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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the NKR Regarding The Referendum on The Status of Crimea

March 17, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Karabakh No Comments
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19:00, March 17, 2014

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (the Artsakh Republic) considers the referendum held on March 16 in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as yet another manifestation of realization of the right of people to self-determination.

 

The right of every people to choose its path of development and determine its destiny on its own through democratic expression of will, as it is enshrined in the UN Charter and a number of fundamental international documents, is a key principle of international law.

 

The experience of recent years, in particular the referendums envisaged in Catalonia and Scotland prove that the recognition and realization of the inalienable right of people to self-determination is the most optimal and democratic way for the peaceful settlement of this kind of issues.

Yerevan Mum On Crimea’s Secession

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Armenia’s government on Monday declined to react to the weekend referendum in Crimea that was followed by a declaration of its independence from Ukraine welcomed by Russia but condemned as illegal by the West.

Most of the leading Armenian political groups were likewise careful not to welcome or reject the results of a vote that led to a further escalation of Russia’s most serious confrontation with the United States since the end of the Cold War.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry refused to clarify throughout the day whether Yerevan recognizes the outcome of the referendum in which mostly ethnic Russian voters supported becoming part of Russia.

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Crimea votes to join Russia: Armenia observes ‘silently’ new realities emerge in post-Soviet neighborhood

March 17, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Karabakh No Comments
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In the past several weeks official Yerevan has been mum about the recent events in Ukraine, including both the formation of a new government after the ouster of elected president Viktor Yanukovych and the referendum held in the breakaway pro-Russian republic of Crimea to join Russia.

Despite the fact that Russia is Armenia’s top strategic and military ally and soon will also become the top economic partner when Yerevan finalizes its membership in the Moscow-led Customs Union later this year, the Armenian government preferred to wait and see how developments in the neighboring region unfold, limiting itself to only calls for a peaceful resolution of the situation.

‘A Year of Expectations and Surprises’: Yerevan-based think tank publishes report on 2013

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“A Year of Expectations and Surprises” – this is how a leading think tank in Armenia, Civilitas Foundation, has titled its annual report summarizing the crucial events in Armenia in 2013. The report is now being presented in the provinces of Armenia.

‘Blacklisted’ German MP appeals to Azerbaijani authorities

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A German parliament member, who appeared on Azerbaijan’s “black list” after visiting Nagorno-Karabakh, has asked the country’s Foreign Ministry to remove his name from the list.
In his appeal, Jurgen Klime said that his visit to the country in September 2013 had not been previously arranged, adding that he didn’t know about the consequences, the APA News Agency reported, citing a Foreign Ministry source.
The German lawmaker said he recognizes Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and regrets for what he has described as an illegal visit.
Mr Klime promised that he would never again visit Karabakh in future.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenia may face new challenges after Crimea referendum – opinion

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The opposition Heritage party’s political secretary says he has concerns that Armenia may face new geopolitical challenges after the independence referendum for Crimea.
Speaking to Tert.am, Styopa Safaryan said he is afraid that Russia may urge the future member states of the Customs Union (including Armenian) to recognize Crimea after the March 16 voting.
“Russia will certainly face such an imperative, as the world community has already said that it isn’t going to recognize the outcomes of the Crimea referendum. As for the OSCE, which is not going to send observers, it has declared the conduct of the referendum illegal. Hence Russia has one option – as it did in the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – to appeal to at least to the countries it maintains good relations with or which may submit to its pressures and put the Crimea issue on the agenda. I think the question will be put forward to Armenia as a strategic ally,” he said.
Former presidential candidate Andrias Ghuakasyan had earlier told Tert.am that he doesn’t think the Armenian authorities react adequately to possible challenges. “It’s foreseeable that Russia will recognize the results of the Crimean referendum, i.e. – Crimea’s independence, and clearly, the situation will be very interesting, as Armenia refuses to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh. So they will be facing a new dilemma,” the politician told our correspondent on Wednesday.
Armenia has not recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the breakaway Georgian regions declared as Russian controlled territories after the 2008 Russian-Georgian war.
Safaryan noted that the Russian authorities took an understanding approach to Yerevan’s position then, but he did not rule out the possibility that the country might have changed its policy line since then.
The politician said he expects the Russia-West tension to bring Armenia face to face with major dilemmas, especially at the upcoming summits of the NATO and PACE parliamentary assemblies.

Trickle Down from Ukraine?: What’s the impact for NKR?

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The “Crimean tangled knot” which followed the Ukrainian crisis will create, analysts say, a new geopolitical situation reshuffling the superpowers’ playing cards, which in turn will impact Armenia and the Karabakh conflict settlement issue.

This week in Moscow, after his meeting with Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandyan, OSCE Minks Group American co-chair James Warlick made a post on his Twitter page about Armenia seeking peaceful settlement of the Karabakh issue and that they [the OSCE MG co-chairs] “will pursue options for dialogue”.

Later Warlick made another post: “Look forward to talks with Russia today on Nagorno Karabakh. We are resolved to work together with France to support the path to peace.”

Still No Agreement On Armenian-Azeri Summit

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International mediators appear to have failed to arrange a fresh meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents during a series of consultations held with the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the last three weeks.

The U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have repeatedly met with the foreign ministers of the two warring nations since February 22 in an effort to organize the next Armenian-Azerbaijani summit which they hope will break the current impasse in the Karabakh peace process.

In a joint statement issued in Moscow late on Wednesday, they stressed “the need for further talks at the highest level to advance the peace process” but announced no agreements on the summit’s date and agenda. They said they discussed with the ministers unspecified “issues raised by the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan during their November 2013 meeting in Vienna.”

Karabakh: Int’l mediators plan to visit region next month

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The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have agreed on the need for further talks at the highest level to advance the Karabakh peace process and plan to visit the region in the next month, the OSCE press office reported on Wednesday.

The three mediators (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Jacques Faure of France, and James Warlick of the United States) conducted a series of meetings from February 22 to March 11 in Paris and Moscow with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, and Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov; the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk also participated in the meetings, the official statement added.

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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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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…

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Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

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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.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.

Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction

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Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.