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International Young Painters’ Symposium Once Again Held in Armenia’s Shirak Province

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11:38, August 29, 2014

An international art symposium dedicated to famous Armenian artist Minas Avetisyan has been taking place for 3 years in Armenia’s northern province of Shirak.

An initiative of the NGO Art for Peace and with the support of the Armenian Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, the International Symposium of Young Painters was held this year under the rubric “With Minas’s Colors” fromAugust 25–30. Though in previous years, the number of participants fluctuated from 40–50, this year 60 participants from all of Armenia’s provinces, as well as from Artsakh, Javakhq, Russia, Belarus, and Georgia, gathered in Shirak Province.

Armenian FM Set To Attend Erdogan’s Inauguration

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Armenia’s political leadership has been invited to attend Turkish President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inauguration and is likely to send Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to the ceremony slated for Thursday, it emerged at the weekend.

President Serzh Sarkisian revealed the Turkish invitation as he visited a pro-government youth camp in the Armenian resort town of Tsaghkadzor. A statement by Sarkisian’s press office quoted him as saying there that Nalbandian will “most probably” attend Erdogan’s inauguration along with more than 20 heads of state and governments.

According to the statement, Sarkisian said Nalbandian will use the occasion to clarify whether Erdogan will accept his invitation to take part in the official commemorations in Yerevan of the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.

Georgia not joining Russia sanctions

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Georgia’s minister of agriculture has said that the country is not joining the western powers’ economic sanctions against Russia.
According to Gazeta.ru, Otar Danelia made the statement as he commented on an earlier remark by Peter Stano, a member of the European Commission in Charge for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy. He said that the country has not received any official statement from the Commission.
“We will consider only official statements and appeals sent to the Georgian government, but there have been no such appeals so far,” he was quoted as saying.
Danelia had earlier said that Georgia may enrich its exports to Russia with more food products such as fish, lamb meat and honey.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili had also expressed a willingness to increase the exports to the country.

Armenian-Georgian relations at historically highest level – Serzh Sargsyan

August 23, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has received Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who is on an official visit to Armenia.Armenia’s leader welcomed Mr Garibashvili’s visit to Armenia as Georgia’s premier. He stressed the importance of mutual visits by official delegations, which is a good opportunity for promptly responding to different issues on the bilateral agenda. President Serzh Sargsyan stressed that Armenian-Georgian relations are at the highest level, which enables the sides to discuss any issue on the bilateral agenda as well as regional problems.Georgia’s premier shared the Armenian president’s opinion that the meetings build up bilateral ties. According to him, Armenia is not only Georgia’s neighbor, but also a friendly nation. Georgia’s premier informed Armenia’s leader of the results of his meetings in Yerevan and of the agreements reached. The official meeting was followed by a working dinner in the Georgian delegation’s honor.  

New Armenian Plant To Supply Energy To Georgia

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A new and large thermal power plant to be built in Armenia by a little-known company will supply electricity to neighboring Georgia, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakharian said on Friday.

Zakharian made the announcement after finalizing a corresponding agreement with representatives of the company, Anaklia IEP Holding, on the second and final day of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s visit to Yerevan.

The “basic provisions” of the deal were signed one week after being formally approved by the Armenian government. The latter said that IEP Anaklia will invest about $600 million in building the natural gas-fired plant at an unspecified location in Armenia. The facility will be equipped with turbines manufactured by the U.S. giant General Electric and have a design capacity of 540 megawatts, the government said.

Georgian-Armenian Ties ‘At Historic High’

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Relations between Georgia and Armenia are now better than at any other point in their long history, President Serzh Sarkisian said as met with the visiting Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Friday.

“Serzh Sarkisian emphasized that Armenian-Georgian relations are at their highest historical level and that that enables the two countries to discuss, in a calm and relaxed manner, any issue related to not only bilateral relations but also regional developments,” the Armenian presidential press service said in a statement on their meeting.

The statement said the two men discussed the “rich agenda” of bilateral ties and regional security. It quoted Gharibashvili as saying that “Armenia is not only Georgia’s neighbor but also friend.”

Armenia, Georgia To Build New Border Bridge

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Armenia and Georgia will build a new bridge at their main crossing to facilitate bilateral commerce and travel, the prime ministers of the two states announced after talks in Yerevan on Thursday.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili met his Armenian counterpart Hovik Abrahamian on the first day of his official visit to Armenia. “We agreed to further deepen close cooperation between Georgia and Armenia and my visit will serve this purpose,” he told reporters afterwards.

“I also want to point out that we agreed that Armenia and Georgia will jointly build a bridge,” added Gharibashvili. “We heard today about an interesting proposal to name it Friendship Bridge and we gladly accepted that proposal.”

Heavy Rains Close Georgian Road Linking Armenia and Russia

August 21, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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11:19, August 21, 2014

Armenia’s Ministry of Transport and Communications reports that the Stepantsminda-Lars stretch of highways prior to the Georgian border with Russia has been closed to all traffic as of yesterday morning due to heavy rains.

The highway serves as a vital commercial link between Armenia and Russia.

The Georgian government says clean-up operations are ongoing.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Yerevan Reacts To Azeri-Turkish-Georgian Defense Talks

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The Armenian government downplayed the significance of growing military ties between neighboring Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey on Wednesday, while saying that it is mindful of their possible “damaging impact” on Armenia.

The defense ministers of the three states reportedly pledged to step up trilateral cooperation when they met in the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan on Tuesday. According to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, they decided to hold more such talks twice a year and conduct joint military exercises with the aim of protecting regional oil and gas pipelines. Closer contacts will also increase the interoperability of the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish armed forces, said the ministry.

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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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Commentary

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

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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.