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Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) President Arayik Harutyunyan on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, Armenian News-NEWS.am has learned from the office of the President of Artsakh.

The Head of the State introduced Gurgen Nersisyan, the newly-appointed State Minister of Artsakh to the participants of the meeting. In his speech, President Harutyunyan noted that the State Minister will have broad powers, all ministries will operate under his coordination, except for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Internal Affairs, and he will have the freedom to develop and conduct personnel policy within the scope of his jurisdiction. The chairmanship of the Boards of Trustees of the Artsakh Investment Fund and the Village and Agriculture Support Fund will also be transferred to Gurgen Nersisyan.

Touching upon the situation developed as a result of the blockade of Artsakh by Azerbaijan, the Head of the State noted, that despite the fact that the people of Artsakh have been suffering huge social and economic losses during the last 80 days, and experiencing emotional distress, they show great will and determination to tirelessly overcome them day by day.

"Once again, I want to emphasize that regardless of the difficulties and various pressures, we will remain loyal to the ideas of the Artsakh Movement and there will be no step back from the path of independence. I want to declare with all responsibility that any integration process with Azerbaijan is excluded. However, this does not mean that we will avoid contacts to solve problems of an infrastructural and humanitarian nature. And for the negotiations on the settlement of the conflict, as I stated in my message of February 23, it is necessary to ensure certain conditions and an international format," the President said.

Arayik Harutyunyan also noted that the Government will continue to take all measures to alleviate the socio-economic burden and jointly overcome the existing challenges.

In this regard, the President instructed the new State Minister to develop and submit a package of new social programs in the coming days, aimed at the significant relief of utility bills, other current expenses, as well as tax and credit burden. At the same time, the Head of the State instructed to consistently and promptly exert efforts to increase the level of the economy’s self-sufficiency, attaching priority attention to food production.

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