A statement has been publicized during an OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna, in which the European Union “takes note of recent positive political developments in Armenia.”
“The EU has on a number of occasions raised concerns about freedom of assembly in the country,” the statement runs. “We therefore welcome the fact that, for the first time in many years, the political opposition was granted permission to hold a rally in Liberty Square on 28 April.”
The EU, Armenia’s important trade partner, which has been growing its influence with the implementation of its European Neighborhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership initiative, has stressed, that the respect for freedom of assembly has a particular importance as Armenia faces a new cycle of elections in 2012.
“The EU also welcomes President Sargsyan’s statement of 20 April in which he called for a more meticulous investigation into the violent events of March 2008,” the statement runs.
It also takes note of the fact, that in recent weeks three opposition activists (Harutyun Urutyan, Roman Mnatsakanyan and Aram Bareghamyan) sentenced and imprisoned in the aftermath of post-election developments in 2008 have been released and calls on the Armenian authorities to release all the activists that remain in detention soon.
“The EU believes that a thorough investigation of the violent events of March 2008 and the release of all those in custody in relation to those events will help Armenia to truly move on,” the European body concludes.
PS: This is yet another strong message to the Armenian authorities and the opposition on what should be the next steps. And its also a very positive statement about Armenia for a change.