Armenia Dismayed By U.S. Diplomat’s Statements About Events In Yerev


Interfax News Agency
March 17 2008

Armenia’s presidential spokesman Viktor Sogomonyan has expressed
dismay over the latest statements by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Mathew Bryza, who said
that the March 1-2 dispersal of rioting opposition supporters in
Yerevan was a brutal and cruel action.

"I was surprised to read the statement Mr. Bryza made after his
departure from Yerevan. I am familiar with his earlier statements
because I attended his meeting with the Armenian president. They are
contradictory," Sogomonyan told reporter in Yerevan on Monday.

Sogomonyan noted that the Armenian government acted in the interests
of the entire people.

"The March 1 events prove that the authorities defended the Armenian
democracy from pseudo democracy," the spokesman said.

This is all the more surprising considering that United States shares
a similar approach to protecting democracy and the people from mob
rule and various instances of radicalism, he added.

Sogomonyan remarked that in recent years, the United States had
often practiced anti-democratic restrictions as part its crackdown
on terrorism.

On March 1, post-election rallies held by the Armenian opposition
since February 20 culminated in street riots and clashes with police,
which left 8 people dead and wounded more than 200.

The March 1 events prompted President Robert Kocharyan to declare a
state of emergency for 20 days.