STRASBOURG, January 27. /TASS/. Member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe political group and Belgian senator Hendrik Daems has been elected president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Monday.
"Congratulations to Rik Daems from Belgium, just elected as President of the Parliamentary Assembly for a one-year term, renewable!" PACE Twitter account informed.
The politician, who is heading the Belgian delegation to PACE, was the only candidate for the position. In his inaugural speech, he stressed that his work is result-oriented and that he plans to visit all Council of Europe member states during his term as president.
He expressed hope that PACE, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and the organization’s Secretary General would work together to achieve joint results.
"We may be a Council of Europe, but we are also a Council of Europeans - we cherish and uphold the same values, this is what 'unity in diversity' means, this is what the [Council of Europe] is all about," Daems said in his speech, quoted by PACE Twitter. "Interests divide, but values unite. We are sent by our national parliaments, but I doubt we are sent here only to support our national interests. We are all united by our commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights!" he stressed.
Head of the Russian delegation to PACE Leonid Slutsky commented on the appointment of Daems on Monday. "The Russian delegation has a neutral outlook on the prospects of cooperation with Daems after his appointment as PACE President. We expect constructive dialogue and joint work on the most difficult issues within the parliamentary platform of the Council of Europe," he said.