Foreign visits

Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Working Visit to Kazakhstan

08.11.2018 - 09.11.2018

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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan participated in a meeting of the Collective Security Council (CSC) of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which was attended the CSTO-member states’ leaders: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. The narrow-format meeting of heads of state was followed by an expanded meeting of country delegations. The CSC members discussed international and regional security agenda, issues of cooperation within the CSTO and in the international arena.

Given the fact that the CSTO chairmanship shall be handed over to the Kyrgyz Republic in 2018-2019, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov presented his country’s priorities during the forthcoming presidency. A number of documents were adopted at the Summit, including the Declaration of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Statement of Heads of State of the Collective Security Treaty Organization on coordinated action against participants in armed conflicts on the side of international terrorist organizations.

The heads of state adopted a number of CSC decisions aimed at improving the system of responding to crisis situations within the CSTO, countering illegal migration, developing a coordinated information policy, addressing the composition of military units and collective forces. The meeting approved the candidacy of chairman of the Interstate Commission on Military Economic Cooperation.

Documents were adopted concerning the legal formulation of the status of a CSTO observer and partner state, which opens up new possibilities for the Organization’s cooperation with third countries at a qualitatively new level.

During the meeting, the appointment of the CSTO Secretary-General was discussed. The parties agreed to continue discussion on this issue at the December 6 meeting to be held in St. Petersburg. At the same time, work will be carried out on the development of appropriate standards governing the early termination of the powers of the Secretary-General.

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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met in Astana with representatives of the Armenian community in Kazakhstan. In attendance were Armenians not only from Astana, but also from other regions located hundreds of kilometers away from the capital. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Armenian community of Uzbekistan, led by Reverend Father Hovhannes Grigoryan, the pastor of the Church of St. Philip in Tashkent and the Church of the Holy Virgin in Samarkand.

Welcoming the participants of the meeting, Nikol Pashinyan noted: “Dear compatriots, I will start with what I just thought when I came in and saw you here. I will tell you the background to make it clearer. I have been traveling a lot since being elected as prime minister, and I am having meetings like this with our compatriots in almost every country I visit. When we meet so many kindred people, we think the following: we are in fact a powerful people with our potential but, unfortunately, we still do not use it completely. The revolution occurred not only in Armenia, but also among Armenians worldwide, in the national consciousness, and its most important result should be the use of national potential to strengthen our homeland, which should become the number one guarantor of our survival.”

Nikol Pashinyan said he had recently been introduced to the findings of a survey, which revealed that the expression “I am Armenian” had different perceptions at different times.

“In the 21st century, the statement “I am Armenian” is primarily associated with the independent statehood of Armenia. Our most important task is to actually use our potential with a view to further developing the Homeland. Our main drawback was that we did not formulate common goals, due to which different parts of our people did not act in harmony. We must formulate a common national goal and mobilize our forces in order to achieve it. I think it to be the most important feature of the revolution: we have got new energy, new enthusiasm to make Armenia a country capable of protecting us, developing, being attractive for investments and living,” the Acting Prime Minister said.

Nikol Pashinyan noted with pleasure that the revolution has triggered immigration trends in Armenia. “From May through October, the migration balance of Armenia amounted to plus 13 thousand. In the same period last year, the balance was minus 9 thousand. I hope that as a result of our forthcoming activities these 13 thousand will become 130 thousand, 200 thousand, 1 300 thousand, and we will have a new kind of statehood. We want Armenia to be guided by the following motto: happy individual, caring society, powerful state. I know that together we will achieve this goal,” Nikol Pashinyan stressed.

Then the acting Prime Minister answered a number of questions, which related to the development of the economy, education, science, health, tourism, tax administration and reforms in Armenia. A group of Armenians expressed interest and readiness to engage in business in their homeland. Nikol Pashinyan welcomed this initiative.

“New opportunities have been created in New Armenia, and it depends on the desire of each of us whether we will use these opportunities or not. I will give my example: when in 1991 Armenia gained independence, the authorities proclaimed freedom of speech in the country. That very year I graduated from school and realized the following: freedom of speech will not come true unless there are people willing to take advantage of that opportunity. The same goes for the New Armenia. When we say that there are new business opportunities and freedom, it will not become a reality until people go and take advantage of this opportunity,” the acting Prime Minister said, adding that today there are no hindrances to any activity or investment in Armenia, and he welcomes and prioritizes the implementation of similar initiatives. He stressed that a consistent labor promotion policy will be pursued in Armenia. According to Nikol Pashinyan, the government has set itself the task of creating a worldwide map of Armenians in order to find out in which area and what potential we have. “This is difficult but important work so that we can unite the full potential of our people,” the Acting Prime Minister said.

Touching on the political situation in Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan stressed that democracy is irreversible in our country. “Dictatorship shall be ruled out in the Republic of Armenia; democracy in our country is irreversible. The mass media outlets have never been that free in Armenia. The most important change that has occurred is the people’s perception of their own role and the need for cohesion. Foreigners are first of all impressed by our people: they say Armenia seems to be one family. This is the most important change. We are a democratic country, and there can be no other way.

Our people made a revolution against authoritarianism, the oligarchic system and will no longer allow the reinstatement of such a system in our country. The emergence of a fake opposition was the most destructive factor for the political system in Armenia, which to my opinion was the case after 1998. We will not go this way. For a long time, there were no authorities with the people’s mandate and there was no opposition in Armenia. Therefore, people in Armenia did not believe anyone. We will not create an artificial opposition, because the opposition should create itself. In the upcoming parliamentary elections, people will determine who is to be government, and who – opposition,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

Answering a question about the business problems that existed in the country two years ago, Nikol Pashinyan stated, in part: “We will not be able to move forward without facing the reality. In April, 2018, the people stood up and said that it was impossible to continue this way. We need to understand how come that even the most primitive rules were depreciated in our country. This is our biggest conceptual task. Should all cases of corruption be revealed or not? This is a very serious question, and I believe that every penny stolen from the people should be returned. The truth about our country must be revealed. But this does not mean that we have to make a vendetta, or set guillotines in our country. We must have certain conditions for achieving national consensus. Those who have something to return to the people, if they return, perhaps some kind of condescension will be shown against these people, and if not, we should bring justice to these people. Our country suffered both in terms of domestic and foreign policies. No one can think that he can rob a people and go somewhere to enjoy the loot. We will not allow it.”

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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had working breakfast in Astana with Atameken Chamber of Commerce member, Chairman of Oil and Gas Industry Committee Abulfazin Daniyar Rustemovich and Mosstone Engineering Company Director David Galstyan.

The interlocutors discussed issues related to cooperation prospects in the energy sector. They touched upon the opportunities available on the Armenian market, and the Government’s steps aimed at improving the business environment.

The Kazakh side expressed interest in making investments in our country. Welcoming the initiative, Nikol Pashinyan suggested discussing the matter with Armenia’s relevant government agencies in order to identify and outline the steps to take ahead.

The meeting looked at ways of exporting Armenian products to Kazakhstan.

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