On July 21 a news conference was held at the presidential office dedicated to the 100th day of Serzh Sarkissian’s presidency. Most questions concerned the relations between Serzh Sarkissian and Robert Kocharian and the rumoured influence of Robert Kocharian on public administration.
Serzh Sarkissian says he is aware of those rumours and considers them as preposterous. Public administration is not business administration where a shareholder appoints a CEO and rules through him. “I am responsible for all my decisions,” stated Serzh Sarkissian. He added that he consults with Robert Kocharian, his coalition partners and specialists.
As to reporters’ observation that Armenia’s ex-president Robert Kocharian said he wouldn’t invite Abdullah Gul to Armenia if he were president, Serzh Sarkissian said: “I thinks it is not criticism.” He thinks Robert Kocharian merely expressed his disagreement. During Kocharian’s presidency Serzh Sarkissian did not agree with him on all matters but he did not voice disagreement publicly. Serzh Sarkissian says he respects Kocharian’s stance.
“I’m confident that President Gul’s visit to Yerevan will allow turning the existing trends into a stable movement targeted at the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations,” noted Sarkissian.
Armenia’s President disagreed with the opinion of some Turkish political circles that the normalization of relations will be beneficial only for Armenia. “The normalization of relations will be mutually beneficial, and I hope that when taking a decision on visiting Yerevan Abdullah Gul will be guided by reason.”
Sarkissian stressed that normalization of relations with Turkey will be a “great success” for Armenia.
Serzh Sarkissian also touched upon Levon Ter-Petrossian’s appeal to release the political prisoners with one phone call. Sarkissian says he is not used to working with such methods.
As to the efforts made in the past one hundred days of his presidency, namely combat against corruption and restoration of public confidence, Serzh Sarkissian said: “I promise to double efforts in this direction.”
Asked whether those steps could not have been made in the past ten or five years, and whether they are not belated, Sarkissian said good things also happened in the past, and he is not tend to recall only the bad ones.
“Simply time, problems and environment have changed. The problems can be solved after they have fully ripened.”
Serzh Sarkissian thinks it is necessary to evaluate the past because only the evaluation of the past can help reach progress.”
“Are you exhausted?” asked a journalist.
“Sometimes I get tired but I am not exhausted,” answered Serzh Sarkissian.