I can’t grant the title of People’s Artist of Armenia to an Armenian figure, if he or she is not a citizen of Armenia since that would be absurd. This is what President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian told Armenian reporters in Tbilisi, recalling, for example, the fact that Sofiko Tchiaureli was a People’s Artist of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic.
“We Armenians need to change our attitude towards Armenia-Diaspora relations. I believe we built artificial barriers between Armenia and the Diaspora and were afraid of the Diaspora for a certain period for some reason, but the Diaspora is our real and most important asset. Of course, it’s clear that there need to be certain restrictions in terms of public service, but we need to be able to engage everyone, not divide people. We won’t get anywhere, if we don’t work together,” he said.