YEREVAN—The newly-appointed interim director of Hayastan All-Armenia Fund, Bedros Terzian, held meetings with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Armen Sarkissian on Monday to discuss his vision for confronting the challenges facing the fund after the previous executive director admitted to using organizational funds for online gambling.
President Sarkissian named Terzian, who has been the chairman of the Hayastan Fund’s France affiliate, to be interim director of the fund and head the effort to find a new director after Ara Vardanyan, the previous director, was taken into custody for misappropriation of funds. Vardanyan submitted his resignation last week, two days after posting a 1 million dram (around $2,089) bail.
In welcoming Terzian, Pashinyan lamented that their meeting was taking place under the current cloud that has formed over the Hayastan All-Armenia Fund after Vardanyan’s revelations about misappropriating of organizational funds, which Pashinyan called an “inadmissible act.” The Prime Minister said that there is no alternative to being guided by the rule of law in Armenia.
“Generally, uncertainty and a kind of an atmosphere mistrust has been created around the fund during the past years, which perhaps was related to the general domestic political situation in Armenia. But I hope that as a result of these processes we will be able to clarify our views about the future actions of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund, and generally develop new approaches for relations of between the Diaspora and Armenia, partnership formats, and of course, the [Hayastan All-Armenia] fund,” Pashinyan reportedly told Terzian and thanked him for assuming the post under such difficult circumstances.
“The news was a great shock for us, because there hasn’t been anything like this during the history of the Fund,” said Terzian who said that Fund had worked hard to be a “clean body.”
“We [the fund] has implemented monumental projects during the past 26 years; great efforts were made to ensure the fund’s clean operations in this environment, which is hard [to do]. I think we succeeded, until this case emerged,” added Terzian, who pledged that under his leadership he will do his utmost to ensure that donations reach the desired projects.
“The Hayastan All Armenian Fund is important not only in the past, but for the future, since we have great plans,” said Terzian, who held a similar meeting with President Sarkissian.