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Armenia's Role

March 07, 1994

A former foreign minister of Armenia describes that country as a "buffer state" and advises the Clinton Administration to achieve an American vision of peace in the area through a "political and economic commitment" to Armenia (Commentary, Feb. 25).

Armenia, in return, he thinks, can help stop potential Russian imperial aspirations in the region, and help balance pan-turanist impulses within Turkey.

Armenia will not be a valuable partner for regional peace with the United States if Armenian politicians try to sell Armenia to U.S. administrations as some kind of chess piece destined to counterbalance geopolitical forces and regional powers in the Transcaucasus.

Armenia should not be viewed simply as a military base against Russian imperial impulses or as a roadblock against Turkish interests in Central Asia. Instead, Armenia should be seen as a great mediator of regional peace, a facilitator of international communication and a catalyst for economic development.

This represents the position of the current government in Armenia and this is also why Raffi K. Hovannisian is no longer a member in it.

HRAZTAN SARKIS ZEITLIAN

Chairman, Honorary Board of Directors

Galian Foundation

Los Angeles

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