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January 19
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Deputies of the 7th convocation National Assembly (NA) of Armenia received their parliamentary mandates during a solemn ceremony on Thursday.

First session of the newly elected NA will be convened on January 14.

The new legislature of Armenia will have 132 MPs comprising 88 lawmakers—including four representatives from the national minorities—from My Step alliance, 26 deputies from the Prosperous Armenia Party, and 18 MPs from the Bright Armenia Party.

Armenia’s acting PM Nikol Pashinyan touched upon the Diaspora ministry during the Cabinet meeting on January 10.

“I believe there is a wrong impression that we want to “cross out” the Ministry of Diaspora,” he said. “In this regard, we have a certain model and proposal which assumes that the level of relations with the diaspora will not be reduced, but will be increased. We will have discussions in the near future with our compatriots in the diaspora regarding that model, and I hope that will reach an agreement and consensus on this matter.

Pashinyan said the objective of reducing the number of ministries is not to save money, but to increase the effectiveness of public administration bodies.

Armenia’s GDP growth will stand at 4.3% in 2019 and will increase to 4.6%, the World Bank experts said in “Global Economic Prospects: Darkening Skies” report.

According to the report, the slowdown or reversal of ongoing structural reforms remains a risk in many countries in the region, especially in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, and Turkey.

Longtime friend of Armenia and Artsakh, Congressman Eliot Engel has been elected as the incoming Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The American Armenians welcomed Engel’s election and said they look forward to working with him on a broad array of policy priorities.

An Armenian man who has been suspected of a murder in Kazakhstan’s Karaganda was detained.

Armenian national Narek Gururyan, 21, who has been wanted along the lines of a murder, was detained in Omsk region of Russia. He is likely to be extradited to Kazakhstan.

A group of Syrian and Russian soldiers, among them Russian citizen and ethnic Armenian Andranik Arustamyan, died on November 2, 2018 in Syria, the BBC Russian Service reported.

The Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian contingent command, however, was not commenting on these reports. For some reason, they had decided not to publicize the death of Junior Sergeant Arustamyan. The man’s body was transferred from Syria to Moscow on November 3, and on the next day—to Totskoye where his family lives.

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