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Former Armenian Presidents Meet On Karabakh


Armenia -- Former Presidents Levon Ter-Petrosian (L) and Robert Kocharian.

Armenia’s former Presidents Levon Ter-Petrosian, Serzh Sarkisian and Robert Kocharian have met for the first time in many years to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it was announced on Wednesday.

Ter-Petrosian’s spokesman, Arman Musinian, said the meeting was necessitated by the “current worrying situation” in the conflict zone.

Musinian said Ter-Petrosian, Sarkisian and Kocharian were joined by two former Karabakh presidents, Arkady Ghukasian and Bako Sahakian. He gave no other details of the meeting. Kocharian’s and Sarkisian’s offices released no statements on it.

Ghukasian and Sahakian held on Tuesday separate meetings with Ter-Petrosian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian.

On Monday Pashinian discussed the hostilities in and around Karabakh with leaders of Armenia’s main opposition parties. Newspaper reports said that they talked about not only the situation on the ground but also possible solutions to the Karabakh conflict that could be proposed by international mediators and Russia in particular.

Edmon Marukian, the leader of the opposition Bright Armenia Party, claimed on Wednesday that Pashinian has also held a meeting with at least some of the former Armenian presidents.

Pashinian’s press secretary, Mane Gevorgian, did not confirm the claim. “If such a meeting takes place there will definitely be an official statement on it,” she told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.

The ex-presidents’ trilateral meeting is noteworthy given the long history of mutual antagonism between Ter-Petrosian on one side and Kocharian and Sarkisian on the other.

Ter-Petrosian, who ruled Armenia from 1991-1998, ran in a disputed 2008 presidential election in an unsuccessful bid to prevent the handover of power from Kocharian to Sarkisian. His Armenian National Congress party harshly criticized and challenged Sarkisian during the latter’s decade-long rule.

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