No Response on Raffi Hovannisian Citizenship Application

YEREVAN — Raffi K. Hovannisian–former Foreign Minister and current director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies was denied Armenian citizenship last week–after a six-year wait– the Center said in a press release issued Monday outlining the evolution of his application process.

The former Foreign Minister first applied for Armenian citizenship on Sept. 21–1991 the day of the independence referendum in Armenia–according to the press release. Having received no response to his request–Hovannisian filed another appealed to Levon Ter-Petrosyan on Nov. 11 of the same year. According to the Center–Ter-Petrosyan told Hovannisian to wait until the adoption of corresponding legislation. Four years later–on July 6–1995–Hovannissian once again appealed to Ter-Petrosyan regarding his request for citizenship. Once again–Hovannisian’s request remained unanswered.

Hovannisian filed yet another appeal with Ter-Petrosyan’s chief of staff and the Interior Ministry in December–1995–following the adoption of the law on citizenship by the National Assembly. Hovannisian was asked to wait until a government decree on the law was issued.

After publication of the decree in Hayastani Hanrapetutyun newspaper–the mouthpiece of the Armenian government–in the summer of 1996–Hovannisian wrote to the Interior Ministry’s Visa and Passport Department requesting advice on ways of expediting his application. He was told to wait until a formal method had been devised. Hovannisian had submitted a complete application package to the Visa and Passport Department of the Interior Ministry– on Sept. 19–1996 and was later informed that the package was complete.

On February 12–1997–Hovannisian’s application was rejected by the Visa and Passport Department. An incomplete autobiographical presentation was given as the reason.

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