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Former Armenian President Rejects Ter-Petrossian's Criticism

Former Armenian President Robert Kocharian

Former Armenian President Robert Kocharian

YEREVAN -- Former Armenian President Robert Kocharian has dismissed opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian's criticism about his policies on Turkey and Nagorno-Karabakh, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

In a speech last week, Ter-Petrossian said Kocharian's decade-long policies on Turkey and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh proved disastrous for Armenia, and current President Serzh Sarkisian should not be held responsible for them.

Ter-Petrossian added that Kocharian renounced Armenian territorial claims to Turkey and paved the way for the establishment of a Turkish-Armenian subcommission of historians -- a controversial part of the rapprochement protocols signed on October 10 between Armenia and Turkey.

But Kocharian -- who replaced Ter-Petrossian as president after his resignation in 1998 -- called Ter-Petrossian's accusations absurd.

Kocharian compared Ter-Petrossian to a man he had met during a recent safari in Africa. He said the "European" hunter had been injured by a bear several years before and now flinches at every mention of the animal.

Kocharian offer an opinion on the Turkish-Armenian agreements, the main theme of Ter-Petrossian's speech.