ARFers Free to Travel to Armenia Says Kocharian

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia’s Acting President and Prime Minister Robert Kocharian–during a meeting with a delegation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Tuesday–announced that all travel restrictions placed upon ARF members were heretofore lifted.

The delegation–headed by ARF Bureau chairman Beno Tontian is in Armenia to take part in national celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the Karabakh liberation movement.

"All Armenia’s should have an opportunity to contribute to the strengthening of their homeland," stated the prime minister.

Kocharian also advocated for initiating dual citizenship and allowing Armenia’s from the Diaspora to become citizens of Armenia.

Following the meeting Tontian stated that the meeting allowed ARF leaders the opportunity to discuss issues and convey the ARF’s endorsement of Kocharian’s candidacy for the upcoming March 16 presidential polls in Armenia.

Tontian also stated that the lifting of the travel ban on ARF members and supporters–which was carried out by the Levon Ter-Petrosyan administration through the publication of a so-called "black list," placed an added responsibility on ARF members and Diasporans to increase their involvement in the Armenian reality and sacrifice more for the benefit of the nation.

ARF Executive Council of Armenia member Vahan Hovanessian also discussed the meeting with Kocharian–stating that the gathering allowed an exchange of opinions on the presidential campaign and ways in which free and fair elections could be ensured.

Hovanessian went on to praise Kocharian’s policies on Karabakh and his outlook for the Armenian nation–adding that he was truly the national candidate of the entire nation.

"There is a mammoth task ahead of us…. especially toward those individuals who unwittingly left Armenia in droves to escape economic and other hardships. The ARF has a leading role in ensuring these individuals return to the homeland," stated Hovanessian.

He said that easing of travel restrictions will allow more Diasporan Armenia’s the opportunity to work toward the reunification of the nation.

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