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Council of Europe Chief Assures Continued Support for Armenia but Refrains from Commenting on Status of Armenian POWs Held in Baku


Council of Europe Chief Assures Continued Support for Armenia but Refrains from Commenting on Status of Armenian POWs Held in Baku

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, expressed committed backing for Armenia during her official visit to Yerevan on Monday. Her visit comes at a crucial time, as Armenia grapples with ongoing threats and challenges, including regional tensions and the aftermath of the recent Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) mass exodus.



In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Buric hailed her meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as "excellent" and reiterated the Council of Europe's commitment to supporting Armenia's reform initiatives. 



One of the focal points of the discussions between Buric and Prime Minister Pashinyan was the "Crossroads of Peace" program, an initiative spearheaded by the current Armenian government aimed at fostering regional connectivity and dialogue with neighboring countries. Pashinyan highlighted the importance of international support, particularly from the Council of Europe, in addressing the plight of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians, who were forcibly displaced following the recent attacks by Azerbaijan.


During her visit, Buric also engaged with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, where they delved into matters of bilateral cooperation and regional stability. The discussions encompassed strategies for meeting the medium and long-term needs of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians, as well as efforts towards achieving sustainable peace in the South Caucasus.



Buric's visit follows her previous trip to Baku, where she held discussions with Azerbaijan's leadership regarding ongoing efforts to broker a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Secretary General welcomed the positive developments, including the recent agreement resulting in the release of detainees by both parties. 


Council of Europe Chief Assures Continued Support for Armenia but Refrains from Commenting on Status of Armenian POWs Held in Baku

However, Buric refrained from commenting on the status of other Armenian detainees still held in Baku, prompting calls for action from Armenian opposition groups. Today, a protest erupted in Yerevan, with opposition members demanding intervention from the Council of Europe to secure the release of Armenians incarcerated in Azerbaijan, including former Nagorno-Karabakh leaders. 


Council of Europe Chief Assures Continued Support for Armenia but Refrains from Commenting on Status of Armenian POWs Held in Baku

Furthermore, the Armenian opposition urged the Council of Europe to address political persecution within Armenia itself, calling for the release of individuals they claim to be political prisoners. Aspram Krpeyan, a member of the opposition Hayastan faction, emphasized the need for acknowledgment of political persecution in Armenia, a claim refuted by the Armenian government and unverified by leading international human rights organizations.


Council of Europe Chief Assures Continued Support for Armenia but Refrains from Commenting on Status of Armenian POWs Held in Baku

Buric's visit shows the complexities and challenges facing Armenia in the aftermath of the Nagorno-Karabakh war. While international support remains pivotal, addressing internal and external pressures will require concerted efforts from all stakeholders involved.





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