Politics 10:28 21/11/2019 Armenia

Serzh Sargsyan: Today the voices of those who blame me for yielding power to populists become more prominent

President of the Republican Party of Armenia, third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan delivered remarks at the European People’s Party (EPP) Congress held in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Below is the full text of Sargsyan’s statement publicized by his official website

"Distinguished Mr Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am grateful to Chairman Dole for the invitation. I also thank the Croatian Democratic Union and Prime Minister Plenković for their warm hospitality.

In the Spring of 2018 Armenia topped the international news coverage. For lack of time let me just emphasize that the change in power in my country took place through exclusively peaceful means. My sole purpose was to prevent human casualties and keep the state immune to hazardous shocks.

In reality, those who came to power under the name of the revolution have not introduced, within the past year and a half, any revolutionary transformation or breakthrough in the country’s domestic or foreign agendas.

Moreover: there are dangerous developments jeopardizing democracy in the country. Constitutional foundations have been undermined. The principle of the separation and equilibrium of powers has failed.  There are numerous facts of manifest violation of the independence of the judiciary. Political persecution is underway. Aggressive actions against opposition media and activists, intolerance and hate speech have become regular occurrences, reaching alarming dimensions.

I left last year in order for my people to attempt building a yet better state. But today the voices of those who blame me for yielding power to populists become more prominent. And I am here today to raise those concerns, to protect the faith and expectations that thousands have cherished during the change of power that took place.

Yes, there was also a share of our liability in what had transpired in Armenia. But I affirm that issues of security and peace have continually been of vital priority for us and, because of that, perhaps, certain issues may have been subjected to these purposes.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The current negotiation stage of the Artsakh conflict causes my concern. As someone who participated in the liberation of Artsakh in person, I am well aware of the price for peace. From this perspective any negotiation, however inadequate, is preferred to war. It is very important for the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs to continue to receive unconditional assistance by the international community. Unfortunately, we are witnessing Azerbaijan continue to arm itself and threaten Artsakh and Armenia. I want to reiterate this message of mine for those in Baku to hear: Artsakh will never be a constituent of Azerbaijan, and the issue has no military solution.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Armenia-EU relations continue to develop today along the tracks laid during my presidency together with President Tusk. Armenia should be assisted for the Agreement signed in Brussels in 2017 to be called to life, improving the life of our citizens. From this high rostrum I ask you to accelerate, inasmuch as possible, the process of its ratification.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you."



Source Panorama.am
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