By Shakeh Avoyan
Ara Abrahamian, the politically active Russian-Armenian tycoon, appeared on Wednesday to have reconsidered his critical attitude towards Armenia’s leadership after holding what he described as a “very good” meeting with President Robert Kocharian.
Abrahamian, who publicly criticized the authorities in Yerevan just hours before the meeting on Tuesday, said Kocharian promised to support his World Armenian Congress (WAC) and take into consideration his views on political and economic developments in Armenia.
“He listened to us very attentively and promised to help,” he told a news conference. “We addressed those differences which we have had, to varying degrees, with the [Armenian] Foreign Ministry and the government in general and found mechanisms for working together. It is time to work together.”
A statement on the meeting released by the Armenian president’s office, said Kocharian “welcomed the fact that the Congress’s initiatives are becoming more Armenia-oriented and acquiring a truly pan-Armenian quality.” Kocharian has previously voiced skepticism about WAC’s ambitious plans to serve as an umbrella structure for all major Diaspora organizations around the world.
Addressing a WAC gathering in Yerevan on Tuesday, Abrahamian complained that the Moscow-based organization, which was set up in 2003 with the Russian government’s apparent backing, has failed to fulfill its mission not least because of the Kocharian administration’s lukewarm attitude towards its activities. He also decried “glaring shortcomings” Armenia’s political and economic systems.
(Photolur photo: Ara Abrahamian.)