YEREVAN-The director of the Armenian Assembly of America’s Yerevan office–in discussing the meetings Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) had during his recent visit to Armenia–alleged that she was unable to contact the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s offices in Yerevan to arrange a meeting because no one purportedly answered the telephone for four days.
ARF Executive Council member Vartan Petrossian responded to the allegations–saying "The statement made by the Armenian Assembly of America representative in Armenia raises a number of questions because Yerevan is not so large or the ARF so invisible to make communication with an ARF representative impossible."
"If–however–that was the case–then taking into consideration the good relations between the Assembly and the government of Armenia–[Assembly Yerevan office director] Edith Khachaturian [the Assembly’s Yerevan director] could have done one of two things: attended a session of the so-called "Trial of 31" on weekdays at the Supreme Court or visited the Interior and National Security Ministry detention facility to speak with ARF Executive Council member Vahan Hovannesian–who would have been able to answer all their questions," Petrossian said.
"Of course–organizing meetings between Representative Frank Pallone–or any other US representative–and the ARF is not a difficult task–examples of which are numerous," he said.
"We view what has happened as an indication of the Armenian Assembly’s policy toward the ARF in light of that organization’s pro-government stance," Petrossian concluded.