Saturday, 11 April 2009

Armenian News


ARMENIAN PRESIDENT: ARMENIA IS WILLING TO ESTABLISH RELATIONS
WITH TURKEY, BUT WITHOUT ANY PRECONDITIONS
ArmInfo
2009-04-10 20:26:00

ArmInfo. "In establishing relations with Turkey we don't admit any
preconditions",- Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at today's
press-conference in Yerevan.

According to him, the Armenian party doesn't expect Turkey to recognize
the Armenian Genocide and at the same time expects Turkey to give
up the precondition on suspension of the process of international
recognition of the Armenian Genocide
. Speaking of possible recognition
of the Armenian Genocide by the United States, the Armenian president
pointed out that there is no need to persuade Americans of this fact
as they had diplomats, missioners, businessmen in this region who
witnessed the tragic days for the Armenian people.

"Even in course of discussion of the relevant resolution in the US
House of Representatives, the overwhelming majority of senators didn't
deny the given fact", - he said. If the USA considers that recognition
of the Genocide may become a factor to prevent similar crimes and
fight international terrorism, it will take this step, Sargsyan added.

At the same time, he sees no connection between normalization of
relations with Turkey and the USA's possible decision on recognition
of the Armenian Genocide.

"We are ready to establish relations with Turkey without any
preconditions, now the ball is in Turkey's field, but as it is
known, any football match has time limits",-
the president said and
expressed hope that by the next Turkey-Armenia football match he will
have crossed the unblocked Turkish-Armenian border. Nevertheless,
he didn't rule out new possible conditions to be laid down by
Ankara. In any case, Armenia will come out of this situation as a
stronger country. Moreover, all international structures registered
Yerevan's desire to establish these relations. "We must establish
normal relations with Turks",- Sargsyan stressed. According to
him, now not the border should be unblocked, but relations without
preconditions should be established. "If there are relations, the
border will be opened",- he said. He thinks that opening of the border
will not result in inflow of Turkish commodities. Sargsyan advocates
competitiveness. "If the Armenian producers are unable to compete with
the Turkish ones, how can one speak about competition with European
producers?",- the president said and recalled that today one can find
in the Armenian market Turkish commodities delivered from Georgia. In
addition, the opened border and the big Turkish market may open new
opportunities for Armenian producers.


RFE/RL Armenia Report
Yerevan Slams Turkish `Preconditions'
By Emil Danielyan

Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian accused Turkey of jeopardizing the
normalization of its strained relations with Armenia before flying to
Istanbul late Monday for potentially decisive talks with Turkish
officials.

The official purpose of Nalbandian's two-day trip is to participate in
the UN-sponsored Alliance of Civilizations summit. He is expected to
meet his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, for further talks aimed at
ending long-running tensions between the two neighboring states.

Ankara and Yerevan are reportedly close to reaching an agreement on a
gradual establishment of diplomatic relations and reopening of the
Turkish-Armenian border. Some Turkish newspapers have said the deal
could be announced during or shortly after Nalbandian's upcoming visit.

However, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that
this can not happen before a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
acceptable to Azerbaijan. "As long as the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is not
resolved, it is not possible for us to reach a healthy solution
concerning Armenia," he told a news conference in London, according to
Reuters.

In a written statement issued on Sunday, Nalbandian said that the
unresolved Karabakh conflict has not been on the agenda of the ongoing
Turkish-Armenian negotiations, implying that Ankara stopped using it as
a precondition when it embarked on the unprecedented dialogue with
Yerevan last year. `I believe that the statements, which put forth
preconditions for the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, may
be regarded as an attempt to impede the progress reached in the
negotiations,' he said in an apparent references to Erdogan's remarks.

The remarks followed Azerbaijan's stark warnings to Turkey not to
normalize ties with Armenia before a Karabakh settlement. Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliev reportedly cancelled his scheduled participation
in the Istanbul forum in protest against such prospect.

In his statement, Nalbandian also said that Ankara must not use its
rapprochement with Yerevan for preventing greater international
recognition as genocide of the World War One-era massacres of Armenians
in the Ottoman Empire. `It has been said many times, and I want to
stress it again, that the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations
can never question the reality of Armenian Genocide,' he said.

According to `Hurriyet Daily News,' Nalbandian was originally due to
arrive in Istanbul on Sunday night. `Nalbandian's delay in traveling to
Istanbul was also taken as discontent over Erdogan's statements,' said
the English-language paper.
AZERBAIJAN CONCERNED ABOUT BEING LEFT OUT OF THE
TALKS BETWEEN ARMENIA AND TURKEY
armradio.am
10.04.2009 11:11

Azerbaijan has attached three conditions to its giving consent to
the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia, Hurriyet
Daily News reports.

Azerbaijan sent an envoy recently to Ankara to explain the
government's views on the reconciliation process between Yerevan and
Ankara.According to the envoy, Azerbaijan insists on three conditions
to give its green light to opening the borders:

- Armenia should withdraw from five of the seven regions surrounding
Nagorno-Karabakh, which are Agdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Zangilan and
Qubadli.

- The return of the southern portion of the Lachin corridor.

- The use by Turkey of the Lachin corridor.

The Lachin corridor connects Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. By enabling
Turkey to also use the Lachin corridor, Azerbaijan wants to have
direct land access to Turkey.
( ??? )

The envoy is said to have voiced concern about being left out of the
talks between Armenia and Turkey.
ISRAELI DIPLOMAT RECOGNIZED ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
PanARMENIAN.Net
10.04.2009 13:55 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Former Israel's Ambassador to France said historian
Gilles Weinstein "had been wrong to deny the genocidal character of
extermination of Armenians in 1915," freelance journalist Jean Eckian
told PanARMENIAN.Net.

"It was Genocide," Eli Barnavi said during a meeting of International
League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA).

Former Ambassador said he could not employ the term Genocide as
a statesman
. ( !!! )
ARMENIA HAS ALREADY LAUNCHED REPAIR OPERATIONS AT
GYUMRI-KARS RAILWAYS
PanARMENIAN.Net
09.04.2009 18:47 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Repair-and-renewal operations are already launched
at Gyumri-Kars railways, informed circles reported to PanARMENIAN.Net.

Active cleanup works have been conducted for 3 days already, both on
Turkey's and Armenia's territory, the circles informed, adding that
no specific activities were registered at the Armenian-Turkish border.

According to Azeri media-circulated information, Azerbaijan's Consul
General in Kars, Hasan Zeynalov declared that repair-and-renewal
operations were launched at Alijan frontier point, Armenian-Turkish
border. Repair operations are conducted on the Armenian territory,
in Turkey roads to Alijan are being repaired.

In Soviet times, 3 frontier points existed on the Armenian-Turkish
border: at the footbridge over Araks river, in Gyumri and on Artashat
frontier detachment territory in the village of Margar, RA Ararat
Region.

ARMENIAN RADIO OF TURKEY SPEAKS "WRONG" DIALECT
armradio.am
10.04.2009 13:58

The new radio station launched by the Turkish Radio and Television
Corporation, or TRT, on April 2 is using the Eastern Armenian dialect
in its broadcast, used mainly in Armenia, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The rest of the world's Armenian communities, including the one in
Turkey, use Western Armenian, also called "Askharhapar." While the two
dialects cannot be described as totally unintelligible to each other,
different uses of the same words and accents make most communication
between the speakers of the two dialects very problematic in the least.

The difference between the Western and Eastern Armenian dialects is
one of the forthcoming subjects on the agenda of the newly founded
Ministry of Diaspora of the Armenian Government.

Turkey's Chief Negotiator to the European Union Egemen BagıÅ~_
expressed surprise at the situation last Friday night and said he
will investigate.

When told most local Armenians did not understand the broadcasts,
BagıÅ~_ said: "I hadn't a clue. This is the first time I have heard
this. Perhaps TRT could only find news presenters speaking this
dialect, I just don't know. But I will look into it."
ARMENIAN INTEREST RATE CUT ON WANING INFLATION PRESSURES
by Venla Sipila
World Markets Research Centre
Global Insight
April 9, 2009

The Board of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) has decided to
cut its key policy rate, the annual refinancing rate, by 25 basis
points, bringing the rate to 7.5%, ARKA News reports. The modest
downward revision comes after the Board opted to leave the policy
rate unchanged in March. Prior to this, the refinancing rate was
increased by 100 basis points to 7.75%, in a move designed to
give support to the dram exchange rate on the switch to a flexible
exchange rate regime (seeArmenia: 4 March 2009:). The CBA based the
return to monetary easing on moderating inflation pressures, noting
that, due to falling demand both in global and domestic markets,
price growth at present is lower than forecast in spite of the recent
dram depreciation. Deteriorating external demand and easing financial
inflows have resulted in slowing down of the economy at an intensifying
rate.
The latest inflation figures put consumer price growth in March
at 1.4% from February, which left the annual inflation rate stable
at 8.7% (seeArmenia: 2 April 2009:).

Significance:With economic growth now sharply cooling, Armenian
inflation pressures have recently displayed a decelerating
trend. Taking into account that this was not reversed even after
the March devaluation, the CBA's looser monetary stance to boost the
ailing economy could be defended. Then again, March inflation data
in any case brought a halt to inflation deceleration. In addition,
financial risks at present are high in Armenia; the current-account
deficit remains wide, while the sharply deteriorated foreign exchange
inflows, combined with the country's weak export earnings potential
and the weakness of global demand, imply a deep external financing
gap. Thus, downward pressure on the exchange rate may resurface again,
and caution in monetary easing should thus be exercised, paying close
attention to macroeconomic policy co-ordination. On the other hand,
Armenian interest rates do function as very effective policy tools,
instead mainly signalling the CBA's inflation expectations.


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