Prominent Armenian Eduard Ovannisian dies

Associated Press Worldstream
July 22, 2004 Thursday 3:38 PM Eastern Time

Prominient Armenian Eduard Ovannisian dies

YEREVAN, Armenia

Eduard Ovannisian, who became a prominent member of the Armenian
Diaspora after defecting from the Soviet Union and later returned to
pursue politics in his native country, died Wednesday, his political
party said.

Ovannisian, who was 71, suffered a stroke in Germany two months ago
and had been brought back to the Armenian capital Yerevan 10 days
before his death, the leadership of the Dashnaktsutyun party said in
a statement.

Ovannisian was “a person whose entire conscious life was dominated by
concern for the past, the present and the future of the Armenian
people,” the Dashnaktsutyun statement said.

Ovannisian defected to the West during a trip to France in 1971. He
headed the Armenia service of Radio Liberty from 1984-1993 and
directed a center for Armenian issues in Munich.

He was involved in the publication of a compendium of documents on
what Armenians say was the genocide by the Turks of up to 1.5 million
Armenians between 1915 and 1923. Turks dispute the numbers and

Ovanissian was a member of the nationalist Dashnaktsutyun or Dashnak
party, which was outlawed in 1995 but newly legalized in 1998. His
son, Vaan Ovanissian, is a party member and vice-speaker of Armenia’s