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Armenian president attends military exercises in Nagorno-Karabakh

November 14, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, arrived in Nagorno-Karabakh for a working visit, as part of Unity-2014 joint battle exercise by the Armenian and NKR formed forces.Accompanied by President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Bako Sahakyan, Armenian and NKR ministers of defense, top-ranking military officials, President Serzh Sargsyan attended military exercises by the NKR Defense Army and encouraged the soldiers who distinguished themselves.The Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh presidents participated in the opening of a number of military facilities, inspected servicemen’s social conditions and visited the command post of the NKR Defense Army. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

No alternative to peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict – statememt

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The United States’ Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has called upon Armenia and Azerbaijan to abstain from any steps that could escalate tension along the Line of Contact.In statement, it has reaffirmed its strong support for the work of the Co-Chairs and the Chairmanship’s Personal Representative, and expressed appreciation of their continued engagement with the sides
“The United States warmly welcomes the three Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, together with CiO Personal Representative Ambassador Kasprzyk, to the Permanent Council today. We reiterate our strong support for the work of the Co-Chairs and the Chairmanship’s Personal Representative, and appreciate their continued engagement with the sides.
“We welcome the three meetings of the Presidents during the past year in Sochi, Newport, and Paris, which reduced tensions and had a stabilizing effect along the Line of Contact. We expect the Presidents to continue their dialogue in the coming year, with an aim toward entering into formal negotiations and developing meaningful Confidence Building Measures. There is no alternative to a peaceful, negotiated settlement.
“The United States regrets the loss of life as a result of yesterday’s downing of a helicopter along the Line of Contact. We extend our condolences to the families of those killed or injured. We urge all sides to respect the ceasefire and not to take any actions to escalate the situation.
“As a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains deeply committed – as Ambassador Warlick has underscored this morning – to working with the sides to find a lasting and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh,” reads the address.

Azerbaijan is seeking tension – opinions

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Armenian MPs are not surprised at either Azerbaijan’s attack on an unarmed helicopter of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army or declaration of Nagorno-Karabakh’s airspace a no-fly zone.According to Chairman of the Free Democrats party Khachatur Kokobelyan, declaring Nagorno-Karabakh’s airspace a no-fly zone was one more provocative statement by Azerbaijan.In an interview with Tert.am, he said that air forces had never had any problems with the Nagorno-Karabakh territory before November 12.“And this is one more attempt on their part to show the international community that they are seeking tensions,” Mr Kokobelyan said.Despite the Azerbaijan foreign office’s statement declaring Nagorno-Karabakh’s airspace a no-fly zone Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s helicopter landed at the Stepanakert airport in the afternoon on Thursday.According to Mr Kokobelyan, the international community has so far adequately reacted to Azerbaijan’s attack on the Nagorno-Karabakh helicopter. He is sure that Azerbaijan’s attempts to destabilize the region will fail.“It does not meet either our interests or the interests of the entire Caucasus or of the international community,” the MP said.Azerbaijan’s attempts are evidence of its being incapable of meeting the criteria proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.”They are thus expressing their dissatisfaction,” he added.Head of the Heritage parliamentary group Ruben Hakobyan is not surprised at the attack on the helicopter. And Azerbaijan’s foreign office is expected to make statements like that.“This can be considered in the context of the events in late July-early August. To our army’s credit, we were able to adequately retaliate, and the attacker sustained heavy losses,” he said.Azerbaijan is getting ready for war, resorting to provocations.Azerbaijan’s act must not go unpunished, Mr Hakobyan said.Secretary of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D) Aghbvan Vardanyan hopes that the Armenian side will retaliate adequately.“We know our neighbors very well. They have no changed their policy they are constantly creating tensions, trying to deal with us from a position of strength and show it is their territory. This time we must retaliate in a different way. Provocations will continue until enemy comes to realize that a dozen will be punished for one,” Mr Vardanyan said.Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) parliamentary group member Levon Martirosyan told Tert.am that Azerbaijan’s foreign office did not make a serious statement.“If they can declare a territory that is not theirs a no-fly zone, we might just as well declare Azerbaijan’s territory a no-fly zone. So it is a counterproductive approach, a way to nowhere.” 

U.S., EU Concerned About Downing Of Karabakh Chopper

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The United States and the European Union have echoed international mediators’ serious concerns about by the fresh escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resulting from the shooting down of an Armenian helicopter gunship.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, also called for an inquiry into the incident which could lead to another upsurge in fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces.

“It is essential that all sides show restraint and avoid any actions or statements which could escalate the situation. Furthermore, we call for an investigation into this incident,” read a statement issued by Mogherini’s office late on Wednesday.

“Both sides have to strictly respect the ceasefire, to refrain from the use of force or any threat thereof, and to resume efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” added the statement.

Sarkisian Flies To Karabakh

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President Serzh Sarkisian flew to Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday to watch large-scale Armenian military exercises that are being held in and around the territory.

Sarkisian’s press office said that “within the framework of the exercises” he will also tour Karabakh Armenian military bases and assess the combat readiness of troops stationed there.

The office released photographs of a uniform-clad Sarkisian emerging from a military helicopter at Stepanakert’s recently reconstructed airport and being greeted on the tarmac by Bako Sahakian, the president of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).

The armed forces of Armenia and Karabakh began the drills on November 6. They are reportedly involving tens of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks and artillery systems.

Russian Security Chief Blames Baku For Karabakh Escalation

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The head of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) deplored on Thursday the downing by Azerbaijani forces of an Armenian combat helicopter as a “dangerous” blow to regional security.

“We have witnessed a new violation of ceasefire agreements [in the Nagorno-Karbakh conflict zone,]” Nikolay Bordyuzha said. “The destruction of the helicopter is a dangerous manifestation of violence. A threat of a fresh escalation of the conflict has emerged.”

“The situation in the South Caucasus is becoming more and more acute,” Bordyuzha warned in a statement.

The Russian official said the conflicting parties should respect the ceasefire regime and avoid “provocative actions.” Continued Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks are also essential for preventing another full-scale war in Karabakh, he added.

Minsk Group Calls for Calm after Yesterday’s Downing of an Armenian Helicopter by Azerbaijan

November 13, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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11:05, November 13, 2014

The Minsk Group Co-Chairs expressed their “serious concern” regarding yesterday’s downing of an Armenian helicopter by Azerbaijan near the Karabakh Line of Contact.

The Co-Chairs said they were deeply worried by the events that prompted the incident and called on the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to respect the ceasefire and honor their past commitments to find a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

Without proportioning any blame, the Co-Chairs appealed to all sides to avoid any steps that would further escalate tensions in the region.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

EU special rep states desire to visit Karabakh

November 13, 2014 Asia, Diaspora, Europe, Karabakh No Comments
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The European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Ambassador Herbert Salber, reaffirmed the commitment of the European Union to support the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Salber was addressing a one-day conference on “The impact of international and regional developments on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process,” held on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Oxford University, Asbarez reports, citing Commonspace.eu.
The Conference was jointly organized by the British non-governmental organization, LINKS, and the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre at St Antony’s College, Oxford.Salber also reiterated that the position of the EU in the conflict is to support the Minsk process, rather than replace or undermine it. He gave “two simple reasons” for close EU involvement. Firstly, the fact that the conflict is located in the EU neighborhood gives Europe a “historically and philosophically strong stake.” Secondly, “if one day there would be a solution, then many eyes would be on Brussels, and expecting the EU to make not only a substantial financial contribution, but also a contribution in security arrangements.”
Ambassador Salber called on the sides in the conflict to approach the negotiations with a renewed sense of urgency. He emphasized that the international community cannot resolve the conflict by itself: “the parties must mobilize the political will.”
Sabler, who took up the South Caucasus job in July, stated his desire to visit Nagorno-Karabakh. He hoped that the political conditions for European diplomats to visit Nagorno-Karabakh could be created soon. “The representative of the EU should be able to say: ‘I saw what is happening there with my own eyes, and had the opportunity to talk to people.’”
Speaking about the international dimension of the conflict, Ambassador Salber stated that “Moscow has a very specific role to play,” while acknowledging that productive regional cooperation seems a long way off. He referred to concrete improvements to the situation in the Caucasus region that could be brought about as a result of a satisfactory arrangement with Russia, such as reconnecting the North and South Caucasus via the railway running through Abkhazia. 

Azerbaijan says what it has said before – Movses Hakobyan

November 12, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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By shooting down the Nagorno-Karabakh helicopter the enemy says what it has said before, Commander-in-Chief of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army, Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobyan told Tert.am.Asked whether it means Azerbaijan is seeking war, he said: “I think it is so.”This is the first instance Azerbaijan has employed air-defense systems since a ceasefire agreement was signed in 1994.The Armenian side will retaliate.“No reasons for panic. We will find out what happened and make decisions,” Mr Hakobyan said. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

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CNN International Explores the Secrets of Armenia’s Stone Henge

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Featured Books

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

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.