Azerbaijan’s new diversion operation fails
June 05, 2012 | 11:56
YEREVAN. – Continuing their provocative actions from Monday,
the subdivisions from Azerbaijani Armed Forces yet again attempted
to breach Armenia’s state border in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Azerbaijan tried to infiltrate an armed diversion team comprising
15-20 soldiers to Armenian territory in the vicinity of Voskepar
village of Tavush Region, MOD Press Service informed
But owing to Armenian position holder’s vigilance, the diversion team
was discovered and rendered ineffective.
According to preliminary data, Azerbaijan has five casualties and
Other members of the diversion team managed to escape and took
along the wounded and the bodies of the dead.There are no casualties
or wounded from the Armenian side.
As Armenian News-NEWS.am informed earlier, an Azerbaijani diversion
operation had claimed the lives of three Armenian soldiers and wounded
six others—one of whom, an officer—in the early morning hours on
The killed soldiers were: Hrach Sargsyan, Zohrab Balabekyan, and Karen
And the MOD had issued a statement and noted that on Monday and
according to preliminary data, the Azerbaijani side yet again violated the
ceasefire at the line of contact between the Armenian-Azerbaijani border,
and this time in the northeastern sector. It attempted to infiltrate to the
Armenian military bases stationed in the direction of Berdavan and Chinari
villages of the Tavush Region.
As a result of the taken measures and the Armenian military servicemen’s
courageous operations, however, the diversion advancement was stopped,
and the adversary was driven back, giving casualties.
Three of the wounded Armenian military servicemen were transferred to
the capital, Yerevan.
Azeris Killed in Deadliest Clash With Armenia Amid Clinton Visit
By Zulfugar Agayev on June 05, 2012
Five Azeri soldiers were killed in a border clash with Armenian soldiers in
the deadliest incident between the neighbors in four years as visiting U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of risks of a regional conflict.
The servicemen were killed while repelling an attack by an Armenian
“saboteur” squad in the western Qazax district early today, Teymur
Abdullayev, a spokesman for the Azeri Defense Ministry, said by phone.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said three soldiers were killed yesterday by
an “invading” Azeri group.
Energy-rich Azerbaijan fought a war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh,
a mostly ethnic Armenian-populated region that broke free of Baku’s control
after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union in 1991. Clinton, who is
visiting the South Caucasus region this week, said yesterday that sporadic
violence along the militarized cease-fire line threatens to turn into a broader
“I am very concerned about the danger of escalation of tensions and the
senseless deaths of young soldiers and innocent civilians,” Clinton said at a
joint briefing with her Armenian counterpart, Eduard Nalbandian, in the
capital, Yerevan. “The use of force will not resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict, and therefore force must not be used.”
The territory remains a potential flash point in a region where Russia fought
a five-day war with Georgia in 2008 after separatist tensions flared up. While
the hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan largely ended after a
Russia-brokered cease-fire in 1994, the countries have failed to reach a peace
Clinton is also visiting Georgia and Azerbaijan during her trip this week.
Companies led by London-based BP Plc (BP/) have invested about
$35 billion in Azerbaijan’s oil and gas fields since 1991.
THE SITUATION IN VOSKEPAR PEACEFUL AFTER AZERBAIJAN'S
UNSUCCESSFUL ACT OF SABOTAGE
The situation is calm in the village of Voskepar. There were no
shots over the day, there is no panic, people are engaged in everyday
activities, head of Voskepar community Hrush Aghbalyan told "Radiolur."
This night divisions of the Azerbaijani armed forces again undertook
provocative actions, trying to penetrate into Armenian territory near
the village of Voskepar. The sabotage group was neutralized thanks to
the watchfulness of Armenian servicemen. Members of the group managed
to escape taking the bodies of the five killed soldiers.
Azerbaijani media, quoting the Ministry of Defense, publicize the names
of the killed soldiers: Amil Novruzov, Khalid Azizov, Vahid Bagirov,
Julfagar Atashli and Elchin Ismailov.
The situation is peaceful also in Chinari. A criminal case has been
launched into the incident that occurred there yesterday, Press
Secretary of the Investigative Service of the Ministry of Defense
Mery Sargsyan told "Radiolur."
As for the injured, their condition is satisfactory.
(see also analysis at the end of this list)
AZERBAIJANI AND ARMENIAN JOURNALISTS AGREE ON SOME
ISSUES IN MOSCOW MEETING
June 4 2012
Elnur Baimov: "The meeting has been held positively"
Moscow. Farid Akbarov - APA. The meeting of mass media managers
of Azerbaijan and Armenia ended in Moscow within the framework of
the humanitarian initiative for rapprochement of society of both
countries for the purpose of supporting the settlement of Nagorno
APA's Moscow correspondent reports that after the meeting, which was
held in the editorial office of "Rossiyskaya Gazeta" newspaper on
the initiative of Special Representative of the Russian President for
International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvidkoy, the delegations
visited the ITAR-TASS news agency.
Members of the Armenian press refused to give an interview to the
Member of the Azerbaijani press, director general of "News.az" portal
Elnur Bamiov said that the meeting has been held positively. According
to him, the mass media managers of the two countries reached verbal
agreement on the prevention of non-ethical expressions in the press
against the leaders of the countries and representatives of the
public communities and reducing the creation of enemy's image between
Baimov recalled this is the second meeting and said that venue of the
next meeting is being discussed: holding such meetings in Baku, Tbilisi
and Yerevan have been proposed. There were such proposals before but
the meeting was held in Moscow again. There is not final decision."
Editor-in-chief of "Baku Post" newspaper Tofig Abbasov, editor-in-chief
of "1news" agency Rahman Hajiyev, General Director of "Trend"
information agency Ilgar Huseynov, editor-in-chief of "News.az" news
portal Elnur Baimov and journalist Azer Hasrat participated in the
meeting from Azerbaijani side.
Expert of the Armenian Association for Public Relations Armen Minasyan,
information security expert, culture expert-blogger Samvel Martirosyan,
editor-in-chief of "Aravot" newspaper Aram Abramyan, director of the
Center of Public Relations and Information of the Armenian President's
Office Ara Saghatelyan and deputy editor-in-chief of "Golos Armenii"
newspaper Marina Grigoryan participated in the meeting from the
Azerbaijan's ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu, Armenian ambassador
to Russia Oleg Yesayan, executive director of the CIS Interstate
Humanitarian Cooperation Fund Armen Smbatyan are participated in
The office of "Rossiyskaya gazeta" newspaper hosted a meeting between
the intelligentsias of the two countries on February 22. Mikhail
Shvidkoy, who attended meeting, said that such contacts would be
Besides, during his last visit to Baku OSCE Minsk Group's Russian
co-chair Igor Popov said that the next meeting would be held between
Azerbaijani and Armenian intelligentsias in the near future.
The intensification of humanitarian contacts was also decided at
Sochi meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents on January 23.
TURKISH, ARMENIAN JOURNALISTS WANT BORDER OPENED
June 3 2012
( on the latest reports, President Gul now blames the lack of progress
on developing Armenia-Turkey relations on an Armenian Constitutional
Court decision. This was in response to Secretary Clinton’s public view
that the diplomatic ball was in Turkey’s court. Previously, the reason was
given as Karabagh: always portrayed as Armenia as the stumbling block..
The reality is Turkey uses pre-conditions not to engage with Armenia who
have confirmed they have no pre-conditions)
A group of Turkish and Armenian journalists traveling through Turkey,
Armenia and Georgia between May 24 and June 6 in order to gain
first-hand insight into their neighbors say that the closed border
between Turkey and Armenia is negatively affecting relations between
the two countries, advocating the opening of the border.
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with
Azerbaijan after Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of
Azerbaijan in 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Arsen Kharatyan from Voice of America has told Today's Zaman that
the closed border is a symbolic issue. "The day we stop reaching each
other's countries via other countries, both societies will understand
each other more closely. Passing through Georgia to Armenia shows
that every level of relations is mediated by third parties," said
Kharatyan, adding that constructive, sincere and honest dialogue on
both the government and civil society level would contribute positively
to the future of relations.
The group of 15 journalists visited six locations in Turkey: Ä°stanbul,
Malatya, Kayseri, Cappadocia, Ankara and Kars. The group then traveled
to Armenia, where they are spending a week visiting cities and villages
across the country, including Gyumri, Goris, Sevan and Yerevan.
The Turkey-Armenia Media Reporting Bus Tour is organized by the
Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) of Ä°stanbul Kultur University,
in partnership with the Yerevan-based Eurasia Partnership Foundation
(EPF), as part of the Support to Armenia-Turkey Rapprochement (SATR)
project and is funded by the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID). The tour aims to establish a network for future
reporting on Turkish-Armenian relations.
"If someone wants to understand the present, he or she must deal with
the past and perceive it with their own eyes, rather than hearing it
from the outside," said Kharatyan, adding that the tour was a journey
of self-discovery for the journalists.
When asked his assessment of possible future relations between
both countries in the future, Kharatyan replied that currently the
discussions between Turkey and Armenia were stuck on the level of
intellectual discourse, adding that sustainable peace could only be
achieved by maintaining honesty between the nations. "I hope there will
be a time in our lives when we openly have many discussions. I agree
with Turkish officials that we have to solve this problem instead of
leaving it to our children," said Kharatyan.
Speaking to Today's Zaman, Andranik Ispiryan from the Yerevan-based
news agency News.am stated, "The border between Turkey and Armenia is
the only closed border in the 21st century," suggesting that closed
borders prevent relations from improving between the countries.
"I believe the closed border affects relations negatively, not only on
the diplomatic level but also on the societal level," said Ispiryan,
proposing that if the border were open the two societies would have
an opportunity to learn about the culture of the other nation, which
would also help to reduce misconceptions on both sides.
Agreeing with Ispiryan, Zafer Opsar from the Bursa-based news portal
Bursaport.com told Today's Zaman that the closed border does not
contribute positively to relations between the countries, adding that
both sides would benefit from the opening of the borders.
"I am hopeful for the future, and I believe our trip will contribute
to the future of relations. But I think the word 'genocide' blocks the
development of relations. Both countries can overcome the problems by
empathy only," he said, adding that the tour was of great importance
in improving relations.
"Journalists are the voice of the public. We [Turkish and Armenian
journalists] have the opportunity to observe the neighboring country
without the involvement of third parties," said Opsar.
Susae Elanchenny, representative of GPoT, told Today's Zaman that the
goal of the tour was to facilitate Turkish and Armenian journalists'
understanding of their neighboring countries and peoples. "Given
the current impasse in official relations, I believe that the media
can play a particularly important role in moving the normalization
process forward," said Elanchenny.
"Of course, we [GPoT] don't expect to solve the entire issue on this
two-week bus tour with these 15 journalists, but I believe that thanks
to civil society projects, like this one, the biases, stereotypes
and misunderstandings that hinder dialogue are decreasing and will
hopefully only further decrease in the future," she added.
Speaking about the closed border, Varya Meruzhanyan, representative of
EPF, told Today's Zaman that before the borders can be opened people on
both sides will need to make an effort to open their mental borders,
stating, "We are hopeful that this bus tour will serve as a small
step towards achieving that goal."
She also added that with the current deadlock in official relations
between the nations it is important that people from both countries
continue to receive information about the other.
TURKEY SHOULD HAVE COMMON VALUE SYSTEM WITH HIS
NEIGHBORS: ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER
5 June, 2012
BRUSSELS, JUNE 5, ARMENPRESS: Football diplomacy proved Turkey is not
ready to normalize the relations with Armenia without preconditions.
To the European politicians' and analysts' questions , whether
Armenia is committed to its obligations over the protocols signed
in Switzerland,Tigran Sargsyan was quoted as saying " Mrs Clinton
statement was to the point; the ball is currently in Turk's court",
Armenpress correspondent informs from Brussels.
Turkey is striving to normalize its relations with the neighbours,
possessing serious political ambitions in the region. " But it also
means that Turkey should make efforts to have friendly relations with
its all neighbors. Fundamental question is as follows: on which basis
Turkey wants to normalize its relations with its neighbors. In the
case of Armenia our position in the last 20 years remained the same.
We are ready to settle the relations with Turkey, establish diplomatic
relations and open borders without preconditions" the head of the
In Prime Minister's opinion the single solution is Turkey and its
neighbours establish relations based on the unified values. In this
regard PM Sargsyan assured Armenia is concerned to implement reforms
in the form of adopting European system of values in the lifestyle
of the society. " "This is the guarantee of security and cooperation
in our region "said the head of government.
Dwelling on the issue that Turkey considers its relations in the
context of the regional scale and not in the context of individual
countries, Tigran Sargsyan stated" In that case the sides should
have not signed the records in Switzerland. Long lasting negotiations
were held with the participations of the mediators .These protocols
,receiving the positive remarks by USA, Russian and France co chairs,
were signed by Turkey. If Turkey has different platform, it should
not have signed the protocols".
The PM told in one hand Armenia is in the blockade by Turkey and
Azerbaijan, in the other hand international sanctions against Iran
impede the differsification of our country. " It means we spend
great resources for ensuring the security of our country and for
differsification of the economy. Reform means change of the tactics
of the people; which takes the country serious efforts, technical,
financial, intellectual abilities to be exerted .Unfortunately we use
those resources for other purposes. Turkey is well aware of it and
continues the blockade. They explain as though their friend Azerbaijan
will not understand the realations established by Turkey and Armenia.
"So geopolitical situation and domestic reforms of Armenia are
interrelated" PM Sargsyan underscored.
TURKEY TRIES TO FORM ITS ORGANIZED DIASPORA AGAINST
June 05, 2012 | 10:01
The government of Turkey is taking its first step toward forming an
organized and a strong Turkish diaspora against the Armenian diaspora.
Around five-hundred leaders from Turkish organizations, foundations
and federations from around the world will get together in Ankara on
Thursday and Friday, Star daily of Turkey informs.
And the main objective of these events, which will be organized by the
Turkish MFA's Department of Turkish Expatriates, will be to coordinate
these Turks' efforts against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
First Armenian Growth Data For 2012 Released
Economic growth in Armenia continued unabated in the first quarter of
this year, with Gross Domestic Product increasing by 4.7 percent,
according to government statistics released this week.
Data from the National Statistical Service (NSS) shows the Armenian
economy continuing to expand on the back of strong growth in industry
and services other rather trade.
Armenian industrial output was up by 16.4 percent year on year and
generated more than one-third of GDP in January-March. The
export-oriented mining and metallurgical sectors accounted for much of
that gain. Growth in the services sector was similarly strong: 11.5
Other major sectors of the economy fared much worse in this
period. The NSS recorded zero growth in agriculture and trade and a
more than 5 percent drop in construction.
The first-quarter GDP performance is virtually identical with the
full-year growth figure registered in 2011. The Armenian government
forecast late last year that the growth rate will ease to 4.2 percent
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) initially agreed with this
projection but revised it downwards to 3.8 percent in March. An IMF
mission that visited Yerevan at the time pointed to the likely impact
of `weak external environment' on Armenia's economic performance.
One external factor that could influence the economic situation in the
country is recent months' sizable decrease in international prices of
copper and other non-ferrous metals, the number one Armenian export.
Artak Baghdasarian, a senior official at the Armenian Ministry of
Economy, portrayed the latest GDP data as a further indication that
the country is continuing to steadily recover from the 2009 recession.
Baghdasarian echoed government claims that Armenia is now more
Immune to external shocks because industry and services, rather
Than construction, are the main driving forces behind its economic
growth. `This is certainly a better guarantee of steady growth,' he
told RFE/RL's Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
However, Bagrat Asatrian, an economist critical of the government,
downplayed the NSS figures, saying that the growth is not benefiting
most Armenians. He said poverty in Armenia, which rose during the
2009 crisis, has still not started to fall.
RATE OF TOURISTS DROPPED BY 9%
Story from Lragir.am News:
Published: 11:27:42 - 05/06/2012
104,374 tourists visited Armenia in the first quarter of this year.
Their number has dropped by 9.0% compared with the past year. 120,050
people left the country for travels in the same period. This rate is
up by 1.9% year over year.
According to the National Statistical Service, 30% of tourists who
have visited Armenia this year are from the CIS countries, 35.5% from
the European Union. The number of Iranian tourists has dropped by 5.9%.
The government of Armenia is going to boost the number of tourists
traveling to Armenia up to 3 million annually by 2030. The number of
tourists visiting Armenia in 2011 was 757,935.
SOMEONE WANTS TO DEPLOY TROOPS
Story from Lragir.am News:
Published: 14:44:38 - 05/06/2012
Azerbaijan has decided to shift the escalation from Karabakh to
the border with Armenia, Tavush region, said the foreign minister
of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan yesterday in the press conference with
Hillary Clinton. He did not go into details why it is done though it
is evident that someone wants to involve Armenia into a full-scale war,
or to find an excuse to deploy troops of third forces in Armenia.
Although Armenia does not hide its responsibility for the security
of the people of Karabakh, official Yerevan does not have a defense
agreement with NKR, hence officially Armenia can also refrain from
entering into a war for Karabakh. But when the point is the borders
of Armenia, there is nothing one can do about it.
Who will benefit from Armenia's involvement into a war against
Azerbaijan? Who would like to deploy its troops in Armenia or to
activate the existing ones? The deployment of any troops in Karabakh
is complicated by the fact that it is unrecognized. Meanwhile, Armenia
has defense commitments within the framework of the CSTO and Russia
and escalation on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan may lead to
deployment of the CSTO forces there.
On the other hand, the West would not mind having mobile groups in
Armenia which has a small border with Iran. But the West would hardly
initiate subversive acts just on the eve of its top official's visit
to the region.
Most analysts note that Armenia is gradually facing the West. In any
case, the acting authorities of Armenia do not hide the pro-European
orientation of the country and the desire to have closer ties with
the U.S., so Russia must be worried. And perhaps, it will need
strong arguments to "persuade" the Armenian people to vote against
"pro-Western" Sargsyan and for "its" pro-Russian candidate. The best
way is escalation on the border, which has been used for a number
of times for the improvement of domestic political situations in the
South Caucasian countries.
By the way, this is a good way for the Azerbaijani authorities to
resolve domestic issues, to strengthen legitimacy at home, "mobilize"
the society against the hostile moods of the West and its democratic
Most analysts think that the escalation at the Armenian-Azerbaijani
border might be initiated by those who want Armenia to finally
"get angry" and hit Azerbaijan. It is clear that Yerevan, without
100% guarantees, will never take this step, and the analysts think
Armenia could receive such guarantees. That is why escalation is on
the Armenian and not Karabakh border.
There can be many options but one thing is clear -reports from
the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remind war chronicles. People die,
subversive acts are initiated by someone, someone's interests are
concerned, the Armenian leadership should clearly and honestly tell its
society who stands behind these acts and what Armenia is going to do.
sent by A Topalian