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  A press conference of famous Armenian and Diaspora public figures was held in the news agency press center "Noyan Tapan" on September 24, 2016. The press conference was entitled "25 years of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia: its achievements and unsolved problems, Armenia-Diaspora relations, the present of the country and reforms of its development, its future and guarantees for security”.

The speakers of the press conference were American writer and public figure of Armenian descent, editor in chief and publisher of the newspaper “The California Courier”, Harut Sassounian, the editor in chief of the Lebanese newspaper "Azdak" Shahan Gandaharian, the historian, professor, dean of YSU Faculty of History, Edik Minasyan, orientalist-turkologist, doctor in historical sciences, professor, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the RA National Academy of Sciences, Ruben Safrastyan.

Ruben Safrastyan expressed his opinion first. According to him, 25 years is not a long period of time, however, it was full of events for our people. "First, I would like to emphasize that, during 25 years, the Republic of Armenia was formed as a sovereign state in a complicated geopolitical situation. We were established as a country and clearly and firmly held out a helping hand to Artsakh, too. I should note that during these 25 years, we have encountered many difficulties, there were problems in the stable development of the inner life, we missed some things and succeeded to fulfill the others. But to say that everything was good or bad, would be wrong. However, we still have many expectations especially from the generation of independence”.

Shahan Gandaharian as a figure representing Diaspora, spoke about the lack of independence for a long time. According to him, 25 years of independence has and continues to have a strong psychological impact also on Diaspora in terms of preserving the identity and activities abroad. Independence had an impact on joint state and political activities. “The Diaspora has always stressed the danger of assimilation, and the acquisition and the maintenance of independence was a powerful factor, which ensured further strengthening of relations between the Motherland and the Diaspora”, - said Gandaharian.

Edik Minasyan, in his turn, spoke about the achievements during these 25 years. “We gained our independence in really difficult conditions. We had a task of preserving our statehood and existence from the 1990s. The country was in the blockade, we have experienced a destructive earthquake. After all these difficulties, the Declaration of Independence laid the foundation for the construction and development of our independent statehood”. He also spoke about the achievements, noting, the importance of the existence of an independent system of government, despite its shortcomings. The greatest achievement was the liberation of Artsakh due to the heroic struggle. Minasyan also emphasized the importance of the creation of a national army, along with the establishment of the 3rd Republic. 

Harut Sassounian, as a representative of Diaspora, presented his views and observations. “I can objectively state that we had both achievements and losses. I want to mention two achievements - the first is the independence of Artsakh, and the second, is that despite Armenia has been in bilateral blockade for 25 years, its people was able to overcome these problems and to mark economic growth”. 

Sassounian also spoke about the dangers of emigration, which has reached alarming levels. He also spoke about poor economic conditions, and imprecise and untargeted use of diaspora resources.

At the end of the press conference journalists asked their questions to the speakers and there was an active discussion.