On October 30 the RA NA President Hovik Abrahamyan being on an official visit in the Czech Republic met with the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic Milan Štěch.
Thanking for the invitation and warm reception Hovik Abrahamyan congratulated the people of the Czech Republic and the members of the Senate on the occasion of the National Holiday. He expressed confidence that the cooperation based on the friendly relations between the parliaments of the two countries would more strengthen and develop. “Armenia is interested in developing the cooperation with the Czech Republic with different formats, taking into consideration also the common goals that we have within the framework of the Eastern Partnership”, the NA President noted. In terms of deepening the inner-state relations Hovik Abrahamyan highlighted the development and reinforcement of the inter-parliamentary relations. In the NA President’s word, in the context of the political dialogue the parliamentary diplomacy and the activity of the Parliamentary Friendship Groups can have an important role. He noted that Armenia-Czech Republic Parliamentary Friendship Group had been shaped in the National Assembly, and its activity could give a new impetus to the cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two countries. “The partnership relations between the parliaments of the two countries have been established, and the dialogue at parliamentary level can also be useful for rising mutual recognition, for having good pictures about the foreign political agenda from the view of supporting each other in the Parliamentary Assemblies of the international organizations”, the NA President said. Hovik Abrahamyan emphasized the cooperation of the two countries within the framework of the international organizations.
Touching upon the Safarov case the NA President recorded with satisfaction the stance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, which had unequivocally and strictly evaluated what happened. He highly appreciated the adopted resolution condemning the Azerbaijani murderer Ramil Safarov by the Committee on Foreign Relations, Defense and Security of the Senate of the Czech Republic. “Highlighting this fair and special step by our counterparts, I am sure that the cooperation between our parliaments from now on will be productive and continuous”. Mr Abrahamyan also thanked the Senator Štětina, who was attending the meeting, for his many years work in favour of Armenians, beginning from 1988 disastrous earthquake period. Besides the adoption of the resolution on Ramil Safarov, recently during the next full meeting of the OSCE PA, which was held in Tirana, he had supported the RA stance, especially in relation to Safarov case.
Mr Abrahamyan highlighted the activity of the diplomatic representation of the Czech Republic in Armenia, proposing to open a full embassy in Yerevan, where a consulate service will also function and the citizens of Armenia should not be obliged to leave for Georgia to get entry visas for the Czech Republic. In NA President’s conviction, the opening of the embassy will also have a positive impact on providing continuity of the political dialogue in terms of trade-economic cooperation, tourism and activation of human contacts.
The President of the Senate of the Czech Republic thanked Hovik Abrahamyan for accepting his invitation and visiting the Czech Republic. He highly assessed the friendly relations shaped between the two countries and in this context emphasized the development of the inter-parliamentary cooperation. Milan Štěch expressed conviction that the NA President’s official visit to the Czech Republic would give a new impetus to the bilateral cooperation. He highlighted the democratic reforms going on in Armenia. Touching upon the Safarov’s extradition and condemning it, Mr Štěch noted that the step taken by Hungary was perhaps a consequence of a mistake or negligence, but the Azerbaijani President’s step was against all international standards. “It’s inadmissible that the murderer is released and is given a title of hero’ the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic.
Milan Štěch deemed important Hovik Abrahamyan’s proposal of having full Embassy of the Czech Republic to Armenia and expressed conviction that it would promote the activation of bilateral relations in all directions.
In the course of the meeting regional problems were also discussed. The sides touched upon the Armenian-Turkish relations, the NK problem and the events held in Syria. Hovik Abrahamyan stressed that the Karabakh conflict should be solved within the OSCE Minsk Group, as a result of peaceful negotiations. The NA President expressed hope that up to 2015 the Parliament of the Czech Republic would recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Hovik Abrahamyan invited the President of the Senate of the Czech Republic to Armenia on an official visit, and the invitation was gladly accepted.
The heads of the two parliaments summed up the results of the meeting in the joint briefing, as well as answered the journalists' questions.
“The Azerbaijani authorities’ this decision contradicts all the norms of the international law: the murderer cannot appear in freedom and get a title of hero”, Mr Štěch said.
“To heroize the murderer, the criminal is not good for a President of any country. And I would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Senate of the Czech Republic, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and those, who condemned that immoral step taken by Azerbaijan and Hungary”, Hovik Abrahamyan said.
In the NA President’s word, the authorities of the Czech Republic have balanced stance in the issue of conflicts of the Caucasus region, which Armenia highly appreciates. Hovik Abrahamyan noted that during his visit he would apply to the Government of the Czech Republic, to give opportunity to the diplomatic representation functioning in Yerevan for providing entry visas to the citizens of Armenia.
The President of the Senate of the Czech Republic said that he knew that the history of Armenia was one of the ancient ones, and Armenia was the first country adopting Christianity as a state religion. He ensured that he was intended to search versions for the citizens of Armenia in facilitating the issue of providing entry visas to the Czech Republic. Mr Štěch noted that the Czech Republic was ready to support Armenia in the European Integration process. In his word, the Czech businessmen are ready to make contributions in Armenia. In the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic the Delegation led by the NA President met with the Chairman of the Czech Republic-Armenia Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group Robin Bőhnisch and the members of the group. In the course of the meeting the sides discussed a series of issues of bilateral interest, among them issues concerning the deepening of inter-parliamentary cooperation, the cooperation in international organizations and regional problems.
On the same day the NA President and the members of the Delegation visited Lidice Museum, took a tour in Lidice Memorial, laid flowers at the tomb of innocent victims and at the monument of Lidice children and had been to Lidice Children’s Gallery. Hovik Abrahamyan met and talked with those who survived the tragedy.
At the end of the day the NA President met with the representatives of the Armenian community. In his word, Hovik Abrahamyan touched upon the inner-political situation of Armenia, the process of Karabakh problem settlement, the Armenian-Turkish relations, answered the numerous questions concerning the compatriots. “We have compatriots spread worldwide, bringing together their efforts and possibilities stems from the interests of Armenia and Diaspora, because in terms of the region being separated, but realizing our people’s united interest we should be one commonness. Only in that way we can face the national challenges, solve the national problems, and leaning on the achievements of Armenia today outline that dignified future, which is the striving of our people's all sons irrespective of their venue. Today, it is everybody’s problem to reinforce the statehood of Armenia and strengthen our country, and on that path we should solve numerous problems. In this process we also expect your practical participation”, Hovik Abrahamyan noted. “I am glad that you in the heart of Europe are not separated from the problems of Armenia and in general, our people, are not indifferent towards its destiny”. “Dear compatriots, I am sure that the time will come when already about 20 year-old de facto independent Artsakh sooner or later will be recognized de jure independent. Today already by democracy and at the level of protection of human fundamental freedoms the Nagorno Karabakh Republic exceeds its close neighbour Azerbaijan. And now Armenia confidently pursues negotiations over the NK issue within the OSCE Minsk Group framework being led not only by the interests of the Armenians of Artsakh, but also the Armenians throughout the world. The Armenian authorities have repeatedly announced that they are in favour of the solution of the problem only through peaceful way, unlike the bellicose statements regularly sounding at the highest level by Azerbaijan. At the same time we are sure that the issue of Artsakh will be solved for the Armenians’ benefit. The Republic of Armenia led by the President Serzh Sargsyan has distinctly announced that the Nagorno Karabakh has never been and will not be part of Azerbaijan’, the NA President stressed.
On October 31 the RA NA President Hovik Abrahamyan will have meetings with the first Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Miroslava Nemcova and the Archbishop of Prague, the Leader of Bohemia Diocese His Eminence Dominik Cardinal Duka. On the same day late in the evening the Delegation led by the NA President will return to Yerevan.