GLENDALE—Leaders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, that included the party’s Western Region Central Committee and Bureau met on Friday with Artak Bshtikyan, a special advisor to Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan.
ARF Bureau member Dr. Viken Yacoubian was joined by ARF Western U.S. Central Committee co-chairs Avedik Izmirlian and Dr. Carmen Ohanian, as well as Asbarez English Editor Ara Khachatourian in welcoming Bshtikyan and Armenia’s Consulate General’s Counselor Razmik Stepanyan to the party’s headquarters in Glendale.
Bshtikyan expressed his and the defense ministry’s gratitude to the ARF saying that in the past almost three decades since Armenia’s independence, the Armenian community of Los Angeles, and the ARF Western Region, have played a critical role in the advancement and strengthening of Armenia’s Armed Forces, highlighting the essential role the Armed Forces play in our national reality as protectors of not just the borders of Armenia and Artsakh but our entire homeland.
Bshtikyan outlined that since the popular movement last spring, which resulted in regime change in Armenia, the defense ministry has gone through significant changes, namely the recalibration of the vectors that guide the day-to-day operations of the ministry as well as the Armed Forces.
The most critical of the said changes, Bshtikyan said, was the principle that defense ministry is functioning, first and foremost, in the national interests of Armenia and as such is strengthening the Armed Forces by improving the conditions for the soldiers and their families.
Bshtikyan pointed out that announcements recently made by the defense minister, as well as outlines of certain projects that have been publicized illustrate Armenia’s commitment to strengthening its defense capabilities, as well as emerging from a position of strength by prioritizing the needs and concern of the nation.
He said that one of the key projects for the defense ministry is the construction of a state-of-the-art military hospital that will not only serve the member of the Armed Forces but also their families. This project, with an estimated price tag of $24 million, is on the forefront of the defense ministry’s mission to improve conditions for those serving in the Army. He also encouraged Diaspora Armenians to take part in the efforts to secure better living and social conditions for the servicemen, explaining that mechanisms are in place for such direct assistance to the defense ministry.
The ARF leaders pledged the party’s support in the defense ministry’s activities, emphasizing that the ARF has been at the forefront of advancing the defense of the homeland and ensuring the security and sovereignty of Armenia and Artsakh.