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Pascal Monnier: Ilham Aliyev agreed to meet Sargsyan

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Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have already given their consent to the negotiations in Paris, news.az reports, quoting French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier as saying.According to him, this meeting will take place in the second half of October, brokered by French President Francois Hollande.The Ambassador noted that the meeting participants will discuss the ways to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and issues in the peace process. He noted that this meeting will be important following the meeting of the presidents in Wales.”France, as the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, is doing everything possible to resolve this conflict and believes that the time to resolve the conflict has come”, he said.Answering the question if the mediatory mission will have the same destiny of Jacques Chirac’s, the ambassador noted that the resolution of the conflict depends on the presidents themselves, and ‘our task is to help them in this’.”The fact that the presidents have agreed to this meeting is a great achievement. The main goal of the meeting is to seek ways to achieve success in the negotiations and find a mutually acceptable solution to this problem,” he said.

U.S., Russia ‘Still Cooperating’ On Karabakh

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The United States and Russia continue to work together in trying to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict despite their disagreements on other international problems, a senior U.S. diplomat insisted on Tuesday.

“Despite our differences in other parts of the world, we see eye to eye on the way forward and we want to coordinate our diplomacy,” James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told reporters in Yerevan.

Warlick made the comment as he answered a question about the sincerity of Russia’s peace efforts given large-scale arms supplies to Azerbaijan. “We are concerned about the arms buildup and risks that that poses for peace and for successful negotiations,” he said before insisting that U.S.-Russian cooperation in the Karabakh peace process is continuing despite Russia’s deepening standoff with the West.

Artsakh – OSCE to Conduct Monitoring at Line of Contact

September 16, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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11:15, September 16, 2014

On September 17, in accordance with the arrangement reached with the authorities of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, the OSCE Mission will conduct a planned monitoring of the Line of Contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan in the southern direction of the Gyulistan village of the Shahumian region.

From the positions of the NKR Defense Army, the monitoring will be conducted by Field Assistants of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Jiri Aberle (Czech Republic), Yevgeny Sharov (Ukraine), as well as by Head of the OSCE High-Level Planning Group (HLPG) Colonel Markus Widmer (Switzerland).

The NKR authorities have expressed their readiness to assist in conducting the monitoring and to ensure the security of the OSCE Mission members.

James Warlick: We are concerned about Armenian-Azerbaijani border tension

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The US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group says the mission is concerned over the recent violence along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the Line of Contact surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh.
At a news conference held at the US Embassy in Yerevan, James Warlick voiced alarm over Azerbaijan’s arms build-up and the possible risks it poses to the region.
“We work very closely working with the Russians and communicate regularly with the Russian co-chair in the context of the Minsk Group. Despite our difference in other parts of the world, we see the way forward. And we want to coordinate our diplomacy and work together, and I hope we can, at some point as mediators, achieve a lasting settlement [of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict]. We are concerned about the arms buildup and risks it poses for peace and for successful negotiations. That’s our shared goal of peace,” he said.
The diplomat stressed the role of the conflicting countries’ active efforts towards reducing the tension in the border zone.
“This isn’t an issue for co-chairs to deal with directly, but we do talk about the issue of violence along the Line of Contact and along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. We are concerned about the violence that has taken place and the deaths and injuries it has resulted, and if we are to find a way to a lasting peace, we know that violence must stop and the ceasefire must be respected.”

NKR Foreign Minister meets with Mayor of Tolosa, Basque Country

September 15, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Karabakh No Comments
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On September 13, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Karen Mirzoyan visited the city of Tolosa, the Basque Country, where he met with Mayor Ibai Iriarte San Vicente.During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the prospects for decentralized cooperation between Artsakh and the Basque Country in a range of spheres. In this context, issues related to the possibility of establishing relations between the city of Tolosa and the cities of Artsakh were touched upon. A number of practical arrangements were achieved.In Tolosa Karen Mirzoyan visited some memorial places and cultural institutions.The city of Tolosa is in the province of Gipuzkoa, the Basque Country, situated in the Oria River valley. It was founded in 1256. Currently, the city has 15 000 citizens. It is one of the most important cultural and historical centers of the Basque Country. In the 19th century, Tolosa was the capital of the Basque Country. 

Nagorno-Karabakh launching eco-villages’ network

September 15, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Culture, Karabakh No Comments
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Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and Armenia are collaborating on a joint initiative to launch a network of eco-villages in the second Armenian republic.
The project, entitled Ekhokhndzoristan, will be implemented in the villages of Khndzoristan, Patara and Astghashen, according to Arsen Gasparyan, the president of the Association for Young Biologist.
At a news conference on Monday, the environmentalist described the initiative as an awareness-raising campaign aimed at involving community efforts in future joint activities. He said that it is also an attempt to develop eco- and agro-tourism, organic agriculture and waste management technologies in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The agricultural produce has to be without chemical poisons here, and we will try to ensure lighting through solar energy. We must make waste procession possible right on the ground and try to boost the development of living standards in Artsakh to prevent people from leaving,” he said, further stressing the importance of creating alternative sources of income.
Gasparyan said the projects are now almost ready, with only financial issues waiting to be resolved. “You know we cannot obtain money from other countries as far as we deal with Artsakh, but we will organize fund-raising,” he promised.
Gasparyan said they need a total of $80,000-$100,000 to realize the project. “We are not going to build new constructions; we’ll try to do everything based on what we have to make the model applicable also to villages. Over 20 NGOs from Armenia and Artsakh and 70 individuals have joined the project for now,” the environmentalist noted.
Susanna Petrosyan, the president of Artsakh Development Center (who had come to the news conference right from Karabakh), said the country’s government is willing to assist in the initiative. “We met with the Nagorno-Karabakh prime minister. He hailed the project and said that they will offer the best possible assistance. We expect to launch the project starting from October, and the more volunteers and organizations they offer, the more they will be of help to us,” she noted.

Armenian parliament’s vice chief hosts Belarusian colleague

September 13, 2014 Armenia, Karabakh No Comments
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The vice speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly on Saturday received a deputy chairperson of the Belarusian parliament’s Chamber of Representatives.
Greeting Viktor Gominsky, the Belarusian co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission, Eduard Shaarmanov highly praised the bilateral relations anchored on mutual friendship and understanding, and the strategic ties built on parliamentary cooperation.
Addressing regional security issues, Sharmazanov stressed the importance of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the peaceful format proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group. Gominsky, for his part, expressed his country’s interest in the peaceful settlement of the land dispute.
Sharmazanov, who is the Armenian co-chair of the Commission, asked the guest to convey to Belarusian parliamentarians his invitation to visit Armenia in 2015 to attend the Genocide centennial commemoration events.
The sides further stressed the need of developing cooperation within international parliamentary organizations. They also addressed other issues of mutual interest.

Basque Parliament’s motion supporting Nagorno-Karabakh’s self-determination evidence of new tendencies – opinions

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The adoption of the motion supporting the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh by the Basque Parliament in a sense means that Basque Country recognizes the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), Nagorno-Karabakh Presidential Spokesman David Babayan told Tert.am.
“We have repeatedly stated our intention to expand the geography of recognition by establishing bilateral relations. We have common features with the Basques – both psychological and political. And some of them say their forefathers emigrated from the Armenian highland. In any case, this motion adopted by the Basque Parliament is a significant achievement in two aspects: the Artsakh Armenians get recognition and it is a foreign policy success,” he said.
Mr Babayan stressed that different nations have their interests and it is necessary to make their interests converge and developments progress in the interests of Armenians.
Asked about the significance of the motion adopted by the Basque Parliament, Mr Babayan said:
“Of course, it is highly significant, but it is not like ‘general tendency, as we are following it.’ This is the result of our unity – Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Diaspora – as well as of Artsakh being a normal state. Otherwise, no one would recognize a terrorist state. This is evidence we are following the right course. We will continue our work for other parliaments to recognize [Nagorno-Karabakh] as well. We think this is a promising platform where we have to work.”
Talking to Tert.am member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Tevan Poghosyan called for realizing the growing appreciation of the principle of nations’ self-determination throughout the world.
“Since people realize their self-determination is more important than any borders, especially artificially drawn borders. And we can see now that all the nations struggling for self-determination are trying to understand one another better and speak of this right,” he said.
“Let us remember the ongoing processes in Europe. A few months ago a referendum was held in Venice, Italy. The Basque Country is aiming at this – they will try to hold a referendum. This process is under way in Catalonia as well, in Scotland. In Kosovo it took place. In the past decade, a number of states were recognized: Timor, Eritrea, the problem of South Sudan. Montenegro’s ‘divorce’ was very easy,” Mr Poghosyan said.
In this context he said that the international community should gradually be made to listen to the idea of the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self-determination.
“Armenia’s foreign policy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are capable of doing this work because both California and the Basque Country have recognized [Nagorno-Karabakh’s self-determination] in the past month. I hope this work will be continued and the recognition process as well,” Mr Poghosyan said.
He is optimistic and hopes that Nagorno-Karabakh will sooner or later be internationally recognized.
With respect to Armenian political scientists’ statements on the world’s double standards as the mediators keep on stating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be settled in this “unique” way, Mr Poghosyan said that such statements were made after the events in both Timor and Eritrea.
“One thing is to say something, but life has shown that the realization of the right to self-determination, when people are masters of their own fate, is gaining strength throughout the world. And since 1988, Azerbaijan’s ‘argument’ that Armenians once exercised their right by creating the Republic of Armenia has not been supported by the international community, considering the realization of the fact that the territories were artificially made part of Azerbaijan and have nothing to do with its territorial integrity.”

Russian Arms Exporter Offers More Deals To Azerbaijan

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Russia will complete the ongoing delivery of about 100 T-90 tanks to Azerbaijan early next year and is ready to modernize older tanks used by the Azerbaijani army, according to a senior Russian defense industry official.

The Itar-Tass news agency on Friday quoted Esen Topoev, a top aide to the chief executive of Rosoboronexport, as saying that the Russian state arms exporter could also sell anti-ship missiles to Baku and open facilities in Azerbaijan for repairs and maintenance of Russian-made military hardware.

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Russia — A T-90 tank drives through the Red Square during a Victory Day parade rehearsal in Moscow, 06May2010

Azerbaijan began receiving the sophisticated T-90 tanks last year in accordance with Russian-Azerbaijani defense contracts signed in 2010-2012. In Topoev’s words, these shipments will be complete “in the beginning of 2015.”

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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.