By Ruben Meloyan
Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian has left for France on his first visit abroad since Armenia’s dramatic presidential race, a spokesman said on Monday.
Ter-Petrosian’s press secretary, Arman Musinian, described the trip as “working” and said the opposition leader will spend five days in France. Musinian declined to specify whom he is scheduled to meet there.
It was thus not immediately known if Ter-Petrosian will be received by any French government officials or representatives of the Council of Europe, an authoritative human rights organization based in the eastern French city of Strasbourg.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was one of the first foreign leaders to congratulate Serzh Sarkisian on his hotly disputed victory in Armenia’s recent presidential election.
Ter-Petrosian, who was the main opposition candidate in the February 19 election, has refused to recognize official vote results, alleging widespread fraud. He has also criticized the West for its initially positive assessment of the Armenian government’s conduct of the vote and failure to explicitly condemn the deadly suppression of his post-election street protests in Yerevan.