HOVANNISIAN ON BAKU TRIP: ARMENIANS MUST ". . . TAKE UP THE PURSUIT OF NATIONAL INTERESTS . . ."
By SIRANUYSH GEVORGYAN

ArmeniaNow
28.11.12 | 15:52

Photo: www.heritage.am

Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian doesn't view his visit to
Baku this week as a heroic deed. During his Wednesday meeting with
the press independent Armenia's first foreign minister said if he
has a chance he will go to Baku again, because it is a service that
every Armenian should offer in order to advocate the Armenian side
of the Nagorno Karabakh issue.

Participating in the International Conference of Asian Political
Parties (ICAPP) held in Baku on November 22-23, Hovannisian made an
appeal to Azerbaijan to recognize Nagorno Karabakh stating that it is
as much a post-Soviet state as Azerbaijan itself. His participation in
the conference stirred a scandal, when on the last day Hovannisian
in his attempt to respond to Azeri's anti-Armenian claims asked
for a chance to speak, but was denied. Moreover, Turkish and Azeri
participants raised a clamor, pounding fists on their tables, and
causing a commotion that drowned out Hovannisian's comments.

Hovannisian, who has announced his candidacy for president in next
February's election, told the press that he considers his visit to be
important in terms of Armenia's foreign policy, because for the first
time representatives of many countries present at the Baku event
had a chance to hear an Armenian viewpoint on the Karabakh issue,
whereas before they had heard only the Azeri side of things.

"In Azerbaijan, if a thousand people are working on something they say
the same thing, while we express different opinions. And my opinion
is that the Armenian state - the authorities, the opposition, the
society - has to be present, not absent. With our presence we have
to able not only to balance the informational, political, diplomatic
shortcomings and failures, but also have the entire state take up the
pursuit of national interests and get rid of this terrible abyss of
fragmented, idle talk and no action," he said.

Hovannisian also said that in Baku he wanted to find at least one
Armenian family to meet, but failed.

"The numbers they say don't match. Once they say 12,000 Armenians
reside in Azerbaijan, another time they claim 30,000, or even 60,000.

So to challenge those deceptions with fake figures I said I wanted to
meet at least one Armenian. That meeting never took place. Instead I
came across a fenced, cross-less Armenian church now used for other
purposes," said the Heritage leader.


From: Baghdasarian