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Azerbaijan’s adventure aimed at undermining OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries’ mediation efforts – Karen Mirzoyan

Armenian News

In an interview with News.am, Foreign Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) commented on the recent incidents on the Line of Contact.Below is the text of the interview provided by the press service of the NKR Ministry of Foreign Affairs:Question: How would you comment on the current situation on the Line of Contact created as a result of violations of the ceasefire regime by Azerbaijan?Answer: In late July – early August, the Azerbaijani armed forces launched a series of acts of subversive actions and attempts to penetrate into the territory of Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR), which were effectively prevented by the NKR Defense Army.This new adventure of Azerbaijan, which has resulted in large number of human casualties and caused a drastic escalation of tensions in the conflict zone, is primarily aimed at undermining the mediation efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries dealing with the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict.The NKR authorities have repeatedly drawn the attention of the mediators and the international community as a whole to the ongoing attempts by Azerbaijan to destabilize the situation and the need to take practical and effective measures to put an end to them.Unfortunately, the lack of an adequate assessment and a strong and targeted condemnation of violations of the ceasefire continue to generate a false sense of permissiveness and impunity in Azerbaijan, which, against the background of complete detachment from the realities of the conflict and the negotiation process, leads only to growing tensions and deterioration of the situation.The current drastic escalation of tensions on the Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan marked the culmination of numerous provocations and violations of the ceasefire by Azerbaijan over the past few months.Question: What measures should be taken to reduce tensions and ensure stability on the Line of Contact?Answer: The Karabakh side will continue to thwart any attempts of Azerbaijan to destabilize the situation on the front line and to increase the level of tension in the conflict zone.At the same time, being committed exclusively to the peaceful settlement of the conflict, we believe that recent events indicate the need to intensify efforts to develop and take urgent measures to de-escalate tensions and build confidence and security on the Line of Contact.The NKR has consistently come up with initiatives to reduce tensions and promote stability and predictability on the Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, which last time were summarized in the statement of the NKR MFA of May 12, 2014.We believe that immediate implementation of the mentioned urgent measures, as well as the development of effective mechanisms to investigate violations of the ceasefire will allow stabilizing the situation and quickly addressing potential incidents on the Line of Contact in the future.On its part, the NKR is ready to provide the international community with detailed information on the recent incidents and contribute to strengthening of the ceasefire and creating conditions for the peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Nagorno Karabakh. 

Aliyev Visits Azeri Frontline Troops

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President Ilham Aliyev visited Azerbaijani troops stationed near “the line of contact” east of Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday amid continuing fighting with Armenian forces that left another Azerbaijani soldier dead.

In a statement, Aliyev’s press office said that he handed gifts to several soldiers serving in the mostly Armenian-controlled Agdam district and and held an extraordinary meeting there with Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and other top military officials. It said they briefed Aliyev on “the overall situation on the frontline.” The Azerbaijani leader gave them “corresponding instructions,” the statement added without giving details.

Aliyev, who regularly threatens to forcibly end the conflict, has made no public statements since the July 31 upsurge in fighting around Karabakh in which the Azerbaijani army suffered significant casualties.

Yerevan Against Peacekeeping Operation In Karabakh

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Armenia sees no need for the deployment of third-party peacekeeping troops in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone despite a sharp rise in ceasefire violations there, Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said on Wednesday.

“True, there is a no-war-no-peace situation there because our enemy constantly violates the ceasefire,” Ohanian told a news conference in Yerevan. “But we maintain that situation thanks to the combat readiness of our troops.”

“In that sense, we can accomplish our tasks on our own, and right now there is now need for the deployment of peacekeeping forces,” he said. He argued that despite the absence of such troops the conflicting parties have managed to avoid a full-scale war for the past two decades.

Hetq Editorial: Azerbaijan Defense Minister Lies, Fearing Azerbaijanis’ Wrath

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11:27, August 6, 2014

According to data acquired by the Karabakh Defense Army, though Azerbaijan’s defense ministry for several days has been claiming it lost 13 victims, it, in fact, lost 34 victims in armed clashes between July 28 and August 5, reports Hetq’s editor-in-chief Edik Baghdasaryan, who is currently in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Though Azerbaijan has lost an additional 3 victims these past two days, the state agency headed by Azerbaijan Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov (pictured) is in no rush to declare that the human losses were the sad result of their actions at the border. It can be said that the 13th is the border, the other side of which is Hasanov’s forthcoming dismissal.

OSCE PA South Caucasus Representative Urges Fresh Commitment to Nagorno-Karabakh Resolution

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11:47, August 6, 2014

COPENHAGEN, 5 August 2014 – Joao Soares (MP, Portugal), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on the South Caucasus, today expressed deep concern over recent deadly violence along the Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and urged all parties to the conflict to recommit themselves to finding a peaceful resolution.

“The deteriorating security conditions and the current escalation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrate once again that the world cannot accept a conflict that remains ‘frozen’ for more than 20 years. All sides must refrain from acts of violence and provocation, especially against civilians, and urgently recommit themselves to a lasting, diplomatic resolution. The Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan must begin this week in Sochi,” Soares said.

Azerbaijani president’s desire to delay decision on camp reason for border incidents – Arman Melikyan

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In an interview with Tert.am, ex-FM of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Arman Melikyan spoke of the recent incidents on the Line of Contact.“It is [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev’s desire to delay the decision on a camp that accounts for increased border tension. He has to clearly say if he decides in favor of Russia or of the West. He is now preferring to mark time by provoking military incidents.”With respect to his expectations about the planned Armenian-Azerbaijani-Russian presidential meeting, Mr Melikyan said.“The forthcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani presidential meeting can be expected to result in assurances of easing tensions on the Line of Contact and further search of mutually acceptable solutions at the negotiating table. It is not realistic to expect a peaceful settlement by applying the fundamental principles of the negotiations. However, the negotiations should be continued for the sake of new ideas of prospects for maintaining peace.”As to whether it is France’s proposal for an Armenian-Azerbaijani presidential meeting that accounts for the plans, Mr Melikyan said:“France proposed such a meeting, the United States proposed holding it as soon as possible and Russia proposed holding it in Sochi, not too far from Yerevan or Baku.”With respect to a threat of resumed hostilities, Mr Melikyan said that hostilities are unlikely to resume yet. 

Zhamanak: Threat to internationalize Karabakh conflict increases

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Commenting on the possible consequences of increasing tensions in the Armenian-Azerbaijani border zone, a Russian expert expressed concerns over possible increased internationalization of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.“The tension is dangerous to an extent that it occurs in a period which sees a deep resistance between the West and Russia amid the post-Soviet reformation. And that resistance and difference in approaches concern not only separate states but also the entire post-Soviet region … With no comprehensive dialogue, the increased violence in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone becomes a test for mediators’ constructivism and effective work,” Sergey Markedonov, an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council, told the paper. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Key Parties Praise Armenian Military

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In a rare joint statement, Armenia’s main pro-government and opposition political parties expressed support for the Armenian military on Tuesday, praising its actions during last week’s deadly fighting with Azerbaijani forces.

The six parties represented in the National Assembly also urged Russia to stop selling large quantities of offensive weapons to “military adventure-prone Azerbaijan.” They seemed to indirectly link the Russian arms supplies with the latest upsurge in ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

Echoing official Yerevan’s stance, their statement accused Azerbaijan of provoking the escalation along the Karabakh “line of contact” and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border that left at least 20 soldiers from both sides dead.

United Kingdom Urges Armenia and Azerbaijan to Reduce Tensions

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11:11, August 5, 2014

Yesterday, the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued the following statement regarding developments along the Artsakh line of contact.

The past week has seen reports of a rapidly deteriorating situation on the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. Reports of increasing numbers of fatalities and the use of more advanced military equipment pose one of the most worrying violations of the ceasefire in its 20 year history.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office Spokesperson said:

 “The UK appeals to both Armenia and Azerbaijan to take immediate action to reduce tensions and respect the 1994 ceasefire agreement. We are deeply saddened by the continuing loss of life on all sides. Recalling the statement of Minister for Europe David Lidington on the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire in May, we urge the parties to work with the OSCE’s Minsk Group Co-Chairs towards a peace agreement.”

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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.

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Commentary

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.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.

2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

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The struggle of civil movements this year has been comprehensive and diverse with limited success in certain fields due to unified efforts and active involvement of the civil society.

Despite the rather passive start of the year in terms of civil movements, the second half of 2013 turned out to be tense with active developments.

Some analysts believe that especially after the February 18 presidential ballot, when current president Serzh Sargsyan won a decisive victory over his opponents and was re-elected for a second term, despite the widespread poverty and atmosphere of injustice in the country, people became even more aware of the fact that is it impossible to achieve changes via elections and started practicing their constitutional rights to civil protest and disobedience more frequently.