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Ministry of Defense 2020 budget request discussed; PM refers to U.S. Senate Resolution on Armenian Genocide Recognition


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Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Government today discussed Defense Ministry’s budget request for 2020. The Premier first referred to the Armenian Genocide Resolution passed by the U.S. Senate.

“The U.S. Senate unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing and condemning the Genocide of Armenians. On behalf of the Armenian people, I wish to extend a vote of thanks to all members of the U.S. Senate, as well as to the members of the House of Representatives.

As you may know, the House of Representatives adopted in late October a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. I would like to say words of appreciation to the USA-based Armenians, all those organizations, individuals who contributed to this important and historic decision. I also wish to congratulate the Armenian people on the triumph of historic truth, which opens up a new chapter in the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

We have repeatedly stated that the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is important to us not only in terms of historical truth, but also as an important component of the global movement for genocide prevention.

You may be aware that upon Armenia’s recommendation, the United Nations proclaimed December 9 as Day of Remembrance and Dignity of Genocide Victims and Prevention of this Crime. But it should be noted that for us, the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide has a security component as it will help thwart potential threats to the security of our country and people.

I would like to emphasize that not the Genocide of 1915, but Turkey’s policy of denial makes us state that Turkey continues to be a threat to our nation and to the Republic of Armenia. In fact, Turkey has been keeping the Armenian border closed for almost 30 years, which follows up the logic of genocide denial. And I think that the resolutions passed in the United States and a number of other countries came as an evidence of Turkey’s unconstructive and aggressive policy in the region.

Let us see what is going on in our region: Turkey’s aggressive policy towards Syria, Iraq, Cyprus, Greece, and the blockade of Armenia actually demonstrate the adverse role played by Turkey in our region. In this respect, I do believe that the international community should express a clear stance on Turkey’s actions and encourage Turkey to reassess and reconsider its geopolitical role.

Like all previous Armenian governments, our government states that we are ready to establish relations with Turkey without any precondition. And we have also declared that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not set as part of our agenda for settling relations.

The acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide is first and foremost a necessity for Turkey in the context of my assertion that they should reconsider their role in our region, which unfortunately reveals historical associations with the events of the beginning of the century and earlier in the way mentioned above.

I evoked the day’s motto in connection with the Day of Remembrance and Dignity of Genocide Victims and the Prevention of That Crime. Yes, it may seem somewhat strange at first glance that genocide victims need to protect their dignity, but the indecent and cynical statements made by the Turkish President earlier this year regarding the victims of the Armenian Genocide came to prove that such protection is a must indeed.”

Back to the meeting’s agenda, the Prime Minister made it clear that security is a multi-faceted factor: there are economic, political, psychological and diplomatic components here: “We believe that the Armed Forces, the Armenian army, is the number one security guarantor for Armenia and Artsakh. In this regard, I consider it important that over the past 1.5 years the army has undergone drastic changes despite some political speculations

During this period, an unprecedented amount of armament was acquired, and I want to emphasize that we need them not for war but for peace, because unfortunately the aggressive policy pursued by a number of countries in the region should be counterbalanced by a policy of restriction.

We are pursuing this kind of policy in the area of defense by developing the armed forces: the acquisition of weapons is only part of our policy in this area. I believe it important to take serious measures with a view to improving the military’s service conditions, increasing their social guarantees and making them more effective, and we will continue our work in this direction.

Of course, in this context, there are many discussions, publications, critics. I divide them into two groups: First, you know that any reform process always involves drawbacks and even negative reactions. This is a natural part, but there is also a second part that needs to be kept in spotlight so that the reforms and changes we make are 100% consistent with the quality and results of their content, our intentions, our desires, our ultimate goals,” the Premier said.

The 2020 activities were discussed at the meeting, including the steps to be taken in the field of armaments, infrastructure development, training quality, the activities of Monte Melkonian Military College, the National Museum of Ethnography and Freedom Fight, and the Humanitarian De-Mining Center.

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