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ՀՀ ԱՌԱՋԻՆ ՆԱԽԱԳԱՀ ԼԵՎՈՆ ՏԵՐ-ՊԵՏՐՈՍՅԱՆԻ ՀԱՐՑԱԶՐՈՒՅՑԸ «Ա1+»-ԻՆ

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Levon Ter-Petrossian. Biography

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Levon Hakobi Ter-Petrossian was born on January 9, 1945 in Aleppo, Syria. In 1946 he moved with his family to Yerevan. He went to school in Yerevan and in 1968 graduated from the Oriental Studies Department at Yerevan State University's Faculty of Philology, specializing in Arabic language and literature. He went to Leningrad to pursue post-graduate studies and in 1972 completed his masters thesis at Leningrad University. He defended his doctoral thesis at Leningrad University in 1987 and was awarded a Ph.D. degree.

From 1972 to1978 Ter-Petrossian worked at the Manuk Abeghyan Institute of Literature as a junior researcher. From 1978 to1985 he held the position of Scientific Secretary at the Matenadaran (Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts) and from 1985 onwards was a Senior Researcher there. He is fluent in Armenian, Russian, French, English, German, and Arabic as well as several dead languages. He has authored over 70 scientific research papers which have been published in Armenian, French, and Russian, dealing with Armenian medieval translated literature and Armenian-Assyrian cultural linkages. His exhaustive two-volume historical-political study of the Cilician Armenian period entitled, The Crusaders and the Armenians (published in 2005 and 2007), paves a new direction in the scientific study of history and serves as a new methodology for the study of Armenian history. In 2006, a collection of Ter-Petrossian's speeches, articles, and interviews on politics and political science was published, entitled Selected Works.

Levon Ter-Petrossian was made a member of the USSR Orientalists' Association in 1985, the Armenian Writers' Union in 1988, the French Asiatic Society in1989, and the Mkhitarian Academy of Venice in 1991. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of La Verne in 1990, the University of Sofia in 1994, the Sorbonne in 1996, and the University of Strasbourg in1996.

Levon Ter-Petrossian is the founding president of the Republic of Armenia and a politician and statesman who enjoys wide international recognition. His political activity began in the 1960's; he was arrested in 1966 and detained for one week for participating in an April 24th demonstration. Beginning in February 1988, Ter-Petrossian led the local Karabakh Committee at the Matenadaran and in May of that year he joined the Karabakh Committee of Armenia, becoming one of its most authoritative and influential members. He presented a program of action in a series of public addresses in which he offered insightful analysis of the current situation and potential future developments. On December 10, 1988, he and other Committee members were arrested and spent six months in Moscow's Matroska Prison.

Oath-for-bio.jpgDuring the years of the Karabakh movement, Ter-Petrossian penned over 100 political leaflets which were distributed on behalf of the Karabakh Committee and the Armenian National Movement as well as decisions which were adopted by the Supreme Council of the Armenian SSR thanks to the pressure brought to bear by the Committee. He was elected a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR in 1989 and a member of the Presidium in July 1990. In May 1990 he was reelected deputy to the Supreme Soviet and on August 4 of the same year he was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR. On October 16, 1991 he was elected President of the Republic of Armenia with an overwhelming majority of votes (83.4%). He was reelected President on September 22, 1996. From 1991 to1995, along with Babken Ararktsyan, he chaired the Constitutional Committee of the Supreme Council and drafted a constitution that was adopted on July 5, 1995 in a nationwide referendum.

Levon Ter-Petrossian has been a standard bearer of the philosophy of liberalism. He has laid the theoretical basis for and put into practice a political mode of thought grounded on a new system of values and principles that rejects a political orientation based on the idea of permanent friends and enemies. In his view, the essential objective of state independence is to both guarantee and facilitate the existence of the nation, its unfettered development and self-preservation. He is an advocate for a politics based on realism that conforms to the nation's own strengths. He has decisively struggled against all philosophies that lead towards national absolutism or towards nihilism or fatalism. This has marked a radical re-imagining of traditional conceptions within Armenian political thought.

During the years that Levon Ter-Petrosyan was in office and under his leadership, Armenia became independent, unprecedented structural reforms were implemented, democracy took hold, and Nagorno-Karabakh was liberated and gained de-facto political independence.

With a view towards overcoming the sharpening internal tensions regarding the settlement of the Karabakh conflict and to prevent the potentially dangerous destabilization of the country, Levon Ter-Petrossian formally offered his resignation as President of Armenia on February 3, 1998.

Levon Ter-Petrossian is married and has one son and three grandchildren. His wife Lyudmila Ter-Petrossian is a philologist and a German language specialist and heads the Armenian Women's Union NGO. Their son Davit Ter-Petrosyan is an economist by profession. Davit's wife Lilit is an orientalist specializing in the Semitic languages; she teaches at Yerevan State University. Levon and Lyudmila Ter-Petrossian have three grandchildren-Levon, aged 10, Hakob, 5, and Lusia, 3.


November 21, 2007