Karabagh Leader Names New Foreign Minister

STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources)–Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) President Arkady Ghukasian appointed his foreign relations advisor–Georgi Petrosian–to the post of foreign minister on Monday–to replace Arman Melikian. Melikian–who also held the post of MKR’s permanent representative in Armenia–will retain that position.

Presenting Petrosian to the MKR Foreign Ministry staff–Ghukasian linked the appointment to the "existing political situation."

The 53-year-old Petrosian is a member of the local Armenian Revolutionary Federation–and played a major role in local politics in the early 1990s.

In January 1992–he was elected Vice President of MKR parliament–and became acting president of Karabagh–after the death of Artur Mkrtchian. He resigned only a few months later on June 14–and openly opposed the conciliatory line on Azerbaijan favored by the then Armenian government of Levon Ter Petrosian.

Though Petrosian is one of the founding members of ARF Karabagh–the party stressed the appointment is not politically motivated.

"The president appointed the foreign minister by himself. Having said that–we welcome the appointment because Georgi Petrosian is well-informed about the Karabagh problem and its history," said ARF Karabagh representative Artur Mosiyan.

Karabagh’s parliament speaker–Ashot Ghulian–similarly insisted that Ghukasian was guided by Petrosian’s personal qualities and track record–rather than his party affiliation–in making the appointment.

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