Strasbourg, 18 April 2013 - Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland ended today his working visit to Armenia, in preparation of the upcoming Chairmanship of Armenia of the Council of Europe. During his two-day visit, the Secretary General met President Sargsyan, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Nalbandian, the Catholicos of all Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II, as well as the delegation of Armenia to the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
On 17 April, the Secretary General and the Minister of Foreign Affairs signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment and on the legal status of the Council of Europe office in Yerevan. The signing of the Memorandum was welcomed by the Secretary General as an significant contribution to enhanced co-operation with the Council of Europe in support of the country’s further democratic reforms.
After 12 years of membership in the Council of Europe, on 16 May Armenia will take over for the first time the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. During the visit, the Secretary General discussed the priorities of the presidency with the Armenian authorities. “We have high expectations from this Presidency. It will coincide with important reforms within the organisation and with the talks on the EU’s joining the European Convention of Human Rights and becoming party to our Court”, noted Jagland.