Syrian Armenians expectation from Customs Union

“The main problem and concern of Syrian Armenians in Armenia is their relatives left in Syria,”- today in the meeting with the journalists said Syrian Armenians issues coordinating center NGO co-Chair Aleksan Garatanyan.

“We have relatives there, the borders are already dangerous for them, as well as some don’t want to leave Syria,”- he continued.

What Armenia should do for Armenians in Syria, the speaker didn’t answer, he only noted that Armenia sends humanitarian support to Syria.

While coming to Armenia, Syrian Armenians were realizing that they weren’t coming to European developed country: “We know that we come to Armenia, which has problems, though we helped 6000 people who turned to us, we solved their medical needs, today Syrian Armenians access to medical care, and only employment issues are left,”- added the speaker.

The lawyer of “Syrian Armenian problems coordinating center” NGO Naira Edigaryan said, that since March, 5000 Syrian Armenians will receive food packages, “To people more in need will be given “Yerevan City” cards, and Syrian Armenians settled in regions will be given additional support, there are also new surprises.”

The founder member of “Halep” benevolent NGO, Cultural Committee Chairperson Perch Kirazean taking part in the discussion thinks, that only humanitarian support to Syrian Armenians is not enough, “Syrian Armenian don’t need so much support, they lived in Syria with dignity, earned they living with difficulty, I stress the importance of integration, as I notice some separation between local Armenians and Syrian Armenians, there must be state propaganda.”

Perch Kirazean suggests using the Customs Union, “Syria was a center, from where the works of Armenian craftsmen were exported. Now Armenia doesn’t have production, which can be competitive in the Custom Union, I suggest opening factories, using Syrian Armenians’ craft, creating big machines, exporting and competing in that market.”

At the moment Armenian market is small and unprofitable for Syrian Armenian businessmen,”- he stressed.

The speakers noted that only 750 from 12 000 Syrian Armenians living in Armenia has refugee status, as the others want to be full citizens of the RA.