By Emil Danielyan
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg met with opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian in addition to Armenia’s top leaders during a two-day official visit to Yerevan which ended on Monday.
Ter-Petrosian’s office said the Sunday meeting focused on the tense political situation in Armenia and, in particular, the fallout from last February’s disputed presidential election. It noted that Schwarzenberg is a former human right activist and dissident who lived in exile before the collapse of Communism.
“It is therefore natural that the conversation focused on human rights protection, democratic freedoms and especially the release of political prisoners in Armenia,” the office said in a statement. No further details were reported.
According to official sources, the lingering political tensions in Armenia were not on the agenda of Schwarzenberg’s talks on Monday with President Serzh Sarkisian and Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian.
The presidential press service quoted Schwarzenberg as saying that the Czech Republic will assume the European Union’s rotating presidency in January and is therefore keen to expand its ties with Armenia and other countries included in the EU’s European Neighborhood Policy program. It said Sarkisian briefed the Czech minister on the current state of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
Tigran Sarkisian, for his part, was reported to express Armenia’s interest in studying and learning from the Czech Republic’s successful transition to democracy and the free market. According to the Armenian government’s press office, he also expressed hope that the former Communist nation will assist Armenia in its efforts to integrate with the EU and other European structures.