Armenian defence minister pays working visit to Tavush region

8 November, 2017
On November 8, Armenian Defence Minister Vigen Sargsyan paid a working visit to Tavush region.

Sargsyan, accompanied by Tavush Governor Hovik Abovyan, 3-rd Army Corps Commander Col. Grigory Khachaturov and other high-ranking officers, visited one of the military bases located in the north-east direction and observed the conditions in which the combat duties are carried out. He studied re-equipment and re-enforcement works carried out in outposts and trenches with the assistance of the Arar Civic Research Foundation.

The next stop during his visit to Tavush region was in the borderline Nerkin Karmiraghbyur village. At the meeting with its residents, Sargsyan assured them that the border communities are always in the centre of the government’s attention, and that everything possible is done to resolve the existing problems. The Interdepartmental Coordinating Commission for Border Communities Issues has been established just to address such issues.

He also presented the details of the "I am" and "I Have the Honour" programs, spoke about their goals and expected outcomes.

 "The programs we offer are really numerous and in order to implement them, we need the consolidation of our people, strength, determination and, of course, staying away from all possible temptations and slanderous gossip," Sargsyan said.

Speaking about the provisions and advantages of the "I Have the Honour" program, Sargsyan assured that despite the various speculations, the Defence Ministry's objective is to put the conscription process on a qualitatively new level, offering alternative service options for young people.

"The proposed programs will give young people a great advantage, allowing them not only to maintain a permanent connection with their relatives, but also to receive financial compensation, while at the same time using the years of service to build their future," Sargsyan said. "The "I Have the Honour" program, which has currently raised a heated debate, is also for today’s children, who will be able to get free higher education both for bachelor's and master's programs, and serve not as a private but as an officer for a 3-year term and then to return to their lives."

During the open conversation with the residents of the border communities, Sargsyan also answered their questions, which mainly concerned the proposed changes to the conscription process.

In the end of his visit to Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, he also participated in a tree planting event, organized  in the yard of the Levon Adamyan Secondary School.

Later, Sargsyan participated in a discussion organized at the M. Melkonian Military School by the School Centres Union, and attended  by principals of general education schools from all regions of the country.

At the meeting, Sargsyan spoke about the conceptual changes envisaged in the defence system, in particular, the Law on Conscription, a number of privileges given to conscripts. In response to one of the participant’s concerns regarding the elimination of the privilege to carry out service in a military unit located at a radius of 150 kilometres, Sargsyan said that this privilege was largely formal, while now, conscripts will get new privileges.

Upon the request of the participants, Sargsyan also spoke about the possible causes and consequences of the strike declared by a group of students at the YSU. He said that democracy is about exchange of opinions, sometimes a clash, but at the same time, implies decision-making by a majority opinion.

At the end of his visit to the M. Melkonian Military School, Sargsyan also participated in the final event of the poster competition titled "Armenian Soldier" and awarded the winners.