The Armenian Assembly of America welcomes the recent news that the Armenian language programs of Radio Liberty will continue to be broadcast via a privately owned FM radio network. The Assembly regrets that the coverage provided by this station is smaller than was provided earlier through Armenia 's public radio network.
The Assembly hopes that an agreement will be reached soon between the American board of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) and the broadcasting authority of the Republic of Armenia , so that this popular news service will once again reach all areas of Armenia.
The issue first became known when the Armenian Parliament failed to enact a new law that would have effectively banned all foreign originated broadcasts. A large new tax was proposed to be imposed on these programs, including Radio Liberty. The failure of that legislation then permitted RFE/RL to negotiate an agreement with "Ar Radio" Intercontinental to allow the continuation of the Armenian programs of Radio Liberty, albeit to a decreased audience.
Since its founding, the mission of RFE/RL broadcasts to Eastern Europe has been to provide credible news and information to listeners. These broadcasts promote democratic values and serve as a model for local media from central Europe to the Baltic States and Russia , to the Black Sea and the Caucasus , where countries are struggling to establish democratic institutions, protect civil rights, and end ethnic hostilities and regional conflicts.
The Armenian Assembly supports these goals and believes that political stability based on democracy is essential to peace in the region where newly free societies require the free flow of information. RFE/RL broadcasts are important sources of accurate news, free from partisan influences. They provide their Armenian and other audiences the latest international and domestic news developments.