Working visit of the President Armen Sarkissian to Syunik marz
President Armen Sarkissian has left on a working visit to Syunik marz.
The President will visit Meghri free economic zone, medical and cultural establishments of the region, and production companies. He will also visit a combat position of the RA Armed forces.
During his working visit to Syunik marz, President Armen Sarkissian visit the Meghri free economic zone (FEZ).
The President familiarized with the created infrastructure and existing conditions. Director of FEZ Ashot Zarbabian presented the accomplished works, the current situation, and the forthcoming activities. It was noted in particular that only the first phase of the planned works has been accomplished so far.
President Sarkissian said that during his multiple meetings with foreign investors and heads of organizations, they showed interest also toward the Meghri FEZ, and today he was visiting to see firsthand and observe the exiting conditions and capacities. “People are aware that there will be a free economic zone in Meghri. This topic is being raised by the Western, as well as Russian companies. Since I am trying to bring investments to Armenia, it was important for me to see everything personally, so as to be able to assist consulting with the partners in the government,” the President said.
President Armen Sarkissian visited also the Meghri regional medical center. He toured the premise, observed the exiting conditions, conversed with the staff, inquired about the adequacy of the equipment used in the center, and the problems. The President was informed on the services provided by the center, their affordability, and quality.
The Meghri regional medical center was opened in 2016. It was constructed in the framework of the Modernization of the healthcare system program financed by the World Bank and is servicing Agarak and Meghri towns and the population of the adjacent rural communities. “I am impressed with this modern hospital where wonderful people are working. Meghri is truly a paradise because of its nature and because of its people. This is my first visit to Meghri as the President of Armenia but certainly not the last one; I will visit you again soon,” President Sarkissian said responding to the questions from the journalists. Armen Sarkissian visited also the Sourb Astvatsatsin Church in the Mets Tagh of Meghri.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Syunik marz on a working visit, was at the combat position of the N military division of the RA Defense Army. The President met with the troops and officers on duty, toured the position, familiarized with the service conditions, and combat readiness of the unit.
The President congratulated the soldiers and officers on duty and noted in particular that it was a great joy and honor for him to be on the border on Armenia’s Constitution Day. “Every one of you, you all not only defend our borders but also the Constitution, our Fatherland, your families and friends, children, mothers, and us all. I bow to you all, I understand that this position is one of the most important points of defense for our Fatherland. It is not easy, in summer heat and winter cold, to serve 24 hours,” the President said, “As the President of Armenia, I want on behalf of us all to express the deepest gratitude and say that we are proud of you. We expect each of you to continue with your duties, to protect and defend our Fatherland, to protect and defend the peace.
I wish you all good health and safe service. Be strong. I once again congratulate you and us all on today’s holiday, Constitution Day. Safe service.”
A group of servicemen on combat duty were awarded watches engraved with their names from the President of Armenia for their diligent and dedicated service. Gifts were also handed out on behalf of the President.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Syunik marz on a working visit, was at the Zangezur copper and molybdenum plant and the company’s mining site. Director General Mher Poloskov presented to Armen Sarkissian the applied technologies, technical and production capacities, volumes of production and export. Discussed were also the upcoming activities and development programs, as well as the social programs implemented in the communities.
“It is important to see, to be sure that the company is on the right course and that it fulfills its social obligations,” President Sarkissian said. He noted that the giant of the Armenian metallurgy not only has a great share in the Armenian exports but is of huge importance for the South – from Meghri to Goris. President Sarkissian stressed as important for business, industry and mines to be also an organization which also creates a social life and culture. “It is my message, my request and my proposal to the administration of this company: Continue to pay attention to the social life,” President Sarkissian said.
Stressing the important role of the Kapan airport, Armen Sarkissian said, “Our South is a gem from the viewpoint of tourism development which until now was kept secret. If there is an air link, the situation will change considerably.” The President noted that the South also possesses excellent conditions for the development of agriculture, other production, light industry, and commercial activities. “Thousands of people used to work in the light industry area in Kapan, there was a factory which was manufacturing cotton and wool production in great quantities, thousands of people were employed. The tradition could be restored, moreover so since there is a trade rout. The South can develop all-round,” the President of Armenia said.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in Syunik marz on a working visit, visited a number of enterprises.
In Syunik Food company, which is specializes in producing preserves, the President observed the production process and conversed with the employees. During the tour of the premise, the owner of the company Sarmen Sargsyan presented information on the production volumes and the existing capacities.
The factory employs 80 workers, and in the period of procurement their numbers reach 250. The company purchases produce not only in the region but also from the farmers of Artsakh. The production of the company is being sold not only at the local markets but is exported as well.
The President conversed with the leadership of the company about the increase of the production volumes and development opportunities and expressed readiness to assist in entering new markets. “Syunik marz has a great potential for development. Beside the mining, food production, light industry, and tourism also have good prospects for development. You have chosen the right course,” he said and proposed to increase production noting that organic, high-quality production in line with international standards is in great demand.
President Sarkissian’s next stop was Marila company which has 55 employees and produces dairy and meat products. Owner of the company Haik Hakopian presented to Armen Sarkissian the production volumes and capacities and told about the forthcoming programs. He underscored that the company, which currently is present only on the domestic market, intends to expand. President Sarkissian noted that he was ready to assist the company in entering foreign markets.
During his working visit to Syunik marz, President Armen Sarkissian in Qarahunj community participated at the annual festival of mulberry.
Accompanied by the Minister of Territorial Administration Suren Papikian and governor of Syunik Hunan Poghossian, President Sarkissian walked through the pavilions representing the communities of the marz, tested the produce prepared from mulberry, observed works of the artists and folk master of Syunik, conversed with the organizers of the festival, participants, and guests.
The event, which is being held since 2014, is aimed at the development of tourism in Syunik marz.
In the framework of his working visit to Syunik, President Sarkissian visited Qarahunj community.
Accompanied by the children of the village, President Sarkissian visited the community library and presented them with the books of the fairy tales authored by his spouse Nouneh Sarkissian.
At the community Cultural Center President Sarkissian met with the residents. Responding to the question whether the authorities enshrined in the Constitution are adequate for president, Armen Sarkissian said, “Regardless of the description this position has, it is the individual who works on that position that delivers the results. Regardless of the powers, if you do them well, then fine, if you perform badly, that’s not good. I am trying to invest into the activities of the President of the Republic the meaning I deem is right.
I am working within the scope of the Constitutions, not beyond. It turns out, that working in the framework of that same Constitution, one can do pretty much. One can have the greatest authority in the world, the greatest opportunities but deliver nothing. And vice versa – have it and use it. No need to think of leverages or tools you have, the important thing is to hit the target. My target is very simple – for our country to prosper, our children to be happy, and for me – to make my small contribution within the scope of my abilities.”
Responding to the question on Armenia’s future, President Sarkissian assured that our country would have a bright future,” Look at these kids, and everything will become clear. Our responsibility is to create opportunities for them.”
In the framework of his working visit to Syunik, President Armen Sarkissian visited the cultural centers of the marz.
In Goris, President Sarkissian visited the Home-Museum of the famous Armenian author Aksel Bakunts. At the courtyard of the museum, the pupils of the Charles Aznavour musical school of Goris welcomed the President.
Accompanied by the Director of the Home-Museum Mr. Vartan Sargsyan, the President familiarized with the conditions and exhibits of the museum and conversed with the staff. President Sarkissian was informed on the performed and forthcoming events dedicated to the jubilee of Aksel Bakunts. This year celebrates his 120th birth anniversary.
Afterwards, the President walked in the town. He visited the town square where the monument authored by the architects Rafael Israelian, his father, Vartan Sarkissian, and sculptor Ara Harutyunian was installed. It was mounted in Soviet times in the memory of the fallen soldiers. With the Mayor of Goris Mr. Arush Arushanian, President Sarkissian discussed the options for the restoration of the monument. The mayor informed President Sarkissian on the programs for the reconstruction of the square and other projects to be implemented in the town.
At the conclusion of his working visit to Syunik marz, President Armen Sarkissian visited the Armenian-French Cardio-Vascular Center in Goris.
Accompanied by the Armenian-French cardiologist, Founding Director and Vice Chair of the France-Armenia Health Action Association Avetis Matikian, President Sarkissian toured the center, observed the existing conditions and provided services.
This center, which has high-class specialists and is equipped with modern devises, serves patients with cardio-vascular issues not only of Syunik but also of Artsakh, and Vayots Dzor marz.
The medical center was established in 2013 by the France-Armenia Health Action Association with the assistance of the administration of French Bouches-du-Rhône region. Up to this moment, because of the works of the center more than 2000 lives have been saved.
President Sarkissian thanked Avetis Matikian, who initiated the construction of the center, and the medical staff for their dedicated work. He hailed the role of the center in preserving the health of the regional population.
At the conclusion of his visit to Syunik marz, President Sarkissian responded to the questions of the journalists and noted that he was happy to spend two days at the South of our Fatherland - a region which has history, values to boast about, a great potential even though a major part of that potential has not been realized yet.
Speaking about his visit to the Meghri free economic zone, President Sarkissian expressed hope that it would become operational pretty soon. “Interest toward that zone is great. It has applicable importance not only for Syunik but for the entire country. Multiple companies are interested in using Armenia to enter the Iranian market.”
He noted that in some cases he could assist personally, be helpful, for instance in helping small enterprises of Kapan in finding new markets.
Speaking about his impressions, President Sarkissian said that it is important for the residents to view their town, their community as their home. Speaking about his visit to Zangezur copper and molybdenum plant, Armen Sarkissian said that it plays a very important role, especially for the people of Kapan and Qajaran. “They don’t care who the owner is. They believe that the plant is theirs, the town is theirs, and it is very important. Their fathers worked there, and their sons will work there. It is very important that the plant is also carrying out social programs.”
Similar unity, according to the President, could be observed during the Mulberry festival in Qarahunj. “I was delighted by the number of people and the atmosphere there,” Armen Sarkissian said. “People are proud of their history. The sense of being one family, which they possess, is very beautiful and impressive. It was pleasing that visitors came not only from the nearby villages but also from Goris and Yerevan. My request to you, don’t get comfortable with mulberry only. You should be able to gather us all on any such occasion and get happy because we are together. Thus, I appeal to you all – our Fatherland is very beautiful, come and discover it.”
The President viewed the comprehension of the state interest and state thinking as the base of development. “If there is no state interest – constant, long-lasting – for the resolution of the problem, your actions will not be right no matter what, one day all will collapse. A structure, or organization - it should have a strong and proper foundation and rise upward. To rise straight up, you need to think straight, having the state and national interest at heart.”