May 31 2011

An Armenian opposition leader has supported the idea of negotiations
with the authorities on calling early presidential and parliamentary

"Considering that the authorities have granted three demands put
forward by the Armenian National Congress (ANC), we are prepared for
formal dialogue with the authorities at the level of delegations,"
ANC leader and former Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosian said at
a rally on Tuesday.

The ANC will put together a delegation for such negotiations in the
near future, he said.

"Our delegation will comprise three to five people. We will offer
our agenda, which is well-known to everyone: early presidential
and parliamentary elections. But this does not mean that we should
not take into account the authorities' agenda and counter-reasons,"
Ter-Petrosian said.

The new political situation in Armenia provides for an opportunity to
"solve the most pressing issues in a legitimate way," he said.

"A revolutionary method goes against the Armenian National Congress's
position, and we reject such a way," he said.

Independent observers estimated the number of participants in the
ANC rally on Freedom Square in the center of Yerevan on Tuesday at
some 7,000 people. The rally was authorized by the city hall.

The ANC demanded earlier that the authorities permit rallies on
Freedom Square, free the people convicted for the March 1, 2008 events,
and re-investigate these events.

The opposition earlier held a rally on Freedom Square on April 28,
which had happened for the first time in the previous three years.

President Serzh Sargsyan had said earlier that the authorities
were prepared to make the first step to alleviate tensions with
the opposition.

From: A. Papazian