YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The State Council for Religious Affairs–which has so far been under the authority of the Ministry of Culture–Youth Affairs and Sports–will from now on be a body reporting directly to the government. The decision was made at the government meeting September 16 chaired by Prime Minister Vazgen Sargssian.
The government also made a decision on establishing a Center of Molecular Diagnostics within the framework of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. The establishment of such a center will help put into practice the results of fundamental research on molecular diagnostics of inherited and oncological diseases and taking preventive medical measures.
The government also approved the concept "The Russian language in Armenia’s education system and cultural and public life."
Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian presented the preparations for the "Armenia-Diaspora" All-Armenian Forum to be held September 22-25. It was pointed out that 640 Diasporan representatives confirmed their intention to participate in the Forum–the expected number of participants being 700. The number of participants from Armenia and Karabakh will total 300 people. Five or six groups for particular purposes will be established during the forum. According to Oskanian–such arrangemen’s will mark the beginning of the strengthening of the Armenia-Diaspora relations. Working groups will be formed which will be engaged in developing large-scale programs in 2000 and will present proposals on their implementation.