06, 2011

RA President Serzh Sargsyan on the issues related to the dialogue with the extra parliamentary opposition

For the forces, which are concerned with the problems of our people and development of our state, the only logical and acceptable way to move forward and find solutions to the existing difficulties is dialogue and discussions. All other methods can be dangerous, full of inevitable losses. We have been speaking about it constantly and will not recoil from repeating it again and again. After the Presidential elections in 2008, my first public statement was a call for cooperation directed to all political forces and non-governmental groups. And ever since, the working style of the authorities remains unchanged.

No matter how difficult, at times even tough the discussions have been, the Political Coalition has been able to maintain constructive cooperation with the parliamentary opposition – Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Heritage Party – for the benefit of Armenia’s advancement. We have not only been absolutely open for cooperation with all political forces, but have created corresponding mechanisms. The work format with the extra parliamentary parties allowed to juxtapose approaches existing in the political field and related to the issues which are vital for our state and our nation. The establishment of the Public Council also was aimed at the attraction of as many social groups as possible in the decision making processes, and we always consider proposals coming from that structure.

Dialogue with the Armenian National Congress has also been initiated by us. We have started the process and it was done not under any pressure, as some forces embarrassed by that dialogue are trying to present, but as a result of our deeply conscientious conviction. I assess positively our work with the ANC for last several months and hope that there is mutual understanding that the launched process should be upheld and advanced through the joint efforts. To destroy is easy, however political maturity is manifested through the ability to add to whatever has already been done. I believe, if the parties are able to abstain from the temptation to corner each other and the process by one-step, unreasoned moves, it will be possible to resolutely move forward and bring greater benefits to our people and our state. From this point of view, the essential principle is clear: ultimatums are unacceptable, and talking in ultimatums is a road which leads nowhere, and turning a dialogue into negotiations is simply unacceptable.

I would like to restate: we have always been open and ready for any kind of discussion. If there are political forces, which have concrete and reasonable proposals, we are ready to provide concrete solutions; If among the numerous problems facing our people and our country the ANC is interested exclusively in the elections, the Speaker of the National Assembly is ready to personally receive the representatives of that political body and hear them out. If, however, there are suggestions aimed at the rise of our economy and solution of the social problems existing in the country, then the Prime Minster personally will receive them and discuss these issues. If there are issues which command intervention by the President, the Head of the Presidential Staff will receive them and discuss all issues.

However, if instead of negotiations, which are unacceptable, the Armenian National Congress is genuinely ready to continue the dialogue on the outline of the country’s development, essential issues of the country’s foreign and internal policies and desires to do so through the specially designated individuals, the representatives of the Coalition parties can sit down at the discussions table with them. The Political Coalition is ready to conduct such discussions with all political forces which possess concrete proposals.

We have embarked on a very important road, and it is important not only for today. I am confident that if somberness of mind does not leave us, we will be able to install a new political culture which is extremely important for independent Armenia.

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