YEREVAN – US Secretary of State’s visit to Armenia has provoked political and social interest after a controversial information leak. Few days prior to the visit, White House sources leaked information that Secretary Clinton will pronounce “Genocide” at a private reception not far from Yerevan. Sources report very narrow circle of people have been invited to the pronunciation ceremony and refreshments are provided by the Dashnaks.
After Barack Obama’s second failed attempt at pronouncing the “G” word on April 24, Armenian community of US, as well as local Armenian political elite plummeted into disappointment with US policy and consequently democratic values. The stand-off, however, is expected to melt as State Secretary Clinton visits South Caucasus in early July.
In addition to standard events and stand-up press conference, Clinton will briefly say “Genocide” at a private ceremony, location of which is not revealed to public. Sources report that only a selected group of Armenian officials and Civil Society representatives will attend the pronunciation ceremony. The classified list of participants is strictly guarded by the presidential office in Yerevan.
“We cannot confirm there will be such an event with Madam Secretary,” explains official Foreign Ministry spokesman of Armenia Armen Balanyan. All I can say at this point is that most of participants of this alleged event are from ARF Dashnaktsutiun and key government staff with spouses.”
US State Department issued an official press release early this week discarding the possibility of such an event: “Rumors of a private event featuring State Secretary pronouncing the ‘G’ word are mere speculation. US official policy remains unchanged about the big ethnic cluster-bang of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire. And whatever Madam Clinton will pronounce at the Armenian Government Dacha near Sevan will be under effect of alcohol and will not be representative of official US policy, but a personal remark.”
Anonymous member of Armenian parliament shared to media: “This is very politically exciting. Although we are not supposed to talk about this private reception, but hell I paid five hundred dollars just to get in there. The visit itself, I am convinced, will greatly spur the US-Armenian bilateral relations and will raise the strategic collaboration of the two countries to a new level.”
The Armenian political elite keeps her breath for the arrival of the ranking US guest at the Sevan Government Dacha on July 4 at 4:30 pm.