LOS ANGELES–Continuing his visit to Southern California–the president of Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR)–Arkady Ghoukassian met with ARF Bureau member Viken Hovsepian on Monday–November 25. The President also met with representatives of the Hunchakian party and visited the Arshag Dikranian Armenian school. On Monday evening–MKR’s President gave an interview to Horizon Live–a live broadcast program of Armenian Cable Television (ACT). During the show–he discussed the political and socio-economic situation of MKR–the inseparable nature of the Diaspora–Armenia and Artsakh relationship–and the necessity of the "North-South" highway for the development of MKR’s economy–among other issues.
Hosted by Bianca Manoukian–the Executive Director of ACT–the show aired a 50-minute interview with President Ghoukassian who addressed viewer questions taken earlier that day.
"The main purpose of my visit is the Telethon 2002," said Ghoukassian. "This year’s successful numbers in Europe will–I hope–continue on November 28. Since Karabakh lacks any railroad or airway communication–we badly need the completion of the North-South highway."
Ghoukassian–who was reelected in August by a substantial margin–gave a detailed description of Karabakh’s current obstacles.
"Yes–we won the war–but the actual war of Karabakh’s recognition has yet to be fought. We know what we want and we will do our best to reach our goals with the help of Armenia and the Diaspora," stated Ghoukassian.
Regarding migration–Ghoukassian stressed that–in fact–there is no migration out of the country. The government currently implemen’s various economic incentives so that population stays in Karabakh. The issue remains migration out of villages; here–the government has incentives in place–and plans to institute more programs for farmers and villagers so that they continue to occupy rural lands.
"We are doing our best–but sometimes our capabilities are limited and we need the participation of our Diaspora brothers and sisters. We need them to be more active in our economic life. We need real businessmen to invest real money and to pursue real income in Artsakh. I believe that people who have won a war–deserve a good life," said Ghoukassian–and stressed that in order to spur investment activity–there is legislation in place to support and reward investment in MKR.
"I truly believe that the 21st century belongs to the Armenian people," he concluded.