By Ruzanna Khachatrian
President Robert Kocharian appointed a senior official from the Armenian Foreign Ministry as his new press secretary on Tuesday.
Ashot Kocharian, who headed the Foreign Ministry’s department on international organizations until now, takes the place of Vahe Gabrielian who became Armenia’s ambassador to Britain in March. Gabrielian handed over his credentials to Queen Elizabeth in London last week.
Officials said his successor has no relation to the Armenian president. Ashot Kocharian, 45, is the oldest of spokespersons to have worked for Armenian heads of state to date. A linguist by training, he joined the diplomatic service in 1992 and has since been based in Yerevan.
Last October, Kocharian was named to head an ad hoc government commission formed by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian to investigate U.S. claims that Armenia is a major source of human trafficking in the region. It is not clear whether he will continue to serve in that capacity after the latest appointment.