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France Set To Host Another Armenian-Azeri Summit

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The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan are due to meet again next month for more talks on the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Tuesday.

“I understand that there will be a meeting in France at some point in October, late October. I don’t know the date,” John Heffern, the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). The meeting will be hosted by French President Francois Hollande, he said.

Hollande held separate talks with Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Wales last week. Sarkisian and Aliyev went on to hold a trilateral face-to-face meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry there. No concrete agreements were announced afterwards.

Controversial Wealth: How Did This Civil Servant Get His Hands on US$5.1 Million?

September 9, 2014 Armenia, Karabakh No Comments
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10:33, September 9, 2014

Here’s yet another strange but true example of Armenian government officials amassing small fortunes when their salaries as state bureaucrats can in no way account for such wealth.

The official in question is MihranPoghosyan, who has served as the Chief Compulsory Enforcement Officer of Armenia since 2008. Basically, he runs the government agency tasked with ensuring that all court judgments and decisions, civil and criminal, are carried out.

According to his biography on the website of the Compulsory Enforcement Service, Poghosyan has always been employed as a civil servant. That’s to say he’s never been engaged in private enterprise.

Birth–May 29, 1976; Yerevan

Yerevan preparing for Literary Ark festival

September 9, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Diaspora, Karabakh, Music No Comments
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Armenia’s capital will turn into a unique international literature platform later this month, hosting foreign writers from across the globe as part of the Literary Ark festival.
Fifteen writers from 13 different countries will be invited to Yerevan to participate in the annual international literary event from September 18 to 28. The guests will take part in different international debates and meet with students of Armenian universities; they will also share their experience and knowledge with contemporary Armenian writers.
This year they are also scheduled to visit Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) to have meetings and debates with the local literary circles.
On September 27, which marks the birthday of Komitas, the forefather of the Armenian classical and ethnographic music, the guests will visit the Yerevan pantheon named after the great musician to join the initiative 100,000 Poets for Change.
Literary Ark has also prepared a surprise for the Armenian book lovers. This year’s guests of the event are the renowned Polish writer Yanush Leon Vyshnevsky and the US-based British writer Meg Rosoff.
The screened version of Rosoff’s Novel, How I Live Now, will be screened in Yerevan’s Cascade complex in the frameworks of the festival. 

NATO adopts selective approach to Karabakh, says Armenian FM

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NATO’s latest declaration, giving preference to the principle of territorial integrity, reflects a selective approach to the peace process over Nagorno-Karabakh, according to Armenia’s foreign minister.
At a news conference held jointly with his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurtz, Edward Nalbandian said the wording of the document adopted in Wales is too general to correspond to the earlier statements by the OSCE Minsk Group mediators.
“Two co-chairs of the Minsk Group are members of the North-Atlantic alliance. And in spite of that, the provision concerning the conflicts in Moldova and the South Caucasus contains wording which is either too generalized or reflects a selective approach. That runs counter to the earlier proposals made by the three co-chairs. It also conflicts with the statements and decisions adopted in the past three years,” he said.
“That certainly harms the negotiation process, undermining stability and security in the region. It isolates Azerbaijan from the reality more, encouraging its military rhetoric and policies to run against the international community’s approach to the conflict settlement. I would like to note that the selective approach to the principles runs counter to international law, the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act,” the minister added.

NKR Foreign Minister Receives French Parliament Delegation

September 8, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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17:35, September 8, 2014

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Karen Mirzoyan today received the delegation of the Parliament of France.

Karen Mirzoyan welcomed the members of the delegation, stressing the importance of such visits for the consistent development and strengthening of bilateral relations. 

In this context, the NKR Foreign Minister touched upon issues related to the activities of the France-Artsakh Friendship Circle established in 2013. He appreciated the works carried out by the Circle for strengthening   relations between Artsakh and France and disseminating truthful information about Artsakh.

During the meeting, the possibilities and prospects of widening cooperation between Artsakh and France in various spheres were discussed.

French lawmakers start visit to Nagorno-Karabakh

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Members of France’s Senate and representatives of the French-Armenia Parliamentary Group on Monday started a visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).
The delegation includes Senators Alan Ner and Jean Bise, parliament member Jean Marc German and a former lawmaker, Jacque Remilier.
According to a press release by the NKR National Assembly, the group had meetings with different parliamentarians and government officials, as well as representatives of public-political and educational-scientific circles.
President of the National Assembly Ashot Ghulyan highlighted the importance of the guests’ visit to the country, considering it a good proof of protecting the values of freedom, equality and fraternity.
He stressed the importance of France’s role in the OSCE Minsk Group efforts towards mediating peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Senator Ner said, for his part, said the friendly visit is aimed at studying possible trends of cooperation.
He said that the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace efforts have to focus on the principles of freedom and democracy, as well as the opinion of the Nagorno-Karabakh people.
Hovhannes Gevorgyan, Nagorno-Karabakh’s permanent representative to France, accompanies the delegation during the visit. 

Armenia Raps NATO For ‘Pro-Azeri’ Statement

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Armenia on Monday criticized NATO for again backing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and not explicitly acknowledging the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination.

Foreign Minister Edward said this stance contradicts the existing Karabakh peace proposals made by the United States and another key NATO member, France, together with Russia.

In an extensive declaration adopted at a summit held in Wales late last week, the leaders of the NATO member states said they “remain committed in their support to the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.” They said NATO will therefore continue to seek settlements of the conflicts in the South Caucasus and Moldova “based upon these principles and the norms of international law.”

Azerbaijani citizen crosses Nagorno-Karabakh border

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A citizen of Azerbaijan was captured by Armenian defense guards in Nagorno-Karabakh (Atsakh)on Fridayas he attempted to cross into the country from the north-east of the Line of Contact .
According to a press release by the Defense Army (Nagorno-Karabakh’s ministry of Defense), the incident was registered at 6:10pm local time. The captive has been identified as Mamedov Javid Samiroglu, reports the Defense Army’s press service.
The ICRC office in Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, Stepanakert, has been reported on the incident. Samiroglu was handed over to the corresponding authorities.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Baku Pleased With NATO ‘Support’ On Karabakh

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The Azerbaijani government has commended NATO for reaffirming its declared support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at its latest summit held in Wales.

“Allies also remain committed in their support to the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova,” U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of NATO’s 27 other member states said in a joint declaration adopted on Friday.

“In this context, we will continue to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the south Caucasus, as well as in the Republic of Moldova, based upon these principles and the norms of international law, the UN Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act,” read the declaration.

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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

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.

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.