Europe doesn’t pay attention to the CE

Head of the Armenian Delegation to the PACE David Harutyunyan gave an interview to “A1+” upon his return from the PACE fall session.

“A1+”: Mr. Harutyunyan, when will be the appointment of the new Co-Rapporteur on Armenia?

D. H.: The new Co-Rapporteur will be appointed when Mr. Lindblad’s terminates his authorizations or if he is so rational that he refuses and gives the opportunity to continue the monitoring on a regular basis.

“A1+”: You mentioned Goran Lindblad. He personally sent a letter to you. Have you responded in oral or written form? How would you rate the letter?

D. H.: Of course, I am familiar with the letter sent by the head of the Swiss-Turkish Friendship Group. The Monitoring Committee responded to the letter during a closed discussion and postponed the Co-Rapporteurs’ visit to Armenia. As for me, I will refrain from giving evaluations.

“A1+”: There was no agreement to create an ad-hoc committee on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani delegates.

D. H.: There were talks on recreating an ad-hoc committee. Our positions absolutely differed on that issue, as well as the issue related to that committee’s activities. We didn’t reach an agreement, but the discussions continue.

“A1+”: Did you discuss other issues during the meeting?

D. H.: The next issue on the agenda was related to the means of cooperation for more constructive relations.

“A1+”: How convincing were the authorities’ arguments and the opposition’s speeches for the Monitoring Committee?

D. H.: It is not about sounding convincing. We have supported those hearings from the beginning. This is a new format of monitoring and since Armenia’s political field is much broader than the opportunity that we have to present during the session of the Monitoring Committee, we were in favor of having pro-government and oppositional forces represented, including parliamentary forces and those out of parliament. In general, everyone presented their positions and this was simply information presented by different forces. The Monitoring Committee can’t draw a conclusion by hearing one or the other. After all, rhetoric is not at the core. This is a material that the Monitoring Committee must take into account when the Co-Rapporteurs visit Armenia, study the issues and present their report to the committee.

“A1+”: When will the Co-Rapporteurs visit Armenia?

D. H.: I think in December or January.

“A1+”: Neither you nor the Armenian delegates signed Zaruhi Postanjyan’s resolution on the situation created after the changes made in the RA Law on “Television and Radio”. Why? Were you against the idea, or were the formulations inacceptable?

D. H.: I agree with the idea. In fact, I also support changes in the law and see an opportunity for serious changes. However, there is a secret to each resolution. One word may become a reason for you not to sign the resolution. There were such formulations in the resolution and I wasn’t ready to sign.

“A1+”: Azerbaijani Delegate to the PACE Ganira Pashayeva disseminated a resolution with the demand to return the bodies of Azerbaijan’s diversionists, but alongside that an Armenian captive was killed in the Azerbaijani army. What is your evaluation? Was that a coincidence or was it done intentionally to make an allusion to something?

D. H.: There are no coincidences in politics. As far as my evaluation is concerned, I think everyone would condemn such a phenomenon. I regret to see that such actions can still take place and that there are PACE Delegates who are not ready to sign the resolution prepared by Zaruhi Postanjyan. This goes to show the delegates to the PACE and the varying interests. In our countries that are being monitored, the CE is a much more well-known structure than Europe itself. Europeans don’t pay attention to that structure and people who aren’t able to be active in politics choose this path. This doesn’t mean that Armenia doesn’t have well-known political figures in the CE. We have very well-known, decent individuals, but unfortunately, we also have people who lead with other interests.

Interview by Diana Markosyan