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Former Army Chief Demands Release Of Transcript Of Security Meeting


Armenia - General Onik Gasparian.

Onik Gasparian, Armenia’s former top general controversially replaced last month, demanded the declassification of some security documents on Tuesday in response to fresh government allegations that he lied about last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian again attacked Gasparian when he spoke in the Armenian parliament last week.

In particular, Pashinian denied Gasparian’s November 17 claim that three days after the September 27 outbreak of the war he warned Pashinian that Armenia and Karabakh are heading for defeat and that the fighting must be stopped as soon as possible. Pashinian insisted that Gasparian made a statement to the contrary at a September 30 meeting of his Security Council.

The Security Council released, meanwhile, some excerpts from Gasparian’s remarks made at that meeting. It went on to publicize on Tuesday a short audio of those remarks in which the general can be heard saying that Armenian forces are successfully repelling Azerbaijan’s offensive military operations in and around Karabakh.

Gasparian responded by reaffirming his earlier claims and accusing the authorities of distorting his remarks. He demanded that they release the full transcript of concluding statements made by him as well as President Armen Sarkissian at the Security Council meeting.

The office of the Security Council secretary, Armen Grigorian, rejected the demand. It said the transcript contains sensitive details of Armenian military operations and its disclosure would seriously damage Armenia’s and Karabakh’s security.

Incidentally, Pashinian did not refute Gasparian’s claims when he was interviewed by RFE/RL’s Armenian Service in December.

The general was controversially sacked as chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff immediately after initiating a February 25 statement by the army top brass that demanded the government’s resignation. Pashinian rejected the demand as a coup attempt.

In his April 14 speech in the National Assembly, Pashinian also blamed former Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Robert Kocharian for Armenia’s defeat in the six-week war stopped by a Russian-brokered agreement on November 10.

The Armenian opposition holds Pashinian responsible for the outcome of the war which left at least 3,600 Armenia soldiers dead. Virtually all opposition groups have demanded his resignation.

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