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I believe the most important task, in conceptual and ideological terms, is the elimination of the “border” between the diaspora and Armenia. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Sunday noted this at a press conference in Los Angeles, and when asked how he views Armenian diaspora-Armenia relations, as different presidents have had different views on the role of the Armenian diaspora.

“It’s not so that I myself have always had one static view about the diaspora-Republic of Armenia relations,” he said, in particular. “It’s truly one of the key agenda matters in the history of the Third Republic, [and] which needs to be looked at within the dynamics of how this matter has evolved. I believe the most important task, in conceptual and ideological terms, is the elimination of the diaspora-Armenia ‘border.’”

According to the PM, it is important which country a person identifies himself with.

“More and more number of Armenians in the world need to identify themselves with Armenia,” he added. “And those structural, ideological ‘borders’ of the diaspora must be removed; relations must be built on this basis.

“Each and every Armenian should consider himself a beneficiary of the Republic of Armenia as much as those living in the Republic of Armenia. Its most important way is for all Armenians to have a passport of a Republic of Armenia citizen; this as a minimum point. During the year they should [also] spend at least some time in Armenia.”

The Armenian premier also presented his position on the right for Armenians living abroad to vote and be elected in Armenia.

“I don’t consider acceptable the regulations that set the same standard for a member of the government as for an MP of the National Assembly,” he said, in particular. “But it’s enshrined in the Constitution, and we need to make a constitutional amendment for it.

“I see a problem here, and I believe that hinders to fully integrate the diaspora’s potential into governance of the Republic of Armenia.”

Subsequently, Pashinyan stressed that his view is a bit different with respect to voting.

“If we say that we give our people in the diaspora the right to vote, we must create the same conditions as for the citizens of the Republic of Armenia in terms of infrastructure,” he noted, in particular.

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