Inter-Departmental Commission Coordinating Syrian-Armenians’ Issues holds session

On Apr. 1, the Inter-Departmental Commission Coordinating Syrian-Armenians’ Issues held a subsequent session, which was moderated by RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan and was held with the participation of not only members of the commission, but also NA Deputies Samvel Farmanyan, Tevan Poghosyan, Arman Sahakyan and Edmon Marukyan, who had visited Syria to study the events taking place in Kessab.

The issue of the situation facing Kessab in the past couple of days was discussed as an urgent issue.

NA Deputies Samvel Farmanyan and Tevan Poghosyan presented the details regarding the fact-finding tasks that they completed in Syria, the situation in Kessab and the possible developments. The deputies mentioned that the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic structures are taking adequate steps in this direction and said it was important to disseminate impartial information in Armenian presses and avoid presenting the subjective positions of the conflicting sides. The population in Kessab is mono-ethnic and is mainly inhabited by Armenians. In this case, the events taking place in Kessab are a brilliant example of the massive violations of human rights and the UN needs to support with its humanitarian programs. RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan mentioned that by sending RA President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement to Diaspora Armenian organizations, the ministry has called on all Diaspora Armenians to present the events taking place in Kessab to the whole world and draw the international community’s attention to the fair solution to the issue. The events in Kessab should consolidate all Armenians in different countries around the world.

The minister added that she is constantly in contact with Mayor of Kessab Vasken Chaparian on the telephone in order to obtain reliable information and provide solutions to the current issues. Syrian-Armenians’ desires need to be taken into consideration. If the Armenians of Kessab return to Armenia, the Armenian government will take measures to support them.

The minister also mentioned that the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has called out to all Armenians and has started a fundraiser to help the Armenians of Kessab.

According to the agenda, RA Deputy Minister of Health Vahan Poghosyan delivered a report on the support to Syrian-Armenians, which is provided within the scope of the RA Ministry of Health. Poghosyan presented the activities that the ministry has been carrying out to provide free medical assistance to Syrian-Armenians and jobs for Syrian-Armenian doctors since 2012. To this day, 608 Syrian-Armenians have been treated at hospitals and have received ambulatory medical assistance, of which 27 were cardiologic interventions. Out of the 71 Syrian-Armenians doctors registered at the RA Ministry of Health, 54 have been provided with jobs, of which 3 are based in the NKR. The ministry has also organized a training course for Syrian-Armenian doctors. To implement these activities, the Government of the Republic of Armenia has allocated more than 117 million drams.

2012-20,21500 AMD

2013-67,134,820 AMD

2014-22,418,600 AMD

For training of Syrian-Armenian doctors: 5,025,000 AMD

For re-qualification of Syrian-Armenian doctors: 2,600,000 AMD

The process is ongoing.

Director of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development National Center (SME DNC) Varazdat Karrapetyan delivered a report in which he presented the activities aimed at organizing courses for Syrian-Armenians with the desire to do business in Armenia and providing loans to the Syrian-Armenians under special conditions as part of the “Support to Syrian-Armenians” Program. Currently, 56 Syrian-Armenians are doing business in different spheres, and women Syrian-Armenian businessmen stand out from the rest.

In the end, the participants of the session discussed other current issues. Summing up, Minister Hranush Hakobyan mentioned that there is more work to be done and that everyone must take responsibility and work harder to resist the possible challenges.

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