Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian Resigns

YEREVAN (Yerevan–Noyan Tapan–Itar Tass)Armenia’s Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian announced his resignation Friday during a telephone news conference–during which he told the Armenian press that he would not be able to fulfill his duties due to illness.

Sarkissian underwent an operation last month during an official visit to England–following which he remained there for post-op treatment.

A press conference was called at the government headquarters in Yerevan–where Sarkissian advisor Hasmig Petrossian called the prime minister and following a brief get-well remark allowed him to make his remarks.

The prime minister cited his illness as the reason for his submitting his resignation Thursday– saying that by remaining in his post under the current health circumstances would greatly hinder the activities of the government–thus–with this responsibly he was stepping down from his post.

During the telephone conference he fielded limited questions from several media outlets and newspapers.

State mouthpiece Armenpress director Tigran Hakopian who prefaced his question by saying that during Sarkissian tenure–Armenia had seen political and economic improvemen’s. Sarkissian praised the people of Armenia and thanked Levon Ter-Petrosyan–expressing appreciation to various political parties including the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–for their spirit of political cooperation.

In response to a question by Yerevan News Agency correspondent –Sarkissian dispelled rumors that his resignation came about due to an alleged schism between him and Defense Minister Vazgen Sargsyan–calling such rumors baseless and cheap.

Now-defunct Aravot newspaper editor Aram Abrahamian asked Sarkissian whether his resignation was because disillusionment with Armenia upon his return.

"I did not return to Armenia. Rather–I was born–raised and educated there. I simply worked in the Armenian government with one capacity to another," responded Sarkissian–adding that the prime ministership was never an illusion–thus there was no room for disillusionment.

He expressed disappointment that he would not be able to continue his service to Armenia–due to health concerns.

Sarkissian ensured reporters that–despite rumors–there were no contradiction between his policies and that of Ter-Petrosyan’s–saying that he did not have disagreemen’s with Ter-Petrosyan on any issue.

At the conclusion of the press conference–Sarkissian also thanked the Armenian press corps for their productive input.

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