02, 2018

President meets with RPA-nominated presidential candidate Armen Sarkissian

President Serzh Sargsyan met with Armen Sarkissian who, before accepting the offer of Armenia’s majority political force to become the ruling party’s presidential candidate, at the previous meeting with Serzh Sargsyan had asked the incumbent President to allow him some time for meetings with different political forces, scholars, intellectuals, representatives of civil society, business circles, the political leadership of the Artsakh Republic and Diaspora organizations.

Armen Sarkissian noted that he had already completed the planned meetings based on which he had made a decision and presented the reasons behind his decision at today’s meeting with President Serzh Sargsyan.

“Honorable Mr. Sarkissian,

A month ago, on behalf of the Republican Party of Armenia, I offered you to become the candidate of the new President of Armenia. You promised to seriously think over my proposal. During this month you have had numerous meetings with both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political forces, NGOs, intellectuals and you also visited Artsakh.

It goes without saying that I closely followed your meetings through media reports which in turn kept peering through the magnifier into every step of yours, analyzing what you said and going back over your life story. Many tried to interpret and comment on your meetings: there were both sober and ridiculous interpretations.

Judging from the comments, you have displayed tolerance, patience and readiness for dialogue. These features may be decisive throughout one’s lifetime, but they are just a mere necessity for a head of State. Now, I think that the time has come for you to give an answer. In the event of a positive response, the Parliamentary majority will start the procedure prescribed by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, which says that the presidential elections should take place in the first ten days of March, and I am convinced that the elections will be held amid an atmosphere of social cohesion and the outcome will be a symbol of national solidarity. What would you say about all this,” President Serzh Sargsyan said.

Armen Sarkissian first thanked President Serzh Sargsyan and the Republican party of Armenia for confidence and great expectations from him, noting that he is well aware that the office of President is not only highly honorific, but it also implies great responsibility.

“This is the reason why I asked you to give me time to ponder and hold a range of meetings both inside and outside the country. Indeed, Artsakh is not only our pride and inseparable part of our people and history, but also the national dignity of Armenians.

Of course, my trip to Artsakh was a special visit, which once again convinced me that Artsakh is not only our pride, an integral part of our nation and history, but also - our national dignity. I would even say that we have found or regained our national pride, our national dignity in Artsakh.

As you mentioned, Mr. President, my meetings covered a wide spectrum, involving different layers both in the provinces and in Yerevan: it was quite an exciting experience for me. First of all, I met with representatives of the Republican Party of Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Tsarukyan and Exit factions, followed by meetings held with wider circles – those political parties not represented in the National Assembly, the traditional and the newly established parties – as well as with different social groups from intellectuals to young people.

Once again, I was able to make sure that there are so many things to do in different areas. And, of course, I can agree with you, Mr. President, that once elected, I should try to build on international cooperation, foreign trade and investments and, what matters most, promote national cohesion and Armenia-Diaspora relations.

Mr. President, let me mention two spheres that I think are very important, and my meetings were just the factual evidence. The first of them is education, which is very close to me. I do believe that the future President of Armenia should play key a role in supporting the educational sector. The second sphere, too, is as much important, since we cannot move forward and develop as a big nation but relatively small country, unless we build powerful civil society and rebuild and strengthen the citizen’s spirit. That is why, I feel it extremely important for every citizen to regain faith, hope, and entertain a clear, unbiased dialogue with all parties in society, both inside and outside the society. In that sense, Mr. President, I would like to reaffirm in a couple of words that reinstating and strengthening the image of the 21st century citizen - the Armenian citizen – is important for me, and I think for the country and the nation, as a whole.

After all this, Mr. President, I am confident that I will be able to do my best within the scope of the terms of reference set out by you to honor the proposed high responsibility and live up to your trust and the expectations of our compatriots in Armenia, Artsakh, and in the Diaspora.

I am prepared to assume such a highly responsible task and endeavor with all my heart and energy, should the National Assembly vote for my nomination as President,” Armen Sarkissian concluded.

The President of the Republic of Armenia expressed the hope that the procedure prescribed by the Constitution will lead to excellent results.

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