Deputy Culture Minister’s Statement Upsets Armenian Politicians

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–According to the Turkish Anadolu News Agency–Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Culture Karen Aristakesian–who is presently in Turkey for a Ministerial Colloquy–said on Thursday that nations should forget "bad incidents that occurred in the past."

Politicians in Armenia have reacted sharply to the statement. A leading Orinats Yerkir Party member Manvel Balasanian–said that only a minister is entitled to make statemen’s on behalf of the ministry–adding–"How can one forget the past which is my grandfather’s past?"

Parliament Deputy Chairman and ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovhannisian said–"Fortunately–such issues are not up to Karen Aristakesian to decide."

Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and ARF Armenia Representative Armen Rustamian–in turn–said that while the information must be verified–he warned that similar statemen’s are unacceptable. "If in fact the deputy minister did make the statement–he should be held accountable."

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