GLENDALE– Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghoukassian arrived in Los Angeles Monday leading a delegation which includes Hayastan All Armenia Fund Executive Director Vahan Ter-Ghevondian–Nagorno-Karabakh Republic representative in Washington Vardan Barseghian. The delegation is on hand to take part in the Thanksgiving Day Armenia Fund Inc. Telethon.
Ghoukassian was escorted to the Red Lion Hotel in Glendale–where following a reception by Los Angeles-area organizational leaders–he held a press conference to address issues confronting Karabakh and the upcoming Thanksgiving Day telethon.
The telethon–scheduled to air from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST on Thanksgiving Day through the Los Angeles based KSCI TV Channel 18–aims to raise an estimated $25 million for the construction of the 169 kilometer north-south highway of Karabakh.
At a press conference Monday afternoon–Armenia Fund Inc. officials announced that the first three hours [9 a.m. to noon PST–9 p.m. to midnight Armenia Time] of the program will broadcast live–via satellite–on Armenian State Television. Thus–individuals receiving Armenian State Television through a satellite carrier will be able to watch the telethon live in Europe–the Middle East and the CIS.
The telethon simultaneously will be webcast on www.armenianradio.com through which pledges can be submitted online. US residents may participate by calling 1-800-888-8897.
Armenia Fund officials also said that three days prior to the launch of the Thanksgiving Day telethon–more than $2.5 million has been raised toward the construction of the north-south highway–the "Backbone of Karabakh."
During the press conference President Ghoukassian stressed the importance of the Telethon and its crucial meaning to the survival of Karabakh. He also explained that his visit to the United States was for the sole purpose of assuring the success of the Telethon.
Answering questions relating to the recent summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe held last week in Istanbul–Ghoukassian stated that neither he nor his government were expecting any serious documen’s to be produced at the summit. Nevertheless–the most important aspect of the summit–as far as Karabakh was concerned–was the appeal to all sides to continue negotiations–which deprived the announcement made by the chairperson of the previous OSCE summit in Lisbon of its political message.
As for political and economic developmen’s–Ghoukassian stated that his government had done its utmost to create a society where fairness and justice are priorities and that they are looking forward to creating a model government for the rest of Armenia.
Before arriving in Los Angeles–Ghoukassian visited Washington–Boston and Detroit