Wednesday, July 25, 16:03

The Armenian officials' statements that the Armenians of Syria do not
want to leave the borders of Syria for patriotic reasons though they
are offered every possible support on their historical homeland do
not quite comply with the reality, one of the leaders of the Armenian
community of Syria, who preferred to be anonymous, told ArmInfo.

In fact, the Armenians living in Syria do not leave the country
because they simply cannot buy air tickets, he said. As regards the
businessmen and entrepreneurs, they cannot wind up their business
within a day and migrate. "Actually, there is no specific state
program aiming to support the migration of the Armenians of Syria
to their historical homeland, creation of affordable conditions for
living and employment", said ArmInfo's interlocutor. In the meantime,
he said that Armenia is the most affordable country for migration of
the Syrian Armenians, as the third countries can receive them only as
refugees, while on the historical homeland they can gain citizenship.

"Therefore, the Armenians of Syria want to return to their historical
homeland, to make a lodgment here, to open their business. Very
many Armenian businessmen from Syria wanted to move their business
to Armenia, however, having come to the historical homeland and
familiarized themselves with the "rules of the game", they gave up
this idea at once. They were frightened by the laws and iniquity in
Armenia", said the representative of the Armenian community.

According to ArmInfo's interlocutor, the laws regulating the economic
sphere of Armenia do not create conditions for profitable business.

"In Armenia the taxes are very high, and one can simply go bankrupt,
but the worst thing is that even these laws do not act very often.

Everybody knows Armenia's attitude towards the Diaspora Armenians,
especially towards entrepreneurs: here one has to go halves with some
official, to pay a bribe to someone, to pay some money to the tough
guys, and at the same time to pay high taxes. In general, the business
atmosphere in Armenia does not encourage the Armenians of Syria to
invest in the historical homeland though they have a huge desire
to do that", he said and stressed that if the situation improved,
he himself could "bring" 10 large entrepreneurs from Syria to Armenia.

"And now it turns out that Armenians of Syria would rather remain
in Syria even under the life threat than move to their historical
homeland in conditions of uncertainty", he said. He added that nearly
3000 Armenians from Syria want to visit Armenia in summer as tourists.

However, over this time they will try to study the situation in the
country and to understand how reasonable it is to return to their

He also pointed out that the big inflow of the Syrian Armenians
to Armenia has led to considerable rise in the prices of not only
Aleppo-Yerevan-Aleppo air tickets, but also the apartments in Yerevan
and in the regions.

As regards the situation in Syria, ArmInfo's interlocutor said that the
crisis is gathering pace with every passing day. "Until quite recently
it was comparatively calm in the Armenian-populated Aleppo, but over
the past four days the city has been under constant fire, the people
are afraid to leave home, and there is no hope for stability", he said.