ARF Outlines Position During Press Conference

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"All political forces should realize that legitimate elections will contribute to Armenia’s positive image in foreign politics," political representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation– Garo Armenian said on Friday.

According to ARF Bureau Chairman Beno Tontian–the Bureau encourages free and fair elections in Armenia and supports the Executive Council of Armenia which has endorsed Robert Kocharian in the upcoming election. He said that the ARF would not offer financial assistance for the forthcoming election.

Tontian said that the ARF is ready to work with new authorities–even if Kocharian is not elected–"provided we are viewed as partners and not as enemies."

Tontian also said it is necessary to amend the Constitution to balance the legislative and executive branches of power. He stressed the importance of adopting a new constitution.

According to him–the ARF Bureau attaches great importance to the formation of a new Armenian Parliament.

Speaking about foreign policy issues–Armenian said that change of "paradigm" in the region would force Russia and the United States to revise their policies in the region and take a more positive attitude toward Armenia’s interests.

He also stated that the OSCE Minsk process has to be altered. He noted that since there is a school of thought which believes that the fate of Armenia’s is decided on a higher international level–he urged Diaspora circles–particularly the ARF–to work with the State Department–the White House–Congress and other government structures. The Armenian National Committee and other Diasporan organizations played a decisive role in the US Congress adopting Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act which prohibits US humanitarian assistance to Azerbaijan. Unfortunately–it was not given due response in Armenia–said Armenian.

The representatives of the ARF Bureau also highlighted the importance of continued economic assistance to Armenia on the part of Diaspora. Tontian added that Armenia’should provide certain investment guarantees.

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