The President of Armenia, Chairman of the Republican Party of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan today participated at the 16th Convention of the RPA at the Karen Demirjian Sport and Concert Complex where he made a summary report.

Summary Report of the President of Armenia, Chairman of RPA Serzh Sargsyan at the 16th Convention of the Party

Dear Colleagues,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I salute you and wish efficient work during the 16th Convention of the Republican Party of Armenia. Throughout this day, we will have the opportunity to discuss works carried out after the previous convention, to assess steps taken at all directions of the Party’s activities, to disclose slipups and move forward giving new signals to the party bodies and local structures. The RPA is the ruling party and has assumed the responsibility to advance the political agenda of the country. Thus, today we will also summarize how we have been able to prepare the social and political field after the constitutional amendments to act under the new laws of the game and how the ruling Party itself is ready to adjust to the requirements of the amended Constitution.

Now, point by point about everything. First about the organization of our Party works.

The RPA continues to step by step and consistently strengthen the complex and multilayered party structure, to raise the efficiency of its impact on the political processes in line with its program objectives. Only this year, the number of the Party’s grassroot organizations has increased by 22, also some some Party structures have been abolished. Along with augmenting the Party with new members, we have also cleared the RPA ranks from those who were using the Party “roof” for their personal ends. It is noteworthy that the Party members aging from 18 to 40 constitute over 35 percent of the total membership. At the same time, women represent the majority and constitute nearly 54 persent of all members. Certainly, the automated increased of the RPA membership is not our objective. We have made considerable efforts to make the Party mechanisms to work efficiently. With this regard, we certainly have some achievements but as we have said on many occasions, we are still far from the structure we have in our minds. Though the society-party grassroot structures-local structures links in recent years have become stronger, the speed of circulation of the problems and their solutions through the vertical hierarchy of the Party remains insufficient. In our structure, the problem-solution, options-decisions-implementation chain moves unacceptably slowly. I believe in this case the problem is not the bureaucracy, which is emblematic for large structures but rather is the inconsistency, even their indecisiveness if you will, of the bodies called to move the issues forward. Existence of such approaches is visible. In the coming year, in the organization of our internal works, we will first of all act on this direction.

We have obvious problems related to the speech discretion of those Party members who carry out public activities. There is no doubt that in recent years, the style and substance of the Party members’ public speech have improved dramatically. We have been very consistent in changing the speech manner adopted by some RPA in the past – contemptuous or derogatory exchanges with the opponents, speaking from the position of strength, mocking, etc. Occurances like that have decreased significantly. Not to see it is at least not fare. However one cannot help seeing that from time to time our colleagues are throwing around ideas, which have not been considered from every angle, which send erroneous signals to the public, distort the existing policies, and cast a blow at the Party’s reputation.

Everyone should understand that public speech requires serious preparation and homework: the times of “mister-know-all” are gone; the future belongs to the diligent figures who are working meticulously on each idea. Soon, we will create a special body within the RPA which will become a discussion club with the expert element, where newly born ideas or existing approaches laid out in detail will be available to all members. We will continue to reveal and accept to our ranks promising and knowledgable young people. We have also to make consistent efforts to increase the level of women’s participation in the decision making at all levels. Towards that end, at the previous Convention a number of our colleagues and myself highlighted the importance of establishing the Party’s political school. The school will allow to increase the level of the political and civil education and not only for the Party but for the entire country. We will make it an important platform for intellectual work and international cooperation. I am glad that the decision of the Executive body of the RPA has already given the start to that works. The School named after our friend of blessed memory – Andranik Margarian has already opened its doors for over a hundred young people.

The agenda of the Convention includes also the issue of introducing changes and amendments to the RPA program. We have always attached importance to the competition of ideas and approaches based on the system of values regarding our country’s future development. We propose to modernize the Party program and strengthen the political and ideological axis of national concervatism. The draft of the program and proposed approaches have already been put in circulation and discussed at all Party levels. This Convention will conclude these works.

The pivot of our ideology is the preservation of the historically formed basic values and moral norms. Our conservatism is not about preserving everything old but about validating the eternal. We are defenders of the lasting rather than the past. Our goal is to pass from generation to generation values that had been established and certified in the past.

In that sense, conservatism is not the worshiping of the past. We pledge the future and oppose the backwardness. Inseverable link of history and times paves the way for eternal values and development. That’s what we defend.

Distinguished Colleagues,

The Party has expanded its ties abroad. International contacts allow to familiarize with and follow the best political practices, technologies, and peculiarities. We have continued our cooperation with the United Russia Party in the bilateral format and in the framework of the Eurasian party-to-party contacts. We have hosted in Yerevan one of the latest events of this important intitiative. We are determined to seriously develop and deepen this format of cooperation; we also discuss the opportunities for the regular meetings of our experts and political figures, and exchange programs for the best graduates of our political schools.

As a member of the European Peoples Party, we have been fully engaged in the activities of the largest and most influencial European political family. In the process, our youth structure has become a member of the EEP youth structure and the Union of the European Students, while the women’s council has become a member of the EEP women’s organization. The RPA is always represented at the EPP convetions, summits, and political gatherings. Last year, at its political gathering the EPP adopted a strong and straightforward resolution on the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide. Through another policial resolution adopted this year, our European partners expressed their support to us during the April war. We maintain active contacts with the Communist Party of China. Such party-to-party relations come to strengthen the centuries-long Armenian-Chinese friendship.

Distinguished Colleagues,

The coming two or three years will be extremely important from the viewpoint of efficiently implementing the transitional provisions of the Constitution. We have spoken about this in detail and many times. The new Constitution provides for a significant new role of the political parties in our public and political life. Thus a person-party or a club-party phenomenon will disappear. The main shapers and driving force of the political parties will become ideologically like-minded individuals.
This new situation will inevitably result in the crystallization of the political field. It will first of all find its manifestation in the strict division of the ruling and opposition poles.

The enlargement of the political units also becomes unavoidable.

In this transition period, the RPA should assume a special mission. The phase of 2016-2018 should be as stable, smooth and shockless as possible. As a team of like-minded individuals, we should come up in this period of time as leaders and principled but at the same time negotiating, mediating and reconciliatory force.

In recent months, the prevailing topic in our political life has been our new government headed by Prime Minister Karen Karapetian. I take this opportunity on behalf of us all to express to him and all members of our new government once again our unconditional support.

Also on behalf of us all, I salute the decision of Prime Minister Karen Karapetian and other colleagues from the government to joint the Republican Party. I am confident that Mr. Karapetian’s enthusiastic manner and managerial talent will be fully revealed on this position, bringing new inspiration to the members of our team.

The results of the recent elections to the local governance bodies have become yet another example of the continuous crystallization of the political field. Currently in nearly 70% of Armenia’s communities the Republicans enjoy the trust of the voters. It is a very impressive figure which tells volumes about the work on the sites, about the efficiency of our partisan efforts, and our steadiness. Yes, we need the vote of trust of our people but not at any cost. We ask the votes for our work, for confidence and our programs and have been and will do everything possible to earn that trust in the honest and fair election process.

Guided by that very conviction, we should move forward towards the parliamentary and Yerevan Council elections to be held in spring 2017. We have already made very serious efforts to come to a historic agreement with the opposition and representatives of the civil society on the principle issues of the electoral process.

At the moment, our main task is to organize and conduct in spring of 2017 impeccable elections. We need only that kind vote of trust. And only then, without vacillation and hesitation, we will move forward with making the reformation of our country a reality. At the coming elections, the Republicans will appear before the public as a unified team of individuals who enjoy high repute and inspire trust; a team which is ready to compete in the open political field with everyone on equal terms and win through the ideas and accurate comparison. We will try through our programs, new initiatives and updated workstyle to preserve and expand our Party’s role in the new political environment conditioned by the constitutional changes. For that very reason, we need to be closer to our principle beneficiaries – citizens of the Republic of Armenia and at the same time, much more dynamic, constantly improving and flexible in political debates and in developing new ideas.

I would also like to add that in case we receive the vote of trust in the coming elections, our government will again be headed by Prime Minister Karen Karapetian who will continue to implement the already preset programs.

Esteemed Colleagues,

Number one topic on the government’s and our minds is, of course, our economy, the extreme importance of responding effectively to all existing challenges and providing for a lasting social and economic development. Through the years, the “immunity” so to say of the Armenian economy has changes dramatically. We have been able to develop the institutes which acting as restraintsare able to mitigate negative impulses coming from without and prevent their unchecked impact on the people, families. The steadily increasing reserves of that sturdiness have allowed us to register progressive growth. Particularly, in 2007-2015 Armenia registered 29.3 percent actual economic growth, while according to the International Monetary Fund it was a 32% growth. Also according to the IMF, in the same period of time Europe had 8.9 percent growth (5.7% for Western Europe and 17.2 for Eastern Europe) while CIS had a 22.4 percent growth. In last nine years Armenia continued to develop at the same time facing economic shocks which are sometimes compared to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Under these conditions, we were able not only to avoid dwindling but also opened new horizons for the country’s development and changed the structure of the economy, making it more diverse, to increase significantly the exports in the structure of our economy reducing at the same time the volume of imports. In particular, if at the beginning of the century the export component constituted only 20-23% of the GDP growth, in recent seven year it became 72%. In 2006, exports from Armenia were 985 million USD, while in 2015 they were 1 billion 485 million USD, and in nine months of this year – 1.3 billion USD. This changes to the structure of the economic growth was in part conditioned by the financial crisis of 2009, on the other hand it became the most serious achievement of the economic policy adopted by Armenia. Dependence of the economic growth on the monetary transfers was substituted by the dominance of the internal economic factors. As a result, actual wages of the working people in 2007-2015 increase by 39.2%. It became possible not only because of a real economic growth but in general and in particular because of the ability to preserve the stability of the prices during the global financial crises. Any expert will argue that from the viewpoint of maintaining steady prices in those difficult years Armenia compared to other countries registered excellent results, and this is one of our most significant accomplishments.

In recent years, the minimal wage has been rising steadily. In 2007 it was 20,000 AMD, while today it is 55,000 AMD which means that the minimal wage stipulated by law has risen by 2.8. Salaries in the state sector have increased dramatically: In 2007, the average salary in the state sector was 60,985 AMD, while in nine months of 2016 it’s been 160,688 AMD which means that in last nine months salaries in the state sector have increased by 2.6. In private sector, in nine months of 2016 average salary is 214,169 AMD, while in 2007 it was 90,879 AMD which means an increase by 2.4. Pensions too have increased significantly. In 2007, the average pension was 12,746 AMD, while in 2016 it is over 42,000 AMD which means that during last nine years, the average monthly pension increased 3.3 times.

As of September 2016, depositis of physical persons and legal entities made 1.6 trillion AMD. For comperion: in December 2006 that number was 272 billion AMD – the increase 5.8 times, and the peoples - physical persons’ deposits make nearly 1 trillion AMD, while the number of deposits, which have guarantees of the deposit insurance fund, surpassed 1.8 million.

Of course, one can ask: if salaries went up, pensions went up, the economy is growing, what is the situation with the problem which concerns us the most – poverty? We have to state honestly that the comperatively low level of poverty in Armenia was conditioned mainly by the earnings of the migrant workers and related spending.

A financial crisis struck that sector. It is suffice to say that if in 2008 transfers to the physical persons in Armenia were 2.3 billion drams, in 2009 they fell dramatically, down to 1.6 billion. Moreover, in 2015 due to the next crisis, the same number dropped to half a billion. The same tendency persists this year. Subsequently, as a result of the global financial and economic crisis the level of poverty in our country rose dramatically, by nearly 9 percent. In 2010 it was 35.8 percent. However persistent efforts allowed to gradually bring that level down and in 2015 it was 29.8%. Thus we were able to thwart the rise of the poverty level conditioned by the drop in foreign earnings by the real growth of the domestic economy. This can be viewed as a significan economic achievement of the independent Armenia, and it will serve a base to futher boost our economy, reduce poverty and increase prosperity. Moreover, poverty is a very dynamic phenomenon: a little more prosperity for a person, increased earnings and spending do not automatically reduce poverty because individual’s demands are increasing too. On this issue we have been honest and calculated the precise ceiling of poverty for the each group of population by calculating in 2009 the minimal basket of goods and changing the methodology of defining poverty. Had we preserved the old methodology, had we considered that overcoming the previous threshold was enough, according to the methodology of 2004 we would have declared today that poverty has reduced to 18.1%. The economic policy has been and will continue to take into consideration increasing needs of the population and will not be content with the numbers, needs, or the lowest threshold which were defined ten years ago.

A number of programs have been implemented to increase the prosperity of our people. Among them the introduction of the social package and the process of providing affordable housing for the families of young specialists in Yerevan and marzes. Today, the demands of the people have changed, young people prefer to have their own secure housing, and be self-sufficient. If in 2006 one person had in average 23.6 square meters of the living space, in 2015 that number rose to 31.3 square meters or increased by more than 30%. Consumption of gaz, electrical power and water, as well as many other factors have the same tendency. I will bring only one number: if the average water supply in Yerevan in 2007 was 17.4 hours, today it has become 23.4 hours which is pretty close to the around the clock supply. These facts prove one thing – the level of people’s prosperity has risen significantly. But as they say, though in the past we were content with small things, today we have great demands. It stems from the human nature: people stop to pay attention to many things which are already available, such as electricy or water supply around the clock, illuminated and decorated streets, etc but note immediately things which are still not there. It is natural, and it is good. The important thing is, we will continue to move forward relying on our capabilities.

Are we satisfied with these indicators? Of course, not. Otherwise there would be no need to speak constantly of drastic changes. Moreover, the creation of internal opportunities and economic potential came at a price: we had to increase the foreign debt. But first of all that foreign debt served its main purpose: the economy was able to withstand a difficult economic situation and second, the bulk of the debt was invested into the prospective infrastructure projects such as North-South Highway construction, security of our country, and was not of course wasted on the routine spending.

Changes of the coming years will be groundbreaking, since we have reached the milestone, even if tightening our belts a little more, limitind and adopting a conservative budget, but have been able to efficiently countery the challenges, ensure economic growth, raising the competitiveness of our economy, and increasing exports. The policy of relying on foreign assistance and credits is in the past.

At this point, I would like to speak about restraints once again. Unlike other post-Soviet countries, Armenia has created a macroeconomic environment in which the shocks are regulated through the interest rate or adjustment of the state budget deficit, in which currency sharp fluctuations do not translate into increase of prices thus decreasing the real earnings of the people, in which individuals can make long-term plans for their savings, and save their pensions. For comparision: in many countries as a result of the financial crisis a considerable part of the population found itself on the streets, or there took place a huge cut of state reserves even resources from the pension fund were channeled towards the stabilization of the situation or the oil revenues were spent significantly. The analysis made by the Reuters in noteworthy: it underscores Armenia’s flexible and decisive policy under the financial crisis, noting that in our region Armenia holds a record on the number of political decisions made with regard to the crisis. During year 2016, Armenia has addressed the issue of the refinancing rate and cut it for 9 times. For the last, tenth time the rate was cut and compared to 10.5% in 2015 now it is 6.5%. As a result, Armenia as a country responding to the post-crisis situation, has become a world record holder, significantly boosting monetary and credit policy aimed at the expansion of the economy. Now it’s up to businesses and the inquisitive, creative and competitive mind of our entrepreneurs; we see the results already and they will multiply.

Strong Armenia – this is our national idea which we can also call a national aspiration or goal. I am confident that this is the idea which will unite all the citizens of the Republic of Armenia and the entire Armenian nation. Civil accord in our country must be built around this very idea. It should become a new condition, a new formula of solidarity for all.

We have always been striving to link North and South, to build a bridge between West and East. Isolating ourselves in the mountains of Armenia never was our desire or objective.

Today too we are open for cooperation the best proof of which our warm and good-neighborly relations with Georgia and Iran. Our readiness for cooperation is also proved by our accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as our economic cooperation and mutual understanding with the European Union.

However policies of Azerbaijan and Turkey towards us leave us no alternative. We have no choice but to aim for superiority. We don’t think we are better than anyone, but we are confident that we will not be able to develop productively having just a two-three point advantage over our contestants.

We must become superb in the areas where our possibilities for the growth do not depend on the unfriendly politicies of our neighbors. We have already set a number of priorities and among them agriculture, education and innovation, information technologies, jewelry and precious stones processing, banking and financial services, tourism. The list certainly will go on and on.

Our advantage over competitors in these areas should be not comparative but absolute. It is our national goal and idea. We must become really competitive at the regional level.

Development of any area I have mentioned cannot take place isolated. All these areas are developing in our country’s environment, bearing thus also the impact of the existing negative phenomena.

We need to reduce and eliminate that negative. Any successful reform will bring also new success in other area.

“Armenian” should become the synonym of the “best.”

Distinguished Colleagues,

In the international relations Armenia appears as a responsible, balanced, predictable, and a trustworthy country. This is the way our country stands before the world: constructive approaches, readiness to find mutually beneficial solutions with partners, meticulous in the implementation of its international obligations, respectful of agreements and resolute on the issues which are critical for us. This is the route we have chosen in the international relations, this is the businesscard of our diplomacy.

Creation of such an agenda for the country in the interstate relations requires purpossfulness and consistent work. I believe many more efforts are required to maintain it and strengthen, especially considering all the difficulties and challenges which currently rock our reigon and the entire world.

The goal of our foreign policy and the formula of our involvement in the international relations are the development and deepening of our ties with the partners, and more friends of Armenia all over the world.

The Russian Federation is an ally of the Republic of Armenia. This reveals a lot about the depth of our relations, their versatility, and significance.
With the new US Administration we will work on giving a new impetus to our friendly partnership with the United States.

We will continue to deepen our relations with France, Germany, Greece, other European countries based on our common system of civilizational values.
We are glad to register that our relations with China are on the rise, and we will carry on resolutely in the same spirit.

Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union opened new opportunities for the economic development of our country. With this regard, we should use its potential in full.

We deepen our cooperation with the European Union. We hope that soon we will successfully conclude the negotiations on the legal document defining our relations with the EU.

Esteemed Colleagues,

Azerbaijan continues to boast that it will impose its will on us through force and hostilities. In April, Azerbaijan unleashed a large-scale offensive against Artsakh, committing war crimes against peaceful civilians and prisoners of war. Azerbaijani aggression cast a heavy blow on the process of negotiations. Currently, efforts aimed at the peaceful resolution are divided into “before April” and “after April” phases. “Before” or “after” - our position remains the same: Armenia and Artsakh have no reason to start a war. This is the most significant difference between ours and Azeris’ positions.

We are deeply convinced that the Artsakh issue can be solved exclusively through peaceful negotiations. To conclude them successfully it is necessary for the parties to negotiate diligently. However it is equally important for the parties to assess the existing balance of forces precisely and practically. The April events proved that there are serious problems in Baku related to practicality. It becomes obvious from their public rhetoric. The fact is that our Army was able to fulfill the task before it – to be the party on defense. Unleashing a surprise attack, Azerbaijan was not able to fulfill its military and strategic tasks.

Our position remains unaltered: the problem of Nagorno Karabakh can be solved exclusively through the free self-determination of the people of Artsakh. All other problems are collateral. All other issues will find their logical and fair solution, in parallel with the resolution of the problem. As long as this main problem exists, as long as the status of Artsakh remains uncertain, no other issue can be solved.
The leader of Azerbaijan adores word juggling. On one instance he says that the Co-Chair countries force him to recognize independence of the NKR, and then with the same aplomb insists that the international community fully shares his position. Agree, it’s a very weird “consistency.”

We assess accurately the balance of forces in our region. We don’t pursue a military and political task of occupying Baku and forcing their capitulation. But we also assess very well what kind of irreparable damage we can inflict on the foe. I believe there is no need to elaborate.

We will not enter the arms race; it is pointless. Instead we see very well tasks before our Armed Forces. Our resources are quite sufficient to fulfill these tasks.
No arms or weapons can decide the outcome of the military actions by themselves. People, soldiers remain the ultimate part of the armed forces. The vast majority of our efforts should be channeled towards the willpower and moral characteristics of our Armed Forces, improvement of their professional skills and combat abilities.

The Armenian soldier is the face of the Armenian Army and he has proved more than once that at the battlefield the ability and motiviation to use arms are decisive as well as willpower, courage, resolve, dignity, and decency.

Yes, troops on our border are courageous fighters, however they become ten-times more courageous when they feel unity behind their backs, our common united spirit. Let’s not forget that our victoris in 1922-94 were not in the least conditioned by the fact that the internal political field in Azerbaijan was in chaos. This is an important lesson which we mustn’t forget. This in no way diminishes the courages of our soldiers, of our officers, of our nation.

The Armenian Armed Forces must be among the best in the world. To achieve that, we have the most important prerequisite, the indispensible wealth – our brave soldiers and officers. Drafted soldiers are the future of our country; they are our future ministers and prime ministers, our scientists and businessmen, our ambassadors and governors. Military experience plus post graduate, high-quality education – this is our society of tomorrow, which is being formed today, right before our eyes.

There appeared a new and strong layer of the Armenian intelligentsia which wasn’t there in the past. That layer comprises officer corps which becomes a worthy part of our elite. Becoming part of the nation’s intellectual and official elite should become an aspiration of our most healthy and well-educated young people. Officers enjoy authority within the society because their biographies are stories of being successful in life. Our newly appointed Minister of Defense, who has jointed our ranks, has already been taking steps to improve the professional promotion process for officiers, particularly young ones. In general, the Army should become, I am confident it will become very soon, the etalon of fairness in our society. At least, all our steps are aimed at that. Moreover, all state structures should be much more attentive and should provide explicit priority to the reports and requests received from our military, officers, parents of our drafted soldiers aimed at the solution of different problems.

Speaking of the newly appointed Minister of Defense, I would like to add that Vigen Sarkissian has started his works pretty well. We discussed at length many issues related to our Armed Forces and agreed that in a short period of time, along with the issues related to the combat readiness of the Army, which must be constantly kept in the center of attention, we should be able to ensure a distinct advancement in the procurement area, military education, and works of the military medicine establishments.

Today, through the military, technical, technological and personnel modernization, we are shaping a modern army. Recently the profile and arsenal of our Armed Forces have changed seriously. Rest assured that we will spare no effort for the modernization of our Army.

At the same time, the Army can become the driving force of our economy, the locomotive of technological progress. The Army is one of the largest consumers in the country, thus it is impossible not to have its impact on the advancement of our country’s economy.

Resources channeled towards the needs of the Armed Forces as much as possible should be spent inside Armenia – from food to construction materials, from weapons to computer programs, other goods and services which the Army requires. We have to give priority to the Armenian products, with the anticipation that it will create added value in the country.

I mean in particular the area of high technologies, because one of the principle customer for the innovations created here is the Army. Armenian specialists are able to come up with the solutions which will satisfy contemporary demands, and the Army should benefit from these solutions.

Esteemed Colleagues,

The existing challenges require new approaches in the resolution of the problems also in the relations between Armenia and Spyurk. We will undoubtedly continue our efforts related to the NK problem, Armenian Genocide, preservation of the Armenian identity and other traditional priorities. Obviously, the unbreakable unity of the Armenian nation must be strengthened also by the understanding and vision of the present and, of course, of the future. Today almost everybody is confident with regard to the goal, i.e. Armenia’s long-term social and economic development and consolidation of the entire Armenian nation around Armenia which is heading forward. This is a simple objective, with no intricate footnotes which nevertheless requires new approaches in our common work and a more robust mindset.

Yes, we will continue to discover potential of our brothers and sisters in Diaspora, striving to channel it towards Armenia’s sustainable development. We have almost all necessary presconditions to organize works in the economic, legal, social, scientific and educational, cultural, information and other areas. In this period of time, we have accomplished considerable work in that area. The time has come to add one significant element to the joint Armenia-Spyurk works. It is the fusion of unity and responsibility. We have Spyurk concerned with Armenia’s development, we have compatriots who have achieved global success and whose personal and institutional possibilities are much more for moving forward something in Armenia than the capabilities of a number of state structures combined. These individuals are truly concerned with Armenia’s advancement. It means that the time has come to implement the development strategy together.

Let’s be honest: until today it wasn’t a distinct reality. With a few exceptions, policies for this or that area were developed and implemented in Armenia, in due course our compatriots from Spyurk were invited to participate or assist. We make a switch and say, from now on we will be working together according to the preset formats, we will set objectives together, we will assume roles together, we will implement together and in the end we will say together what has been successful and what has not.

Throughout this process we will eliminate the sharp corners of misunderstanding, will stay away from “we said, they didn’t listen” distressed definitions; for any able and willing Armenian we will try to find his or her personal part for acting and assuming responsibility.

We are ready for open and frank discussions. Personally I use every opportunity for such discussions, especially during my visits abroad. From now on, it will be a permantently acting mechanism in Armenia. We had long discussions on this with the prime minister. The government is ready to become a driving force behind moving the Armenia-Spyurk partnership to a new level. We will work together on the implementation of the policies aimed at advancing this or that area in Armenia. Just as together with our government individuals like Eduardo Ernekian, Samvel Karapetian, Vache Manukian, Rouben Vardanian, Sam Simonian, Vardan Sermakesh are changing something in our country every day – these are individuals who in the very concrete areas of our economy are installing new culture and ensure their development. Just like on the road towards the resolution of the problems facing our country very often institutional role is assumed by the Armenian Church, AGBU, Office of Hai Dat, Armenian Assmebly of America, other Spyurk structures all over the world. However we will hardly find time and, honestly, desire to name one by one all the individuals who haven’t been in Armenia at all or didn’t stay for long, who do not understand our reality, in some cases don’t participate even at their community events but assumed the role of judges and are slamming and reproving us at every corner. I am sure such behavior has no prospects and in time will simply disappear.

Today we confirm that we will be giving a new impetus to the consolidation of the potential of the Armenians all over the world. We will try to engage in the development and implementation of the policies for different areas able forces which are ready to assume responsibility and agree that from now on the resolution of the problems lies in the field of unity and responsibility and not in the field of unilateral public appeals or on the pages of international press. We need the cooperation of the compassionate and problem solving compatriots rather than the control of self-proclaimed individuals. We do. And I believe this is the right time and right place to express our gratitude to all those who in the Republic of Armenia, Artsakh or Spyurk are doing benevolent work. We are grateful to all those who provide funds and, of course, to those who do it within the limits of their abilities, including the individuals who at the telemarathon held the day before yesterday donate 23-24 Euros. Let’s together thank them.

We will undoubtedly keep in the focus of our attention works aimed at the self-organization of the Armenians in Spyurk, preservation of the national identity and involvement of the young people. We may not be content with our achievements. We need to set a new bar. We have been given a historic chance to stand as a multiplied force, using capacities of Armenia, Artsakh, and Spyurk.

Distinguished Colleagues,

Priorities I have mentioned in the coming years will be guiding our steps. We remain the principle political team which is implementing in Armenia political, economic, and social reforms. I used the work “team” on purpose. Yes, I am confident that being a Republican first of all means being a partner, a team player, a like-minded person.

However it doesn’t mean that we limit the ranks of our like-minded persons and partners only by the Party members. Our government is the best proof of that; in the government our partner in coalition - the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, nonpartisan partners work and cooperates with us and assumed serious responsibilities. It is also proved by the fact that many party leaders have linked their destiny with the RPA, participating at the elections together with the Repbulicans and working in our Parliament. The RPA is open for cooperation to all interested and patriotic forces and individuals. We are ready to work with anyone who is willing to put a brick on brick to make our common home more prosperous.

We believe in our people, we believe in hard work, education, ability to absorb the new, readiness to utilize it. We will lean on the values of strong and traditional families. Yes, we view the family as a miniature of the society and an important stimulus for the country’s progression. With the solidarity typical for families we will consistently solve all problems in front of us.

Thank you.


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