In a few minutes the year 2005 will be history. For our country and for our people–it has been a peaceful–stable–and productive year. The package on Constitutional reforms–which will undoubtedly enhance comprehensive development of the state and society–has been adopted.
We were able to sustain rapid economic growth in the passing year. Now–our objective is to ensure that this economic development directly and positively impacts the well-being of our people.
Parallel to economic development–the social component of the national budget will obviously increase–as well. Beginning on January 1–salaries and pensions will again increase–and greater funds will be allocated toward education–health care–and culture.
Today we view the future of the country more accurately and optimistically. Present economic conditions allow us to address not only current issues–but also provide for mid-term programs. This is an achievement–and there is no doubt about that.
Disproportionate pace of development in Yerevan compared to the country’s regions remains a problem for Armenia–however.
But–thanks to the US-funded "Millennium Challenge" program–there will be a breakthrough in the development of our rural community. This issue will be the focal point of the September 2006 "Armenia-Diaspora" conference in Yerevan–which will target poverty reduction programs and ways to further strengthen Armenia-Diaspora relations.
In 2005–Armenia continued to conduct a balanced foreign policy. 2006 has been declared the Year of Armenia–both in Russia and France–which testifies to the highest possible level of relations between our countries. A program of individual cooperation has been presented to the European Union for consideration–to allow for increased interaction with this structure. Relations with Iran are also developing to allow for the implementation of strategic energy programs.
One of the most important factors in guaranteeing the stability of the country is our army–which is becoming more powerful each year.
In the good tradition of congratulating our servicemen during holiday celebrations–I wish those who are safeguarding our borders on this New Year’s night–best wishes–and I bow to the memory of our fallen heroes.
Dear Compatriots from Armenia–Artsakh–and the diaspora:
The year 2006 will mark the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Republic of Armenia–and we begin the year with sound prerequisites for economic and political development.
With all my heart–I wish you a Happy New Year. I wish you happiness and success.