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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


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.”

SOCAR Oil Deal Benefits Hidden Investors Linked To … SOCAR?

September 15, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Europe No Comments
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16:56, September 15, 2014

By Nushabe Fatullayeva and Khalid Kazimov

Etibar Kovsarov was one of 200 Azerbaijani oil workers who lost their jobs in early 2014.  After 30 years of working in oil fields developed by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), he was let go without warning when his contract expired.

One more surprise awaited Kovsarov.

When he applied to SOCAR for any possible compensation, company officials told him that the Gum-Deniz oil field where he’d worked for so many years was now being managed by a private company based in the United Arab Emirates, and that it did not have to pay pensions.

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.”

Armenian Makes it to the Final at Tashkent World Wrestling Championship

September 12, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia No Comments
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14:06, September 12, 2014

The star of the Armenian team at the 2014 World Wrestling Championship taking place in Tashkent has to be Arsen Julfalakyan in the 75kg Greco-Roman classification.

While other team members have been thrown to the mat early on in defeat, Julfalakyan has made it through to the finals.

And no wonder, Julfalakyan won the silver medal  in the event in 2010 and won third place in 2011 and 2013.

Julfalakyan crushed Elvin Mursaliyev (Azerbaijan) in the 1/16 Final by a score of 9-0.

The Armenian then went on to beat Florian Marchl (Austria) in the 1/8 Final and Juan Escobar (Mexico) in the Quarter Final.

Russian Arms Exporter Offers More Deals To Azerbaijan


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.


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.”

Armenian Defense Chief Promises ‘Longer-Range Weapons’


The Armenian military will soon acquire more long-range and precise missiles than it currently has in its arsenal, Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said on Friday.

“Every year Armenia’s armed forces receive modern weapons and military hardware,” he told students and professors of a state-run university in Yerevan. “These are not just tanks, artillery and anti-aircraft systems. In recent years we also have reached agreements to implement that rearmament process faster and with longer-range and precise systems.”

“These are not just words. In recent years, for instance, we acquired S-300 [air-defense] systems and the like. We will have longer-range systems very soon,” Ohanian added in a speech.

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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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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


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.