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Armenian Prime Minister in New York: “Armenia needs development programs rather than charity projects”

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan arrived in New York on a working visit. On the evening of September 23 Pashinyan met with representatives of the Armenian community and U.S.-based Armenian organizations in New York. Pashinyan thanked them for such a warm welcome, noting that he had already met with many of them in an atmosphere of general enthusiasm in Armenia.

Here’s an unedited government transcript of his address:

“The 27th anniversary of Armenia’s independence was celebrated two days ago. We had not seen such a festive atmosphere of independence celebrations since the referendum on independence in Armenia. This mood was confirmed today with another fact. You may know that Yerevan City Council elections have been held, with 99% of results summed up already. In those elections that went off in absolutely fair, free and transparent conditions, My Step alliance has won 81% of the votes. This means that the allegations about the possibility of a counter-revolution are null and void as evidenced by the election results, the Prime Minister said, noting that the only thing that is possible in Armenia is lawfulness, democracy, independent judiciary and free economic competition.

Nikol Pashinyan underscored that unlike what we have had for many years, there are no longer monopolies and privileged people in Armenia. The government has set itself many priority tasks to address - foreign policy, economy, institutional, etc. Two days ago, the European Court of Human Rights issued its first ruling on the events of March 1-2, 2008, which according to lawyers’ opinion, implies that the whole judicial system was at odds with lawfulness and legality in Armenia. This means that what I was talking about at the rally of August 17 has been confirmed by the ECHR judgment,” the Head of Government said.

The Prime Minister stressed that faced up with serious challenges, Armenia pins great hopes on the Diaspora’s backing. 

“A landmark shift has occurred in Armenia’s development model. Before the revolution many used to ask others to do something, but now we realize that each of us has to do something. The revolution’s pivotal meaning is that every citizen of Armenia now understands that his or her position is decisive in terms of shaping Armenia’s future. No matter who is the prime minister, what matters is that today the citizens of Armenia are free to elect a government or a member of parliament through fair, transparent and democratic elections. It may seem somewhat strange that the ruling political force gets so many votes in City Council elections, but you all know that there was a particular political context in those elections. I had asked people to vote for My Step alliance as an approval of early parliamentary elections,” Nikol Pashinyan said, adding that he would negotiate with parliamentary and non-parliamentary political forces to discuss the terms and timetable of early parliamentary elections.

“There was a mood that they should be held by June next year, but the expectation that potential investors have in terms of making long-term political records, and the overall economic environment make the elections more earnest, of course. Today, the structure of our economy is far from giving rise to any optimism, and we have to change it. Today, it consists of three main branches: agriculture, which does not meet modern requirements; mining which sells the national wealth, and finally the betting industry,” Pashinyan said.

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