YEREVAN (Armenpress)–President Robert Kocharian Monday–spoke to the nation on television and presented his annual New Year address–the English translation of which is presented below:
I congratulate you on the occasion of New Year–the 2002. My best wishes to you and your families. May there always be warmth and health in your homes–and may success accompany you in all your endeavors.
I congratulate you and especially our soldiers–who are guarding our country’s peace in this festive evening.
We are saying good bye to the year in which we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and the 1700th anniversary of adoption of Christianity. It was a period of peaceful and productive work for our country. The year was politically–culturally and economically active and rich. Our country is now another year older and another year stronger.
We end 2001 with significant economic growth. However–what we have achieved cannot be regarded sufficient–but positive changes are–nonetheless–obvious. Thousands of new jobs were created–and a number of governmental and private enterprises were renovated and reopened.
In the passing year–we witnessed the unprecedented effort to reconstruct the earthquake zone–and this new year–we will double that effort to complete the reconstruction efforts in our hardest hit cities.
This was also a significant year for Armenia’s foreign diplomatic efforts. The growth of the country’s international reputation is obvious. The beginning of this year was marked with Armenia’s historic accession–as a full member–into the Council of Europe. Armenia’s inclusion in the Council of Europe is a testimony to Armenia’s efforts toward becoming a fully democratic and lawful society.
As for Nagorno Karabakh–the passing year was marked by the development of the Paris Principles–which was a significant and important development in the peace process. The Paris Principles are an important step on the way to the final settlement.
I realize and I am distressed that many of you still have numerous concerns and difficulties even during this holiday season. May the holiday spirit and hope not leave you as the day ends. We will do everything we can to try to alleviate your problems and the problems that plague the society as a whole. Many of our citizens found new apartmen’s and jobs in the passing year–while thousands of students moved into newly built schools. This should give you confidence that the existing problems can be solved.
Dear compatriots–Brothers and sisters from Armenia–Karabakh and the Diaspora–
May all of your individual efforts come together with our pan-Armenian dreams and be crowned with success in the new year.
Happy New Year.