Lachin Vital to Armenian National Security, Says Bako Sahakian

STEPANAKERT (Armenpress)-The Kashatagh (Lachin) region in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is of strategic significance for the Armenian Nation, said Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian during a three-day conference on the development of the region held this weekend in Kashatagh’s Berdzor district center.
"This conference, which is devoted to the development of the Kashatagh region, is the first of its kind and I hope that it will become a basis for holding similar events in the future." President Sahakian said in his opening remarks. "It will promote effective solutions for the problems existing in the region, as well as the realization of programs aimed at its further development"
"It is no coincidence that within nearly 70 years our enemy turned this territory into a wedge between Armenia and Artsakh. The region’s role has deeply changed since May of 1992, and the narrow section liberated in that period became a real lifeline for the people of Artsakh," he said.
The Kashatagh region has both a political and economic significance, according to Sahakian, who explained the regions development as a guarantor of national security. .
"We have to undertake the region’s development, create a stable and competitive economy, increase the level of the people’s welfare, and improve the people’s living conditions," he said. "A strong, developed and populated Kashatagh will create stable background for reinforcement of positions not only in the negotiation process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, but also on the front line making it more protected and secure."
The financial aid for the region’s development will considerably increase, Sahakian stated.
Kashatagh’s budget allocation for 2008 is 3.7 billion drams, Sahakian said. This figure exceeds the previous year’s amount by 40 percent. 1 billion drams are being allocated for construction, while 400 million drams are being allocated for capital investment.
Along with economic development, the government is also providing funding for social reforms for Kashatagh’s population, Sahakian added.
Representatives of 40 organizations of the Armenian Diaspora and independent entrepreneurs and benefactors participated in the conference where various programs aimed at stimulating the development of the region, securing stable economic growth, solving education and health care problems, and improving the demographic situation were presented.
The attendees of the conference also visited the region’s villages and familiarized themselves with the situation on the ground.

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