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Leaked Document Reveals U.S. Fury With Armenian Oppsition Leader Ter-Petrosian

September 9, 2011 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh, Top News, Turkey 1 Comment
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Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian urged the United States to take the lead in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process in late 2008 less than a month after accusing Washington of seeking excessive Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan, according to newly disclosed U.S. diplomatic records.

In a classified 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks, Marie Yovanovitch, the then U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, said Ter-Petrosian also told her that he publicly branded U.S. policy on Armenia “immoral” as part of his efforts to placate radical supporters demanding a new opposition push for power.

Yovanovitch rejected this explanation as “dishonest,” deploring the former Armenian president’s “lack of integrity” and saying that he is willing to “sell out his own policy views for the sake of personal political expedience.”

The leaked cable recounts the former ambassador’s first meeting with Ter-Petrosian that took place on November 4, 2008. It reveals that the meeting was scheduled for October 20 but that Yovanovitch postponed it to demonstrate Washington’s “displeasure” with his speech at an opposition rally held on October 17, 2008.

Speaking at that rally, Ter-Petrosian charged that the U.S. and other Western powers are turning a blind eye to a continuing government crackdown on his opposition movement in their quest for a “unilateral” resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Such a settlement, he said, would spell a “national disaster” for Armenia because it would exclude Russia.

Ter-Petrosian also claimed at the time that in return for strong Western support for his regime, President Serzh Sarkisian is ready to “put Karabakh up for sale” and renounce Armenia’s political and military alliance with Russia.

Armenia — U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, undated

According to Yovanovitch, Ter-Petrosian made diametrically opposite statements when they met three weeks later. She quoted him as saying that the U.S. should hijack the initiative in Karabakh conflict mediation from the Russians by dispatching then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region to negotiate a final Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement and having it signed in Washington in the presence of outgoing President George W. Bush.

“LTP (Levon Ter-Petrosian) said the U.S. would be doing Armenia and its people a great favor by intervening to achieve a balanced settlement that would leave neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan with ‘a loser’s complex,’” Yovanovitch wrote. She said Ter-Petrosian assured her that his Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance “will not do anything to complicate Sarkisian’s settlement efforts” in the coming months.

The envoy told top U.S. State Department officials that Ter-Petrosian also justified his harsh verbal attacks on the West voiced at the October 2008 rally. She quoted the HAK leader as saying that he simply sought to sell his decision to suspend anti-government demonstrations in Yerevan to “the radical elements in his opposition movement.”

Explaining that decision in his 45-minute speech at the rally, Ter-Petrosian asserted that further street protests would “weaken Serzh Sarkisian’s positions and thereby increase possibilities of exerting external pressure on him and clinching concessions from him.”

Throughout the summer of 2008, senior HAK figures told supporters to get ready for renewed “decisive” actions against the Sarkisian administration. One of them stated that the October 17 rally will mark a “turning point” in the opposition movement’s struggle.

In Yovanovitch’s words, Ter-Petrosian said that the protest suspension carried “great risks” for him and that he had “no other way to get people off the streets and back in their homes.”

Yovanovitch, who completed her three-year tour of duty in Armenia last June, dismissed the alleged explanation. “Painting the United States in an immoral light on resolving [the Karabakh conflict] is intellectually dishonest no matter the motive,” she told the charismatic opposition leader, according to the cable.

Yovanovitch suggested the following motives behind his “dishonest rhetoric.” “Our
read is that LTP saw support for public rallies dwindling with each passing month, and was desperate to find a face-saving tactic,” she told officials in Washington. “Empty-handed after months of a stridently rejectionist strategy, LTP chose to cloak himself in nationalism and concoct a conspiracy theory of great power machinations to cover his political retreat.”

Armenia – Levon Zurabian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress, at a news conference, 26Aug2011.

Levon Zurabian, a close Ter-Petrosian associate coordinating the HAK’s day-to-day activities, insisted on Thursday that there were no contradictions between what the ex-president said at the rally and the conversation with the U.S. ambassador.

In particular, Zurabian, who was also present at that meeting, strongly denied her claims that Ter-Petrosian admitted misleading his most loyal supporters. “Ter-Petrosian never said such a thing, I refute that,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And Marie Yovanovitch also refutes herself in that report.”

But Zurabian would not comment on whether Ter-Petrosian indeed urged the U.S. to aggressively push for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.

Ter-Petrosian was quoted as questioning Russia’s commitment to Karabakh peace in another leaked cable which Yovanovitch sent to Washington in August 2009. The confidential document also publicized by WikiLeaks gives details of his meeting in Yerevan with Matthew Bryza, the then U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state.

“LTP worried that Russia does not actually want a solution, but rather a lingering problem that leaves both Armenia and Azerbaijan dependent on Russia,” reads the document.

Ter-Petrosian’s alleged concerns contrasted with his exceedingly positive public statements on the Russian government. The HAK leader has been far more critical of the Western powers in his public pronouncements made since the disputed February 2008 presidential election. He has repeatedly accused them of tolerating human rights abuses in Armenia for “geopolitical considerations.”

Zurabian claimed that relations between American diplomats and the HAK began worsening in September 2008 because Armenia’s leading opposition force refused to unconditionally back Sarkisian’s controversial policy of rapprochement with Turkey.

“We were angry that for the sake of geopolitical aims the United States can turn a blind eye to the trampling of democracy,” he said. “We were angry with the United States for that reason, while the United States probably had motives to be angry with our position.”

“But over time — when it became obvious that our evaluations are correct, that Turkey will not delink relations with Armenia from the Karabakh issue, that Serzh Sarkisian is exploiting the normalization process to keep political prisoners and destroy the opposition — the same Marie Yovanovitch learned to respect Levon Ter-Petrosian,” added the HAK coordinator.

Source: RFE/RLOriginial Article

Related posts:

  1. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Decries ‘Incredible’ Corruption
  2. Armenian Opposition Leader Ter-Petrosian Reaffirms September Deadline For Government
  3. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Leader Skeptical About Ter-Petrosian’s ‘Revolution’ Threat
  4. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Seeks Stronger EU Pressure On Yerevan
  5. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Meets With Armenia’s Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Samvel Jeshmaridian says:

    OPEN LETTER TO MS. MARIE YOVANOVITCH
    Dear Ms. Marie Yovanovitch,
    I know the source of Your anger toward those, who struggle for others’ happiness and who need U.S. moral, political, and diplomatic support for their own country! Of course, Your Government has no obligation before the Armenian Nation. Your Government isanalyzing political situations and is diplomatically competing with the Kremlin to be and/or to seem more powerful in the region. It is not “the roadmap” to human happiness. But the Armenian People together with the Political Opposition of Armenia are in search of the road leading to happiness. Every human being has the right to be happy! And those who fight for others’ happiness are unacceptable for Your Depatment of State. It is natural and understanable. This situation makes You furious, doesn’t it?

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Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian urged the United States to take the lead in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process in late 2008 less than a month after accusing Washington of seeking excessive Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan, according to newly disclosed U.S. diplomatic records.

In a classified 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks, Marie Yovanovitch, the then U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, said Ter-Petrosian also told her that he publicly branded U.S. policy on Armenia “immoral” as part of his efforts to placate radical supporters demanding a new opposition push for power.

Yovanovitch rejected this explanation as “dishonest,” deploring the former Armenian president’s “lack of integrity” and saying that he is willing to “sell out his own policy views for the sake of personal political expedience.”

The leaked cable recounts the former ambassador’s first meeting with Ter-Petrosian that took place on November 4, 2008. It reveals that the meeting was scheduled for October 20 but that Yovanovitch postponed it to demonstrate Washington’s “displeasure” with his speech at an opposition rally held on October 17, 2008.

Speaking at that rally, Ter-Petrosian charged that the U.S. and other Western powers are turning a blind eye to a continuing government crackdown on his opposition movement in their quest for a “unilateral” resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Such a settlement, he said, would spell a “national disaster” for Armenia because it would exclude Russia.

Ter-Petrosian also claimed at the time that in return for strong Western support for his regime, President Serzh Sarkisian is ready to “put Karabakh up for sale” and renounce Armenia’s political and military alliance with Russia.

Armenia — U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, undated

According to Yovanovitch, Ter-Petrosian made diametrically opposite statements when they met three weeks later. She quoted him as saying that the U.S. should hijack the initiative in Karabakh conflict mediation from the Russians by dispatching then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region to negotiate a final Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement and having it signed in Washington in the presence of outgoing President George W. Bush.

“LTP (Levon Ter-Petrosian) said the U.S. would be doing Armenia and its people a great favor by intervening to achieve a balanced settlement that would leave neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan with ‘a loser’s complex,’” Yovanovitch wrote. She said Ter-Petrosian assured her that his Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance “will not do anything to complicate Sarkisian’s settlement efforts” in the coming months.

The envoy told top U.S. State Department officials that Ter-Petrosian also justified his harsh verbal attacks on the West voiced at the October 2008 rally. She quoted the HAK leader as saying that he simply sought to sell his decision to suspend anti-government demonstrations in Yerevan to “the radical elements in his opposition movement.”

Explaining that decision in his 45-minute speech at the rally, Ter-Petrosian asserted that further street protests would “weaken Serzh Sarkisian’s positions and thereby increase possibilities of exerting external pressure on him and clinching concessions from him.”

Throughout the summer of 2008, senior HAK figures told supporters to get ready for renewed “decisive” actions against the Sarkisian administration. One of them stated that the October 17 rally will mark a “turning point” in the opposition movement’s struggle.

In Yovanovitch’s words, Ter-Petrosian said that the protest suspension carried “great risks” for him and that he had “no other way to get people off the streets and back in their homes.”

Yovanovitch, who completed her three-year tour of duty in Armenia last June, dismissed the alleged explanation. “Painting the United States in an immoral light on resolving [the Karabakh conflict] is intellectually dishonest no matter the motive,” she told the charismatic opposition leader, according to the cable.

Yovanovitch suggested the following motives behind his “dishonest rhetoric.” “Our
read is that LTP saw support for public rallies dwindling with each passing month, and was desperate to find a face-saving tactic,” she told officials in Washington. “Empty-handed after months of a stridently rejectionist strategy, LTP chose to cloak himself in nationalism and concoct a conspiracy theory of great power machinations to cover his political retreat.”

Armenia – Levon Zurabian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress, at a news conference, 26Aug2011.

Levon Zurabian, a close Ter-Petrosian associate coordinating the HAK’s day-to-day activities, insisted on Thursday that there were no contradictions between what the ex-president said at the rally and the conversation with the U.S. ambassador.

In particular, Zurabian, who was also present at that meeting, strongly denied her claims that Ter-Petrosian admitted misleading his most loyal supporters. “Ter-Petrosian never said such a thing, I refute that,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And Marie Yovanovitch also refutes herself in that report.”

But Zurabian would not comment on whether Ter-Petrosian indeed urged the U.S. to aggressively push for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.

Ter-Petrosian was quoted as questioning Russia’s commitment to Karabakh peace in another leaked cable which Yovanovitch sent to Washington in August 2009. The confidential document also publicized by WikiLeaks gives details of his meeting in Yerevan with Matthew Bryza, the then U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state.

“LTP worried that Russia does not actually want a solution, but rather a lingering problem that leaves both Armenia and Azerbaijan dependent on Russia,” reads the document.

Ter-Petrosian’s alleged concerns contrasted with his exceedingly positive public statements on the Russian government. The HAK leader has been far more critical of the Western powers in his public pronouncements made since the disputed February 2008 presidential election. He has repeatedly accused them of tolerating human rights abuses in Armenia for “geopolitical considerations.”

Zurabian claimed that relations between American diplomats and the HAK began worsening in September 2008 because Armenia’s leading opposition force refused to unconditionally back Sarkisian’s controversial policy of rapprochement with Turkey.

“We were angry that for the sake of geopolitical aims the United States can turn a blind eye to the trampling of democracy,” he said. “We were angry with the United States for that reason, while the United States probably had motives to be angry with our position.”

“But over time — when it became obvious that our evaluations are correct, that Turkey will not delink relations with Armenia from the Karabakh issue, that Serzh Sarkisian is exploiting the normalization process to keep political prisoners and destroy the opposition — the same Marie Yovanovitch learned to respect Levon Ter-Petrosian,” added the HAK coordinator.

Source: RFE/RLOriginial Article

Related posts:

  1. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Decries ‘Incredible’ Corruption
  2. Armenian Opposition Leader Ter-Petrosian Reaffirms September Deadline For Government
  3. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Leader Skeptical About Ter-Petrosian’s ‘Revolution’ Threat
  4. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Seeks Stronger EU Pressure On Yerevan
  5. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Meets With Armenia’s Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian urged the United States to take the lead in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process in late 2008 less than a month after accusing Washington of seeking excessive Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan, according to newly disclosed U.S. diplomatic records.

In a classified 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks, Marie Yovanovitch, the then U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, said Ter-Petrosian also told her that he publicly branded U.S. policy on Armenia “immoral” as part of his efforts to placate radical supporters demanding a new opposition push for power.

Yovanovitch rejected this explanation as “dishonest,” deploring the former Armenian president’s “lack of integrity” and saying that he is willing to “sell out his own policy views for the sake of personal political expedience.”

The leaked cable recounts the former ambassador’s first meeting with Ter-Petrosian that took place on November 4, 2008. It reveals that the meeting was scheduled for October 20 but that Yovanovitch postponed it to demonstrate Washington’s “displeasure” with his speech at an opposition rally held on October 17, 2008.

Speaking at that rally, Ter-Petrosian charged that the U.S. and other Western powers are turning a blind eye to a continuing government crackdown on his opposition movement in their quest for a “unilateral” resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Such a settlement, he said, would spell a “national disaster” for Armenia because it would exclude Russia.

Ter-Petrosian also claimed at the time that in return for strong Western support for his regime, President Serzh Sarkisian is ready to “put Karabakh up for sale” and renounce Armenia’s political and military alliance with Russia.

Armenia — U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, undated

According to Yovanovitch, Ter-Petrosian made diametrically opposite statements when they met three weeks later. She quoted him as saying that the U.S. should hijack the initiative in Karabakh conflict mediation from the Russians by dispatching then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region to negotiate a final Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement and having it signed in Washington in the presence of outgoing President George W. Bush.

“LTP (Levon Ter-Petrosian) said the U.S. would be doing Armenia and its people a great favor by intervening to achieve a balanced settlement that would leave neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan with ‘a loser’s complex,’” Yovanovitch wrote. She said Ter-Petrosian assured her that his Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance “will not do anything to complicate Sarkisian’s settlement efforts” in the coming months.

The envoy told top U.S. State Department officials that Ter-Petrosian also justified his harsh verbal attacks on the West voiced at the October 2008 rally. She quoted the HAK leader as saying that he simply sought to sell his decision to suspend anti-government demonstrations in Yerevan to “the radical elements in his opposition movement.”

Explaining that decision in his 45-minute speech at the rally, Ter-Petrosian asserted that further street protests would “weaken Serzh Sarkisian’s positions and thereby increase possibilities of exerting external pressure on him and clinching concessions from him.”

Throughout the summer of 2008, senior HAK figures told supporters to get ready for renewed “decisive” actions against the Sarkisian administration. One of them stated that the October 17 rally will mark a “turning point” in the opposition movement’s struggle.

In Yovanovitch’s words, Ter-Petrosian said that the protest suspension carried “great risks” for him and that he had “no other way to get people off the streets and back in their homes.”

Yovanovitch, who completed her three-year tour of duty in Armenia last June, dismissed the alleged explanation. “Painting the United States in an immoral light on resolving [the Karabakh conflict] is intellectually dishonest no matter the motive,” she told the charismatic opposition leader, according to the cable.

Yovanovitch suggested the following motives behind his “dishonest rhetoric.” “Our
read is that LTP saw support for public rallies dwindling with each passing month, and was desperate to find a face-saving tactic,” she told officials in Washington. “Empty-handed after months of a stridently rejectionist strategy, LTP chose to cloak himself in nationalism and concoct a conspiracy theory of great power machinations to cover his political retreat.”

Armenia – Levon Zurabian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress, at a news conference, 26Aug2011.

Levon Zurabian, a close Ter-Petrosian associate coordinating the HAK’s day-to-day activities, insisted on Thursday that there were no contradictions between what the ex-president said at the rally and the conversation with the U.S. ambassador.

In particular, Zurabian, who was also present at that meeting, strongly denied her claims that Ter-Petrosian admitted misleading his most loyal supporters. “Ter-Petrosian never said such a thing, I refute that,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And Marie Yovanovitch also refutes herself in that report.”

But Zurabian would not comment on whether Ter-Petrosian indeed urged the U.S. to aggressively push for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.

Ter-Petrosian was quoted as questioning Russia’s commitment to Karabakh peace in another leaked cable which Yovanovitch sent to Washington in August 2009. The confidential document also publicized by WikiLeaks gives details of his meeting in Yerevan with Matthew Bryza, the then U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state.

“LTP worried that Russia does not actually want a solution, but rather a lingering problem that leaves both Armenia and Azerbaijan dependent on Russia,” reads the document.

Ter-Petrosian’s alleged concerns contrasted with his exceedingly positive public statements on the Russian government. The HAK leader has been far more critical of the Western powers in his public pronouncements made since the disputed February 2008 presidential election. He has repeatedly accused them of tolerating human rights abuses in Armenia for “geopolitical considerations.”

Zurabian claimed that relations between American diplomats and the HAK began worsening in September 2008 because Armenia’s leading opposition force refused to unconditionally back Sarkisian’s controversial policy of rapprochement with Turkey.

“We were angry that for the sake of geopolitical aims the United States can turn a blind eye to the trampling of democracy,” he said. “We were angry with the United States for that reason, while the United States probably had motives to be angry with our position.”

“But over time — when it became obvious that our evaluations are correct, that Turkey will not delink relations with Armenia from the Karabakh issue, that Serzh Sarkisian is exploiting the normalization process to keep political prisoners and destroy the opposition — the same Marie Yovanovitch learned to respect Levon Ter-Petrosian,” added the HAK coordinator.

Source: RFE/RLOriginial Article

Related posts:

  1. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Decries ‘Incredible’ Corruption
  2. Armenian Opposition Leader Ter-Petrosian Reaffirms September Deadline For Government
  3. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Leader Skeptical About Ter-Petrosian’s ‘Revolution’ Threat
  4. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Seeks Stronger EU Pressure On Yerevan
  5. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Meets With Armenia’s Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian urged the United States to take the lead in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process in late 2008 less than a month after accusing Washington of seeking excessive Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan, according to newly disclosed U.S. diplomatic records.

In a classified 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks, Marie Yovanovitch, the then U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, said Ter-Petrosian also told her that he publicly branded U.S. policy on Armenia “immoral” as part of his efforts to placate radical supporters demanding a new opposition push for power.

Yovanovitch rejected this explanation as “dishonest,” deploring the former Armenian president’s “lack of integrity” and saying that he is willing to “sell out his own policy views for the sake of personal political expedience.”

The leaked cable recounts the former ambassador’s first meeting with Ter-Petrosian that took place on November 4, 2008. It reveals that the meeting was scheduled for October 20 but that Yovanovitch postponed it to demonstrate Washington’s “displeasure” with his speech at an opposition rally held on October 17, 2008.

Speaking at that rally, Ter-Petrosian charged that the U.S. and other Western powers are turning a blind eye to a continuing government crackdown on his opposition movement in their quest for a “unilateral” resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Such a settlement, he said, would spell a “national disaster” for Armenia because it would exclude Russia.

Ter-Petrosian also claimed at the time that in return for strong Western support for his regime, President Serzh Sarkisian is ready to “put Karabakh up for sale” and renounce Armenia’s political and military alliance with Russia.

Armenia — U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, undated

According to Yovanovitch, Ter-Petrosian made diametrically opposite statements when they met three weeks later. She quoted him as saying that the U.S. should hijack the initiative in Karabakh conflict mediation from the Russians by dispatching then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region to negotiate a final Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement and having it signed in Washington in the presence of outgoing President George W. Bush.

“LTP (Levon Ter-Petrosian) said the U.S. would be doing Armenia and its people a great favor by intervening to achieve a balanced settlement that would leave neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan with ‘a loser’s complex,’” Yovanovitch wrote. She said Ter-Petrosian assured her that his Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance “will not do anything to complicate Sarkisian’s settlement efforts” in the coming months.

The envoy told top U.S. State Department officials that Ter-Petrosian also justified his harsh verbal attacks on the West voiced at the October 2008 rally. She quoted the HAK leader as saying that he simply sought to sell his decision to suspend anti-government demonstrations in Yerevan to “the radical elements in his opposition movement.”

Explaining that decision in his 45-minute speech at the rally, Ter-Petrosian asserted that further street protests would “weaken Serzh Sarkisian’s positions and thereby increase possibilities of exerting external pressure on him and clinching concessions from him.”

Throughout the summer of 2008, senior HAK figures told supporters to get ready for renewed “decisive” actions against the Sarkisian administration. One of them stated that the October 17 rally will mark a “turning point” in the opposition movement’s struggle.

In Yovanovitch’s words, Ter-Petrosian said that the protest suspension carried “great risks” for him and that he had “no other way to get people off the streets and back in their homes.”

Yovanovitch, who completed her three-year tour of duty in Armenia last June, dismissed the alleged explanation. “Painting the United States in an immoral light on resolving [the Karabakh conflict] is intellectually dishonest no matter the motive,” she told the charismatic opposition leader, according to the cable.

Yovanovitch suggested the following motives behind his “dishonest rhetoric.” “Our
read is that LTP saw support for public rallies dwindling with each passing month, and was desperate to find a face-saving tactic,” she told officials in Washington. “Empty-handed after months of a stridently rejectionist strategy, LTP chose to cloak himself in nationalism and concoct a conspiracy theory of great power machinations to cover his political retreat.”

Armenia – Levon Zurabian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress, at a news conference, 26Aug2011.

Levon Zurabian, a close Ter-Petrosian associate coordinating the HAK’s day-to-day activities, insisted on Thursday that there were no contradictions between what the ex-president said at the rally and the conversation with the U.S. ambassador.

In particular, Zurabian, who was also present at that meeting, strongly denied her claims that Ter-Petrosian admitted misleading his most loyal supporters. “Ter-Petrosian never said such a thing, I refute that,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And Marie Yovanovitch also refutes herself in that report.”

But Zurabian would not comment on whether Ter-Petrosian indeed urged the U.S. to aggressively push for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.

Ter-Petrosian was quoted as questioning Russia’s commitment to Karabakh peace in another leaked cable which Yovanovitch sent to Washington in August 2009. The confidential document also publicized by WikiLeaks gives details of his meeting in Yerevan with Matthew Bryza, the then U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state.

“LTP worried that Russia does not actually want a solution, but rather a lingering problem that leaves both Armenia and Azerbaijan dependent on Russia,” reads the document.

Ter-Petrosian’s alleged concerns contrasted with his exceedingly positive public statements on the Russian government. The HAK leader has been far more critical of the Western powers in his public pronouncements made since the disputed February 2008 presidential election. He has repeatedly accused them of tolerating human rights abuses in Armenia for “geopolitical considerations.”

Zurabian claimed that relations between American diplomats and the HAK began worsening in September 2008 because Armenia’s leading opposition force refused to unconditionally back Sarkisian’s controversial policy of rapprochement with Turkey.

“We were angry that for the sake of geopolitical aims the United States can turn a blind eye to the trampling of democracy,” he said. “We were angry with the United States for that reason, while the United States probably had motives to be angry with our position.”

“But over time — when it became obvious that our evaluations are correct, that Turkey will not delink relations with Armenia from the Karabakh issue, that Serzh Sarkisian is exploiting the normalization process to keep political prisoners and destroy the opposition — the same Marie Yovanovitch learned to respect Levon Ter-Petrosian,” added the HAK coordinator.

Source: RFE/RLOriginial Article

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  3. Armenian Revolutionary Federation Leader Skeptical About Ter-Petrosian’s ‘Revolution’ Threat
  4. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Seeks Stronger EU Pressure On Yerevan
  5. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Meets With Armenia’s Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian urged the United States to take the lead in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process in late 2008 less than a month after accusing Washington of seeking excessive Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan, according to newly disclosed U.S. diplomatic records.

In a classified 2008 cable released by WikiLeaks, Marie Yovanovitch, the then U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, said Ter-Petrosian also told her that he publicly branded U.S. policy on Armenia “immoral” as part of his efforts to placate radical supporters demanding a new opposition push for power.

Yovanovitch rejected this explanation as “dishonest,” deploring the former Armenian president’s “lack of integrity” and saying that he is willing to “sell out his own policy views for the sake of personal political expedience.”

The leaked cable recounts the former ambassador’s first meeting with Ter-Petrosian that took place on November 4, 2008. It reveals that the meeting was scheduled for October 20 but that Yovanovitch postponed it to demonstrate Washington’s “displeasure” with his speech at an opposition rally held on October 17, 2008.

Speaking at that rally, Ter-Petrosian charged that the U.S. and other Western powers are turning a blind eye to a continuing government crackdown on his opposition movement in their quest for a “unilateral” resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Such a settlement, he said, would spell a “national disaster” for Armenia because it would exclude Russia.

Ter-Petrosian also claimed at the time that in return for strong Western support for his regime, President Serzh Sarkisian is ready to “put Karabakh up for sale” and renounce Armenia’s political and military alliance with Russia.

Armenia — U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, undated

According to Yovanovitch, Ter-Petrosian made diametrically opposite statements when they met three weeks later. She quoted him as saying that the U.S. should hijack the initiative in Karabakh conflict mediation from the Russians by dispatching then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region to negotiate a final Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement and having it signed in Washington in the presence of outgoing President George W. Bush.

“LTP (Levon Ter-Petrosian) said the U.S. would be doing Armenia and its people a great favor by intervening to achieve a balanced settlement that would leave neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan with ‘a loser’s complex,’” Yovanovitch wrote. She said Ter-Petrosian assured her that his Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance “will not do anything to complicate Sarkisian’s settlement efforts” in the coming months.

The envoy told top U.S. State Department officials that Ter-Petrosian also justified his harsh verbal attacks on the West voiced at the October 2008 rally. She quoted the HAK leader as saying that he simply sought to sell his decision to suspend anti-government demonstrations in Yerevan to “the radical elements in his opposition movement.”

Explaining that decision in his 45-minute speech at the rally, Ter-Petrosian asserted that further street protests would “weaken Serzh Sarkisian’s positions and thereby increase possibilities of exerting external pressure on him and clinching concessions from him.”

Throughout the summer of 2008, senior HAK figures told supporters to get ready for renewed “decisive” actions against the Sarkisian administration. One of them stated that the October 17 rally will mark a “turning point” in the opposition movement’s struggle.

In Yovanovitch’s words, Ter-Petrosian said that the protest suspension carried “great risks” for him and that he had “no other way to get people off the streets and back in their homes.”

Yovanovitch, who completed her three-year tour of duty in Armenia last June, dismissed the alleged explanation. “Painting the United States in an immoral light on resolving [the Karabakh conflict] is intellectually dishonest no matter the motive,” she told the charismatic opposition leader, according to the cable.

Yovanovitch suggested the following motives behind his “dishonest rhetoric.” “Our
read is that LTP saw support for public rallies dwindling with each passing month, and was desperate to find a face-saving tactic,” she told officials in Washington. “Empty-handed after months of a stridently rejectionist strategy, LTP chose to cloak himself in nationalism and concoct a conspiracy theory of great power machinations to cover his political retreat.”

Armenia – Levon Zurabian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress, at a news conference, 26Aug2011.

Levon Zurabian, a close Ter-Petrosian associate coordinating the HAK’s day-to-day activities, insisted on Thursday that there were no contradictions between what the ex-president said at the rally and the conversation with the U.S. ambassador.

In particular, Zurabian, who was also present at that meeting, strongly denied her claims that Ter-Petrosian admitted misleading his most loyal supporters. “Ter-Petrosian never said such a thing, I refute that,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “And Marie Yovanovitch also refutes herself in that report.”

But Zurabian would not comment on whether Ter-Petrosian indeed urged the U.S. to aggressively push for an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal.

Ter-Petrosian was quoted as questioning Russia’s commitment to Karabakh peace in another leaked cable which Yovanovitch sent to Washington in August 2009. The confidential document also publicized by WikiLeaks gives details of his meeting in Yerevan with Matthew Bryza, the then U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state.

“LTP worried that Russia does not actually want a solution, but rather a lingering problem that leaves both Armenia and Azerbaijan dependent on Russia,” reads the document.

Ter-Petrosian’s alleged concerns contrasted with his exceedingly positive public statements on the Russian government. The HAK leader has been far more critical of the Western powers in his public pronouncements made since the disputed February 2008 presidential election. He has repeatedly accused them of tolerating human rights abuses in Armenia for “geopolitical considerations.”

Zurabian claimed that relations between American diplomats and the HAK began worsening in September 2008 because Armenia’s leading opposition force refused to unconditionally back Sarkisian’s controversial policy of rapprochement with Turkey.

“We were angry that for the sake of geopolitical aims the United States can turn a blind eye to the trampling of democracy,” he said. “We were angry with the United States for that reason, while the United States probably had motives to be angry with our position.”

“But over time — when it became obvious that our evaluations are correct, that Turkey will not delink relations with Armenia from the Karabakh issue, that Serzh Sarkisian is exploiting the normalization process to keep political prisoners and destroy the opposition — the same Marie Yovanovitch learned to respect Levon Ter-Petrosian,” added the HAK coordinator.

Source: RFE/RLOriginial Article

Related posts:

  1. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Decries ‘Incredible’ Corruption
  2. Armenian Opposition Leader Ter-Petrosian Reaffirms September Deadline For Government
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  4. Armenian Opposition Leader Levon Ter-Petrosian Seeks Stronger EU Pressure On Yerevan
  5. U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Meets With Armenia’s Former President Levon Ter-Petrosian

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Commentary

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

Merchants and small retailers again gathered outside the government building in Yerevan to voice their opposition to the changes in the volume tax law that requires that they keep receipts for all inventory purchases and sales.

In Yerevan, vehicle owners who have bandied together in a group calling itself “Keep Away from Our Pockets” tried to drive through the city in a convoy of cars to protest paid parking spaces many argue is just a ruse for some oligarchs to make money. Police stopped them before getting too far.The bulk of the fines and fees don’t even go to the Yerevan city coffers but is kept as income by the corporation overseeing the parking spots. The drivers are also complaining about traffic fines they say are too exorbitant.

Taking you grievances to the street is a growing trend in Armenia – whether in towns or villages.

The largest and most successful to date were the sustained protests that took place in the summer of 2013 in Yerevan that eventually forced the municipal government to rescind public transportation fare hikes.

But ever since then, demos and protests seem to have lost their verve and vigor and are more and more issue specific. While this is to be expected (those immediately affected by this or that government decision are the first on the streets), the general citizenry once again seem resigned to whatever fate awaits them.

While attempts were made to broaden the participation of these mini-protests and to link their specific interests under some kind of umbrella movement, they proved unsuccessful.

Numbers and mutual solidarity remain elusive. Strategizing and innovative tactics are also lacking.

Three opposition political parties are gearing up for a joint rally on Oct. 10.  Let’s see if it will be more of the same old, same old…

Oct. 1 – Government Reappoints Thug as Syunik Governor

Hetq readers will know that SourikKhachatryan, the publicly disgraced and much maligned former Syunik Provincial Governor, was reinstated to his old job this week. Khachatryan was forced to temporarily step down after being implicated in a June shoot-out near his Goris home in which an Artsakh Army commander was seriously wounded and his brother killed.

Here’s a tit for tat exchange between HAK (Armenian National Congress) MP NikolPashinyan and Armenian Prime Minister HovikAbrahamyan in parliament regarding Khachatryan’s reinstatement.

Pashinyan (and I paraphrase here) – That man has been charged with expropriation of public property through fraud, auto theft, the beating of several individuals, one incident when he hit a prominent woman in a Yerevan hotel was caught on tape, the beating of a child because he had a quarrel with the father…Recently, this individual murdered a man by shooting him from such a position from his house that the cameras didn’t catch him…”

Abrahamyan – Who is this man you refer to? Oh, SourikKhachatryan. Well, I nominated him for reinstatement based on his years of experience in provincial governance and organizational skills.

The prime minister added: “I’ve also taken into account the wishes of the people of Syunik. Our studies show that a majority want him as their provincial governor.”

Oct. 1 – Diaspora Minister Receives “Good Job” Watch

Armenian Prime Minister HovikAbrahamyan visited Diaspora Minister HranoushHakobyan at her office bearing gifts. Well, one gift in particular. The PM bestowed Hakobyan with a commemorative “prime ministerial” watch for a job well done.

Now c’mon folks.A stinking watch? A grandfather’s clock would have been more appropriate.

Oct. 1 – Armenia is Getting “Old”

This is the view of GarikHayrapetyan, who heads the Yerevan Office of the UN Population Fund.

On Wednesday, which marked the International Day of the Elderly (we’ll all get there sometime), Hayrapetyan told journalists in Yerevan that 13% of Armenia’s population is over the age of 60. (That’s practically bordering on senility).

Anyway, he claimed that the country is fast approaching what is termed the ranks of “old countries” (you know, where the president or dictator walks around on crutches).

Right now, thank god, Armenia is merely considered “growing old”.

Khachatryan attributes the age imbalance to the fall in the birthrate after independence.

Less young people means less people to take care of the elderly. But I only know of one old-age home in Armenia. Who’s looking after the rest?

Sept. 30 – Aznavour Wants Turks and Armenians to Reconcile Before He Dies

In an interview with RTS (Radio Television of Serbia), Charles Aznavour is alleged to have said he hopes to see Armenians and Turks reconcile before he dies.

Bonne chance, mon ami. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

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China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

In recent years an agreement has been in place  ensuring that for the sake of party unity,  most senior figures would not be investigated. Zhou’s case has been the first to break the agreement and is aimed at party purity instead. Communists are hoping to stay legitimate and to win more supporters. 

The anti-corruption campaign has realized its vow of no off-limit targets, says political scientist Zhang Ming in The Guardian.

reportingproject.net

Source: HetqOriginial Article

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Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

The writer describes the members of the group as “gun-toting defendants” driving flashy cars “and connected to elaborate schemes in bank fraud, identity theft and other highly sophisticated white-collar crimes.”

Armenian Power originated in the 1980s by young Armenians, mainly from Soviet Armenia, to protect themselves from Mexican gangs in Los Angeles high schools. In time the organization developed working relations with the latter and shifted focus from fighting for territory to fighting for money and power.

My initial reaction to the report, like to all things Armenian, is visceral. Besides the fact that the horrific nature of the group’s actions turns my stomach, I feel angry. There are many positive contributions Armenians make to the communities they live in, so why point out the negative?

I think and catch myself in doing something very typically Armenian: reacting defensively when a non-Armenian criticizes my people. I immediately want to blame someone, mainly the person who is pointing a finger in my direction. This is a natural reaction for those of us who take pride in belonging to a lineage older than Noah’s Ark.

Ancient is the Armenian archetype – our intuitive behavior that has proven to withstand the test of time. We’ve been around so long, we consider ourselves to be wise and flawless. It is in our ethnic genome to revere the old and be doubtful of the new, to respect the elder as authority and dismiss the young as naive and inexperienced, to move in time and space, but not leave the past and the home we left behind. Any divergence from what has history and is the norm, we perceive as deficient, abnormal, lacking.

Young Armenians in American public schools faced with anything but the norm, as they know it, are caught by surprise like objects uprooted by cyclonic winds.

When life throws us into the realm of the unexpected or takes us out of our element, when it forces us to question our truths and face our shortcomings that make us seem not so perfect, we feel ashamed and become unforgiving. This quickly leads us on to the path of self-loathing. Our genesis, the very thing that is the source of our pride and the reason for our being, becomes our handicap in the youth-crazed, ever changing culture of the new world. We feel betrayed.

Additionally, we have been conditioned to put on our best face in public, regardless of what is going on inside. This archetype was reinforced during the Soviet era. We do not air our dirty laundry in public, but proudly display our clean, shiny load in front of our balconies and windows literally and figuratively. We even pride ourselves in the way we pin the pieces next to each other on the clothesline!

So, regardless of our circumstances, we find ways to put on a front like the well choreographed parades of the Soviet government. For God’s sake, we were the first people to adopt Christianity as our state religion! Never mind that our church is void of spirituality and our God cares more about the dead than the living.

Then we boast, and when others dare to not appreciate our genius with expected enthusiasm, we resort to demeaning, deprecating commentary and are not shy about projecting our negative feelings. No one is good enough, smart enough, deserving enough as Armenians. We’re the oldest and the wisest, and therefore most deserving of respect and appreciation.

More than once I have had to counsel a distraught Armenian parent complaining about how people make fun of their perfect child because he/she does not look or act like them.

When our expectations are not met, we are wounded and insulted. This is when the daredevil gene kicks in, and we don’t hesitate to give our perceived enemy a piece of our mind, or show off a flexed muscle.

We call this taseeb (honor): a sentiment that forces an Armenian to pick up a rifle and defend his physical and psychological turf. It is the same sentiment that drives a young Armenian to defend himself from insults and aggression, real or perceived, from a person of a different ethnicity in an American high school.

These archetypes are some of the underlying factors that lead Armenian youth into conflicting situations outside their circles.

In a new and changing world, old archetypes no longer serve the needs of the people, while the new ones are constantly elusive. Coupled with the desire to belong and to fit in, this drives people to adopt clichés that are readily available in a world congested with material, ideas and attitudes. Thus, to be accepted by the out-groups, to measure up and to be competitive, they quickly adopt what is more accessible to them for putting on the “perfect face.”

Designer clothing and accessories, Mercedes, BMW, Porches, attitudes and gestures we don’t quite grasp but admire, just about anything that we perceive as distinguishing and defining the out-group we are so eager to be a part of and be appreciated by, we collect. Clichés are easy to launder, polish, and pin on one’s life’s “clothes line”. Life in the new world becomes a long string of clichés.

In the absence of archetypes, reality is re-imagined, improvised like life on a theater stage, Marshall McLuhan explains. On this stage, young people are the characters of their own show, and there is nothing in the world more important than that until new archetypes take form.

The mafia or its modern day version – gangs that are a common occurrence in societies constantly in flux – is the stage where young people play out their roles. There have been Irish,   Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Mexican gangs in America prior to the Armenians.

Every wave of new arrivals, every wave of change, brings with it a new set of expectations and challenges. While families try to decipher the laws, rules, and traditions of their new environment, the young tend to gravitate towards groups that fill the need for belonging and provide a security network.

Some, more than others, in every group are willing to break rules often to their own detriment while caught between archetypes of the old world and the clichés of the new.

Marineh Khachadour is an educator, writer, researcher working in a public school in Pasadena, California.  She lived in Armenia from 1992-1998. During that time she provided educational services and resources for Armenian women and children including refugees and served as Gender in Development Expert with UNDP, Armenia from 1995-1998.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

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Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

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For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.

“In the past, if water use conditions weren’t met, we couldn’t void the permit, but now we’re making that clear. If the state gives you a water use permit with this condition, be kind and meet this condition; otherwise, we will make the permit null and void,” he explained.

A new requirement in the proposed package concerning the execution of drilling operations stipulates that a drilling company or individual must obtain a license so that the state can supervise its activities. “Those companies that execute drilling must have a license for drilling. That is, we are proposing to license activities,” he added.

After the relevant state bodies discuss and submit their opinions regarding the amendments, Narimanyan says, the package will be sent to the RA Ministry of Justice, the government, then finally to parliament.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

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