Lebed Calls for Genocide Recognition

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Visiting Russian dignitary Alexander Lebed–who was one of the mourners at Thursday’s commemorative event in Yerevan–during a brief interview with Noyan Tapan said that all Russia’s like Armenia’s mourn the victims of the Genocide.

Lebed explained–"I have seen the continuation of the Genocide–that is why I am here today. More than three quarters of a century after the Genocide of 1915 has had little progress." Speaking of the current stage of Armenia-Russia relations–Lebed noted that Russia does not share anti-Armenian moods–because it is not Tuleyev and Rokhlin who determine the political priorities.

Asked about impressions from his one-day visit to Karabakh–Lebed said that he was very impressed by the Karabakh army. "I noticed that soldiers’ eyes are shining. And that means not only high professionalism and discipline in the army–but also that they know very well for what and whom they serve."

"I understand what the character of people is based on and how it has been forged," General Alexander Lebed told journalists–speaking of the goal of his one-day visit to Nagorno-Karabakh. He said he was stunned by the 1700-year spiritual power which is the foundation of the people of Karabakh.

Commenting on latest statemen’s by certain politicians about the necessity to leave Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan–Lebed said–"I just cannot imagine that after all that happened here–one might dare to give everything up." He said it was almost impossible.

According to Lebed–history testifies that Armenia’s have lived and defended this land–and "that history must be respected."

Asked how he would assess the Karabakh Armed Forces–Lebed answered that he was very impressed. "For the first time in many years I have seen a real Army–regimen’s which I was pleased to look at," said the military expert.

At the same time he refused to comment on prospects of the peace negotiations on Karabakh within OSCE framework–saying that he was not well aware of the situation. "I do not really know what they have achieved and in what directions they are moving."

During his visit to Nagorno-Karabakh Lebed paid a visit to Gandzasar monastery.

During his visit–Lebed met with Acting President Leonard Petrossian. According to sources– Lebed also met with the leader of the Karabakh diocese Bishop Pargev Martirosian.

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