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Pashinyan to Armenians in Lebanon: Claims Economic Monopolies Dead in Armenia; Calls for Drafting of Pan-National Agenda

Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, now in Lebanon on a working visit, met with representatives of the Armenian community at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Lebanon on October 20.

Below, is Pashinyan’s unedited speech to the Lebanese-Armenian community as reported by his press department.

It is a great honor for me to be here today and have the opportunity to communicate with you. First of all, I would like to thank you, since all this time we have been feeling your warmth and support. It was extremely important as it gave us a lot of strength so that we could remain strong at times when it seemed that shocks were inevitable. During this period, we were aware of and continue to perceive the situation in the same way: the changes that we started and the status that we have today is a great responsibility and honor for us before the people of Armenia and all Armenians.

I want to assure you that we are fully prepared to bear this responsibility, which was once again reaffirmed today: it is a privilege to see the support of our traditional parties, organizations and all our compatriots.

I want to say in a nutshell what we want to do, and what are the main changes that should occur or are happening in Armenia. Our most important task is to promote democracy, which is not a theoretical position for us: an individual understanding of democracy is very important. You can discuss a lot what caused the citizens of Armenia to make these changes; you can try to find economic, social and legal reasons. But I think that the biggest demand of the people and citizens of Armenia was that they should be respected and not despised in their own country. This is the most important thing that the citizens of Armenia, the people living in Armenia expect from the authorities and will demand from any authorities, because we, the Armenians, have a special sense of dignity.

Our most important mission is to make the people of Armenia feel respected so that they could believe in their own strength and regain self-confidence.

We just have to mobilize our national potential, clearly formulate the national agenda, and each of us should make a contribution within our powers in order to implement the pan-Armenian agenda. In this regard, I consider it important to establish democracy in Armenia. I used to say several times as an opposition politician, and now I want to repeat in my capacity of Prime Minister of Armenia: we enjoy the people’s trust, we represent Armenia as Armenia’s authorities, and if we manage to reinstate specific freedoms, protect human rights, create an independent judiciary, ensure economic and political success, even in this case I will not consider the mission of the revolution and our mission completed.

My political team and I will consider our mission complete only when we come to power through free, fair, democratic elections or leave power at the will of the people. This is a very important condition, because, after all, it is very important for the people of Armenia to clearly realize that it is not up to the government to decide what people should be wishing, but the people itself has to determine what kind of authorities would be formed in Armenia. In this regard, we must state that the restoration of the electoral institution in Armenia is our most important mission, and the Armenian citizens must be sure that they can decide on the framework of power and individuals. The rest is supposed to serve this purpose.

You know that for many years there used to be economic monopolies in Armenia. I have the honor to state today that we no longer have economic monopolies in Armenia. For many years, there was a clearly systematized corruption mechanism in Armenia, and I have the honor to state that there is no corruption in Armenia today. Of course, there are still officials who have been working with the logic of the old regime for 20 years or more and are now looking for ways to restore these mechanisms, but we will not give them that opportunity, and this is fundamental for us.

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