By Paul Taylor, European Affairs Editor – Analysis
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Georgia’s hopes of joining NATO and the European Union have suffered a setback because of this week’s fighting with Russia, potentially reducing its attractiveness to investors.
The conflict over the breakaway region of South Ossetia has revived transatlantic and intra-European differences over Georgia and further undermined confidence in some quarters in its quixotic U.S.-backed leader, diplomats and analysts say.
As it was expected the visit of PACE Chairman Luis Maria de Puichy to Armenia was followed by numerous lectures on democracy. Of course we don’t intend to contradict the regular guru of democracy, but nonetheless, we must introduce our observations regarding this topic.
Should we consider people’s opinion?
The report of the US Department of State on the post-election situation in Armenia has roused indignation of the Deputy Armen Ashotyan, representing the party in power. At the press-conference on June 5 he noted that only the data of the oppositionists had been used while preparing the report.
THOMAS HAMMERBERG, Council of Europe High Commissioner for Human Rights, arrived in Yerevan on Sunday on a three-day official visit. Yesterday evening, after finishing all the planned meetings and visits, Mr. Hammerberg also met with the journalists.
Although the CoE Commissioner said that during the past three days he had already estimated the process of the implementation of PACE Resolutions # 1609 and 1620, he also deemed it necessary to add the following: “I have already received the answers to some questions. I will have submitted my report to the PACE Monitoring Committee by September 11 and anticipate to receive answers to some more questions.”
The Presidency of the EU Council has been shifted to France from July 1 up to the end of the year.
During the coming six months the French Presidency is planning to reform Europe’s energy policy, to contribute to the maintenance of the environment and assist the struggle against the climate change. French Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Serge Smesov and Head of the delegation of the European Committee in Armenia Raul de Lucenberger yesterday represented three more priorities of the French presidency.
Filed under armenia, world
A delegation led by Robert Palmer, Council of Europe Director for Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage Tuesday visited Azerbaijan, where he announced that the Council of Europe’s Ministerial Cabinet will visit the region in September to assess the destruction of historical monuments in Azerbaijan .
Thus, in the frameworks of their regional visit, the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group yesterday visited Stepanakert and had a meeting with the NKR authorities.
Was this a “pro-forma” visit or do the Co-Chairs still hope that it will be possible to push the Azerbaijani authorities towards the implementation of the “Madrid” proposals prior to the presidential elections?
Head of the NA Committee on Foreign Relations
“In general, I don’t think that any visit of the Co-Chairs may be considered as a regular one, because if such visits were of regular, usual and ordinary nature, the Co-Chairs would prefer not to visit the region at all. That’s to say, each visit does really mean something.
As shown by the overall results of the visits, the international community, on behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, is interested in the settlement of the conflict. As to what extent the parties perceive that attitude is a different matter. But the Co-Chairs are trying to find a mutually acceptable solution which cannot give way to any divergence of opinions.
As regards the most recent visit of the Co-Chairs, it should be estimated the G-8 Foreign Ministers’ joint statement in the context of the confirmations concerning the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. My impression is that they are an additional proof showing that the mediators do not approve the conflict settlement prospect supported and urged forward by Azerbaijan.”