US Ambassador Did Not Assess Army’s Actions

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On November 5–the US Embassy in Armenia’spread a press release that stated in particular:

"On November 4–US Ambassador Michael Lemmon met with Armenia’s Minister of Defense Lieutenant-General Vagharshak Haroutiunian at the building of the Ministry of Defense. The Ambassador highly appreciated the fact that democratic and constitutional processes helped overcome the crisis resulting from the killings perpetrated at the National Assembly building on October 27. The US Ambassador gave assurances of US support to the president of Armenia and the constitutional processes. He offered US assistance in the organization of specialized courses of military re-training which will be aimed at developing the relationships between civilians and the military–in the context of democracy–human rights protection and rule of law. Ambassador Lemmon asked the minister to assess the recent eight days and listened to his viewpoint with great interest. But he did not give any assessmen’s to the steps taken by the Armenian authorities but only hailed the positive result that meets the requiremen’s of the Constitution."

The press release of the US Embassy is evidently the response to a report by the information and propaganda department of the Ministry of Defense released the previous day. In that report the Ministry said in part:

"During the meeting the sides discussed the October 27 tragic events and their aftermath–the position of the army on this issue and the role of the Armenian armed forces in the restoration of constitutional order. The ambassador positively assessed the steps taken by the army and voiced readiness of the US Government to render assistance in promoting democratic processes in Armenia."

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