Oskanian Criticizes US position on latest Yerevan events

YEREVAN (Armenpress/Interfax)–Armenia’s Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian cautioned against making superficial judgmen’s on the internal political situation in Armenia–saying that the country’s stability is deeply rooted. "The events we witness today have been created artificially and will soon be overcome," he told a roundtable session in Yerevan on Wednesday.

He criticized the US Department of State’s report addressing the latest developmen’s in Yerevan–as an "attempt to make a balanced statement."

"The United States has forgotten to condemn the opposition’s calls for a coup in the republic. If not for this failure–I myself would have signed off on the US Department of State’s report. At the same time–it is these opposition calls that can be viewed as the underlying reason for what has been happening in Armenia over the past few days," said Oskanian.

Tensions continued on Thursday between Armenia’s authorities and opposition–which is demanding that President Robert Kocharian resign.

Earlier–the opposition started to boycott parliamentary sessions–calling for a vote of confidence in the authorities–and staged a series of rallies. On the night of April 13–police broke up an opposition rally outside the presidential residence–and banned all unauthorized large-scale assemblies in Yerevan.

Oskanian blamed "both the opposition and the republic’s authorities for what has happened."

"We have already reached a certain level of the country’s democratic development–but the biggest challenge–to make democratic processes in Armenia irreversible–still lies ahead. And–we need the opposition’s constructive assistance to succeed in this task," the foreign minister said–expressing hope that "Armenia will manage to prove to the international community that the political situation in the republic is still stable."

The official representative of the US Department of State Richard Boucher–said on April 13 that "the United States is concerned about the current political situation in Armenia–particularly the sharp escalation in confrontation between the government and the opposition." He also noted that "physical assaults–raids on political party offices–and widespread arrests and detentions of opposition activists by the police do not contribute to creating an atmosphere conducive to political dialogue."

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