Sunday, 17 April 2016


REORIENT – Middle Eastern Arts and Culture Magazine
British MEP links Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno Karabakh 

with oil price decline
13 April, 2016

YEREVAN, APRIL 13. The recent attacks against Nagorno
Karabakh displayed that Azerbaijan has mobilized its entire military
capacity on the contact line, attempting to seize territories at the
expense of huge losses. “Armenpress” reports British MEP Charles
Tannock made such an announcement at the European Parliament. 
“I am happy the armistice was established and I call the sides to
immediately return to negotiation table under the auspices of the
Minsk process”, the MEP said.

He also stated that the declining oil prices should not be bypassed in
this situation, and the impact it has on the domestic strategy of
Aliyev, which is to create a distracting reality in the external
world. “When war ended in 1994 we all heaved a sigh of relief, but the
situation did not stabilize. Since, hostilities continued mainly on
the line of contact in the form of sniper shootings”, the British MEP
All bodies handed over to the Armenian side mutilated, 
Deputy DM tells ICRC Rep.
11 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Armenia’s First Deputy Defense Minister David Tonoyan met with Mrs.
Caroline Douilliez, Head of the ICRC delegation in Armenia

The parties discussed issues related to the search for and recovery of
the bodies of the soldiers killed as a result of the military actions
unleashed by Azerbaijan.

David Tonoyan expressed gratitude to the Head of the ICRC Delegation
for organizing the exchange of bodies with the mediation of the ICRC
and OSCE representatives.

The Deputy Defense Minister informed Mrs. Douilliez that all 18 bodies
handed over the Armenian side were mutilated, which not only violates
the second paragraph of  Common Article 3 of all 1949 Geneva
Conventions (…To this end, the following acts are and shall remain
prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the
above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in
particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and
torture), the 1st paragraph of Article 130 of the 1949 4th Geneva
Convention, the provisions of  Article 4.2. of the Second Protocol
Additional to the Geneva Conventions, but also constitute a heavy
crime under the criminal jurisdiction of any legal state.

David Tonoyan noted that the Armenian side will pursue the
condemnations of the crimes committed by the Azerbaijani armed 
forces by the international community and specialized bodies.

extract from
Trend, Azerbaijan
April 11 2016
Azerbaijan dismisses info about desecration of 
Armenian soldiers’ corpses
The information spread by Armenians that allegedly Azerbaijani
servicemen desecrated the dead bodies of Armenian soldiers is 
false, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend Apr. 11.

The ministry said there are facts of desecration of the Azerbaijani
soldiers' dead bodies by the Armenian servicemen.

"By making such statements, Armenians want to mislead the
international community in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to 
justify themselves and accuse Azerbaijanis of atrocities," added 
the Defense Ministry.
Kurds attack anti-Armenian demonstrators in Paris
11 Apr 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Anti-Armenian demonstrators in Paris were attacked by a group of
Kurds, reports.

Paris-based Turks had joined an anti-anti Armenian rally organized in
the French capital by Azerbaijani organizations, the Turkish
Habervitrini website reported.

The participants of the rally were attacked by a group of young people
waving the flags of the Kurdish Workers’ Party and holding the photos
of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The Police had to interfere, the source reports. The date is set for genocide motion in Bundestag
It is declared that the motion for recognizing the Armenian 
Genocide will be voted on June in Bundestag.

According to DW Turkish's report, Christian Democratic Union of
Germany (CDU) First Secretary Michael Grosse-Brömer stated that the
motion about the Armenian Genocide will be voted most probably on June

Common motion

Green Party co-chair Cem Özdemir spoke to AFP: “We would like this
motion to be brought to Bundestag sooner. However, there is something
more important than the date, which is the fact that all political
parties will speak the same.”

Özdemir also said, “Finally, there will be clear and explicit
statement in Bundestag. Yes, the name of the crime committed against
Armenians in Ottoman era is genocide. Moreover, Germany is also
responsible for it.

Özdemir: no turning back

Christian Democratic Union declared the date of the voting and Cem
Özdemir also commented on this: “Christian Democratic Union keeps its
promise. There is no turning back now.”

Green Party brought the motion to the parliament on February, but the
voting was postponed, since coalition parties Christian Democratic
Union of Germany (CDU) and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
demanded a common motion.

Bundestag discussed a motion on April for the first time, but there
was no voting. While the government avoided using the term “genocide”,
President Joachim Gauck and President of Bundestag Norbert Lammert
openly expressed the genocide.

Recently, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, during the meeting with
Chancellor Angela Merkel, asked her whether the motion will be brought
to the parliament and Merkel said that it will. 
Armenia to shift repair and refueling period of nuclear power plant

YEREVAN, April 13. In 2017 Armenia will shift the refueling
and repair period of the nuclear power plant from the earlier planned
October and November to May, deputy energy and natural resources
minister Areg Galstayan told reporters today.

According to him, the shift will allow Armenia to use the cheaper
electricity produced by Georgian small hydropower plants through a
swap operation. He added that that will allow Armenia not to buy more
expensive electricity generated by Armenian thermal power plants.

He said after the halt of the nuclear power plant for the planned
maintenance in 2014 the national electricity distributing network had
to buy the more expensive electricity produced by thermal plants ,
which ultimately raised the prices for households causing a strong
popular discontent.

Areg Glastyan said also Armenia’s electricity producing capacities
exceed domestic consumption needs, but not all local power plants can
compete, for example, with Georgian hydropower plants, especially in
spring, when energy production cost there is  significantly down.

"We will be able to make seasonal electricity swaps getting cheap
power from Georgia and providing them with electricity in winter
produced by our thermal power plants," said Galstyan.

The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is located some 30 kilometers west of
Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a
devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230
light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995.

Armenian authorities said they will build a new nuclear power plant to
replace the aging facility. The new plant is supposed to operate at
twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility.  The plant
currently generates some 35 percent of Armenia's electricity.

In March 2014, Armenian government decided to extend the plant’s
service life because of delay in building a new unit. The service life
extension has become possible thanks to Russia’s financial resources.
The country will provide $270 million to Armenia as loan and $30
million in grants. 

The Fallout from War in Karabagh
Mirror Spectator
Editorial 4-16 April 2106
By Edmond Y. Azadian 

As the consequences of the recent flare-up on the contact line are revealed to the world, the two sides in the conflict are left licking their wounds and counting their casualties. Once again, the awareness sinks in the mind of global leaders that the phrase “frozen conflict” for Karabagh (Artsakh) is a misnomer. Furthermore, the dispute over the enclave is not confined between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but lies right on the fault line of the East-West confrontation and a conflagration may trigger an even broader conflict that the immediate stakeholders can either predict or control 

Whatever the reason behind the aborted blitzkrieg by Azerbaijan, the problem is fraught with dangerous implications. 

An editorial in London’s Guardian cites a number of reason for the recent outbreak: “All sorts of local factors could pile extra fuel on the immediate fire: nationalist sentiment and warmongering slogans on both sides and indeed, revelations from the Panama papers which pile extra pressure on Azerbaijan’s presidency, which could make incendiary talk of reconquering lost territories seem like a welcome diversion.” 

War mongering is not in Armenia’s interest, but the foreign press always needs to look un-biased by citing some falsehoods in the guise of presenting both sides of the issue. In addition to the above reasons, Turkey’s intentions and inclinations to incite Moscow must not be discounted. Although President Barack Obama snubbed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Washington’s Nuclear Summit for his self-serving NATO activities, he would certainly welcome the latter’s role as the point man in NATO’s aggressive moves in the region. 

During the brief war, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that Ankara would “stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Azerbaijan in the face of Armenian aggression and occupation until the end of time.” And he added, “until all Azeri territory is recovered, including Nagorno Karabagh.” 

Turkey is a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and therefore is supposed to remain impartial. In fact, it was the only country that expressed any sort of enthusiasm for the scary flare-up. 

The premature congratulations sent to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev “for his victory” by Turkish President Erdogan and the dispatch of ISIS fighters from Raqqa via Turkey to Azerbaijan demonstrated amply that Turkey was the main instigator of the recent conflict. 

Armenia did not receive from any quarter the kind of support that Ankara offered Azerbaijan, not even from its strategic ally, Russia, which at best plays the role of mediator to restore ceasefire. Even bombing the civilian population in Armenia’s Tavoush region did not trigger any clause of collective security treaty with Russia. Instead, adding insult to injury, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, after visiting Yerevan and Baku, announced that Russia will continue to sell arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan to maintain military parity. 

It turns out that even that absurd policy of parity was not sustainable because Armenia was fighting Azeri forces with weaponry from the 1990s. Armenia scarcely has the resources that the oil-rich Azerbaijan does. That is to say, until recently, when the price of oil globally took a huge hit, sinking with it the Azeri manat. 

It is a confirmed fact that 85 percent of Azerbaijan’s arms are supplied by Russia and the rest by Israel and the US. Recent arms contracts with Russia amount to $4.5 billion and with Israel to $1.6 billion. 

It is ironic that an Israeli Knesset delegation visited Armenia and placed a wreath at the Genocide Memorial while Israeli Defense Forces were manning Kamikaze drones on behalf of Azerbaijan, creating new Armenian martyrs during this solemn month. 

A paper published by Frederik Wesslau, the director of the Wider Europe Program, states that “none of the co-chairs of the [OSCE] Minsk Group — Russia, US and France — have demonstrated the sort of political will necessary to find a solution to the conflict. Of the three, Russia has the most leverage over Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also the least interest in seeing an actual resolution to the conflict. The unresolved conflict makes both countries dependent on Moscow and severely limits their options for geopolitical alignment. Russia is able to play the sides against each other, giving it substantial influence over the entire South Caucasus region.” 

Moscow’s policy has been duplicitous; while Prime Minister Medvedev points his finger at Turkey, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov apologetically states that “we are not blaming Turkey for the recent war.” 

Incidentally, Lavrov is an ethnic Armenian and his contribution to Armenia is no different than Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan before him and several Byzantine emperors of Armenian origin. Indeed, in their zeal to demonstrate their allegiance to Byzantium, they destroyed historic Armenia. 

Lavrov has announced that all the elements of a final solution are in place and may be implemented soon. That does not auger well for Armenia, which, at this time, is bracing for the worst. 

Last November, during the Russian-Turkish standoff, there were voices heard at the Russian Duma seeking to abrogate the Kars Treaty of 1921, which gave rise to speculations by pundits that a correction of the Armenian-Turkish border was around the corner and that some Turkish-occupied territories may be ceded to Armenia. In addition, the raging civil war in Turkey gave more credence to those speculations. 

But Turkey is about to solve its internal conflict the way the Sultans, Ittihadists and the Kemalists have done before now: by massive slaughter of the restive Kurds with the collusion of the West. 

Now, the political tides are turning and a sense of isolation has descended upon Armenia. 

The elements of a settlement to which Lavrov has been referring could not be anything other than the Madrid Principles, which call for territorial concessions by Armenians against some relief to Karabagh for self-rule, projecting a referendum for an as-yet-undetermined date to shape its political future. Russia has always sought to introduce its own peacekeeping forces between the warring factions in order to expand its presence in the Caucasus. 

At this point, the sobering facts are falling into place to assess the course of events realistically. 

War-weary citizens of Armenia sometimes grumble that their miseries stem from the Karabagh conflict. 

However, now everyone realizes that an aggression against Armenia by Baku is a necessary element of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy. If there was no Karabagh problem, Aliyev still would claim the territory of Armenia proper itself, based on a manufactured history that Armenians have been recent settlers in “historic Azeri” lands. That claim also jibes well with Ankara’s Ottomanist ambitions to wipe out Armenia from the map of the region, as Armenia has been a tough nut to crack while Georgia is more amenable to major Turkic designs. Christianity does not seem to amount to a political factor for Georgia as they have been coordinating their policies with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Also, prevalent Russophobia in Georgia has proven to be conducive to the internal Turkification of that country. 

For the Turkic world, Armenia remains Russophile, deserving a different treatment and different fate. But historically that Russophilia has not always yielded political dividends. 

The sudden sense of isolation has sobered up Armenians in the homeland and around the world. 

A dramatic initiative was taken by the former President Levon Ter-Petrosian to call on Serge Sargisian for consultation over the grave prospects of Karabagh situation. There is no full report on their discussions but Ter-Petrosian has stated that this is not the time to criticize the government’s mistakes, which is also a positive signal for all the naysayers around the world. Up until recently, Ter-Petrosian was calling to dismantle or “deconstruct the kleptocracy of Serge Sargisian,” while the latter called his predecessor an “unprincipled politician.” Levon Zurabian, Armenian National Congress Party’s front man in the National Assembly had announced earlier that any territory evacuated by Armenian forces must be filled by peacekeepers, causing some criticism. Now the events seem to veer that way. 

The two presidents’ meeting certainly focused on the situation in Karabagh. Despite bravura on the Armenian side, some strategic positions remain in Azeri hands, boosting their morale. 

There has been a plethora of spontaneous rallies of Armenians around the world. Volunteer groups are moving to the frontline and a worldwide protest movement has been triggered from Los Angeles to Moscow and from Paris to Buenos Aires. The Supreme Patriarchate of the Armenian Church has arrived in Karabagh, accompanied by Catholicos Aram I of Cilicia. There is a patriotic fever reminiscent of the Sardarapat war in 1918. 

It is hoped that this worldwide solidarity results in permanent unity throughout the current crisis and beyond. 

There is talk that the two presidents’ meeting will impact the domestic political realignment in Armenia shaping the upcoming elections in 2017. 

It is a common adage that peacetime disperses Armenians and crises rallies them around, while survival and victory demand national unity at all times.

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