Kocharian Explains Defense Minister Dismissal

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The former minister of defense Vagharshak Haroutiunian was dismissed not because of his statemen’s about Meghri or Karabakh–but because "the Armenian army would have found itself on the verge of collapse if he had stayed in office for another six months."

This statement was made by President Robert Kocharian during his visit to the Kotayk region.

He added that the former head of the ministry of defense "was the only general of the Armenian army who did not spend a day on the front" and "rather–he was a general of Moscow restauran’s."

According to the president–another reason for dismissing Haroutiunian were complaints received from different military units and unsatisfactory indices in the army registered at that period (June 1999 – May 2000).

According to Kocharian–the efficiency of the Armenian army–which is a significant factor in the Karabakh conflict settlement process–was also in a neglected state. "I immediately participated in the creation of the army and I could not stay indifferent to that," said the president.

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