YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The imminent appointment of Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau member and parliamentary leader Vahan Hovannesian as Armenia’s Ambassador to Germany was made official over the weekend, reported Armenpress.
President Serzh Sarkisian issued decrees over the weekend appointing Hovannesian to the post and relieving his predecessor Armen Martirosayn from the same position.
As rumors of the ARF leader’s appointment started circulating in the Armenian media, Hovannesian confirmed to Yerkir.am in September that he was approached by the Sarkisian administration to represent Armenia as an ambassador.
In an interview with Yerkir.am in September, Hovanessian responded to questions, which aimed to quell rampant rumors in the Armenian media, including speculation by some outlets that Hovannesian’s reported appointment is signaling a shift in the party’s political posturing and its role as an opposition party.
“The offer was made directly to me and not to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation,” explained Hovannesian at the time, adding that the suggestion does not aim to establish a new agreement with the party, nor does it aim to advance cooperation with the ARF.
“I repeat, the offer has been made to me and I have agreed. Naturally, I have presented this issue to the party, which has also given its blessing,” said Hovanessian.
The ARF leader said that administration’s offer to him stemmed from his years of experience in foreign policy where he has led the Armenian parliamentary delegation to EuroNest and his current co-chairmanship of the same body. Hovanessian has also led active roles in Armenia’s delegation to the NATO Partnership for Peace Program and the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Program.
Hovanessian also explained that the offer was a practical one and does not signal a change in his political views, which have been clearly articulated during his tenure as a member of parliament.
“I am certain the person making this offer is well-aware of my positions and posturing,” said Hovanessian who also at the time called media reports that allege a shift in the ARF’s policy “wrong” and “deliberate, in order to confuse the public.”
Hovannesian was asked about his and the ARF’s very public disagreements with the administration, specifically as it related to the Armenia-Turkey protocols and the party’s call for Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian’s resignation.
Hovanessian explained that the disagreements remain not only on the matter of the protocols but also on other fronts, including a proposal to sign a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
“The work of an ARF leader in the diplomatic arena in no way deters the party,” explained Hovanessian, adding that the work of a diplomat, under ethical mandates, assumes a level of restrictions, which is very normal.