Saturday, 23 February 2008

Senior Armenia diplomats resign in support of Ter-Petrosyan

Four senior Armenian diplomats - the Armenian ambassador to Italy, Spain and Portugal Ruben Shugaryan, the Armenian ambassador to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Levon Khachatryan, the envoy of Armenia to Ukraine and Moldova Razmik Khumaryan and the deputy foreign minister Armen Baiburdyan have resigned in protest of the conduct of presidential election and in support of opposition movement led by the first president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan. This information has just been confirmed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ruben Shugaryan was Armenia's first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan's press-secretary in 1992-1993, before (1991-1992) he was Ter-Petrosyan's aide.

Regardless of conflicting news of support by some high-rank officials in government, judiciary, military etc (some of them confirmed, others - not), it is clear that Levon Ter-Petrosyan has loyal group of supporters in governmental structures, who even after 10 years of him not being in power, retained their loyalty. However, it is not just a personal issue. The disappointment in current givernment is so high and voting irregularities and violence was so blatant during presidential election in Armenia, that even people who do not particularly support Ter-Petrosyan joined the protest movement which is evolving to become a movement for democracy.

It is also very indicative that even though a coalition of pro-government MPs will soon issue a statement of support to prime-minister Serj Sargsyan, they will specifically state (after amendements proposed by an MP from governing Republican Party) that they call Armenian police to protect safety of peaceful protesters.

However, the situation in Yerevan is changing very quickly. This morning clashes seemed inevitable. Then, later during the day, things changed and under the pressure of influences from various sides, it was agreed to refrain from using physical force, for now at least. But things may be different in an hour, tomorrow, or next week.

It is obvious that incumbent president Kocharyan's return to Yerevan (after his Moscow visit) and his meeting with security, military and police chiefs brought more weight to prime-minister side, and today Ter-Petrosyan position does not look as strong as it was yesterday. Also, position of international community is a serious blow not only to Ter-Petrosyan but also to everyone who cares about democracy in Armenia. But tens of thousands keep gathering in Liberty sq with the same spirit and determination, and hopefully it is too soon to say "The End".


artmika said...

Despite earlier reassurances made by an MP from Republican party (Radio Liberty evening broadcast) and confirmed in an interview with IA Regnum by press secretary of Republican party Eduard Sharmazanov, as indicated in this post, final text of a statement by MPs from pro-government coalition, just published in
E-channel, does not include 'call to Armenian police to protect safety of peaceful protesters'.

artmika said...

My deepest RESPECT to all these Armenian diplomats who displayed the highest level of integrity in showing their solidarity with people in Liberty sq who fight for democracy in Armenia

Six more senior Armenian diplomats on Sunday publicly condemned their government’s handling of the presidential election in what amounted to a show of support for opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian.

In a joint statement read out at a Ter-Petrosian rally, the Foreign Ministry officials expressed their “outrage” at serious fraud which they said prevented the vote from being “civilized, free and fair.” “Only by acting in conformity with the letter and spirit of the law can we create democracy and tolerance in Armenia and earn the country a good reputation abroad,” they said.

The statement’s signatories included the chief Foreign Ministry spokesman, Vladimir Karapetian, and the heads of the ministry’s NATO, North America and United Nations desks.

[...] Ter-Petrosian described the diplomats as “heroes” and urged Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian to follow suit.
Here are their names:
- Vladimir Karapetyan, Head of Press and Information Department (Foreign Ministry spokesman)
- Varsenik Baghdasaryan, head of UN Division
- Karine Afrikyan, Head of USA and Canada Division
- Marta Aivazyan, Head of NATO Division
- Arakel Semerjyan, Advisor to European Department
- Helen Peteyan, Secretary of South American Department

Anonymous said...

If a minister of a cabinet also resigns,it will be a great blow to robert kocharian.

artmika said...

In this circumstances, if Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian has any dignity, he has to resign.