Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ahmadinejad Cuts Short Armenia Visit

Tuesday October 23, 2007 11:31 AM
Guardian Unlimited, UK

Associated Press Writer

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cut short his two-day visit to Armenia on Tuesday and returned to neighboring Iran, an Armenian presidential spokesman said.

The Armenian government had expected Ahmadinejad to address parliament and, in what was likely to cause controversy, plant a sapling at a memorial commemorating the victims of what Armenians consider genocide.

He also had planned to visit the 18th century Blue Mosque in central Yerevan, which was rebuilt with Iranian funding after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.


The visit to the genocide memorial was the most sensitive part of his agenda, and he may have wanted to avoid the ceremony there so as not to risk causing tensions in relations with Turkey.


Ahmadinejad avoided taking sides on the issue Monday in a speech before Armenian university students, saying only that Iran condemns any crimes against humanity.

He has caused outrage in the past by suggesting that the Holocaust is a ``myth'' invented by Jews. An estimated 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.


Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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