ArmInfo."It is important for us to tackle all the problems that entangled the relations between Armenia and Diaspora. Undoubtedly, all Armenians should participate in the state-building process in the homeland, but we need to consolidate at a higher institutional level.
Diaspora and Armenia today are united as a result of the positive atmosphere formed after the revolution, which needs to be crystallized and materialized." According to the press service of Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan answered a number of questions from representatives of the Armenian community of Lebanon, concerning the development of Armenia, Armenia-Diaspora relations, sectoral reforms, priorities of economic development of Armenia, repatriation, cooperation between the State and the Church, etc.
Touching upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Acting Prime Minister said: "During my contacts with international community representatives, I am often asked whether Armenia is ready for a compromise. I usually give the following answer: "Is Azerbaijan ready for a compromise?" I do not know who and where decided that Armenia should be the first to answer this question. Armenia is not going to be the first to answer this question. At least, the answer must be synchronous. Is Azerbaijan ready for a compromise? This is the question. I said repeatedly that we would be adequate in any situation; both Armenia and the Armenian government should never lose the sense of adequacy. As for the framework for the settlement of the conflict, I can hardly present a solution without clarifying the status of Artsakh. This is a fact that we emphasize in our statements: Artsakh's security and status are the cornerstone for resolving the conflict."
Presenting his vision of Armenia-Diaspora relations, Nikol Pashinyan noted: "It is important for us to tackle all the problems that entangled the relations between Armenia and Diaspora. Undoubtedly, all Armenians should participate in the state-building process in the homeland, but we need to consolidate at a higher institutional level. Diaspora and Armenia today are united as a result of the positive atmosphere formed after the revolution, which needs to be crystallized and materialized."
The Acting Prime Minister next touched upon the activities of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. He urged those present to trust the Fund's activities and help enhance its transparency and cost- efficiency. "Transparency in spending is very important. Trust is very important, and I hope that the Armenia-Diaspora relations will be based primarily on mutual confidence," he stressed. Referring to the prospects for developing democracy in Armenia, the Acting Prime Minister noted, "There is no alternative to democracy, and I rule out any vote rigging during our tenure. The press in Armenia has never been so free as today, economic and political activities, the possibility of expression in Armenia have never been so free as now. Today, the government of Armenia enjoys the people's support, and this is unprecedented in the history of the Third Republic, and if there is any dominance, this is the dominance of the people. " Nikol Pashinyan expressed confidence that Armenia will continue to move forward along the path of democracy confidently and consistently. Nikol Pashinyan next presented his vision of Armenia's economic development, noting that the economy is currently anchored in mining industry, agriculture and gambling: this structure should be changed, and the government has set a goal to transform Armenia from an agrarian country into a technological one. "We look forward to investment in information and high technology. In general, Armenia has to be am industrial country: there is great untapped potential in diamond industry, jewelry, light industry, tourism, and technology-extensive agriculture, and all this fits into our concept of an ecological, green Armenia," the Acting Prime Minister stressed, highlighting the participation of Diaspora-based specialists in the development and restructuring of the economy. He also gave details on improving the investment climate and reforming tax regulations. Questions were asked about the national agenda, including on the settlement of the Artsakh conflict. Nikol Pashinyan noted that the national agenda should be discussed in a single format, involving different layers of the Armenian people.
The Acting Prime Minister noted that in our reality there is a strange perception, which is sometimes expressed in the press and the statements of some politicians. "Someone may think that there can be a government in Armenia to deal with the problem of Artsakh in secret. It has been discussed constantly over the past twenty years. How can any authority - even the worst government with bad intentions - secretly solve the Karabakh issue? I propose to abandon this discourse altogether. Once I said, and I keep saying this during negotiations, that if there is any option for resolving the conflict, and I myself am convinced that this is a good option, then I will introduce it to our people in Armenia and the Diaspora, and the people will decide whether they want it or not. I suggest giving up the presumption of conspiracy in the context of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict just because this issue cannot be solved in secret.
I am talking about Armenia and the Diaspora, but the most important and decisive factor is the position of Artsakh's government and the people of Artsakh. Should Armenia and the Diaspora happen to approve an option, while the people of Artsakh might be reluctant, then we will state that it is a bad option. The people of Artsakh should have a decisive say in this matter. This does not imply at all that we reject the idea of negotiations, but we say that this is a national problem, and we must solve it together. I rule out that any authority - even the one with the strongest popular support - could solve this problem in a roundabout way. Otherwise they will lose the public's trust in a minute. This is obvious, and we must make it clear once and for all," Nikol Pashinyan concluded.
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