ARF-D participates in European meeting of Socialist International

YEREVAN — The Socialist International Committee for Central and Eastern Europe, SICEE, met in Zagreb on 6-7 October, 2000, hosted by SI-member the Croatian Social Democratic Party, SDP, which heads the country’s government. As developments unfolded in Serbia, the Committee issued a declaration congratulating and extending its solidarity with the men and women who through elections and on the streets had freed themselves of the Milosevic regime. Reports were presented on the developments as they happened by delegates from Serbian social democratic organisations participating at the meeting.

The meeting, which was chaired by Piero Fassino (DS, Italy) and László Kovács (MSzP, Hungary), Co-Chairs of the Committee, and opened by Mirjana Feric Vac, Vice-President of the SDP, and SI Secretary General, Luis Ayala, also evaluated the enlargement process of the European Union, discussed the ‘Stability Pact’, a subject introduced by the Croatian Foreign Minister, Tonino Picula, and received first-hand reports by delegates from social democratic parties and organisations from Central and Eastern Europe on their respective countries.

The Committee agreed to send a mission to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to strengthen cooperation with social democratic forces and relations with other democratic forces there before the end of the year; to follow up on the September SI mission to Moscow with a further mission in the first half of 2001; to also follow developments in other countries in the region, such as Belarus and Ukraine. The Committee also agreed to continue to focus its attention on the situation in the Caucasus and to consider holding its second meeting next year in that part of Europe. Regarding its next meeting it was agreed to hold it in late March 2001 in the city of Belgrade.

The Committee includes representatives of 35 parties from 25 countries, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun (Armenian socialist party) being the only representative from the Caucasian countries.

The ARF-D was represented by Bureau member Mario Nalbandian, who presented a report on the current situation in Armenia and about the ARF.

Nalbandian pointed out that Armenia’s people and political forces were able to respond to the tragic events of October 27, 1999, with restraint and responsibility, “and that response proved that the bases of the developing democracy and national stability are strong enough to resist such threats.”

In regard to Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabakh, Nalbandian pointed out that regress was observed in the peace process, as Azerbaijan rejected the “common state” scheme proposed by the OSCE. “Domestic instability in Azerbaijan is also one of the reasons why no considerable progress is expected in the peace process,” Nalbandian said, expressing confidence that for a stable peace to be established “Karabakh must participate in the peace process as a party to the conflict.”

Speaking of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, Nalbandian stressed that “Turkey’s constant attempts to reject this fact as well as its untimely and vigorous resistance and threats to the states and organizations that are concerned with the settlement of the issue are a threat to peace and security in the region.” “The Turkish government must be urged to stop deceiving its people. The Turkish people deserve a better destiny and must be helped to admit their own history for similar crimes to be prevented,” Nalbandian said.

Nalbandian held a meeting with Co-Chairman of the meeting, Italian Minister of Justice Pierro Fasino. The sides discussed the issue of the Italian Parliament’s adopting a resolution on the Armenian Genocide.