September 19
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President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian today had a meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the presidential residence, as reported the press service of the President of Armenia.

Sarkissian and Pashinyan discussed issues related to the current agenda and problems and development programs.

President Sarkissian particularly stated the following: “I believe Armenia’s current tasks are important. For months, Armenia and the rest of the world have been fighting against the coronavirus pandemic. I follow the statistics every day and am glad to see that the number of cases is dropping, but I agree with you that people can’t get too excited and must maintain personal hygiene and social distancing.

Armenia’s current economic hardships are also linked to the pandemic. The whole world is facing economic hardships, but this doesn’t ease the burden on the shoulders of the country and particularly the government. The global situation has an indirect impact on Armenia’s economy and will have a major impact on certain sectors, including hotel services, tourism, etc. I wish you and the government success and reiterate the fact that I am ready to do everything I can to support the government.

In addition to the current problems, we witnessed the recent events in Tavush Province. I recently visited the province, particularly Chinari village and was very glad to see that the people were full of vigor and optimistic. I also express my support to you, the Ministry of Defense and our army. I believe these difficult times will become the start of a bright future, and I hope Armenia takes advantage of its peculiarities and advantages and overcomes the hardships.”

The Prime Minister particularly said the following: “I am happy and thankful for this meeting. We had a remote meeting once during these past months.

Yes, the coronavirus is a major issue for Armenia. If we take a look back, we can state that in late April, the government recorded the fact that the restrictions won’t lead to the desired outcome and that Armenia lost 70,000 jobs.

There was also tension in the region. In spite of the UN Secretary General’s call for global ceasefire, Azerbaijan was making more and more belligerent statements, and it was clear to me that the country had to be ready for possible escalation.

The government set the main objective to make sure the capacities of the healthcare industry grow so much that no citizen is left behind, and I can say that the government met its objective. As a result, based on the statistics in June, we even had more jobs compared to the same period last year. It was clear to me that if the government was guided by the logic of healthcare, the country would face a social collapse.

Unfortunately, many people have died as a result of the coronavirus in Armenia, and yes, you are right, there is a very serious decline in the number of cases, but the number of deaths is rising every day. What is painful is the fact that Armenia has reported more than 800 deaths. However, we have a chance to be in the best situation in the autumn.

Yes, you are right, in essence, Armenia also has economic issues and is currently trying to find solutions. The main objective is to maintain and add jobs, and this means the promotion of export, production and consumption. You surely know that the government carried out over 20 anti-crisis measures.

What happened in Tavush Province? Of course, this was clearly Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia’s sovereign territory. However, it is very important to state that the Azerbaijani authorities’ myth that the Azerbaijani army is at an advantage over the Armenian army is now false, and in my opinion, this is creating a totally new geopolitical and military-political situation in our region. To a great extent, this reinforces Armenia’s position that there is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and that the issue can only be solved through peace.

Armenia’s armed forces are ready to maintain the country’s territorial integrity and borders, and I am glad to state that the tremendous reforms made over the past two years have been fruitful. Unfortunately, this year is a year of many hardships and difficulties and major incidents, and the blast in Beirut and the events in Lebanon are directly linked to the lives of Armenians.”

In response to the Prime Minister, Sarkissian said the following: “I am glad to hear that we have the same views. I agree that Armenia has to be very careful with the coronavirus and hope that even if the country faces a second wave, it will be able to overcome it with experience. There are economic sectors that will be hit by the coronavirus and will need the government’s support. I fully agree that there can’t be any moral explanation for Azerbaijan’s attack. I have been following Turkey, Azerbaijan and European and Russian policies for years, and I am concerned about the line that Azerbaijan crossed, the country’s attempts to create an impression that Armenia presents a danger for international infrastructures passing through the territory of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani government’s statements that Azerbaijan can strike the Armenian nuclear power plant. Taking the opportunity, I would like to say that the President of Armenia, the presidential institution and the President’s friends are ready to support the government to overcome the hardships in all these directions.”

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