Kocharian Addresses the Nation on New Year’s Eve

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–President Robert Kocharian Sunday delivered a new year address to the nation. Below is the translated text of the speech: "Dear compatriots, In a few minutes we’ll say goodbye to the year 2006. It was peaceful and productive. The country went on to develop steadily. Due to this, next year the state budget will considerably increase. Therefore, the salaries and pensions will also rise. We intend to accomplish a number of social programs, which will be targeted at the improvement of quality of life. This year we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Armenia’s independence with pomp and circumstance. From the height of the past way the achievemen’s of the country are obvious, more precise are the future deeds. In 2007 we shall celebrate the 15th anniversaries of formation of the Armenian Army and liberation of Shushi. According to tradition, Armenia’s will raise their glasses to the Armenian Army. I wish good service to servicemen who welcome the New Year in military divisions and bow before the memory of the dead. Last year Armenia’s international involvement increased. The relations with Russia became significant for the conduct of the Year of Armenia in Russia. An active political dialogue was launched, the economic ties turned more active, a rich cultural program was accomplished. The visit of the French President Jacques Chirac and Charles Aznavour’s unforgettable concert marked the start of the Year of Armenia in France. The Action Plan of the European Neighborhood Policy was adopted. The accomplishment of the Millennium Challenge Program started together with the US Government. These provide new opportunities for the country’s development. Soon the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline will be pt into commission. A number of new important energy programs are envisaged with Iran. The negotiations on Karabakh also continued. In the result of these the de facto existence of Nagorno Karabakh and the right of Artsakhi people to live free and safe should be determined. Te resolute stance of the Artsakhi people was once again reflected in the Constitutional referendum. The past year was significant also for the Armenia-Diaspora relations. The third forum was held in Yerevan, which mainly focused on rural development programs. I’m confident that the result of it will be felt in the nearest future. The Telethon of the "Hayastan" All-Armenian Fund was held with great inspiration. Tens of thousands families made their contribution to the development of Artsakh. Dear compatriots, We are entering the next year with resoluteness to continue the reforms. Among these the most important are the formation of fair competitive field, provision of an effective judicial-legal system, the fight against corruption. Consistent work is the guarantee of result. In 2007 parliamentary elections are expected. I’m sure these will be held on a proper level. Conduct of free and fair elections should be a priority for every of us. Dear compatriots from Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora, I wish you a Happy New Year. May 2007 be a year of health, joy and prosperity for your families. Let the New Year bring success and happiness to your homes. Happy New Year!


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