07, 2008

Press Conference of President of RA Serge Sargsyan on the occasion of the 100th day of holding presidency

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During the 100 days of Your presidency quite serious reforms have been realized in the spheres of taxation and customs, as well as in the sphere of police patrol. Are You satisfied with the results?

It is still too early to speak about the results and I am confident that what has taken place is the beginning of quite immense and hard work. We began with the fields which are of essential and vital importance for our people and which were in the list of priorities in my election program. This work will be endorsed by time and after a few years we will speak about the results. It is important that not only I myself be satisfied but the society as well. And the fact that there is already positive feedback in the society is already a plus.

Mr. President, are the changes You had promised to take place in the Government exhausted or there they are going to take place in phases? And shall we be awaiting for new changes in the cadres?

I think you can always expect new changes in cadres. Generally I consider the shifts in personnel not over yet, but it is a fact that the main appointments have already been made. I have already put forth my requirements before state officials and those who comply with those requirements will continue to work, those who do not will have to cede their place to others. It is essential that the work of the state official is appropriate for evaluation and that every morning he/she enters his/her office with the objective to serve our society and with the eagerness to show new approaches to the work. He/she should always be conscious that if he /she isn’t able to comply with the contemporary requirements, there will always be others who will be able to do so. This is now a matter of choice; u can either call it a principle of phases or packages, but the approach is always going to be as mentioned.

A new process has started during the last few weeks: 6 opposition parties launched a new form of unity at the Terjan Hotel. So the parties which haven’t been part of the government, aren’t involved in the coalition and at the same time are rejecting the orange approaches of the Levon Ter-Petrosian campaign are uniting. How would You evaluate such a process and the launching of such a union?

I would evaluate it as positive. Generally I find it that we have a way to pass regarding the enhancement of parties and political powers and we should definitely pass that way. It is not important how this takes place. Either it is going to take place by the enhancement or enlargement of one party or through consolidation processes. It is important that the political powers unite for the sake of common ideas and that those political powers be sustainable and constructive. The unification of all constructive political powers I consider positive. What refers to being against breaking, damaging and destructing, here I myself am against it. Therefore I see this as a positive initiative and would wish for it to succeed.

Mr. President, I am interested in the following question: how long is the Armenian side intending to wait for the official response of Ankara to the invitation made by You to Your Turkish counterpart. And if You allow, as a continuation to this question, in an interview given by Mr. Robert Kocharian to our Agency, he noted that if he continued ruling the country, as some assist, then the President of Turkey wouldn’t have received an invitation to come to Yerevan. After this opinions were heard that there is serious discrepancy between You and the former President. I would like to ask you to also comment on that.

I think that such a question regarding how long I am intending to wait is not correct, especially if we are talking about the regulation of the relations between two neighboring countries. We can wait very long or very little, but the important thing is that both in our society and in the Turkish society trends of healthy discussions of our problems are being seen and I am sure that the visit of President Gul to Yerevan can transform these trends into a good and sustainable movement. This is important.

What refers to the statement by President Kocharian, there is no criticism in his words at all, and he has just expressed his disagreement with my concrete step. In the past we have not always had the same opinions on matters and I preferred to express my opinion to him not publicly. I respect his decision to express his opinion publicly and I don’t see anything strange in this. What refers to serious discrepancy, for many years various people have been trying to find disagreements and discrepancy between me and Kocharian, and those people were not only representatives of the opposition but also people who were in the Government, but they never satisfied their efforts. Maybe some saw me as an opponent and were always trying to separate and make us altercate. They haven’t succeeded. The same continues today: those people weren’t able to understand that their efforts are in vain and in a whole I think there is no need to try to find a cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.

Mr. Sargsyan, during the past months the society, the political powers, as well as the international community have been requesting and calling upon the Armenian authorities to set free the civilians who had been arrested but not for any concrete violations. Recently the Council of Europe also called upon the authorities to grant amnesty to those charged with articles 300 and 225 of the Criminal Code. What are the authorities intending to do in this regard and in particular what are You intending to undertake in reply to these calls.

If you have noticed I am intensively engaged in this issue and the proof of this is that tens of people are now in freedom. I have made several announcements and am announcing now as well that I positively evaluate the activity of the Office of the General Prosecutor and the Courts in the sense that they are indulgent towards the people whose committed crime isn’t big. But on the other hand, I consider that we are not in the right to overlook these events and not to see those people who have committed serious crimes, who have organized massive disorders, who have wrecked, destructed and encroached on the property of others. I think that if we be too indulgent then we will be of bad service to our society and our country. Many people will then in the future be attracted by such activities and will consider that after each election and in general as well it is allowed to use force to solve problems. We should except this and we will except it.

Mr. President, Your opponents often say that the launched reforms are just imitations and the processes which are now taking place in the taxation and customs spheres as well as in the field of Police Patrol will return to their previous course right after one-two months. Your comments on that.

I think that it will be persuadable if we wait for one or two months and see whether everything returns to its previous course or we are going ahead. I am confident that this is the beginning of the work and I don’t think that we have done enormous work in those spheres. We can speak about the results when many will be satisfied with the workers of the field or overall with the activity of the field in a whole. I am sure that each week, each month the numbering will grow and I am sure that soon you will also add the passport economy and other new fields to the mentioned as well. But even in the case that many are satisfied with the activity of the mentioned spheres it won’t mean that the President of the Republic should be satisfied with that and should not show strictness towards the spheres in general and toward the workers of those spheres in particular. Life will show.

Mr. President, You have mentioned several times that You will be a President for everyone. Are You a President for Levon Ter-Petrosian as well? If so, then don’t You find that the dialogue with him is getting a bit late?

I am saying now as well that I am a President for all and I am also the President of those who don’t consider me their President. I am obliged to be it and I will continue to do so. What refers to dialogue I think that the perception in the society is a bit not correct. When I say dialogue, I mean dialogue with the people, I mean dialogue within the society, I mean dialogue in the format of state-society and not dialogue between the President of the Republic and an individual. And generally I consider that such processes are on-going and we shouldn’t consider any form of dialogue belated. I am always at work. I attend work at 9, 9:10 and end my working day rather late, so the themes for dialogue are diverse.

Probably this is the continuation of the abovementioned question: are You ready to meet the first President Levon Ter-Petrosian?

I think that everything I wanted to say in regard to this question is fully contented in the first question, more accurately in the answer to the first question.

Mr. President, the steps You have undertaken during the first 100 days of Your presidency, and which in my opinion You will continue to undertake, in Your opinion wasn’t it possible to have undertaken them during the last ten years or at least the last five years and aren’t those steps taken by the authorities belated today?

I don’t find them belated and generally I consider that a lot of good things had been done in the past and I personally am not supporting the idea of remembering the past only with bad thoughts. Now the times are different, the problems are different, the environment is different and any problem can be thoroughly solved when it has ripened. Therefore I don’t consider talks about being late correct and only by evaluating the past we can reach serious achievements today.

For a long time, there are rumors circulating, that the country is under the shadow governance by Robert Kocharyan. Are You meeting him, or discussing some issues with him?

Surely, I am aware of the circulated rumors and I consider it nonsense. State administration in not a business management, where you appoint an executive director and can manage the business being its owner. I am happy, that President Kocharyan also addressed to this issue and gave a similar answer. And in decision making, of course we talk; I consult not only with him, but with our coalition partners, specialists. That is my work-style and it will continue like that. But I’m the one responsible for my decisions.

A few months ago You demanded that the taxation authorities show equal and fair approaches towards all enterprises and a committed and unmerciful struggle against corruption and guardianship was started. During this short period of time as an aftermath of this demand many enterprises which before avoided complying with their obligations in the field of taxation were brought into the taxation field. What would the small and medium enterprises gain from this? And will their tax burden be decreased by this?

I find it unnecessary to mention that we are willing to create more favorable conditions for the small and medium enterprises. This is important from the point of various circumstances, but the difficulty here is that many people try to avoid their taxation obligations by acting under the name of small and medium enterprises. 80% of the electronics, clothing and other goods in the Armenian market are circulated in fares. I don’t think that 70-80 % of those various goods are imported into the country by the representatives of small and medium businesses. This means that we should try to regulate our market, our taxation field and at the same time not to harm the small and medium enterprises in that process. And when that field is actually regulated, when we have sufficient sources, we will definitely refer to the quotas of different taxes, of course aiming at the decreasing of the latter.

During these 100 days which was the most difficult thing towards which You have exercised Your efforts but which You haven’t overcome yet and it is of concern to You?

I don’t think that during these 100 days there were such difficult things which were unexpected for me or which I wasn’t ready for. And generally I consider that not only the President but each responsible individual should always think that all the difficulties are yet to come. When I was running for President I could clearly see both the difficulties and the problems and I was ready for making difficult decisions and for solving problems, because if you want to do normal work, you should be able to make decisions, which includes overcoming difficulties as well. It is yet to early to speak about this, maybe after some 5 years I can say which was the most difficult thing.

Recently You have spoken about the importance of ensuring informational security, meaning the anti-Armenian propaganda on the Genocide and Nagorni Karabakh issues. I would like to hear Your opinion on the internal aspects of informational security, taking into consideration that the target of the informational arms of our rivals can be the society of Armenia. Do You see any features of such a war? What is being done in that direction? To what extent are we protected in this regard?

Informational security is a multilayered term which includes both the security of our information technologies and sources as well as the counteraction to those insults and disinformation which are spread about the Armenian people and the Armenian state. We we’re thinking of establishing such structure which would deal with the second issue, which should counteract or if you want to say which should struggle against that disinformation and give our people and our friends the opportunity to know the truth and give us the possibility to make our country more known, speaking about our achievements and implementing a common policy in the fields which we consider suitable. Yes, I find that these activities still have a long way to develop and with the establishment of such a structure during the coming month we will put a start to new activities.

In spring of 2007 You were appointed Prime Minister and afterwards followed the parliamentary elections, then a new government, many things to think about, then in autumn again pre-election and election processes followed, various internal and external challenges. Aren’t You tired?

Thank you for your care. Of course there are days when I feel tired, but in general I am not tired. The most dangerous person is a tired official and there are many issues which should be solved by the President, but the President should also be conscious that even iron gets tired and he should try to arrange thngs in a way to be able to go a long path. You can be calm, everything is all right.

Mr. President, my question is regarding the relations between Iran-Israel and USA. Recently Israel is often threatening Iran, that it will strike its military installations, on the other hand, if we consider, that You have often mentioned, that it is necessary to activate Armenia’s foreign policy, don’t You think, that Armenia can be a mediator in the maintaining of dialogue and are You going to address those countries with such an initiative?

Iran is a very important partner and not only in the geopolitical aspect, but also because we have good partnership with Iran. We have a large Armenian community there, we have a common history and we have been living next to each other for centuries. There are tens of thousands of Armenians in Israel; we have a tragedy with some common edges- memories of the Holocaust and then Genocide. We are good partners with the United States; the USA is a friendly country to Armenia. There are more than one million Armenians living in the United States and certainly we would not want further complications.
But on the other hand, I don’t think, that this is the case, that Armenia must come up with a meditation proposal and offer its services. If one of those countries or all of them will find necessary to use Armenia’s meditative possibilities, we’ll be happy to have our input in protection of peace.

Mr. President, in Jermuk while addressing the entrepreneurs You used the term “I am asking”, until now you used to use not the term “I am asking” but “I demand”, which brought up justifiable dissatisfaction. What was the reason for such a change in approach?

I don’t think that until now only demands were set forth. I have asked and will continue to ask. I don’t see anything lowering in this, if I ask for money for personal use, they would have got offended, if I address my compatriots for personal matters, then this won’t be correct. And really I have asked and will continue to be asking all Armenians to participate in the flourishing of our country. Those people have the right to be proud of the path they have passed, those people have reached success in a harsh struggle and I am assured that these people have the right to expect that the Armenian authorities address them asking and making suggestions and general talks should be held on equal basis. This is going to be my approach, because in many cases by asking you can reach more success either than by demanding and looking down on others. I think we have chosen the right path and the feedback regarding the mentioned talks for itself.

During one of Your speeches made at the National Assembly, while referring top the territories controlled by the Armenian armed forces You mentioned that not all the territories can be considered liberated as there was the necessity to create a security zone. At that time You brought the example of Aghdam. Are You of the same opinion now?

I think that you generally said what I had said then, of course some features sounded a bit different in my words, but I must tell you that I keep the same opinion regarding Nagorni Karabakh as I had starting from 1993-94. No change, no serious change has taken place in my stance in this case and I will be keeping up with that position for a long time.

Mr. President, during Your presidency what are the main directions and priorities in which Armenian-US relations are developing?

We attach great importance to our relations with the US. They have shown great humanitarian aid to Armenia after the declaration of independence. We have realized various programs in cooperation with the US; the US is one of the co-chairs of the Minsk group and today we continue to deepen our relations with the United States. I am confident that after the elections to take place in the US in a few months we will continue to strengthen our relations.

Mr. President, Your efforts aimed at reinforcing Armenian-Turkish relations were subject to various comments, but predominant were those according to which Your efforts deprived the opposition of the opportunity to accuse You in not reinforcing the relations with neighboring countries. What development can we expect from the reinforcement of Armenia-Turkey relations and the strengthening of the relations of Armenia with the neighboring countries overall?

It seems we shouldn’t be doing anything or else we will be accused of fulfilling the demands of the opposition or of pulling away the ground from under them. It has nothing to do with this, I have always been interested in this issue and I am well conscious of the difficulties and complicatedness of that problem and I am sure that the resolution of this issue will bring great success to Armenia. Therefore we need to regulate our relations with Turkey. Both the Turkish and the Armenian societies will benefit from this and we are obliged to aim our efforts towards the solution of our problems and not towards creating problems for one another. What I said refers not only to Turkey but also to our neighbors as well. If possible of course we will reinforce our relations with Azerbaijan and we will always be enhancing our relations with Iran and Georgia. This is our path, despite whatever anyone will be saying.

Mr. Sargsyan, in any case the consolidation of political powers is still considered to be an actual issue. In this sense what do you think of the opposition and what steps are you planning to take for this consolidation?

You think I will be saying out loud what I think now? I find that the opposition should be constructive. I clearly acknowledge that we have an opposition in our country and am conscious that the opposition is one of the moving forces of our development. I would just wish that the opposition also be conscious of this. I would like for the opposition to acknowledge that it is also responsible for the development of the society and the state and would like it to be an accountable opposition. This is what I think about the opposition.

Mr. Sargsyan, in any case the consolidation of political powers is still considered to be an actual issue. In this sense what do you think of the opposition and what steps are you planning to take for this consolidation?

You think I will be saying out loud what I think now? I find that the opposition should be constructive. I clearly acknowledge that we have an opposition in our country and am conscious that the opposition is one of the moving forces of our development. I would just wish that the opposition also be conscious of this. I would like for the opposition to acknowledge that it is also responsible for the development of the society and the state and would like it to be an accountable opposition. This is what I think about the opposition.

Recently at the “Baze” pan-Armenian gathering You addressed the youth with the call to return home. What kind of policy should the youth policy be in order for the Armenian youth to really get attached to their homeland?

Our youth policy should be structured in a way that one day all our youth representatives take all their belongings and return to Armenia. Today the world is becoming a smaller place and it is really important that the youth, Armenians consider Armenia not just a historical homeland but they have interests, work, relatives in Armenia. If each Armenian visits Armenia at least once every few years this will already be a great stimulator for the development of Armenia. I am sure that many young people will be returning to Armenia. We should be able to show them not by our words but by our actions that they can make use of their capacities in Armenia and that the possibilities for reaching success are various in Armenia. We should also be able to create such an environment in Armenia, which wouldn’t differ that much from the environment which is attracting them. I think we will succeed in this. What I am saying fully refers to the youth living in Armenia as well. We should be able to prove that a capable youth can surely reach success in Armenia and that guardianship and other disgraceful phenomena won’t be an obstacle for them in their efforts to reach professional progress and wellbeing. We have already initiated that activity; we should not only encourage them but also support them in many areas, even including the solution of every-day life matters. You already can see solitary but good examples of assisting young families. We will be continuing this policy.

During the pre-election campaign You set forth a program and gave out promises before the electorate, which seemed a bit exaggerated as regular pre-election propaganda. 100 days have passed, how do You evaluate Your program, Your promises and how realistic is the fulfillment of the latter? What problems did You face which were unexpected for You?

I have a 100 % of confidence that my and my team’s program is realistic. Don’t forget that at that time I was the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister is well aware of the overall situation in the state and today there isn’t any field or any number I can note which isn’t realizable. My and my team’s mood is that we will resolve some issues in a shorter term and others will be resolved in the terms stated in the program you’ve mentioned. You can also find numbers stated in that program and I call upon everyone to always compare our reality with the numbers mentioned there. Moreover, I am confident that we are going to reach more results then stated in that program.

Several businessmen responded to the calls You made in Jermuk. You are continuing to receive feedback. Your comments on that.

I don’t think that we should consider that a very quick response was sudden and unexpected. In contrary, it was an expected response for me, because it is already one and a half year I have been speaking of the necessity to unite the efforts of Armenians, we should encourage that outstanding people including those in the Diaspora, imput their efforts in the development of Armenia. For others it might have been unexpected, for me it was quite awaited, especially that I have known most of these people for many years, especially that they are always interested in the events and changes taking place in Armenia. I am also ready to wait a very long time for the response of others as well. I am sure that those responses will be continuous throughout years. Life will show.

You have already mentioned that a very important agreement has been signed during Your meeting with the President of Russia. Your meeting took place at the time when both You and Mr. Medvedev were newly-elected Presidents. How do You see the perspectives of the development of Armenian-Russian bilateral relations and in the frameworks of CIS and CSTO?

I think that our relations are going to have a good future. I consider that we not only have a good common history but we will have also a splendid future. Today we have to the fullest possible extent good bilateral relations with the RF. In some cases our opponents are trying to find problems in our relations: I think in most cases that comes from their desires. When they speak about our economic relations and they say that the growth isn’t esatisfactory, it sounds strange for me, because there can’t be better than 20-30% growth annually. I consider this a criticism coming from the desires of those people. We have similar approaches with the RF in many questions and this makes it easy for us to cooperate in the frameworks of international organizations. We have an aim to more deepen our relations with the RF and I am confident that the foreseen visits of Mr. Medvedev to Armenia will be aimed at the mentioned above.

During the last few days the Turkish Press has several times referred to Your statements. Recently the “Huriet” published a material saying that there are some kind of secret Armenian-Turkish negotiations being held. To what extent does the latter correspond to reality? You spoke about all our neighbors in the region except Georgia.

I think we haven’t left out Georgia. As I mentioned we are going to enhance our relations with Georgia. I can also add that we attach great importance to the stability in Georgia, because Georgia is one of the two countries over which Armenia interacts with the outside world. I think during the coming months we will have official interactions with the President of Georgia the aim of which will be discovering new possibilities. What refers to Armenian-Turkish secret interactions or interactions in general, those interactions have never stopped, state officials and diplomats have always interacted with each other and I don’t see any sensation that Armenian and Turkish diplomats also met in Geneva.

How do You evaluate the current phase of the negotiations over Nagorni Karabakh? What kind of future do You see regarding the negotiation process? Azerbaijan periodically keeps announcing about increasing its military budget, what will be Armenia’s response?

Our response will not only be but we already have it. Our response is what I have always announced and am announcing now as well, that until there is no peace agreement signed, at least two state officials- the President and the Minister of Defense should always consider that hostilities might restart the next day and therefore they should always make efforts in this regard. We are making those efforts. Our most weighty proof is our army, our military forces and we will not refrain from any effort to make our military forces militarily efficient. What refers to negotiations I have only once met President Aliev and I have the impression that the means to the peaceful resolution of the issue haven’t been exhausted yet and that President Aliev is ready to continue the negotiations and I am confident that by the means of negotiations we can reach a solution to this issue.

High ranking officials of Azerbaijan, including President Aliev have many times expressed their dissatisfaction of the work of the Minsk Group and demanded that the co-chairing states endorse their efforts. How does the Armenian side evaluate the activity of the Minsk Group?

If the Azerbaijani side is expressing its dissatisfaction of the Minsk Group Co-chairs, then the Armenian side is calm. Second, I think that these are little ruses to express their dissatisfaction of the Co-Chairs in order that the latter become more indulgent towards Azerbaijan or try to satisfy some of their demands so as not to hear the criticism in their address. But this is the business of the Azeris and I don’t think that such little ruses are effecting on the negotiation process. We are ready to continue the negotiations in the frameworks of the Madrid Principles and we consider that the Minsk Group Co-chairmanship is the format that will bring success.

The authorities are taking efficient steps towards the implementation of the two Resolutions of PACE. But despite this will the state be able to fulfill all the Recommendations set forth in those Resolutions before the January session of PACE?

We don’t have the problem of managing or not managing, we attach great importance to the fact that our European counterparts are showing so much interest in Armenia. We consider that they are doing a great job and we are grateful for the support they are showing us. But I have announced several times that that is what we believe in, that our programs content more deep provisions, that we are going to realize our programs, because as of those Resolutions the main aim of our programs is to have a more democratic Armenia and we will have that democratic Armenia. If any provision isn’t realized by January I don’t think there will be a flood as an outcome. Of course it is desirable to see such an Armenia and our problems solved as soon as possible, but to set timeframes and say that all those problems should be solved during those timeframes is not quite correct. But I am repeating once more that we attach vital importance to those Resolutions and we accept those recommendations and view them as support and assistance. We have voluntarily taken those responsibilities and obligations and first of all we are going to fulfill them before ourselves and afterwards- before our counterparts.

What is Your position regarding the application of Jirayr Sefilyan to attain Armenian citizenship: will he be granted Armenian citizenship?

Jirayr Sefilyan hasn’t sent me any application, at least so far I haven’t seen that request. When I see it, then I will carry out my decision.

Are You confident that the public opinion is ready to receive the Head of the neighboring state? It is apparent that there will be political powers, which will hold demonstrations of protest. In the context of this question some express the opinion, that since You have made that suggestion while you were in Moscow, in this case the interests of Russia regarding Turkey are somehow apparent.

I am convinced that sports arenas are not for expressing rivalry, they are for the sportsmen to show their strength, their cleverness, their skills and for the fans and amateurs of that sport to get pleasure and be stimulated for better things. Do you remember that in the pre-election phase of this year’s European championship our team was in the same subgroup with Azerbaijan. We were ready to receive the Azeris here in Yerevan or go to Baku, but there wasn’t willingness regarding this on behalf of the Azeri side. Who won in the aftermath? I think we both lost. I consider that President Gul is well aware that there are quite a number of people in Armenia who have other positions regarding Armenian-Turkish relations and there are a lot of such people in Turkey as well. But does this really mean that the presence of such people should force us not to do anything? Does this mean we have to be guided by the principle that it is better not to do anything because something might happen? I don’t consider this approach correct. I find that we are obliged to regulate our relations. Both in Turkey and Armenia there are more supporters of regulating these relations than opponents to it. You are saying that I have made this announcement in Moscow and I am saying that I have made this announcement in the country which holds the biggest Armenian community in our Diaspora. Do you see any difference?

During the last 100 days we have also carried out hard work along with You. You aren’t tired, but we would like to know whether You will be taking a vacation for at least 10 days and how You are planning to spend Your summer holidays?

You want me to take a vacation for my sake or you want to rest yourselves? In the beginning of August I will visit one of the European countries for two days, then I will make a trip to China for one week to support our Olympic team, afterwards I will return to Armenia and will take a few days’ rest in Jermuk and Sevan, including Tsakhkadzor and Dilijan as well. So you can have a rest in August and gather your strength so you can later acquaint the public with our activity.

It is already quite a long time that the opposition is holding illegal gatherings on Northern Avenue, which bring the city into an anti-sanitarian state, it is impossible to walk in the center and at the same time they are putting under danger the trade center and shops, in particular 3-5 brand shops are on the verge of bankruptcy, and that is about 40 jobs. This means Your promise to create new job vacancies is failing to be enacted. In all so called developed and democratic countries the authorities and the Government protect the rights of property owners and the right of people to labor.

I accept your scolding, because even if the latter is conditioned by the actions of the opposition I am the responsible one. In the normal societies which you mentioned the people who were suffering damages would have referred to court a long time ago, and if they had really suffered damages then the court would have taken a decision to deal with those people. But I want you to understand me correctly, I am not trying to take the accountability off of the authorities and put it on the private owners. I want to once again bring it as a fact that unfortunately in our society in Armenia we haven’t learned how to practice our rights without violating the rights of others. I of course consider what is now taking place on Northern Avenue unacceptable. I respect the right of people to express their opinion, but I am repeating, that the expression of their opinion shouldn’t be the reason bringing others to bankruptcy. This is bad. Of course it is awful that the environment over there is unhealthy and anti-sanitarian as you mentioned. We are looking into the matter.

We can see the following trend: the opposition applies to the City Hall to allow a rally, the City Hall doesn’t allow it in the vicinity of Metanadaran or in the Freedom Square but allows it to be held near the stadiums instead. But when the people start gathering near Matenadaran, after one hour, no one knows why, the Police allows the rally to be held. What is the reason of not following the decisions made by the City Hall?

I would like you to use the words and word combinations correctly: the Police doesn’t have the right to allow, but conditioned by the circumstances it has the right to take a decision whether to break up the rally or not. I think that the activities of the Police are conditioned by not creating additional difficulties in our society. The Police set arrangements with the organizers of the event but it is not in all cases that the organizers keep their word. Of course we have to take into consideration the opinion of the Police, but decisions in the city are made by the City Hall. I don’t know would it have been right for the Police not to allow the rallies which took place near Matenadaran? I think the Police have made the right decision and generally we shouldn’t be afraid of those rallies. Our task should be to follow that those rallies are held within the frameworks of Law and with the approval of the authorities, because as you see the authorities are the ones who take the accountability for the outcomes and consequences of the latter.

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