The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)


Arminfo, Yerevan, Armenia, in Russian 10 Mar 04
BBC Monitoring Service UK, in English, Mar 11, 2004

YEREVAN, Armenia, 10 March: Armenian President Robert Kocharyan has said the wording of remarks by the British ambassador [to Armenia], Thorda Abbott-Watt, regarding the 1915 Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turkey, was slightly different from the one published in the media.

At a meeting with students of Yerevan State University today, Robert Kocharyan said that he was not planning to defend those who deny the fact of genocide. This was not the question at issue. However, at a recent press conference the British ambassador worded her remarks slightly different. He said that a letter was sent to the British ambassador and that the ambassador replied. Her reply was published by quite a few prominent media outlets.

Robert Kocharyan

However, it was not an official statement. The situation should be assessed in the following manner: Britain does not recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide, therefore, its naive to think that the ambassador of a country, which does not recognize the fact of genocide, will come up with a different statement.

On the other hand, the ambassador could have evaded this question or gave a vague answer. The ambassadors of the countries, which do not recognize the Armenian genocide, must treat this issue carefully, the president said, adding at the same time that he personally does not approve of such remarks.

Britain is not a country whose ambassador can simply be kicked out. Armenia would then find itself in a diplomatic impasse from which it could be very difficult to get out, Robert Kocharyan said.

Robert Kocharyan and Leonid Kuchma

[A separate Arminfo report quoted Kocharyan as warning people against attempts to politicize International Women's Day. He said that he could not understand those women who acted aggressively by staging a march on their day. "It means that there is no warmness in their families to keep them at home on this day, what a pity," the president said]