US publisher demands British envoy to Armenia be evicted

US publisher demands British envoy to Armenia be evicted

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
13 May 04

[Presenter] The attitude of the foreign countries’ ambassadors,
accredited to Armenia on Armenian genocide is being discussed in the
circles of the Armenian Diaspora.

[Correspondent] The British ambassador to Armenia, Thorda Abbott-Watt’s
remarks made at the end of January 2004, on that the 1915 bloody events
are not genocide made quite a noise. Armenian communities all over
the world are concerned by this remark. Harut Sassounian, publisher
of The California Courier in his article expressed a complaint about
the British ambassador’s remark. In an interview with Armenian Public
TV, Mr Sassounian stressed that it is very hurtful for him that the
similar words were sounded in Yerevan.

[Harut Sassounian, captioned] At least, we can complain. If we
cannot change a position of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict,
we can at least express our dissatisfaction. We can do this, can’t
we? Because it does not demand money or strong force. We must express
our position. We have obligations and rights.

[Correspondent] Harut Sassounian drew parallels between this diplomatic
scandal and the Israeli ambassador to Armenia, Rivka Cohen, who made
similar remarks in 2002. According to Sassounian to hear such remarks
from an ambassador of that country which also was a victim of genocide,
was the most hurtful. In an interview with Armenian Public TV the
British ambassador noted that she does not wish to comment on this
remark. Here is Mr Sassounian’s assessments.

[Harut Sassounian] Bravo, she has learnt something from this event. The
other ambassadors, starting from the US ambassadors and others must be
more careful. It is right that they cannot express another position
against the their government’s position, but, at least, they should
shut their mouths and will be more cautious.

[Correspondent] What is needed to be undertaken in the current
situation? Mr Sassounian answered that only the Armenian government
must solve this issue.

[Harut Sassounian] They must solve this problem themselves. It not
necessary that the ambassador must be evicted from the country. It
they will do that there will be left no ambassadors in Armenia.

[Correspondent] Shortly after our interview, Mr Sassounian made a new
announcement, where he demanded the recall of the British ambassador
from Armenia. According to Mr Sassounian in such cases the Armenian
side’s diplomatic steps are a worthy reply not only to those who do
not respect our people’s hurtful feelings but also it reminds the
Turks that our demand has not been forgotten or a book of history is
not past issue.