Magic Johnson Visa Request Rumors False

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

GLENDALE–Rumors emanating from Turkish media suggesting that basketball star Erwin "Magic" Johnson has applied for an entry visa to Armenia for possible treatment of AIDS were denied Thursday by the Armenian Consulate in Los Angeles.

"Absolutely not," said Consulate official Hagop Hovanessian–saying no one by that name has applied for an entry visa to Armenia.

The Armenian Embassy in Washington also called the Magic Johnson visa request reports false.

"He has not applied for a visa here or at the Armenian Consulate in Los Angeles," said Teni Melidonian–special assistant to the Ambassador.

Hovanessian further denied rumors that many were lined up at the Consulate to apply for entry visa for AIDS treatment in Armenia.

He said that the visas were being issued at their normal pace–and no one had applied for the specific purpose of AIDS treatment.

Melidonian said that while the embassy had been receiving inquiries regarding the AIDS drug and possibilities for treatment in Armenia–the embassy has been urging those individuals to wait–since the drug was still in its experimental stages.

A similar cautionary message was articulated to Armenpress by the Foreign Ministry press office–which confirmed that numerous inquiries about the AIDS drug–Armenicum–were made at embassies in the US–Syria and Lebanon.

All have been told to wait–since Armenicum is in its early stages of experimentation.

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