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Artsakh Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Raises Missing Persons Issue with ICRC Representatives

July 30, 2015 Armenia, Karabakh No Comments
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12:09, July 29, 2015

On July 28, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Armine Aleksanyan received the Head of the ICRC Mission in the NKR Thomas Hallier and ICRC Regional Delegates Maria Mikelide and Zurab Burduli.

At the meeting a range of issues of mutual interest was discussed. The parties also touched upon the problem of uncovering the fate of the missing persons. It was stressed that the matter was purely humanitarian and any attempts to use it for political manipulations should be excluded.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Russian Night Wolves Gang ‘Not Involved’ In Planned Biker Trip To Karabakh

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A senior member of the Moscow-based Russian Armenian union has denied that an upcoming trip of a group of motorcyclists to Nagorno-Karabakh will involve members of the controversial nationalist biker gang linked with the Kremlin.

The Night Wolves, whose leader Alexander Zaldostanov, nicknamed “The Surgeon”, is friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin, are subject to sanctions in several countries in the West, including in the United States and Canada, for their alleged active involvement in the Russian annexation of Crimea and for helping recruit separatist fighters for Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The biker gang also sparked controversy in Europe in May when it set off from Moscow to Berlin to mark the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Armenian Defense Chief Unfazed By Azeri Threats

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Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian on Friday brushed aside Azerbaijan’s apparent threats to shell Yerevan from its Nakhichevan exclave and warned Baku against raising tensions on the frontlines in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

In a statement on Thursday cited by Azerbaijani news agencies, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry commented on Ohanian’s recent visit to Armenian army units stationed along Nakhichevan sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

“The leadership of Armenia must realize that from the territory of Nakhichevan the Azerbaijani armed forces are ready to destroy military facilities in Armenia, including Yerevan, at any moment,” said the statement. It emphasized the fact their weaponry includes Russian-made Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems.

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Armenian, Azeri Presidents ‘Ready’ To Meet

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The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan are ready to meet later this year in another attempt to revive the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, international mediators said on Thursday as they ended their latest tour of the conflict zone.

The U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a joint statement in Baku after holding talks there with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. They met with President Serzh Sarkisian in Yerevan earlier this week.

“We welcomed the readiness of the Presidents to meet each other later this year, and they instructed their Foreign Ministers to continue their work with the Co-Chairs on an agenda for the presidential summit,” read the statement.

Serzh Sargsyan Received Today The President of the European Council

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15:03, July 20, 2015

President Serzh Sargsyan received today the President of the European Council (EC), Donald Tusk, who has arrived in Armenia on a regional visit.

After bilateral negotiations, there took place a joint press conference of the RA president and the EC president during which Serzh Sargsyan and Donald Tusk delivered a press statement and responded to questions from the journalists.

During the negotiations, the interlocutors touched upon RA-EU relations and their current cooperation, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. 
The parties also reflected upon regional issues. The Armenian president welcomed the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.

Karabakh Armenians Key To Peace Deal, Says U.S. Envoy

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A “free expression of the will” of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population must be critical in determining the future internationally recognized status of the disputed territory, a senior U.S. negotiator said on Monday.

James Warlick thus reaffirmed one of the key elements of the Basic Principles of resolving Karabakh conflict that have been put forward and repeatedly modified by the United States, Russia and France over the past decade.

“There cannot be a comprehensive settlement without it including a status for Nagorno-Karabakh,” Warlick said just hours before he and fellow diplomats from Russia and France co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group met with Armenian leaders in Yerevan.

Russia Urges New Push For Karabakh Peace

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International mediators should step up their efforts to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday during talks in Moscow with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov.

“There are grounds to think that now is the time to intensify our efforts at the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem,” Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying.

He said Russia believes it can help the conflicting parties make more progress towards a peace deal together with the United States and France, the two other co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. “We remain in constant touch with them, and they regularly communicated with us,” he added, according to TASS.

Azerbaijan’s Aliyev Again Blames ‘Armenian Lobby’ For Western Criticism

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has rejected mounting Western criticism of his government’s poor human rights record as a smear campaign engineered by the worldwide “Armenian lobby.”

Aliyev lashed out at Western governments and human rights bodies as he chaired an emergency meeting of his government late on Monday.

“The Armenians of the world, the Armenian lobby have picked us as a target, and they have been joined by hypocritical and corrupt politicians sponsored by them,” he charged, according to the Trend news agency.

“This is especially true for Western politicians,” he said. “Congressmen, senators, deputies, Islamophobic politicians, and other elements, who have built their lives with Armenian money, have declared a war on Azerbaijan.”

Mediators Set For Fresh Talks In Armenia, Azerbaijan

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U.S., Russian and French diplomats trying to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are expected to begin next week a new round of regional shuttle diplomacy after holding consultations with senior officials in Washington and Moscow.

The three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group will likely make more efforts to arrange renewed face-to-face negotiations between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

They were in Washington last week, holding meetings at the U.S. State Department and National Security Council on the current state of the Karabakh peace process. No details of those meeting were made public. James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair, said only on his Twitter page that the United States remains “committed to working Russia and France” to help settle the long-running conflict.

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Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

Commentary

Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

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16:37, January 17, 2015

By Markar Melkonian

The source of Armenia’s misery and humiliation, we often hear, is not capitalism per se, but rather “gangster capitalism,” “a broken system,” “capitalism run amok.”

The goal for the future, then, is to “fix the system,” to reform capitalism, to make it more like regular, pure, genuine Free Enterprise, the kind of capitalism that works. But what if Armenia’s actually existing capitalism already is genuine capitalism?

An economist once observed that the only existential meaning of “enterprise” in the term free enterprise is “whatever capitalists happen to be doing at the time”–and “free” is the accompanying demand that they be allowed to do it.

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

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21:45, December 15, 2014

Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has launched a campaign against illegal casinos amid fears that a large network of underground gambling dens could be providing an income source for the son of the country’s disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new crackdown on unlawful casinos – an ongoing scourge for law enforcement agencies in Ukraine since regulation was made stiffer with a 2009 law – was launched on Dec. 8 after an announcement on Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov’s official Facebook page.

Avakov, who keeps a lively and occasionally angry Facebook commentary on current affairs, pledged to put a complete stop to the establishments within ten days; first in the capital of Kyiv, then the rest of the nation.

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.