President Ghoukassian Holds Press Conference

GLENDALE–Within the framework of his visit to California–President of Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) Arkady Ghoukassian held a press conference on Tuesday at the Brandview Collection Hall; it was organized by the Consulate General of Armenia. Ghoukassian was accompanied by presidential advisor Naira Melkoumian– Executive Director of All Armenia Fund (AAF) Vahan Der Ghevontian–Western US AAF chairman Tomik Alexanian as well as MKR’s representative in the US Vartan Barseghian and Consul General of Armenia Valery Mkrtumian.

In his opening remarks Arkady Ghoukassian stressed the significance of building a democratic state. "While having a strong army to guarantee the protection of borders from the apparent enemy–the civilized world would never recognize a country with totalitarian or military regimes. We realize this and for the past three years are doing our best directed at building democracy," he said.

Second–Ghoukassian stressed the importance of Artsakh’s economic development–the creation of new jobs to ensure enough financial means to support families so that the population does not leave the country.

Ghoukassian presented detailed information about construction already completed on the North-South" highway–and how much construction remains. He explained that during Soviet years–Azerbaijan never built roads in Karabagh to connect areas predominately populated by Armenia’s. "Decentralizing Armenia’s," he stated–"was a carefully planned political issue for Azeris."

The 170-km long highway–40-km of which is already complete–will solve most communications problems of MKR.

In presenting economic achievemen’s–Ghoukassian indicated that 30 million dollars were invested in MKR’s economy during the past 3 years. He hoped that the trend would continue–stressing that investors are protected by law.

Addressing a question on the current educational system in Karabagh–Ghoukassian mentioned the urgency to erect new schools. "Although we have a state university and several private schools–we still lack specialists in the diplomatic field," added Ghoukassian inviting Diaspora professors–even those who are retired–to come to MKR to educate the new generation.

At the end of the 2-hour long press conference–Ghoukassian invited everyone present to visit and to see present-day MKR and to be actively involved in its economy.

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