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Armenian Opposition Party Refuses To Join Protest Against Turkey Deal

Levon Zurabian
Levon Zurabian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) -- Armenia's main opposition alliance is refusing to join a protest planned by a number of nationalist groups on October 9 against the expected signing of the Armenia-Turkey protocols on normalizing relations, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

A senior member of ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosian's opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Levon Zurabian, dismissed the protest as an "imitation."

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian's Heritage (Zharangutyun) party are the initiators of a planned march to President Serzh Sarkisian's office. Both parties consider the protocols with Turkey damaging to Armenia's interests.

Zurabian told RFE/RL on October 7 that his party does not take the planned protest seriously. Zurabian said HAK supporters would march only if Dashnaktsutyun and other groups demand the resignation of Sarkisian rather than Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.

Dashnaktsutyun and Zharangutyun have emphasized their reluctance to seek Sarkisian's resignation over his policy of rapprochement with Turkey. Dashnaktsutyun representative Armen Rustamian said that although several HAK member parties were asked to join the protest, it was not asked as a whole.

Zurabiab said the attempts to negotiate with parties belonging to the HAK "shows that they have been more preoccupied with splitting the existing opposition than with waging serious struggle against the government."