Former President Robert Kocharian responded scathingly to the latest verbal attacks from his predecessor and bitter foe Levon Ter-Petrosian on Monday, saying that they are driven by an inferiority complex.
In a speech last Wednesday, Ter-Petrosian said that Kocharian’s decade-long policies on Turkey and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict proved disastrous and that President Serzh Sarkisian should not be held primarily responsible for them. The opposition leader claimed in particular that it was Kocharian who renounced Armenian territorial claims to Turkey and paved the way for the establishment of a Turkish-Armenian commission of historians.
“The accusations addressed to me are so absurd that there is no point in dwelling on their content because of the complete absence thereof,” Kocharian said in a rare statement sent to the Mediamax news agency.
“Apparently I somehow inspire Ter-Petrosian seeing as he remembers me frequently,” sneered Armenia’s second president. He compared Ter-Petrosian to a scared man whom he said he encountered during a recent, hitherto unpublicized, safari to Africa. He said the “European” hunter had been “quite smashed” by a bear several years ago and now flinches at every mention of the animal.
It was not clear if Kocharian alluded to the bloody suppression of Ter-Petrosian’s massive anti-government demonstrations held in the final weeks of his decade-long presidency early last year. Nor did he specify his attitude towards the recently signed Turkish-Armenian agreements, the main theme of Ter-Petrosian’s speech.