11, 2011

During his working visit to Gegharkunik President of Armenia responded to the questions raised by the journalists

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Mr. President, what do you think of Gavar’s new Medial Center?

My impressions are certainly excellent. You have seen for yourself what kind of conditions have been created and also heard that this is the seventh medical center which has been opened in the last two years. Next year, we will inaugurate the largest medical center in Gyumri and will give a start to the construction of six new centers. You see, during the meetings with the doctors as well as ordinary people it became clear that everybody understands the importance of having such centers. The issue is, of course, not only the timing but accessibility and convenience. It is obvious that if a resident of Gavar has to undergo treatment or be hospitalized, it is much more desirable to be at a place like this one, than travel to the capital; all the more so because the doctors also have to undergo professional retraining so that they can work with the modern equipment. This is part of our program for the even development of the regions, an important part; however we will not limit ourselves with the health care only. I believe, we all should be happy. On the other hand, expectations rise too. We should provide our people with all necessary services, making them more affordable and of a better quality. My impressions are excellent. For instance, the doctors say, perhaps they exaggerate a little, but they say that there are devices here which many of the hospitals in Yerevan do not have. It is, of course, very good.

Just a moment ago, we have been in other medical center, where children are being treated and rehabilitated. Together with Arabkir Medical Center, the state-private sector cooperation implements a very nice program which allows children with chronic illnesses, those with mental and physical disabilities to rehabilitate their health. I am saying this because as you know, in a week we will be commemorating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and this is a very good signal to our society to underscore the attitude toward the people with disabilities.

Mr. President, if you allow a question on another topic: recently the situation at the border has again become disquiet. Could you please comment on that?

As long as the problem is not solved, the situation on the border will always be disquiet. However, we don’t want that disquiet to translate into the loss of human life. As you know, in the last two days we have lost two soldiers, and the death of our troops, the guilt for the loss of these two troops lies totally with the Azerbaijani authorities. They are also responsible for the future losses in their army: the life of just one soldier is too precious for us. If they don’t give a damn about the lives of their troops, we value the lives of our troops very much. Make no mistake about that. I believe, that this disquiet will subside.

Why? What your conviction is based on?

Why? Because we want it, because it is logical, because human reasoning demands it. Everything is going to be all right, have no doubt. You see, to solve a problem, we should have a desire to solve it, as well as conviction. If there is no conviction, if there is no goal, we can do nothing.

Mr. President, one question on internal matters. Recently, the leader of the Heritage political party Raffi Hovhanissian made a statement, urging you publicly to conduct free and fair elections. What’s your opinion?

Unfortunately, the statement was not a considerate one; it was not intended to improve our political processes - in this case the organization of the elections but rather was done to compromise the process which has already been launched. As you know, we got into gear, and our goal is to conduct very good elections. I would like to stress that the last two elections – Presidential and parliamentary – were assessed by the international monitors as “mainly” corresponding to the international standards. Our goal is to eliminate the word “mainly,” i.e. to have elections which fully correspond to international standards. Toward that end, we have introduced multiple changes into the Election Code, which have been approved by our European and other partners. It means that we not only intend to but are also making concrete steps. I believe, the objective of that statement was simply to besmirch and damage that process. However, I think that nothing can get in our way. We will be moving forward steadily and will not only conduct elections in the best possible way but also all political processes – calmly, quietly, making no fuss, paying no heed to those full of hatred, paying no heed, I wouldn’t say to their assessment, because they have no right to make assessments, but to their opinion. Disregarding their poison, disregarding their vicious goal, we will do our best to improve everything, and I trust everyone will have the opportunity, as they have today, to see it.

Everything will be fine. By the way, despite all that, yesterday we responded to Mr. Hovhanissian’s letter and published our view.

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