By Ani Paitjan
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on April 11.
The annual session took place at the Council’s headquarters in Strasbourg, France.
In his speech, Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, welcoming the democratic changes that started in Armenia last year, following the Velvet Revolution in Spring 2018.
Jagland noted that the parliamentary elections on December 9 demonstrated the commitment of the Armenian people to democracy and human rights.
Pashinyan, Jagland and Liliane Maury-Pasquier, the President of the PACE, spoke about prospects of cooperation between Armenia and the Council of Europe.
Armenia joined the Council of Europe in January 2001 as its 42nd member state. As a result, Armenia signed onto a number of specific commitments. The country must comply with the principles of pluralist democracy and the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all persons placed under its jurisdiction.
In his speech, Pashinyan said that in Armenia “monopoly and corruption have been shattered.” According to Pashinyan, 50,000 jobs have been created in recent months.
When asked about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Pashinyan replied that the country is committed to a peaceful settlement.
“It is important that we have a positive and constructive dialogue with Aliyev [President of Azerbaijan]. It is very important to start a dialogue between the two communities as well,” Pashinyan said.
Regarding the political relations between Armenia and Iran, the prime minister said that he hopes that the European partners understand the importance of Armenia’s relation with Iran, despite tensions between European countries and Iran.
“Our hope and call is that the political oppositions will be solved by the logic of dialogue,” he said.
Read More: Nagorno Karabakh: No Breakthrough, But a Serious Talk About Peace