Oskanian and Lydie Polfer
By Hrach Melkumian, Harry Tamrazian
On Thursday, the visiting delegation of the Council of Europe and European Union met with Armenian President Robert Kocharian and discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and other regional developments. The head of the Ministerial committee of CE, the foreign Minister and the Vice Prime Minister of Luxembourg Lydie Polfer told the Armenian president that the main goal of her visit was to discuss the regional problems with the leaders of the South Caucasus countries and to find out whether Armenia and its
South Caucasus neighbours are keeping their commitments to the Council of Europe. The Armenian President told the visiting head of the CE's ministerial council that his country is on the right track and that delays in some areas are of technical nature. Robert
Kocharian also said that he fully realizes the importance of meeting the criteria of the Council of Europe and fulfilling all commitments for his country's international image.
Robert Kocharian also told Lydie Polfer that he had set up a special
presidential commission which is monitoring the process of implementing Armenia's commitments to the Council of Europe. The Armenian President and the foreign Minster of Luxembourg also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The Italian Deputy foreign Minister also met the Armenian foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian and the leading members of Parliament. Armenian foreign Minister told reporters after the meeting, that the visit of the head of the CE's ministerial committee will further strengthen Armenia's cooperation with Europe.
The main focus of the Armenian Parliamentarians and the foreign Minister of Luxembourg was the pace of political and judicial reforms in Armenia as well as the implementation of Armenia's commitments to the Council of Europe. The leaders of the parliamentary factions and two vice speakers of the parliament told the head of the CE's ministerial committee that although Armenia wants to abolish capital punishment, there should be an exception for those being tried for the bloody parliament attack of October 27,1999.
Armenian president Robert Kocharian also had a separate meeting with the Deputy foreign Minister of Italy Margaret Boniver. She told the Armenian president that Italy will take over the rotating presidency of the European Union in one year and she wants to know more about regional developments. "The countries of South Caucasus seek closer integration with the family of European nations and we think that there are good prospects for cooperation between EU and the region in the sphere of political and economic reforms and strengthening democracy" she told Kocharian. "Italy has warm bilateral relations with Armenia and it is ready to support Armenia in its desire to integrate with Europe". As a member of the OSCE Minsk Group Italy wants to help to facilitate Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, Italian deputy foreign Minister told Robert Kocharian.
The delegations of Council of Europe and European Union left Yerevan Thursday afternoon. They arrived in Yerevan on Wednesday evening from the Azerbaijani capital Baku.