DeFacto Agency, Armenia
March 31 2006

A few days ago RA MOD Advisor Major-General Hayk Kotanjyan, who had
participated in a symposium for struggle against terrorism, returned
from Ankara. General Kotanjyan told about the work of the symposium,
in the opening of which Turkish President and Prime Minister had been
present, in an interview with RA MOD Press Service.

- What is your appraisal of the Ankara symposium?

- The symposium was organized well. It enlisted representatives of
state organizations and NGOs from over 30 countries of the world to
professional discussion of the counterterrorism~Rs urgent problems.

Alongside with distinguished analytics from a number of countries
Chairmen of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace,
President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, the U.S. Deputy State
Secretary of Defense Thomas O~RConnell, Chief of Turkish Armed Forces
General Staff Hilmi Ozkeok and others made their reports.

The symposium~Rs peculiarity was that so far representatives of the RA
and Turkish Armed Forces could participate together only in the
activities initiated under the aegis of NATO Partnership for Peace
Program. This time foreign specialists, including a representative of
Armenia, participated on an invitation of Chair of Turkish General
Staff. Taking into consideration lack of interstate relations between
Armenia and Turkey, the symposium makes an opportunity to immediately
follow the neighbor~Rs real activity in one of the most sensitive and
complicated spheres of international cooperation.

- What is your impression from visiting the Center for Struggle
against the World Terrorism initiated by the symposium?

- Turkey, the U.S., Great Britain, Bulgaria and Romania are the
international Center~Rs sponsors. A briefing on activity of the
training-analytical institution with participation of international
representatives of the countries ~V co-organizers was initiated for

- Was the ASALA activity touched upon in a report made by Chief of
Turkish General Staff?

- Yes, it was. Translation of the text of the General Ozkeok~Rs report
into English was delivered to all the participants of the symposium.

A one-line quotation devoted to ASALA is literally the following: ~SA
lot of our diplomats were murdered by the ASALA terrorists~T.

- Did you feel special attitude from the Turkish specialists?

- My participation in the symposium~Rs work can be considered useful
from the viewpoint of objective observation over the development of
the situation. However, the attempts of certain circles to kick up a
row in connection with presence of the representative of RA Armed
Forces spoiled my business trip.

March 24, the second day of the forum~Rs work, after announcement of a
dinner break I was surrounded by journalists with TV cameras. It was
stated that, according to the publications in the Turkish press,
declaiming against mentioning ASALA in the report of the Chair of
Turkish General Staff I had allegedly made a demarche and
ostentatiously left the sitting hall. In this connection I was asked
to answer a number of questions. Responding to the situation,
officers, who were among the symposium~Rs organizers, approached me.

In their presence I stated the publication was false and the
situation should be clarified with the organizers of the symposium.

It should be noted, that suppression of the provocation, which
pursued political aims, was efficiently supported by representatives
of Turkish General Staff. During the dinner a representative of the
symposium~Rs hosts expressed regret for the fact of the misleading
information. In his words, the matter concerns a provocation
initiated by some groups among those against improving relations
between our countries. The representative of the General Staff also
stated the military leadership appreciated my self-possession and
would undertake steps on publication of the misleading information~Rs

In the present situation exposure of mendacity of agent provocateurs,
who has encroached on undermining of the Armenian state~Rs political
image, has become a top priority. Answering the questions of a
representative of press invited by Turkish servicemen: ~SWas there a
fact of a demarche against the report made by Chief of Turkish
General Staff?~T and ~SHow do you appraise the General Ozkeok~Rs
report?~T I gave the following answers based on neutral statement of
facts by a military officer: ~SPublic has been misled. In the course
of all the sittings of the symposium I was at my place, beside my
colleagues - Generals from Algiers and Croatia~T; ~Sthe General
Ozkeok~Rs report corresponded to the symposium~Rs agenda devoted to the
issue of counterterrorism from the professional viewpoint~T.

Next day a number of Turkish newspapers published the misleading
information~Rs denial. By the way, I have brought the above-mentioned
texts of the report and denial to Armenia.