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Statement In reply to the President of the OSCE PA, George Tsereteli as delivered by the Permanent Delegation of Armenia at the 1173rd Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council

25.01.2018

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

We would like to warmly welcome the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Mr. George Tsereteli to the Permanent Council and thank for his perspective on the contribution of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to the OSCE comprehensive approach to security.

 

In upcoming two months, Armenia will embark on the final phase of transformation to the Parliamentary Republic and thus the role of the parliamentarians will be significantly enhanced in determining and pursuing Armenia’s policy including on important security issues.

 

In conducting constitutional reform, Armenia made use of expertise and assistance of the OSCE executive structures including Institutions and OSCE Office in Yerevan.

 

As a host country against whose will the OSCE field presence was closed, Armenia echoes your strong attachment to the OSCE field presences and certainly appreciates recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly to re-establish closed OSCE presences.

 

Armenia has always made clear that it looks for cooperation in implementing OSCE commitments along with OSCE participating states and executive structures. We believe that the current Armenia Cooperation Programme provides opportunities in this regard.

 

We took note of your intention to contribute towards addressing conflict situations in the entire OSCE area including in our region.

 

In this context, we appreciate the stance of the PA on respect and realization of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons living in conflict affected areas something that you have also alluded in your address referring inter alia to the reports of the Freedom House. It is worth mentioning here that according to the same reports of the Freedom House the freedom index is higher in the certain OSCE conflict affected area compared to some participating state who is also party to the conflict. It shows that conflicts in the OSCE area are not identical and the situation in

every conflict area should be viewed within its realities.

 

Initiatives to imply parliamentary diplomacy tools and promoting confidence building, including through organizing discussions with parties to the conflicts may be valuable if they are of inclusive nature, involving all elected representatives of peoples. The full and unimpeded access to conflict areas and people residing therein is essential for OSCE PA representatives. Last but not least, the representatives of the OSCE PA should be able to defend their position and activities expressed also in their press releases without engaging themselves in a retrospective self-censorship.

 

Mr. President,

 

We took note of your intention to visit Armenia within your efforts related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We would like to recall that the Parliamentarians of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan played essential role in creating conditions for the ceasefire by concluding the Bishkek protocol in 1994.

 

In this vein, as your visit is supposed to take place against the background of NK conflict, we would urge you to pay a visit also to Nagorno-Karabakh and meet with their elected representatives in line with the well-established OSCE PA practice.

 

In conclusion, we would like to wish every success to you in your future endeavors.

 

Thank you.