PM: “No border or divide between Armenia and the Diaspora; we are an indivisible whole”
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In honor of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Anna Hakobyan, who are in France on a working visit, a reception was held with the participation of spiritual and secular leaders of the Armenian community, French Parliament members of Armenian descent, political and cultural figures, and business community representatives.
Addressing those present, the Prime Minister spoke about his working visit to France, the talks held with President Macron, Armenia’s foreign policy and the Karabakh conflict.
The Prime Minister stated, in part: “It has become a tradition for me to meet with Armenian community representatives in both restricted and enlarged formats during my visits abroad. This is an important record, which reaffirms pan-armenity as a priority and reflects the new policy pursued by the Government of the Republic of Armenia in the context of Armenia-Diaspora relations.
And I would like to say that our new policy is perceived in the same way by our international partners. Both yesterday and today, I met with President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic, and during our two meetings, the French President spoke specifically about the Armenian community of France.
And I am particularly pleased that the French President sees the Armenian Government, Armenia and the Diaspora as a single body. And in our discussions, my friend Emmanuel stressed the importance, the influence of the Armenian community in France and the role it plays in the life of French society. And it honors me that many people whose names he mentioned are present today at this evening.
This approach highlights the fact that if there is any problem on either side, we must address it through joint efforts. And, to tell the truth, we agreed yesterday and today that all questions on our agenda will be resolved quickly. I would like to thank you for it, because your presence, your notoriety and your capacity make it possible to tackle any problem, and I wish to thank you again for constituting such a fulcrum for us and for France. We must realize that we need to solve all the problems because they are very important to us all.
Indeed, the idea of pan-armenity is very important to us. The basic idea is as follows: There is no border or divide between Armenia and the Diaspora; we are an indivisible whole, and if we act in this spirit, everything will be seen from a different perspective, and all problems will become solvable.
The goal of our government is to create the following situation: the Republic of Armenia represents all Armenians, and this is a decisive factor that should allow real changes in the historical destiny of our nation in order to take our destiny out of the vicious circle of opportunity and bad luck, which provides that when geopolitical conditions are favorable, we have statehood, and when it changes, we lose everything. Our duty is to get out of this cycle, and I can say with confidence that today we are well poised to shake it off step by step.
I would now like to inform you about the following: after a year and a half of activity, I can state that we have already achieved tangible results in the field of foreign policy. In the context of Nagorno-Karabakh, a new approach and a new content is being outlined.
The biggest surprise for me, as Prime Minister, is that the international community has lost the perception of the real essence of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, and the issue is widely presented as a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
And I can say that for the past year and a half, we have been endeavoring to reach out to the international community the true content of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, the one we carry in ourselves. Until recently, we had the impression of being lonely in our vision, but I can now state that our approach is being heard and understood by the international community, and this is a success.
Today, I can say that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs have a deeper understanding of our position, and also we can record that the perceptions of Armenia and Artsakh on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem are 100% identical. This has never been the case, we have never had a situation where the perceptions of Armenia and Artsakh were identical until the last nuance, or at least not as identical as they are today. This means that we are approaching the next important stage, namely that there is no debate about Karabakh in the Armenian reality, and we will soon have a situation where the positions of all Armenians on the Karabakh issue are identical.
I want to refer to what we have witnessed in the last eighteen months. There have been pessimistic assessments concerning for example the Armenian-Russian relations. We can say that today both the Armenian and Russian authorities have a complete mutual understanding of our relations, their content, and the present and future strategies. And I hope that the Russian officials’ public statements highlight this reality.
We have not had major problems in our relations with the European Union, and we do not have them today. As for relations between Armenia and Georgia, let me say that they have never been as high as they are now.
We have a mutual understanding with Iran; we have initiated a strategic dialogue with the United States, and there are good indications that we are very close to making a landmark breakthrough in our relations with the United States.”
Referring to Armenia’s internal situation, the Prime Minister emphasized that there is no alternative to democracy, the rule of law, the protection of human rights, freedom of expression, civic freedoms and to the people’s rule in Armenia.
“On many international platforms, and today as well, I noticed that the speakers are talking about the need to curb corruption in their countries. Taking note of their statements, I told myself that this is not we should be striving for just because we should not speak of reducing corruption, but of eradicating it.
And we are following this path with determination, and no official – former, incumbent, or future - can hope to escape this logic. We have had this discussion several times in our closed party meetings, and we all agreed that whoever steals a dime from Armenia or its people is our personal enemy. The rest is already a debate on the future of Armenia, and I am sure it will become more and more meaningful.
I would like to thank all those who come into discussion with us, who criticize us, because they allow us to correct the mistakes. This is how we perceive our work in the future.
I cannot guarantee a lack of mistakes for our government or for myself, but I can guarantee that our people will have the opportunity to correct our mistakes when they see that we are no longer able to correct them on our own. We represent the Government of the Republic of Armenia, we are acting today as a political force in office and, as I said on several occasions, the power in the Republic of Armenia belongs to the proud citizen of the Republic of Armenia, and that in our perception, we are serving the citizen and the nation. And I want to assure you that we will do the best of ourselves. And the citizens will decide the rest.
Long live freedom!
Long live the Republic of Armenia!
Glory to us and to our children who live and will live in a free and happy Armenia!
Long live the Armenians in the Diaspora, whose children will live in Armenia and whose thoughts are with the Homeland today. I am convinced that you all keep in touch with Armenia in your minds, I love you all, I am proud of you all and I bow to you all.”
The Premier then answered the questions of interest to meeting participants, which bore on education, the fight against corruption and the ongoing economic transformations.