Armenian president, US official discuss Millennium Challenge project

Armenian president, US official discuss Millennium Challenge project

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
1 Jun 04

[Presenter] Armenia today received the first official congratulations
on its participation in the Millennium Challenge programme. Armenian
President Robert Kocharyan, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation
Paul Applegarth and three MPs noted during their meeting today that
Armenia, as a country which is demonstrating efforts towards stable
development, has been recognized as a winner in the competition for
participation in the programme that involves many countries. According
to the head of the delegation, the US government’s assistance is
intended to ensure a stable economic growth in developing countries.
Paul Applegarth familiarized Robert Kocharyan with the conditions
of assistance.

For his part, Robert Kocharyan said that significant efforts are
required to achieve success in future activities. This is a good
opportunity to improve the situation in the country and create serious
conditions for future development, the president noted, expressing
the hope that the budding cooperation of the states will be effective
and consistent.

[Correspondent over video of meeting] Paul Applegarth is in Armenia on
two occasions. First, to congratulate Armenia on its participation in
the Millennium Challenge programme and to familiarize our government
with the details of the programme. Mr Applegarth has met the speaker
of the National Assembly [Artur Bagdasaryan] and the prime minister
[Andranik Markaryan]. After the meeting with journalists, he handed
over official congratulations to President Kocharyan. The member
countries of the programme must follow three standards: to promote
economic freedom, govern fairly and invest in people. Sixteen countries
out of 85 have been elected. Armenia has been selected according to
positive indicators achieved in these three directions.

[Paul Applegarth, in English with Armenian voice-over] Armenia has
been included in the green zone on this list. There are also red and
light green zones. The Armenian government’s policy must be directed
at eliminating them [as heard]. We shall succeed in this with the
help of the programme.

[Correspondent] Paul Applegarth familiarized the country’s leadership
with the conditions of the programme. The US government will follow
the implementation of the programme whose success will also depend on
continuing financing. It is necessary to preserve the success achieved
in these fields and to submit relevant requirements for financing.

[Paul Applegarth] Armenia has been chosen in the Millennium Challenge
programme because it has a high rating, but we shall not allocate
the funds immediately. First of all, it is necessary to submit a
programme of proposals, which will ensure stable economic development.

[Correspondent] Two months have been given to the Armenian government
for choosing the programme’s successiveness. The heads of the
delegation suggested that the Armenian side should not hurry. It is
necessary to discuss and then submit proposals. Because the financing
depends mainly on that.

For the implementation of the Millennium Challenges programme, the US
government has allocated 1bn dollars to all its member states in 2004,
and 2.5bn dollars will be allocated next year.

Elmira Shakaryan for “Aylur”.