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By Anna Saghabalian

Armenia’s migration agency has posted data suggesting that the country has seen a positive ‘migration balance’ in the past three years.

Gagik Yeganian, Head of the Government-affiliated Department for Migration and Refugee Affairs, told RFE/RL that currently Armenia has more arrivals than people departing from the country.

According to him, while emigration, or the number of people leaving the country, steadily exceeded the number of visitors by some 40,000 in the late 1990s up until 2002, the situation has changed since.

The first positive ‘arrival-departure’ balance was registered in 2004 when the number of people coming to Armenia exceeded the number of those leaving the country by 2,718. The ‘positive balance’ in the following year made 12,000 people to reach 21,500 in 2006. Yeganian says the growth tendency is observed this year as well.

Yeganian says despite the absence of complete data they can say with confidence that some of those arriving in Armenia are former emigrants and some of them return to their homeland to stay here.

The migration agency has also observed a significant year-on-year growth -- within the limits of 15-18 percent -- of the volumes of passenger transportation. According to Yeganian, this growth in the six months of this year made 36 percent.
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