“A manifestation of outstanding statesmanship.” This is how ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s behavior after the April aggression of Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh has been described by Deputy Parliament Speaker Eduard Sharmazanov, who is also a spokesperson for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA).
Sharmazanov, who once called the opposition leader a “political pensioner”, commented on Ter-Petrosyan’s latest trip to Nagorno-Karabakh where he met with the second Armenian republic’s leadership on Tuesday.
Talking to Aysor.am, he highly evaluated Ter-Petrosyan’s meetings with both Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakyan, as well as the ex-president’s public statements.
“The former president said now is not the time to throw stones, one needs to unite around the government and the president. In terms of domestic politics, this was a signal to some hysterical anti-national forces that are trying to fish in troubled waters. In terms of foreign policy, this was a message that no one should think that in the current situation around Artsakh even such a radical opposition force as the Armenian National Congress that is led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan can be guided not by the interests of the State but by interests of political gains,” Sharmazanov said.
Ter-Petrosyan, who led Armenia as president in 1991-1998, after his meeting with President Sahakyan in Stepanakert praised Armenia’s and Nagorno-Karabakh’s leaderships for their response to the escalation of the conflict with Azerbaijan.
“I think that the authorities have been doing, in a calm and reserved manner, what is required by the existing situation,” he told media.
On April 9, Ter-Petrosyan also reportedly initiated a meeting with Armenia’s incumbent President Sargsyan, whose administration he has been critical of since 2008.
In an interview with the ilur.am website following that meeting Ter-Petrosyan called on the Armenian opposition to put aside its differences with the government and support it on the “diplomatic front” ahead of major talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
“Now is not the time to accuse the authorities and try to hold them accountable for mistakes and failings,” he said, in particular.