April 08, 2008

International Crisis Group Forecasts Gloomy Future for Armenia

The International Crisis Group, is generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.

Today it has published a briefing entitled: Armenia - Picking Up The Pieces

We urge our readers to read the full report and leave their comments here.

Armenia’s flawed presidential election, the subsequent lethal crackdown against a peaceful protest rally, the introduction of a state of emergency and extensive arrests of opposition supporters have brought the country to its deepest crisis since the war against Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh ended in 1994. The situation deprives Serzh Sarkisian, scheduled to be inaugurated as president on 9 April 2008, of badly needed legitimacy and handicaps prospects for much needed democratic reform and resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict alike. Unless the U.S., EU and others with significant diplomatic leverage over the regime in Yerevan exert pressure, Armenia is unlikely to make progress on either. The Sarkisian administration must urgently seek credible dialogue with the opposition, release prisoners detained on political grounds, stop arrests and harassment of the opposition and lift all measures limiting freedom of assembly and expression. Unless steps are taken to address the political crisis, the U.S. and EU should suspend foreign aid and put on hold negotiations on further and closer cooperation.

To continue reading the full report CLICK HERE


At April 08, 2008, Blogger Harb said...

I am an American by nationality, an Armenian by lineage. The recommendations by the crisis group are spot on. In my case, I have stopped donating money to Armenia. Much of the financial support goes to unintended recipients who use it to further their control and stifle legitimate governance. It is also my view that western democracies should do the same until real reform happens and the rule of law is firmly in place. This will not happen without strong external pressure.


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