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Armenia Says Georgia Not To Introduce Visa Regime

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Georgia is not going to introduce a partial visa regime for citizens of Armenia beginning in September, the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday, denying a report made earlier by a Russian news agency.  

Citing its sources at the Georgian Foreign Ministry, Regnum reported that the current visa-free regime between Georgia and Armenia will remain in force only for those Armenian citizens who will visit the neighboring country for a short period of time as tourists. Meanwhile, it said, the visa regime will apply to Armenian citizens who intend to stay in Georgia for a longer period, such as for education or business purposes.

Armenian Primate of Georgia: ‘Assault On Church Was Definitely Organized’

July 22, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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17:06, July 22, 2014

Archbishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia, told Hetq that he has no doubt that yesterday’s assault by a mob of fifty on the clergy and staff at the Tbilisi Holy Etchmiadzin Church was organized and premeditated.

“We are quite incensed over what happened and demand that the organizers are identified and those who participated are prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Archbishop Mirzakhanyan told Hetq by phone.

The primate couldn’t say who organized the assault that left several Armenian clerics and church staffers bruised and battered.

Mirzakhanyan didn’t rule out the possibility that yesterday’s incident was the beginning of concerted assault against the diocese.

Echmiadzin Condemns Attack On Armenian Clerics In Georgia

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Church officials in Armenia have expressed their concern over a violent incident in an Armenian church in Tbilisi that left several clergymen injured.

In a statement disseminated on Sunday the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC) described the previous day’s altercation and subsequent violence against Armenian clerics, Diocese employees and a group of Christian Armenians in the yard of the Holy Echmiadzin Church in the Georgian capital as a ‘pre-planned attack’ committed on the grounds of ‘ethnic and religious hatred’.

It said as many as 50 men, some of whom were armed with cold weapons, committed the violence that was prompted by an earlier argument over parking space involving a Georgian woman and an Armenian priest.

An Assault on the Armenian Church in Tbilisi

July 21, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
Armenian News

22:39, July 20, 2014

On July 19, 2014, a pre-planned attack was perpetrated on the representatives of the Armenian Church of SurbEtchmiadzin located in Tbilisi, which was motivated by ethnic and religious hatred.At around 4 pm, a provocation was organized ona territory adjacent to the yard of the Church. After an unsuccessful attempt to drive fromthe territory adjacent to the yard of the Church, a person got outraged and began to reproacha clergyman, whose car was allegedly blocking her way.Soon, two openly aggressive men arrived on the scene and helped to take out the vehicle. The clergyman entered the administrative building of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, while young deacons, who stood outside, heard the men using foul language against Armenians.When people began to protest this move, the man got off the vehicle, took a truncheon, continued to use obscene language, picked up a stone, and attempted to hit the representatives of the Armenian Diocese.When the personnel of the Armenian Diocese heard these voices, they rushed outside hoping to calm down the situation. At this time, one of the employees of the Diocese was hit in the back, and a short fight ensued.

Impact Of Armenia’s EEU Membership On Trade Ties ‘Unclear’ To Iran

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Iran still has to see what impact Armenia’s planned membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will have on its trade relations with the South Caucasus neighbor, the Islamic Republic’s ambassador in Yerevan said on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference, Mohammad Reisi said that Iran has a vague idea about the emerging Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan that Armenia plans to join later this year.

The EEU, which is expected to become functional on January 1, 2015, among other things, will imply common economic space of the four former Soviet countries and the application of common customs duties at the border.

Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian announced on Thursday that Yerevan will sign a relevant treaty and formally join the EEU in late October.

Georgia says Russian helicopter crosses into its airspace

July 10, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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The Georgian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement, voicing alarm about a Russian helicopter’s invasion into the country’s airspace.
The aircraft was seen flying over two villages of the Kaspi region (Mejvirskhev and Sakorinto), Newsgeorgia.ru reports, citing the Interior Ministry.
The helicopter is said to have violated the border near the administrative border of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) at 11:00am local time.
“The Russian helicopter violated Georgia’s airspace controlled by the country’s central authorities. We have reported this to the EU Mission, the Russian side and the de-facto authorities of Tskhinvali,” a government source was quoted as saying.
Six Russian helicopters were earlier reported to have violated Ukraine’s airspace over the recent period. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Airports from above: Satellite images reveal the complexity of the ‘bones, muscles and nerves’ of international air hubs

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The images were taken from Google Maps by art director Lauren O’Neill for her blog Holding Pattern, according to the Daily Mail.
She was inspired by the ‘systems of design at play’ which she has spotted at airports around the world. Satellite shots reveal the sprawling nature of airports including London’s Heathrow, Zurich, Wellington and JFK Uniform patterns resemble the inner workings of the human body – from muscles to nerves and even teeth.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Georgia ‘In Dark’ About New Armenian Trade Tariffs

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Georgia does not know yet the extent of new barriers to its trade with neighboring Armenia that are expected to emerge after Yerevan joins Russia’s Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, a senior Georgian diplomat said on Wednesday.

“We don’t know what the Customs Union will be requiring from Armenia with regard to us,” Tengiz Sharmanashvili, the Georgian ambassador in Yerevan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in an interview.

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Georgia — Georgian Ambassador to Armenia Tengiz Sharmanashvili.

“A free-trade regime between us is still functioning,” Sharmanashvili said. “We will try to ensure that this does not change. In essence, we don’t plan to change that regime. As for what changes the Customs Union will demand, we don’t know that yet.”

Jailed Businessman Denies Corruption Claims Against Ex-PM

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A businessman arrested on charges of defrauding a partner insisted through a lawyer on Monday that former Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian was not involved in the alleged scam despite what some media present as evidence to the contrary.

Ashot Sukiasian was extradited from Georgia to Armenia last month to face three counts of fraud and money laundering that carry up to 12 years’ imprisonment. His former partner, Paylak Hayrapetian, claims that Sukiasian misappropriated most of a $10.7 million loan which he borrowed from an Armenian commercial bank. The money was supposed to be invested in diamond mining in Sierra Leone.

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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

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.

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.