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Post-Council of Europe Reaction Continues - Armenian Paper

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  • Post-Council of Europe Reaction Continues - Armenian Paper


    Haykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
    4 May 04

    Haykakan Zhamanak headlined "The Strasbourg passions have not calmed
    down yet" on 4 May

    On Saturday (1 May), in Zvartnots airport (Yerevan, Armenia) several
    hundred armed young men met Shavarsh Kocharyan and Artashes Gegamyan
    returning from Strasbourg with the following slogans: "Gegamyan -
    president of Azerbaijan" and "Shavarsh Kocharyan - an agent of

    As one of the young men holding the slogans said, they were angry
    because Gegamyan and Shavarsh Kocharyan took our dirty linen to

    Yesterday, in the National Unity party office Artashes Gegamyan and
    Shavarsh Kocharyan invited a press conference. It became clear that
    the latter were not insulted because of an action organized at the
    airport, which Gegamyan called just a clownery. "In the municipal
    offices they organized special consultations and reported how many
    persons they would bring, and gathered only enough people to fit in
    six buses, and they were taken to the airport.

    But the most painful thing is that while the situation of the country
    is really serious, our authorities are dealing with such clownery. It
    is obvious that the authorities are doing everything possible to stop
    the Armenian delegation's authorities," Artashes Gegamyan said. By the
    way, the opposition members of our delegation also said that in
    Strasbourg they informed Secretary General of the Council of Europe
    Walter Shvimer and PACE chairman Piter Schider of the scenario
    according to which Armenian events will develop. "We told them that
    the Dashnaks (an opposition party - The Armenian Revolutionary
    Federation - Dashnaktsutyun) will immediately say that Turks are mixed
    up in this matter, in fact blaming PACE that Turks and Azeris have
    levers to affect this structure.

    We said that in the expected scenario the Republicans will follow the
    Dashnaks, so that the Dashnaks stop speaking of 30m US dollars that
    were stolen in the water system. Certainly, they were surprised if
    they may be so much simple to try to suspect that the Council of
    Europe is not an independent body. But as we landed in the airport and
    saw that our predictions have become reality, we immediately informed
    PACE that the scenario mentioned by us, has acted," Gegamyan said. As
    for Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan's statement made last week that
    the Turks, Azeris and Armenian opposition members must be praised for
    discussion of Armenia's issue in PACE, Shavarsh Kocharyan informed
    that neither Turks nor Azeris participated in voting on adopting the
    resolution as well as a discussion on Armenia. "They were not in the
    hall. That is, our European counterparts told us that the delegations
    of those two countries made a political decision not to participate in
    any discussion concerning Armenia," Shavarsh Kocharyan said.

    Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Tigran Torosyan also invited
    a press conference during the second part of the day. The latter
    specially stressed that it is funny that some people take some
    fragments from the document and comment on them as they like. "The
    people are trying to appropriate nonsense victories or defeats to
    themselves or their opposites. This is not a place for winning or
    losing, this is not sport. This is a document which suggests
    decisions," the head of our delegation said. And as Foreign Minister
    Vardan Oskanyan selected some fragments from the resolution adopted by
    PACE and quoting them said about defeat of the opposition, we tried to
    clarify from Tigran Torosyan if such efforts of Vardan Oskanyan were
    also funny. Certainly, the latter tried to give a diplomatic shape to
    Oskanyan's announcements, but he was not successful.

    So, unlike some our officials, Tigran Torosyan confessed that the
    resolution adopted by PACE is a half step back from the PACE
    resolution on Armenia adopted in January. "Positions of Armenia after
    the January resolution were very much favourable. Today the point on
    stopping the authorities took us a half step back. Certainly, it is
    not desirable for our country to get such kind of decision, but it is
    not late to correct everything and return our positions to the January
    state," Tigran Torosyan said.