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PARIS, April 28. /TASS/. The Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has passed a motion of no confidence in incumbent PACE President, Pedro Agramunt, and proceeded to work on the impeachment process, the assembly said in a statement on Friday.
The PACE Bureau meeting in Strasbourg today, "resolved that it has no confidence in Pedro Agramunt as President of the Assembly," the organization said on its website.
It further resolved that "Mr Agramunt is not authorized to undertake any official visits, attend any meetings or make any public statements on behalf of the Assembly in his capacity as President."
According to the assembly’s representatives, Agramunt has lost confidence of his colleagues. They noted though that Agramunt had not tendered his resignation. "The President chose not to attend the Bureau today, and has not presented a letter of resignation," the PACE headquarters said.
Head of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, Vladimir Ariev, earlier asserted that other countries’ delegations had been shocked by Agramunt’s visit to Syria. The assembly’s president, speaking at the opening of the PACE spring session, called his trip to Syria a mistake, since he underestimated the response to his visit in the assembly. Some delegates urged Agramunt to step down, because his visit had been seen by them as support for President Bashar al-Assad.
Members of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) along with PACE representatives and its President Pedro Agramunt visited Syria on March 20-21 at the invitation of Syrian parliament speaker, Hadiya Khalaf Abbas. During their visit, the parliamentarians had a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and held talks during the joint meeting of the international committees of the Russian and Syrian parliaments. Agramunt said at that time that he travelled to Syria as a private individual rather than PACE President.