Artsakh, and put utmost effort so that the the interim decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, PACE Resolutions and the provisions of the memorandum of the Commissioner for Human Rights issues on November 8, 2021, be respected.
In conclusion, I once again welcome the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and her delegation, and kindly convey the floor to Mrs. Marija Pejčinović Burić.