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Cablegate: President, Foreign Minister, and Opposition Leader

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHYE #1089 2430852
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 310852Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY YEREVAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6230
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1304

UNCLAS YEREVAN 001089

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AM TU
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT, FOREIGN MINISTER, AND OPPOSITION LEADER
CONGRATULATE GUL ON TURKISH PRESIDENCY


1. (U) President Robert Kocharian took time out from his
Greek vacation to send a congratulatory message to new
Turkish President Abdullah Gul. As Kocharian is abroad on a
private trip, details of the message were unavailable in
Yerevan. Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian sent his own
letter of congratulations to President Gul. which was
released to the public.

2. (SBU) Meanwhile, opposition Heritage Party leader and
possible presidential candidate Raffi Hovannisian sent a
longer letter, in which he attempted to foreshadow
rapprochement with Turkey, while at the same time laying down
oblique markers about "genocide" recognition. COMMENT: The
somewhat tortured wording serves Hovanissian's political
strategy, which dangles the promise that a "legitimately
elected" Armenian leader would have sufficient stature to
achieve normal relations with Turkey while also upholding
Armenians' claims for historical acknowledgement. END
COMMENT) Both Oskanian's and Hovannisian's letters were
transmitted in English.

3. FULL TEXT OF FM OSKANIAN LETTER:

Dear Mr. President,

Please accept my sincere congratulations on your election to
the high office of President of the Republic of Turkey.

I appreciated our encounters as colleagues and wish you good
health and boundless energy. There is much work to be done
in this region, and I am sure you will bring your
contribution to global peace and prosperity.

Sincerely,
/s/
Vartan Oskanian


4. FULL TEXT OF HOVANNISIAN LETTER:

Dear Mr. President,

Please accept my congratulations on your election to this
most responsible position at an equally critical crossroads
for our nations and their neighborhood.

It is to be hoped that, during your tenure and that of the
next Armenian president to be elected in several months time,
Turkish-Armenian relations will enter a wholly new phase of
reflection, exploration, discovery, and ultimate
normalization. The can be done not only by virtue of high
statesmanship and creative diplomacy, but on the basis of
sincere mutual contemplation of the future anchored in a
brave and unprecedented assumption of history.

Turkey, Armenia, and the nature of their relationship are
pivotal to the potential of real security and cooperation in
the broader region. The deep divides between our countries,
be they of contemporary character or part of the legacy of
the Great Armenian Dispossession, must be overcome and
resolved in truth, with integrity, and through the
partnership of the two new leaders and their fellow citizens
of good faith and conscience.

May God grant you the vision, commitment, and health to
achieve that day.

Very truly yours,
/s/
Raffi K. Hovannisian

PERINA

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