Davit Tonoyan meets with Rudy Giuliani

Trump Lawyer Giuliani Visits Armenia

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani met with Armenia’s Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan and visited the Armenian Genocide memorial in Yerevan on Monday, October 22, during what he described as a private trip to the country.

Giuliani, who served as mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001, was invited by Ara Abrahamyan, a pro-Kremlin leader of the Armenian community in Russia, to take part in an international forum organized by the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

Giuliani was accompanied by Abrahamyan when he visited the Tsitsernakabert Armenian Genocide Memorial.

As New York mayor, he had repeatedly issued statements recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

When asked whether he believes Trump should also publicly describe the 1915 mass killings as genocide, he said, “I certainly recognize it,” he replied. “I think it’s a historical fact. But I’m not here in my capacity as a private lawyer for President Trump. I’m here as a private citizen. So it’s up to the administration to make its own conclusion about that.”

Giuliani was also careful not to comment on US-Armenian relations, saying that “it’s up to the two governments” to develop them. “Again, I’m here as a private citizen just to learn some facts in my first time in Armenia.”

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Giuliani met with Tonoyan later in the day. A statement by the Armenian Defense Ministry said the minister briefed him on “the security environment around Armenia.” The two men also “exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues,” added the statement.

Giuliani, 74, is known for his hawkish views on America’s relations with Iran, a key neighbor of Armenia. He has strongly supported Trump’s controversial decision to pull out of an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program and to re-impose economic sanctions on Tehran.

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