On September 21 in Strasbourg within the framework of the European Conference of Presidents of Parliaments the RA NA President Hovik Abrahamyan had bilateral meetings with the Speaker of the Eduskunta (Parliament) of the Republic of Finland Eero Heinäluoma, Speaker of the National Council of the Republic of Austria Barbara Prammer and the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Riccardo Migliori.
During the meeting with the Speaker of the Eduskunta of the Republic of Finland the sides discussed issues relating to the inter-parliamentary cooperation, regional developments, partnership in international organizations and touched upon the Safarov case.
The RA NA President has noted that Armenia greatly highlights the establishment of the Scandinavian region, and particularly, the diverse and mutual cooperation with Finland. Hovik Abrahamyan has mentioned that the political dialogue between two countries is at high level, and Armenia emphasizes the continuation of political dialogue of high level as with friendly country. In the word of the Head of the Armenian Parliament, there is a non- used potential of enlivening the inter-parliamentary relations, and his desire is to activate the contacts and cooperation. Hovik Abrahamyan invited the Speaker of the Eduskunta of the Republic of Finland Eero Heinäluoma to Armenia on an official visit, the invitation was gladly accepted.
The Speaker of the Finnish Parliament highlighted the meetings of such format and also deemed necessary the activation of the inter-parliamentary relations and the cooperation in international organizations. Touching upon the regional developments Eero Heinäluoma assessed Safarov’s transfer and release as an inadmissible and unprecedented phenomenon. Hovik Abrahamyan has stressed that this fact creates a dangerous precedent in Europe, and that step of the Hungarian authorities as EU member country is unacceptable and non-understandable, and the action of the CoE member Azerbaijan was the violation of international norms and European right aimed at destabilization of the situation in the region and increase of tension.
The next meeting of the RA NA President Hovik Abrahamyan was the Speaker of the National Council of the Republic of Austria Barbara Prammer. Welcoming Ms Prammer, Mr Abrahamyan has noted that in the context of bilateral relations the year of 2012 is a jubilee year, as this year is the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Austria. In his word, Armenia highlights the development of relations with Austria in different dimensions. “We see the Armenian-Austrian cooperation as an important component in the general context of Armenia’s Euro integration policy,” the NA President noted. Mr Abrahamyan has emphasized the development of inter-parliamentary relations with conviction that the parliamentary diplomacy is one of the important levers of advancing the political dialogue between the countries and has deemed necessary the activation of inter-parliamentary cooperation not only on the bilateral plane, but also on the multilateral one, particularly, with the dimension of cooperation with the European Union.
The Speaker of the Austrian parliament has expressed conviction that the parliamentary cooperation promotes the development and reinforcement of inner-state relations, and in this context he has deemed necessary to activate the contacts between the two legislative bodies.
In the course of the meeting the sides touched upon the regional problems, issues of the NK conflict settlement and of bilateral interest. Ms Prammer has stressed Austria supports the OSCE Minsk Group format.
On the same day the RA NA President met with the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Riccardo Migliori on the latter’s initiative.
Thanking for the meeting the OSCE PA President highly appreciated Hovik Abrahamyan’s speech in the Conference. He condemned Safarov’s case, positively assessed Armenia’s behaviour of not coming out of negotiation process. With respect to the settlement of regional problems Mr Migliori considered important the improvement of the Armenian-Turkish relations and in this context he distinguished the role of the parliaments. Touching upon the NK conflict problem, the OSCE PA President opined that the problem should be solved on the basis of the Madrid principle.
The NA President Hovik Abrahamyan has noted that Armenia highlights the cooperation with the OSCE, as well as the support of the organization in the process of democratic reforms going on in our country. Hovik Abrahamyan has underlined that the Armenian side emphasizes the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement as acting and only format of negotiation process, noting that the basis of the Karabakh problem settlement is the recognition of the right of the Nagorno Karabakh self-determination and the exercise of that right. “Armenia is consistent for the settlement of the problem only through peaceful means and highlights the establishment of the atmosphere of mutual trust for continuing the negotiations in constructive way. However, Azerbaijan’s behaviour and the recent events connected with the Safarov case, endanger the negotiation process and threaten the stability of the region,” the NA President noted.
In the course of the meeting other issues were also discussed.