Kocharian Discusses Karabakh New Appointment

YEREVAN (Reuter/Noyan Tapan)–Commenting on his move to accept the appointment as Armenia’s prime minister Tuesday–former Nagorno-Karabakh president Robert Kocharian said–"This move is risky–but I am used to taking risks–and I believe that at times it is even necessary to do so." At his first press conference as prime minister–Kocharian noted that it was difficult for him to accept Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s offer. The main reason why Kocharian finally did accept the nomination was because Karabakh’s security–according to him–is directly related to Armenia’s stability. "My appointment has both advantages and disadvantages," said Kocharian. "The major disadvantage is the fact that I won’t be able to solve the chief problems of the country. In that sense–Karabakh will have lost a president–while Armenia will not have gained a premier." Kocharian said he was a citizen of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–but the Armenian Constitution does not impose restrictions when appointing a prime minister. "I consider Russia to be our number one partner–and we should cooperate," said Kocharian. He said that such an approach is accepted in Armenia’s foreign policy and there will be no problems in this matter. "Karabakh has always had a well-thought-out and clear-cut position. I do not think that my new appointment will bring any changes in Karabakh’s foreign policy which is based on firm principles and historic realities," added Kocharian. Kocharian voiced confidence that the domestic situation in Karabakh would remain stable. He rejected an opinion–suggesting that the stability in Nagorno-Karabakh depended on his personality only–and explained that as President and head of the state he just bore responsibility for securing the stability. Prime Minister noted that the Karabakh development program submitted by him during the election campaign will be implemented by a team which has been working with him over the last years. He reported that the people of Nagorno Karabakh would have an opportunity to elect a new president. Kocharian said there would be no government reshuffling in the near future. The budget–the cabinet and the economic program proposed by Armen Sarkissian have been endorsed–and there is no point in breaking all these initiatives. "I have not worked in Yerevan–I need to learn the situation and get to know people. I need time to orient myself. Changes will be

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