Sunday, 1 March 2015

Armenian News...Talks with pre-conditions are unexceptable!...

RFE/RL Report
Armenia Again Slams Turkish `Preconditions' For Normalization

Armenia has rejected the latest Turkish demand to end "the occupation
of Azerbaijan" before the diplomatic protocols signed between the two
countries in 2009 can be implemented.

The kind of precondition to official Yerevan was reiterated by Turkish
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who paid a visit to Baku this week.

At a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar
Mammadyarov, Cavusoglu also claimed that "the whole world knows about
the precondition to Armenia" and that Yerevan "has failed the test of
sincerity". He said that the recent decision by Armenian President
Serzh Sarkisian to withdrawal the protocols from the parliament is,
therefore, "of no importance".

Commenting on the statements by the top Turkish diplomat, Armenia's
Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian again accused Ankara of
setting preconditions in the process in which Armenia believes the
sides should not do that.

"It is at least perplexing that the Turkish delegation that conducted
the negotiations around the protocols, according to Cavusoglu, did not
know about the Turkish preconditions "known to the whole world". To
speak about sincerity by spreading the kind of false information is at
least strange, but at the same time it is typical of Turkish
authorities," he said, according to

Kocharian stressed that the international community has also favored
Yerevan's position that Armenian-Turkish relations should be
normalized without preconditions.

On February 16, the Armenian president recalled the protocols on the
normalization of ties and the establishment of diplomatic relations
with neighboring Turkey from parliament. He said "the Turkish
government has no political will, distorts the spirit and letter of
the protocols, and continues its policy of setting preconditions."

Sarkisian also said that on the eve of commemorating the centennial of
the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey during World War I, "the
policy of denial and rewriting history" is getting a renewed impulse
in Ankara.

Official Ankara described that step as "wrong and unfortunate". Tanju
Bilgic, a spokesman for Turkey's Foreign Ministry, said on February 17
that Yerevan had decided to withdraw the protocols "to create a reason
to accuse Turkey" ahead of the 100th anniversary of the massacres of
Ottoman Armenians, which Turkey does not recognize as genocide. 
26 Feb 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan
Lusine Avanesyan

The hearing of the case of Azerbaijani national Dilham Askerov and
Shahbaz Guliyev was held at the Court of Appeals in Stepanakert.

Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev were charged under Articles 7 and 5
of the Criminal Code of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. They are accused
of kidnapping and violence against a minor, murder committed by an
organized group motivated by ethnic hatred, espionage, unauthorized
border trespass, carrying artillery weapons.

The Azeri saboteurs crossed the NKR border in July, 2014. The third
commando, Hasan Hasanov, was killed, and his body was handed over
to Baku.

The actions of the subversive group left an underage resident of
Karvachar region and a soldier killed and a woman wounded.

The First Instance Court of General Jurisdiction sentenced Dilham
Askerov to life imprisonment, and Shahbaz Guliyev to 22 years in jail.

Trying to defend themselves they denied participation in the crimes
and laid the burden on Hasanov.

The hearings on the case will continue at the Court of Appeals on
March 10. 

RFE/RL Report
Russian Senator Slams Pro-EU NGOs in Armenia
Tigran Avetisian

A senior member of the Russian legislature has reminded Armenia of 
the Ukrainian experience, stressing that having a large number of
non-governmental organizations advocating integration with the
European Union is "unacceptable".

At a press conference in Moscow on Thursday, Konstantin Kosachev, who
heads the International Affairs Committee at the Federation Council,
the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, at the same time
expressed a hope that Armenia will "manage to avoid Ukraine's
experience of facing a choice" between Eurasian and European

Two years ago Armenia was on track to sign an association agreement
with the European Union as part of the Eastern Partnership Program
that also involved Ukraine and four other former Soviet nations. But
in September 2013 under apparent pressure from Moscow authorities in
Yerevan made a U-turn opting instead for integration with the
Russian-led customs union.

Ukraine persisted with its European integration policy, ousting
President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, but Russia responded by
annexing its southernmost peninsula of Crimea and later also backed
separatist movements in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and
Donetsk, which led to deadly hostilities between Ukraine's government
forces and pro-Russian rebels.

The Russian senator, however, insisted that it is the "either-or"
demands of the EU that cripple countries like Ukraine.

"The position of `either you are with us or with them' has already
destroyed or almost destroyed Ukraine and could destroy any other
country if the question is raised consistently and in a
straightforward manner," said Kosachev, stressing that having 350 NGOs
"working against Eurasian integration and in favor of Armenia's closer
ties with the European Union is unacceptable".

Remarkably, speaking about Russia-Azerbaijan relations, Kosachev said
that in the Caucasus region Azerbaijan is Moscow's "most important
economic and political partner", while Armenia, which joined the
Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union this year, according to the
Russian senator, is Moscow's "closest" partner.

Kosachev expressed his gratitude to Baku for its "very caring
attitude" towards the Russian language and ethnic Russians who live in

"Of course, Azerbaijan has other partners and its palette of choices
is much broader than that of Armenia and Georgia, but I see no
insurmountable obstacle for the successful development of
Russian-Azerbaijani relations," said Kosachev, as quoted by Russia's
RIA Novosti news agency.

At the press conference the Russian senator also spoke about
Russo-Georgian relations. He said that seeing how the
Russia-Azerbaijan and Russia-Armenia relations are developing, Georgia
begins to understand that by moving away from Russia it "misses out on
benefits and opportunities". 
26 Feb 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Kirk Kerkorian is 97 years old and worth $4 billion. The one time
owner of MGM, and wealthy Las Vegas real estate and casino over
(he also owned the MGM Grand), is not done, however. He still has
one more wish. Kerkorian is funding a secret feature film about
the Armenian genocide that took place concurrent with World War I, reports, quoting its sources.

Kerkorian is hoping to produce the Armenian "Schindler's List" to
memorialize the Genocide.

There is already an Oscar nominated director and screenwriter signed
to the project. Various actors' names have come up, and some of that
may become clear soon. The movie has been described by the director-
who asked not to reveal his name yet- as a "Reds" or "Dr. Zhivago",
a sweeping World War I romance set against the Armenian genocide.

Kerkorian, who's always been fascinated with Hollywood, is said to
have contributed over $1 billion to Armenian charities and causes
over his long life time.

Author of the article Roger Friedman reveals that the still untitled
film wil begin shooting this summer in Europe. And the budget should
be pretty big, considering there's one backer. This movie has the
potential to be something on a large historic scale, unseen for
many years.

Friedman is assured the Kardashians, the most famous Armenian Americans
since the great writer William Saroyan, will be not be appearing in
the film under any circumstances.

Official Yerevan finds it inappropriate that Israeli Foreign Minister
Avigdor Lieberman has attended an event organized by Azerbaijan as
part of its campaign on the so-called "Khojaly genocide".

Lieberman, a Soviet-born Israeli politician who also serves as Israel's
deputy prime minister today, was on a delegation that also included
a Knesset member that reportedly attended on February 26 an event
marking the 23rd anniversary of what Azerbaijan presents as a massacre
of civilians by Armenian forces in the town of Khajaly in Karabakh.

The Armenian side blames civilian deaths among Azeris during the
Khojaly operation on the Azerbaijani military, saying that they did
not allow the civilian population to be evacuated despite the presence
of a humanitarian corridor.

Asked by the Armenpress news agency about how Yerevan assesses
the presence of the top Israeli diplomat, as part of the electoral
campaign, at the kind of event organized by the Azerbaijani propaganda,
Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said: "It is
inappropriate that any politician could allow himself to be dragged
in the Azerbaijani cheap manipulations."
Taking a leaf from the Armenians' book
Sacred Mysteries: the ancient civilisation of Armenia remains 
exotic and unknown in the West, but a holy monk from lake Van 
has just been declared a Doctor of the Church

St Gregory of Narek: "This book will cry out in my place."
By Christopher Howse
28 Feb 2015

There's a little book on my shelf that I can't read. It is in
Armenian, and I cannot even make out the attractive curly alphabet.
Byron, by all accounts, did rather better, taking lessons in the
language, from 1816, at the monastery where my book was printed.

This is at San Lazzaro, an island in Venice, between San Giorgio and
the Lido. It was granted to the Armenian monks in 1717. The little
community was brought there in that year by their first abbot Mechitar
of Sebaste, after whom the monks are called Mechitarists.

This monastery was of Armenian Catholics, in other words, Armenians
who recognised the primacy of the Pope. The majority of Armenians
belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Armenians are fond of telling
you that theirs was the first country to adopt Christianity, in 301,
thanks to St Gregory the Illuminator. Armenia, with its Indo-European
language unrecognisably related to ours, has a proud civilisation, but
to say that its history in recent centuries has been difficult is an

I was thinking about the Armenians because, in the bright winter sun
on Tuesday, I stumbled across the Armenian church in Kensington, St
Sarkis, its white Portland stone shining exotically amid the red-brick
mansion flats around it. It was built in 1922 in memory of the
philanthropist Calouste Gulbenkian's parents.

The Prince of Wales visited the Armenians in London a few weeks ago at
their nearby church of St Yeghiche as part of his efforts to draw
attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East. He mentioned
the destruction last November (by Islamists of the al-Nusra Front) of
the Armenian church at Deir ez-Zor in Syria. It had been built as a
memorial to the thousands of Armenian refugees from Turkey who died
there in the second decade of the 20th century.

With these thoughts in mind, I discovered that Pope Francis had last
Saturday named a great Armenian saint, Gregory of Narek (pictured
above), as a Doctor of the Church. That is a rare title, there having
been only another 35 in the history of the Church - people like St
Jerome or St Athanasius.

St Gregory (950-1003) lived as a monk at Narek, near lake Van in what
is now Turkey. A little more than 1,000 years later, the great
monastery with its conical domes in the Armenian style was destroyed
and the Armenians living around it killed.

St Gregory of Narek's best-known work, the Book of Prayer, also called
the Lamentations, might have been written as a meditation on that
disaster and the episodess of martyrdom that have punctuated Armenia's
history. The saint's aim is to bring God's mercy to bear on mankind so
that it might share in God's nature. "This book will cry out in my
place, with my voice, as if it were me," he wrote. "May unspeakable
faults be confronted and the traces of evil wrung out."

Last year Pope Francis met the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic
Church, Karekin II, and spoke about martyrdom as a way of reuniting
the Church. He had sketched out his thoughts before by remarking: "In
some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a
Bible; and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are
Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic, or Orthodox."

In St Gregory of Narek's day, the Armenian Church, having followed its
own path after the Council of Chalcedon in 451, was presumed by the
Orthodox and by Western Catholics to be monophysite in teaching, with
false beliefs about the nature of Jesus as God and man. It could
hardly have been the case in practice, and the Catholic recognition of
St Gregory and other Armenian saints demonstrated a shared faith. The
proclamation of him as a doctor sets the seal on that unity of belief.
In these murderous times, Christians in the East need all the unity of
spirit they can muster.

Alina Nikoghosyan

Armenia registered a 27-percent decline of exports of alcoholic
beverages at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, Avag Harutyunyan,
head of the Armenian Winemakers Union, said, adding that official
data is not published yet.

Harutyunyan told reporters Friday that in the past Armenia experienced
such crises also in 1998, 2008 and 2009.

"The decline of brandy export in 2014 is explained by tendencies
that started in November of 2014 connected with the Russian ruble's
devaluation and that got more intense gradually, and in January of
2015 we could see no light," he said, adding that if this situation
continues till June they will not be able to purchase the whole
harvest from villagers.

Armenia became a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) since
January 2, 2015, and the Russian ruble has been in fluctuations since
earlier in 2014.

According to the data published by the National Statistical Service
(NSS), in January this year, compared to January 2014, a 4.3-percent
inflation was registered, electricity production fell by almost 20
percent, a 7.4-percent decrease was registered in sales, a 6.3-percent
decline in the volume of industrial production.

According to Harutyunyan, in 2014, compared to 2013, export volumes
of wine grew nearly by 49 percent, and brandy exports declined by
5 percent.

"2014 was the best year for vodka, it is the second year Armenians,
unfortunately, have restored their lost tradition. In 2014 we imported
an unprecedented number - never in our history had there been such
an amount - 9 million bottles and nearly 250,000 liters of vodka,
mainly from Russia, and we imported a huge amount, 700,000 liters of
alcohol," he said.

Feb 27 2015

Genealogy" will represent Armenia in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Out of six members in the group, we are pleased to announce that
Stephanie Topalian, an Armenian-Japanese singer will be the fourth
participant - representing continent Asia.

Stephanie Topalian's magical voice and wide vocal diapason has
already touched thousands of hearts in Japan. Stephanie is a singer,
songwriter and an actress currently residing in Tokyo. Gifted with
major artistic talents, she could sense from the start that music
was the dream she wanted to pursue in the future.

Armenian Public TV Company has announced earlier that "Genealogy"
will be uniting the new generation of Armenians spread throughout
five continents (Europe, Asia, America, Africa, and Australia) around
the world by building bridges. The group consists of six artists with
Armenian origin - 6 destinies with 1 story.


The first announced member of "Genealogy" was Armenian-French singer
Essai Altounian; representing continent Europe, the second one was
Armenian-American singer Tamar Kaprelian; representing continent
America, and the third one was Armenian-Ethiopian singer Vahe Tilbian;
representing continent Africa.  

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