Armenian Orgs Condemn Anti-Azeri Rhetoric by Senior Officials

Mediamax news agency, Yerevan, in Russian
11 Mar 04

Armenian organizations condemn anti-Azeri rhetoric by senior


The leaders of four Armenian public organizations have issued a
statement effectively accusing the ruling coalition of spreading
“racist and chauvinist ideas which are alien to our society”.

The statement forwarded to Mediamax said that when commenting on the
killing of an Armenian officer by an Azerbaijani colleague in
Budapest, the chairman of the standing parliamentary commission for
foreign relations, Armen Rustamyan, and the head of the parliamentary
faction of the Armenian Republican Party, Galust Saakyan, “used
unacceptable generalisations with regard to the Azerbaijani people as
a whole”.

“The statements by such high-ranking politicians who represent the
ruling political coalition are particularly unacceptable because they
can be construed as the official position of our state, bring about
additional obstacles to resolving the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict and
to improving relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the statement

“The whipping up of anti-Armenian tension in Azerbaijan and its
consequences certainly deserve a strong condemnation, but this cannot
serve as justification for the spread of racist and chauvinist ideas
which are alien to our society. Difficult as the Budapest tragedy
situation might be, we are calling for political restraint. We hope
that our country will continue to be guided by common sense and
democratic values,” the statement said.

The statement was signed by the president of the Civil Society
Institute, Artak Kirakosyan, the president of the Yerevan Press Club,
Boris Navasardyan, the president of the Armenian Helsinki Committee,
Avetik Ishkhanyan, and the president of the Caucasus centre of peace
initiatives, Georgiy Vanyan.