YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"I’ve regarded Karabakh as part of Armenia ever since 1988," said Acting President–Prime Minister and presidential candidate Robert Kocharian during a meeting with students last weekend.
He noted that as President of Karabakh–he made every effort to promote the integration of the economies–financial and educational systems and culture of Armenia and Karabakh. "In fact–they have been integrated. Both Karabakh and Armenia have their own parliamen’s and presidents. We’ve got one body and two heads. I am sure that no force will dare or even stand a chance to divide that body," Kocharian said.
According to Kocharian–Armenia’should continue its participation in the Karabakh peace process where it has great prospects for advancement.
Kocharian vowed to not spare any effort to develop Armenia’s economy. According to him–Armenia’should become the region’s number one country–otherwise a just solution to the Karabakh problem will be difficult to reach. "The recent developmen’s have shown that the Armenia’s don’t accept defeatism," he claimed.
Kocharian noted that if elected–he would summon a staff consisting of professionals with good reputations irrespective of their party affiliation. He also argued that Armenia lacks a personnel policy and that is why "somebody’s friends–neighbors or relatives" easily acquire high positions.
In response to student questions–Kocharian stressed that criminals–those who had hired assassins–plundered the country and embezzled budget funds must be held responsible under the law.
He also explained Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s two proposals–one of which had been turned down. "Levon Ter-Petrosyan suggested transferring greater powers to the government–so that the president would have one de facto status and one de jure status–which is unacceptable. His second proposal was that of resignation," Kocharian said.