Today, around a tea table President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting with the Ambassadors of the OSCE member states. Welcoming the participants of the meeting and stressing the importance of the gatherings in this format, which have become a good tradition, the President of Armenia noted that a momentous event – parliamentary elections in Armenia held days ago were the reason for the current meeting, considering the fact that over two weeks have passed since the elections and it would be appropriate to speak about them as a fait accompli.

Recalling the latest meeting in this format, which took place during the April War in 2016, Serzh Sargsyan expressed hope that the lessons of the April War were not only for Azerbaijan but for all members of the OSCE as a common security area to be much more vigilant towards sounded alarms and threats to their security. In his introductory remarks, the President of Armenia spoke not only about the elections to the National Assembly, assessments given by the international observers but also responded to all questions raised by the participants of the meeting.

Questions of the Ambassadors pertained to the assessment given by the President in his statements related to the elections, as well as to the post-elections steps aimed at the strengthening of democracy in Armenia, the government’s reforms agenda, efforts to fight corruption, works with civil society and different strata of the society, including the young people and development programs with their participation, the NK peace process, and regional developments.

The Ambassadors thanked President Sargsyan for making meetings in this format tradition and noted that during the discussions held in the open and frank atmosphere, they get the opportunity to receive significant and detailed information on the issues of interest directly from the President, as well as to hear the President’s approaches and ideas regarding different problems and avenues to solve them.
With regard to the parliamentary elections, the President of Armenia noted that not only in case of elections but assessing any situation, he prefers to stand clear of “the most” definition and would rather give the processes a contextual assessment. “I would like to note that these elections registered important progress which Armenia has achieved in democratization and state building processes. I believe that progress in the elections was defined by a number of factors, and I would like to invite your attention to three of them.

First, I believe was the fact that in recent years we succeeded in making the advancement of human rights and basic liberties irreversible,” President Sargsyan said and underscored at the same time that human rights and basic liberties provide the framework in which the elections in Armenia take place. “Diversity in political and civil life, which is manifested in the activities of political parties and viable civil society, in the last decade have become a reality. It doesn’t mean we have no problems here; we have many problems to solve. What I mean is the foundation is already strong, and we can build on it the structure which our people need,” the President of Armenia said.

The second reason for progress registered at the elections, according to the President, is political consensus among the political forces, while the third reason is the exclusively high level of international cooperation. “With this regard, I would like to express gratitude to the countries which sent observers to the elections, to OSCE/ODIHR, Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, CIS Secretariat, CIS Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament, PACE, and observer missions from the embassies.

Armenia allowed the OSCE/ODIHR, which had a pivotal role in the coordination of the works of a number of observer missions, to deploy the unlimited number of observers. I am glad to note that the ODIHR increased the number of the observers on the eve of the elections because, as they explained, our elections triggered interest of many countries. And we agreed for the number of the observers to be increased by fifty,” President Serzh Sargsyan said.

At the conclusion of his introductory remarks, the President of Armenia expressed confidence that cooperation of the OSCE member states with Armenia is mutually beneficial and establishes good traditions in the region which is absolutely necessary for our region. “We will continue to carry out our international commitments in full, anticipating, of course, assistance of your countries,” President Sargsyan underscored.

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