ALDE Party Vice President Henrik Bach Mortensen travelled to Yerevan, Armenia last week where he met with the leadership of ALDE member party the Armenian Party Congress ahead of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the popular movement that brought an end to Soviet Union rule and eventual independence for Armenia.
After an hour-long meeting with ANC Vice Presidents Levon Zourabian and Aram Manukyan, he reaffirmed the support of the ALDE Party for ANC, who unsuccessfully passed the threshold at the last parliamentary elections in April 2017 and now find themselves outside of Parliament.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “It was a special pleasure for me to represent ALDE here today because our relations with ANC have been very strong and have gone back a very long time. The views and values we share: the importance of the parliament, the independence of the judicial system, the existence of checks and balances on authority and protection of fundamental human rights, are the cornerstones of a liberalism democracy.”
“As you know in politics, things can go up and can go down, but we are proud and very happy to be associated with the ANC which has contributed a lot to the independence and democratic development of Armenia.”
In addition to meeting with ANC, he paid a courtesy visit to the EU Ambassador to Armenia and held a series of meetings with a number of NGOs and representatives of civil society before delivering a keynote speech at the General Assembly of the Bright Armenia party, which did pass the electoral threshold in 2017 and sits in the Armenian National Assembly.
During his remarks he said: "The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe very much care about the political developments in the whole of Europe. And we care about Armenia and your region since we want you to be not only a vital corner of democratic Europe but also to be in the frontline of European thinking and European values."
"ALDE firmly support a European direction for Armenia as well as the Caucasus region as a whole. We admire the aspiration of the Armenian people to live in a society based on European values [...] Armenia and the European Union entered into the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement last year. Given the Armenian context of the present political circumstances including the membership of the Eurasian Economic Union ALDE believes that the CEPA can be a very productive point of departure for relations between the EU and Armenia," he concluded.
Originally founded in 1988 as the pan-Armenian National Movement, more opposition parties joined the movement leading to the formation of Armenian National Congress party in 2008 led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who served as the first President of the Republic of Armenia from November 1991 until February 1998 following Armenia's independence from the Soviet Union. To mark the 30th year since the the founding of the movement, the ANC Party held a rally in central Yerevan on Tuesday 20 February.