Saturday, 7 May 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... BREAKING NEWS Bill on recognition of Karabakh independence

Source: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia
Released: May 5 , 2016 Yerevan time today at 12.30 noon 

Thursday ’s Cabinet meeting, the Government of Armenia approved the
bill on recognition of the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic (NKR/Artsakh).

“Recognition of the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is
due to the results of discussions between Armenia and
Nagorno-Karabakh, [and] considering further developments, including
external factors.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia made the aforesaid
conclusion with respect to the draft law On Recognizing the Republic
of Artsakh, and which opposition MPs Zaruhi Postanjyan and Hrant
Bagratyan had submitted.

And the respective justification, which these deputies have
submitted, states that Armenia was not recognizing the NKR because the
negotiations within the framework of Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group may set another status
for the Republic of Artsakh, and first and foremost, with its

Azerbaijan rejects the problem’s any solution which does not
coincide with the borders of the former Azerbaijan SSR and is beyond
the borders of the Artsakh autonomy. The Madrid Principles, and their
updated version that was introduced in 2009, are contrary to the NKR
Constitution, and therefore are unacceptable. 

May 5 2016
Armenian Parliament to Consider Recognizing Breakaway Region
Sara Khojoyan

The Armenian government on Thursday backed discussion of a bill to
recognize the independence of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region,
paving the way for a vote in parliament that could trigger fresh
conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan.

The bill, drafted by two opposition lawmakers including a former prime
minister, won’t be considered at a meeting of parliament on Tuesday
and the next possible session is on June 6, Arsen Babayan, a spokesman
for the legislature, said by phone. Azerbaijan warned this week that
Armenian recognition of the breakaway region would end peace talks to
resolve a conflict that flared into a four-day war in April, killing
more than 140 people.

Armenia may be seeking to create “diplomatic leverage” against
Azerbaijan by threatening to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh and the bill
“most likely will not come to a vote,” Richard Giragosian, director of
the Regional Studies Center in Yerevan, said by phone Thursday.

Low-level clashes have continued despite a Russian-brokered truce that
halted last month’s fighting, the bloodiest since a war that claimed
30,000 lives and created 1 million refugees in the early 1990s. Russia
negotiated a cease-fire to the war in 1994 after Armenians took over
Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan
following the collapse of the Soviet Union. International mediators
have failed since then to resolve a conflict that threatens to
destabilize a region bordered by Turkey, Russia and Iran, as well as
disrupt a new energy corridor between central Asia and Europe.

‘Escalate Tensions’

The government’s decision concerning the bill “does not imply an
endorsement of that initiative,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in
a website statement. President Serzh Sargsyan would inform the leaders
of Russia, the U.S. and France, whose countries are leading the
mediation effort, before any move to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh, it

Russia is “very closely watching” the Armenian government’s action,
which wasn’t discussed with the authorities in Moscow, Kremlin
spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Thursday.
“We continue to expect that the parties to the conflict will avoid any
steps that could disrupt the rather fragile truce and escalate
tensions in Karabakh.”

Recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh would be an “Armenian provocation”
that ends the 22-year peace process conducted by the mediators under
the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe, the Azeri Foreign Ministry said in an e-mailed statement on

Azerbaijan, the former Soviet Union’s third largest oil producer, has
attracted more than $50 billion from BP Plc and its partners in recent
years. BP’s oil pipeline which carried 720,000 barrels per day from
Baku to the Mediterranean last year runs fewer than 30 miles from the
conflict zone at one point.

Sargsyan, a former Karabakh military commander, said in an April 23
interview that it’s “unreasonable” to return to negotiations for now
and that war can resume “at any moment” following April’s clashes.

Azerbaijan says any settlement must be based on respect for its
territorial integrity including Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia says the
enclave’s Christian Armenians, who declared independence from
largely-Muslim Azerbaijan in 1991, have the right to

APA news agency, Azerbaijan
May 4 2016
British envoy advises Baku to convince Armenia of its 
good intentions
The British ambassador to Azerbaijan has said that Baku should
convince Armenia of its good intentions.

"When we talk to Armenia, we tell them that peace should be reached
through returning the territories [around Nagorno-Karabakh] back to
Azerbaijan. And first thing they say is that if the territories are
returned, they will be closer to Azerbaijan and it will be easier for
Azerbaijan to attack them. That is why they should be convinced that
Azerbaijan has no intention to attack after the territories are
returned. Armenia should be convinced that after the return of
territories it will not find itself in a more dangerous situation or
that refusal to return territories will make it more secure. People
die every day now. A new situation which will emerge after the return
of the Azerbaijani lands will prevent loss of life," Ambassador Irfan
Siddiq told APA news agency in an interview.

"I went to Armenia in December [2015], met my colleague there and had
meetings with some [Armenian] officials. I was told there that the
military conflict was continuing and rhetorics coming from Azerbaijan
do not make it easy to find a solution to the conflict. This does not
ensure security, makes them [Armenians] defensive and makes the
Armenian side want to preserve the situation rather than to be open to
changes," Irfan Siddiq said.

The ambassador went on to say that a Karabakh peace deal would open
new development opportunities for the parties to the conflict.

"Secondly, more should be talked about benefits which peace will bring
to both sides. Not just in terms of security, but also in terms of
prosperity and regional cooperation. This includes transport,
communication and trade links which will likely make the life of the
Azerbaijani and Armenian people better, more prosperous and safer," he

The ambassador went onto say that Baku would benefit from a
partnership agreement with the EU.

"The EU welcomed Azerbaijan's proposal of a strategic partnership
agreement... It will be also good for Azerbaijan to cooperate with the
EU. This agreement will allow the EU to render technical, legal,
financial support to Azerbaijan and contribute to the country's
development. I think Azerbaijan and the EU should sign this agreement
when it is possible," he said.
Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan creating more reserves for 
longer war and declares re-enlistment
by Tatevik Shahunyan
Thursday, May 5, 18:15

Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan says activities are underway to create
supplementary reserves for longer-term combat operations against
Armenian forces.

According to the Azerbaijani Ministry, supply of military units on the
first line of defense as well as in the combat zone is implemented in
accordance with standard quotas.

"Troops are being supplied with all caliber ammunition and shells
designated for various weaponry systems, hardware and other combat
equipment produced in local defense industry facilities, Russia and
other countries," the report reads.

In addition, the Defense Ministry has announced re-enlistment of
volunteers, particularly the men and women under 40, who had served in
the army and have secondary education, Turan reports.
BBC’s reference to Azerbaijan proves it fails to deceive 
Western media

“Nagorno-Karabakh: BBC visits Azerbaijan’s side of frontline” article
published on the BBC website on May 3 once again proved that no matter
how hard Azerbaijani authorities try to deceive Western media,
journalists won’t turn a blind eye to the obvious facts and turn into
propaganda tools.

The author deems it necessary to point out Azerbaijani authorities
allowed Western media representatives to visit Azerbaijan's side of
the frontline only 20 days after the Four Day War, reminding that in
April, the BBC had a chance to report from the other side of the
contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Afterwards, the journalist hints that Azerbaijani authorities limited
their opportunities.

“Azerbaijan's government took us and other journalists on a carefully
organised trip to several villages and two hospitals,” writes the
author mentioning that clutching a photo of his brother, a man was
waiting when their bus arrived.

It’s important to note that the author annihilated Azerbaijan’s
propaganda efforts.

When using conflict related terminology, or propaganda theses, the
author remained objective. For example, he avoids stating that Armenia
is a part of the conflict despite Azerbaijani claims that
Nagorno-Karabakh is backed by Armenia, “The ethnic Armenian
authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh claim they are defending their right
to self-determination”.

Summing up, we should agree that Western media and journalists despite
certain interests remain true to their principles. This goes to prove
that Azerbaijan’s calculations are wrong in all directions,
considering its mistakes not only in the military and political, but
also information sphere.

Armen Minasyan, political scientist 
Embassy: Azerbaijani media misquoted UK ambassador to 

YEREVAN. – The words of the UK Ambassador to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddiq
are a misquote, UK Embassy in Armenia told the Armenian
News-NEWS.amcorrespondent commenting on the interview of the British
diplomat to one of Azerbaijani agencies.

According to APA agency, UK Ambassador to Azerbaijan said:
“Considering Armenia’s unwillingness to come back to the peace talks,
I think this is very much linked which the clashes that happened in
the last few weeks”,

“This appears to be a misquote. The point Ambassador Siddiq was making
was that the reason why Armenia is not keen to return Azerbaijani
territories is because of the belligerent rhetoric and recent clashes
reinforcing a sense of insecurity,” the Embassy said.

“As we have said, the excerpt from the interview does not appear to be
an accurate reflection of what the ambassador said, and, therefore, we
cannot comment on it.”
Conference in European Parliament launches a network of 
Armenian, Jewish, Roma and Assyrian Diasporas
05 May 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

On Monday May 2 a coalition of Jewish, Armenian, Roma and Assyrian
organizations launched a charter “For a Europe of Diasporas” at a
conference in the European Parliament. The document is a call for
Europe to rediscover and value its diasporas. To support the Charter
for a Europe of Diasporas.

The document emphasizes that diasporas “are a product of Europe’s
history, [a] part of the European tapestry, have contributed to making
European civilization what it is today and will continue in the
future”. It defines diasporas as “transnational communities [that]
share a common cultural heritage transmitted through generations.”
Says Ismael Cortez of the UNESCO Institute of Philosophy: “many
believe that there is an original European ethnic group. That is
nationalist thinking. The perspective of the project “A Europe of
Diasporas” is that Europe has always been a mosaic of peoples. […] My
people, the Roma, are truly European as much as the rest.”

Conference panels discussed two areas of concerns in particular:
education and the need for “inclusive narratives”. The charter’s call
for “children affiliated with a diaspora [to] have an opportunity to
learn of their background and heritage” was backed by the
representative of the European Commission, Ms Kristina Cunningham: “we
are arguing that schools today need to take the mother tongue of every
child into account to support the development of children’s individual

The panel on “inclusive narratives” addressed the effects of the near
absence of diasporas in the narratives that shape people’s
understanding in the media, history teaching, the entertainment
industry and public discourse. This theme also addressed the
importance of remembrance of genocides and the toxic effects of their

“We need wider recognition of the specificity of diasporas as a
phenomenon. We need a very clear commitment on this”, said Vicente
Rodriguez of TernYpe International Roma Network. Jordi Sebastia MEP,
co-chair of the Parliament’s intergroup on National Minorities,
Traditional Communities and Languages, believed it can and should be
done: “it is possible to preserve the identity of [diasporas] and also
to share common values about human rights and democracy in Europe, but
we need to make the effort. ”

Says Nicolas Tavitian of the Armenian General Benevolent Union Europe:
“people’s identities have been instrumentalized for power, oppression
and conflict. We urgently need a new ethic of diasporas. This is what
the charter has to offer.”

The conference also featured the award ceremony of the photo
competition “A Europe of Diasporas”. Andreea Tanase was announced as
the winner of the competition for her photo “Holy Thursday”. The best
20 pictures of the competition selected by the professional jury
members were exhibited in the Parliament during the conference. The
exhibition  illustrates the life and legacy of the Jewish, Armenian,
Roma and Assyrian diasporas in Europe. It can be made available upon

The project also produced a map available online and a mobile
application that display the heritage of diasporas in Europe. 

New term at House for unopposed Mahdessian
MAY 4TH, 2016

Vartkes Mahdessian will be the representative of the Armenian
religious group at the House of Representatives for another term as he
was the only person to express interest in the post, it was announced
on Wednesday.

Mahdessian, is to be formally declared as the representative of the
Armenian religious group on Thursday by the Chief Returning Officer
Constantinos Nicolaides, an hour after the deadline for objections on
MP candidacies expires. Mahdessian has held the same position since

The procedure to fill the posts for representatives of the Maronite
and Latin religious groups, is to take place as usual, through vote on
election day which is May 22.

The Maronite candidates are Ioannis Lakkotrypis, Yiannakis Mousas,
Michalis Hadjiroussos, and Marios Hadjihannas. Candidates for the post
of the representative of the Latin religious group are Antonella
Mantovani and Constantinos Siamtanis. 
Juventus looking to hijack Arsenal’s deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan
05 May 2016
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Juventus are looking to hijack Arsenal’s deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan,
according to reports, according toDaily Express.

Mkhitaryan has been in fine form for Borussia Dortmund this term and
is closing in on Kevin De Bruyne’s Bundesliga assist record of 21.

The Armenia international needs to set up just two more goal’s to
surpass the Manchester City star and has also weighed in with an
impressive 18 goals.

Mkhitaryan reportedly attracted the attention of the Gunners who are
said to be close to a deal for the 27-year-old.

The Sun claimed last month the winger had already begun house hunting
in London ahead of a summer move to the Premier league.

However, reports in Italy now suggest Juventus are planning to hijack
Arsenal’s deal after failing in their attempts to sign Isco and Oscar.

Website transfermarketweb claim Juve chiefs are hoping to fast-track a
deal and are willing to pay in the region of £24million.

Mkhitaryan’s current contract with Dortmund expires in June next year

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