The delegation led by the RA NA President Alen Simonyan is on a three-day working visit in the United Kingdom. During the visit, in honour of the delegation led by the RA NA President, on behalf of the Speaker of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom Sir Lindsay Hoyle there was an official reception. Sir Lindsay Hoyle welcomed the visit of the delegation of Armenia and noted that Armenia and the United Kingdom are good partners and conveyed the word to the RA NA President Alen Simonyan. We present the full speech of the Head of the Parliament of Armenia.
“ The Right Honorable Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Your Excellency,
Distinguished members of the House of Commons,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First and foremost, may I express my thanks for the invitation to visit the United Kingdom. My belief is that such visits are vitally important and contribute to mutual understanding and expanded cooperation. My desire is to paint a fuller picture of the situation in Armenia for the British side.
We highly value the close cooperation between Armenia and the United Kingdom and hope to strengthen our relationship through our joint efforts in all areas of shared interest.
We are most pleased to welcome the announcement of the launch of the Strategic Dialogue between Armenia and the UK, and hope that it will open a new era in our bilateral relations.
Let me underscore the importance of the legal framework of our relations. In this regard, the finalization of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is of paramount importance.
For the world, the prospect of a post-Soviet state embracing true, democratic elections and rejecting the Orwellian farce that takes place under the guise of democracy must be, to say the least, surprising. Yet, with pride, I affirm that this is exactly the course Armenia has taken.
Despite the problems we face, we are unwavering in our belief that democracy is the best political structure to unleash human potential in its multifarious forms.
Now, let me focus on the developments in Armenia. As you may know, in 2018, the Velvet Revolution took place in our country. Through this nonviolent act, the Armenian people decided on their future, rejected the Soviet-minded authorities that had governed our country for more than two decades, and, in free elections, chose a new parliament to protect their interests and those of our state. Armenia is fully committed to further democratic reforms in all areas of political and e conomic life, including the armed forces and judiciary. Even following the horrible 44-day war in 2020, our people voted in snap elections for the current authorities, believing that they were the only force to steer them on the path of democracy, a journey to secure fundamental rights and freedoms, an inclusive society, and prosperity for all.
Declaring in recent resolutions that Armenia has implemented measures in accord with the CEPA roadmap, the European Parliament commends Armenia’s evolution. It observes that the country’s fight against crime and corruption has made it among the safest countries in the region. Moreover, our country is cited for its empowerment of women, particularly in the context of decision-making at all levels.
On the subject of democratic reform s , the resolutions emphasize the substantial progress the country has made since 2018, characterizing the country as a regional leader in democracy. The last two elections, in particular, were celebrated. The European Parliament recognized the efforts to safeguard the integrity of the political finance system and enhance the transparency and accountability of political parties.
In its most recent report, Freedom House, too, noted the democratic gains our country made in 2022, highlighting progress in the NGO and media spheres and observing that it was the only country in the Nations in Transit that advanced on more than one indicator. The report also acknowledged the formidable challenges our country faces in the form of a hostile neighbo u r.
True, much remains to be done. However, the Armenian government is clear in its vision and steadfast in its resolve to accomplish the mission entrusted to it. Armenia is determined to thrive in a secure and peaceful region, independent of any external threats. We have no territorial claims on our neighbo u rs. We seek to defend our sovereignty and provide security for our country. These are our core principles and the essence of our mandate.
But we aspire to more.
We see Armenia as a crossroad with vast, untapped potential - a land linking east and west, a land of trade and commerce through which peoples connect and hostilities abate, a land where a brilliant new human tapestry is woven.
I thank you for your kind attention. ”