Politics 20:00 30/05/2020 Armenia

Arthur Vanetsyan: “We can and we will do it ourselves”

Former National Security Service director Arthur Vanetsyan, newly elected leader of Motherland Party, has delivered the following remarks at the party convention on June 30.

Full translation below:

Dear delegates of the Convention,

Dear colleagues,

All of us, like the absolute majority of the Armenians worldwide, have had big hopes and were enthusiastic about the Velvet Revolution. We not only accepted it, but many of us have invested their energy and enthusiasm in order to meet the objectives proclaims during the revolution.

By doing that we have tried to bring novel quality, sense and, most importantly, meaning to those processes, each of us in our respective fields.

All my adult life I have served in a different sphere, have served the country, and it would have never crossed my mind that I may ever become a member to any political party and, less so, would lead any political party.

But life often makes big surprises and it just so happened that I made the decision to enter active politics. From the very outset, I want to address those questions, that, I believe, you and our entire society may be curious about: what is my motivation to enter political field and what has pushed me to do so?

Let me respond with simply: sense of responsibility.

In every difficult situation my sense of responsibility has always prevailed. Today I have sense of responsibility towards our state, society and the next generations.

I can say with clear conscience that I have done everything that could help meeting the objectives and ideals of the revolution. Of course, this does not mean there had not been any omissions, but I can confidently declare that I have not allowed any distortion of the ideas or any derogation from the chosen path. I continue moving ahead on the path I have chosen,  getting rid of temporary and sometimes indeed accidental companions. 

Today I see serious risks before our country, sophisticated problems, I see dangerous mistakes that are being made on a daily basis – as I had predicted. Unfortunately, my worst predictions now are being fulfilled. Now I am assertive that a lot of work must be done in order to prevent even worse scenarios. That is what exactly has made me to enter big politics. Real politics.

Who are we and where are we going?

My understanding is that we are suggesting a program and workstyle which has the following fundamentals:

- Responsibility instead of infantilism;
- Honesty instead of lies and manipulations;
-  Discipline instead of lawlessness;
- Unity instead of divisions;
- System instead of chaos;
- Stability instead of uncertainty;
- Professionalism instead of dilettantism;
- Pragmatism instead of populism.

The vicious working style that yields to dividing the state into camps that are in conflict and even enmity against each other is unacceptable. Conscious of the importance of serious, systemic and at times fundamental reforms in our country, and being ready to assume the responsibility of doing this, we are also far from the extreme approach that everything had been bad in the past and that our political chronicle has started when certain people divided the country into blacks and whites. Our people needs such leaders who will feel, consider and declare themselves to be the government of the entire population – independent of their personal political preferences.

We need authorities which, instead of manipulating on their temporary emotions, will unify the people on the basis of rationality and for addressing real problems in order to ensure normal life in dignity for everyone.

We need authorities that will distance themselves off false and fake agendas, working styles and tools. 

We need authorities that will finally switch from “internet live broadcasts” mood to really meeting the challenges of real life.

We need such authorities that will not divide, but will unite the society in order to implement programs of national development. Such authorities that will address the crises instead of creating new uncertainties and crises on its own.

Our Motherland needs no fake saviors, but real leaders.

My fellow party members,

Let us now turn to our ideological foundations. Motherland Party is a center-right political party, which will operate on the basis of combining traditions and progress.

Motherland Party comes to the political scene with the resolve to ensure security, welfare and progress for our citizens, to establish sustainable foundations for the fulfilment of their aspirations. Our political goal is the restoration of our national unity, overcoming the divisiveness in the society and deep reforms that our people could see.
As I said earlier, we are going to work on the basis of the idea of combining traditions and progress. Our national traditions are strong, healthy and universal. It’s unacceptable for me to witness the propaganda of retrograde approaches to this, including for political reasons. This artificial contrast between the national and universal values. This is a fake contrast and creates new enmities and barricades in our society. We will not stay behind the progress and developments in the world, meanwhile we will preserve our national values.

Now, let me present the outlines of my key approaches on several issues, which we can define as pursuit of national interests:

Ensuring national security.

Ensuring national security is always going to be a constant priority for our country. The geopolitics around Armenia and the present realities, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the overall international tensions – which has threads very often bypassing through our Motherland – are all vivid proofs of what I said. Having such acute national security issues for many states, including Armenia, is not an unmanageable burden, but a reality which creates the conditions of work for those responsible in the country day and night.

That’s what our goal is:
- Peace requires efforts,
- Being ready for a war requires efforts,
- Resisting in a war requires efforts,
- Improving the level of national security protection of our Motherland requires competent  efforts every day and every hour in many directions.

Dear colleagues,

The key national security issue for us is the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, therefore let me present my approaches on this in greater detail:

- People of Artsakh have inherent right to self-determination and that cannot be conditioned by the consent or goodwill of any third party. That is a right and has to be fulfilled to the full extent.
- Armenia-Artsakh relations have to be based on our national vision, mutual trust and cooperation. Armenia has to respect the agency and status of Artsakh by all means. Armenia has to invest its efforts for the international recognition of Artsakh’s independence. Armenia has been and will remain the national security guarantor of Artsakh.

Peace talks are the only viable way for the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh issue, exclusively under the auspices of the Co-Chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group.

Neither Artsakh, nor Armenia will backtrack under the pressure of Azerbaijan, and that threat will in no way facilitate the comprehensive and lasting resolution of the conflict. It’s impossible to speak the language of threats to Armenia or Artsakh. Bowing to the memory of heroes who have sacrificed their lives or health for the Motherland, as well as to their families, I assure you that you have not done that in vain. You have done that to preserve our national identity, the security of Artsakh and for the freedom of Artsakh.

The people of Artsakh self-determined their future long ago. There is no resolution by war. No peace and regional stability can be achieved by war. It is by improving of the combat potential of our army, empowering our economy and solidarity at home that we can deliver this idea to the international community and to Azerbaijan. The resolution of Nagorno Karabakh issue must be based not on ‘phased’, but ‘package’ approach.

I consider it highly important to establish a new and more viable unified system with the Armenian Diaspora. These relations, I believe, need qualitative review. We have to pursue the consolidation of multimillion and unified Armenian world, pivoted around the twin Armenian states – Armenia and Artsakh – as well as our language, our culture, history and the Armenian Apostolic Church. We must formulate common values and common goals. And do that not on the level of slogans and toasts, but practical steps.

The concept of deep integration in the Armenian world must replace the incomprehensible relations observed presently. With this message in mind in the near future I am planning to hold discussions with the new government in Artsakh, with statesmen and political figures, political forces in Armenia, influential circles in the Diaspora and religious leaders.

The Republic of Armenia has relations close to partnership with only two of its neighbors, but it’s clear that our relations with both Iran and Georgia have to be perfect. We have the capacity of becoming a bridge between our neighbors and other partner states both in economic and political sense. Meanwhile, the latest developments show that relations with our traditional allies began worsening, which is unacceptable.

We have so much zoomed into the developments in our country, that we almost forgot that consistent efforts are required with our international partners. I mean efforts in all levels. We have to do everyday efforts with our international partners in multilateral frameworks – in CSTO, EAEU, PACE, European Union and other organisations.

- We have to fully employ the opportunities provided by the Eurasian Economic Union and the CSTO.
- We have to develop our strategic partnership with Russian Federation in order to get deep-rooted and mutually beneficial results.
- We have sizeable opportunities to deepen our relations with Iran. Independent of the international environment, Iran has been our long-standing friendly state, our immediate neighbor and a very important partner for Armenia.
- At the same time, we have to have programmatic and systematized relations with other crucially important partners, such as United States, European and other states, and especially China and India, whereas those relations have to urgently be brought up to a new level.

Dear colleagues,

In the recent months the state of our economy and the incapacity of the managers of our national economy have knocked on the doors of everyone.As a matter of fact, the serious challenges became clear for everyone and yet again reinforced what I had warned about before:

- Spontaneity of decisions;
- Superficial actions;
- Inability of prioritizing.

Unfortunately, these days our national economy is sinking. The living conditions of the population are worsening continuously. It has by now become the most difficult problem for people to earn daily living. People do not live well in Armenia today, whereas it’s clear for me that in Armenia our people have to live a decent life. Let’s consider this the main goal that I have set for myself, let me say this is my dream indeed. I assure you that I will not spare any effort for this, and we will surely make this dream come true.

In the near future I will present to the public my consolidated approaches about the development of our Motherland in different domains. I have clear understanding where we are and where we have to get and how – in justice system, in education, science and culture, in environmental issues and agriculture.

I am sure that as the nation which was the first to have adopted Christianity as official religion, we absolutely must keep special focus on the Armenian Apostolic Church. During the entire Armenian history our Church has been a resilient institution which has an invaluable legacy in our national identity preservation. I strongly believe that the Church has to be under the full protection of the state.

And finally, we can spend a long time deliberating about the challenges and consequences brought forward by the novel coronavirus pandemic outbreak. Yet we all understand that to overcome these challenges we have to be in the government, be a competent authority and honest to the people. This situation is indeed worrisome and requires competent and operative management.

Concluding my remarks, let me just add the following: no political force shall have the right to claim they have the monopoly on being right and that its leader is savior of the nation or an prophet. The governing political unit in the Republic of Armenia today neither has, nor aspires to have enough human capital and professional potential to efficiently address all the challenges that have emerged in our country.

We will pursue national consolidation and aspire to form anti-crisis government of national accord.

Let me once again thank everyone and reassure you all that I am the type that will walk back halfway. I do not consider anyone in Armenia as enemy and I aim at ensuring broadest consolidation and joint effort with all the able forces and individuals.

Armenia must develop and become stronger.
We can and we will do it ourselves.

Source Panorama.am
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