Ter Petrosyan On the Defensive Again

YEREVAN (RFE/RL–Azg)–Former President Levon Ter-Petrosyan again refuted as "absolutely false" a July 17 report by the Snark news agency that he had an interview with several Turkish dailies in which he sharply criticized policies of the present Armenian leadership.

The report was printed by "Azg" and "Hayots Ashkhar," which carry the refutation by Ter-Petrosyan’s spokesman–Levon Zourabian–who also condemned the Armenian press–saying he was "surprised with how enthusiastically the anti-Turkish Ramkavar and Dashnak media publishes such reports."

Snark news agency reported that Ter-Petrosyan had made several unflattering statemen’s regarding President Robert Kocharian’s policy toward Turkey during interviews with the Anatolia and the Turkish Daily News.

The Turkish media reported that Ter-Petrosyan had announced that if Armenia-Turkey relations did not improve–Armenia would find itself in international isolation.

Ter-Petrosyan also stated that the current policies of the Kocharian administration had regressed Turkish-Armenian relations by 10 years.

Ter-Petrosyan also found the addressing of "historic issues and speculations" as a means to manipulate reality unacceptable–asserted the Turkish papers which stressed that the former president remained an advocate of strengthening Turkish-Armenian relations.

In his rebuttal–Zourabian repeated that Ter-Petrosyan had not given any interviews since his resignation in February.

The Azg daily newspaper struck back–writing that the former presidential press secretary "has never learned to speak to the press without quarreling and bullying… while despising the domestic media–Ter-Petrosyan was always nice to foreign–and particularly to Turkish journalists."

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