WATERTOWN, Mass. (Armenian Weekly)–Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian Wednesday visited the Hairenik Association and met with representatives of the ARF Eastern U.S. Central Committee, Ivan Ardhaldjian and Garo Getsemanian, and members of the Armenian Relief Society Central Executive Board and International Office. Sahakian gave a press conference attended by editors of the Armenian Weekly, the Hairenik Weekly and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator. The Weekly will publish its interview with the Karabakh president in next week’s issue.
Ardhaldjian welcomed the president and briefly described the main challenges facing the Armenian community in the Eastern United States and the role of the ARF in confronting these challenges. Getsemanian spoke about the work the ARF-ER has done in Armenia and Karabakh.
Meanwhile, Sahakian talked about the different ways in which the Armenia diaspora has assisted and can still assist in consolidating the independence of Karabakh and continue its prosperity. At the end of the meeting, the Central Committee members presented a gift to the president.
ARS representatives offered a brief presentation to the president of the Society’s activities in Armenia and Karabakh. They concentrated on the 12 ARS "Soseh" kindergartens in Karabakh, and presented statistical details about their financial situation and the present number of students and staff.
The president and members of his delegation commended the ARS for its activities. Sahakian underlined, more than once, the necessity of coordinating all projects in Karabakh with the local authorities, who have adopted the slogan "Let us join together" in securing a decent livelihood and acceptable social and economic conditions for Karabakh’s citizens. Sahakian then invited the ARS Central Executive Board to Stepanakert, to report to the local population on the Society’s activities in the diaspora and the homeland.
At the end of the meeting, ARS Central Executive Board member Mayda Melkonian presented President Sahakian with a gift. He, in turn, recorded the following in the ARS International Office’s visitors’ record book: "The people of Artsakh highly commend the participation of the diaspora and we are interested in developing and strengthening our relations in the name of our mutual goals."
While in Watertown, Sahakian also visited the St. Stephen’s Armenian School, where students from St. Stephen’s and the Armenian Sisters’ Academy performed songs and recited poems. He was accompanied by Archbishop Barkev Martirossian, Prelate of Artsakh; Roudig Husnoonts, the vice-chairperson of the National Assembly of Nagorno-Karabakh; Narine Azadian, the Minister of Social Affairs; and Vardan Barseghian, the Permanent Representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the United States.