Sarkissian Bans Ministries From Press Services

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)Armenia’s Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian has banned all ministries– except foreign and defense–to have their own press services and promised support to the Armenpress news agency–which will become a state-owned joint-stock company.

The ministries will have two or three staff members responsible for press and public relations– and their work will be coordinated by the government–Sarkissian told the staff of Armenpress.

The prime minister said that public relations with Russia–the West and the Diaspora have to be improved further.

He pledged government assistance to Armenpress in finding funding sources–technical modernization–seeking out new partners and opening a foreign bureau.

Sarkissian said he saw the future of Armenpress as a state joint-stock company which–in time– would be able to sell some shares to solid partners.

He said it was also important to enter the foreign arena. Talks on cooperation between Armenpress and a foreign partner are under way–he said. The prime minister did not specify which partner he meant–but Itar-Tass has learned that Reuters news agency is involved.

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