Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... Report from Tallish

Report from tallish Five days after the Azeri Onslaught
(in Armenian) 


Death to the Armenians Speech in Stockholm, April 2016
(ensure you watch this to the end for the aftermath)


Sarkisian, Aliyev Discuss Karabakh at Vienna Meeting
16 May 2016 

VIENNA—President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev at talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries’ foreign ministers. The sides agreed on several provisions that seek to deflate the tension, which erupted in early April when Azerbaijan staged a savage attack on all borders of Karabakh and agreed to a meeting in June. 

This announcement was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who also told reporters that Monday’s talks were initiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and included the participation of France’s State Secretary for European Affairs Harlem Desir. 

The participants reached an agreement to take steps toward implementing the provisions of the 1994 cease fire agreement, establishing mechanisms to investigate border incidents, expanding the authority of the team of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to conduct more frequent monitoring of the border, known as the “line of conflict,” and the possible resumption of the peace talks. 

Kerry, Lavrov and Desir issued a statement following the talks in Vienne, in which they reiterated that there can be no military solution to the conflict. The Co-Chairs insisted on the importance of respecting the 1994 and 1995 ceasefire agreements.” 

“The Presidents reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire and the peaceful settlement of the conflict. To reduce the risk of further violence, they agreed to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism. The Presidents also agreed to the expansion of the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office. Finally, they agreed to continue the exchange of data on missing persons under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to which the Presidents committed during the Paris summit of October 2014,” added the statement, 

“The Presidents agreed on a next round of talks, to be held in June at a place to be mutually agreed, with an aim to resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement,” concluded the statement. 

Also taking part in the Vienna talks were Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov, OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov (Russia), James Warlick (US) and Pierre Andieu (France), as well as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Officen Andrzej Kasprzyk. 

Earlier in the day, Sarkisian and Kerry met and reiterated that there can be no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia’s presidential office reported. Kerry also held separate talks with Aliyev. 

Sarkisian also stressed that in order for talks to resume, a process to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the 1994 cease fire agreement must be guaranteed so that mechanisms to investigate border incidents can be implemented. 

The president also expressed hope that the mediating countries would be consistent in their targeted positions and take clear steps to creating favorable conditions for talks to resume between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday that the US’s role in the process was not about “arbitration or mediation,” but is simply driven by a desire to see both sides engage in dialogue, abide by the ceasefire and work toward a comprehensive resolution, adding that Kerry is interested in examining ways with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to reduce the violence in Nagorno-Karabakh. 

“Secretary Kerry definitely wants to discuss… how we can better lower the tensions in Nagorno-Karabakhand deescalate the violence that has sadly continued,” Kirby stated. “He wants to explore ways in which we can ratchet down the tension,” said Kirby. 

Ahead of the meeting the Armenian National Committee of America expressed its support for the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 

“Everything we have seen in the forty-five days since Azerbaijan launched its April 2nd offensive confirms that Ilham Aliyev is hell-bent on conquest, that he’ll only leverage concessions by Nagorno Karabakh to intensify his attacks, and that the OSCE, the international community, and – sadly – our own U.S. government is unable or unwilling to confront ongoing Azerbaijani ceasefire violations that continue to claim lives on all sides. Given Azerbaijan’s track record of escalating violence, we remain profoundly opposed to one-sided deals that require Nagorno Karabakh to make up-front, strategic, and irrevocable security concessions in return for deferred, vague, and reversible Azerbaijani promises regarding Artsakh’s future status,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. 

“We remain supportive of the OSCE platform and hopeful for progress in today’s talks and the timely implementation of concrete confidence building measures – including the placement of a ceasefire monitoring systems at the line of contact and an agreement on the non-deployment of snipers, heavy arms and new weaponry,” added Hamparian. 

Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) shortly before the summit, Warlick said Kerry, Lavrov and Desir will seek “assurances” from Aliyev and Sarkisian that their nations will continue to abide by a Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped a full-scale Armenian-Azerbaijani war in 1994. That, he said, will be the main purpose of the meeting. 

The U.S., Russian and French ministers will also discuss with Aliyev and Sarkisian specific “stabilization measures” that would ease tensions and prevent another flare-up of violence, added the U.S. diplomat. 

In a statement last week, Warlick and his fellow Minsk Group co-chairs representing Russia and France said the Vienna talks are meant to “reinforce the ceasefire regime, and to seek agreement on confidence-building measures that would create favorable conditions for resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement.” 

“There can be no success in negotiations if violence continues, and there can be no peace without a negotiation process,” they stressed. 

Warlick likewise said on Monday that respecting the ceasefire is critical for reviving the stalled Karabakh peace process. “We are hoping for a very positive discussion,” he said. 

RFE/RL Report
Armenian Parliament Avoids Debate On Karabakh Recognition
Astghik Bedevian

The National Assembly refused on Monday to debate at a plenary session
an opposition bill that would require Armenia to formally recognize
Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state.

Only 12 of its 131 deputies voted for the bill's inclusion on the
parliament agenda. Most of them represent the opposition Zharangutyun
party and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun),
President Serzh Sarkisian's junior coalition partner.

Deputies from Sarkisian's Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and three
opposition parties -- the Armenian National Congress, Prosperous
Armenia and Orinats Yerkir -- blocked the motion by not taking part in
the vote.

Earlier in the day, the Armenian parliament's committee on foreign
relations discussed the bill and overwhelmingly recommended that it
does not reach the parliament floor.

The Armenian government did not object to such a debate when it
evaluated the proposed recognition of Karabakh on May 5. It said that
Armenia should consider recognizing the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
(NKR) only if Azerbaijan again attempts to reconquer the disputed
territory by force.

Armenian opposition forces, notably the Zharangutyun (Heritage) party,
have for years pressed for such recognition. Successive governments in
Yerevan have avoided doing that, citing the need not to undermine
peace talks with Azerbaijan mediated by the United States, Russia and

Sarkisian threatened to recognize Karabakh following the April 2
outbreak of heavy fighting along the Karabakh "line of contact" which
left at least 170 soldiers from both sides dead. Azerbaijan warned
Armenia against taking such a "provocative" step.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope on May
5 that Yerevan will not press ahead with the recognition. "We
certainly continue to expect the parties will avoid any steps that
could undermine the shaky ceasefire and lead to an escalation of
tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.

The Armenian parliament majority blocked a debate on the issue just
hours before Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev were due
to meet in Vienna for talks co-hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his French
counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault. 

Ankara, Tbilisi express support to Baku in Karabakh settlement
by Marianna Mkrtchyan
Monday, May 16, 14:30

"The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh should be resolved with respect to
the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan," Turkish
Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said following a trilateral meeting of
the defense ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in Gabala,
Sunday, APA reports. The meeting resulted in a decision to sign a
Memorandum of Understand in the defense field.

Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov said the document will
create a foundation for a new stage of the trilateral cooperation.

"During our meetings, we discussed the military and political
situation in the region and the security issues, as well as the ways
to ensure stability," Hasanov said.

He said the ministers discussed the Karabakh conflict too. The
Azerbaijani minister expressed gratitude to the Turkish ad Georgian
people for supporting Azerbaijan in the settlement of the Karabakh
conflict and in the latest developments on the frontline. 

Garo Paylan: I have always received social networking website
threats, or profanities

Istanbul Armenian activist Garo Paylan, who is also an MP from the
pro-Kurdish “Peoples’ Democratic Party” (HDP) of Turkey, spoke to
Armenian News-NEWS.am in an exclusive interview.

“They are attempting to silence and ‘digest’ not only me, but the
opposition in Turkey,” Paylan specifically said and continued: “And we
are continuing to fight. Of course, there is a greater risk in case of
being an Armenian [member of the] opposition [in Turkey]. The incident
that occurred in the Meclis [i.e. the Grand National Assembly
(parliament) of Turkey] was pre-planned, and it was a lynching attempt
based on hatred.

“I have always received social networking website threats, or
profanities, whose target was my Armenian identity. [But] after the
incident in Parliament, my supporters’ messages have become more

“Targeting of the HDP MPs and the insults toward them continue, and
this is led by the [Turkish] presidential palace.

“[PM] Ahmet Davutoğlu’s removal from office also means one of the
steps in a regime change in Turkey. (…) After Davutoğlu, [Turkish
President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is seeking someone who will listen to
his words; we call this a ‘civilian coup.’ (…) Turkey is going further
away from democracy every day.

“I know the problems of the [Turkish] Armenian community very well.
Before being elected MP, I was fighting for the solution of [these]
problems, and now, I wage the same fight in Parliament. The Armenians
of Turkey were living in a more tranquil period several years ago.

“Armenians can survive in a democratic Turkey; I am fighting for the
fulfillment of this idea.”

Mariinsky Theatre soprano Hasmik Grigorian wins Young 
Female Singer award at International Opera Awards

Soprano of the Mariinsky Theatre Hasmik Grigorian who represents Lithuania, has won the Young Female Singer award at the International Opera Awards ceremony, dubbed as Opera Oscar, held on May 15 at London’s Savoy Theatre, Tass agency reports.

According to the report, the award was a kind of birthday present for Grigorian who turned 35 on May 12. Finalists in this category included Russian soprano singers Ekaterina Bakanova and Aida Garifullina, Golda Schultz and Nozuko Teto of South Africa, and Nadine Sierra of the United States. Grigorian won the Golden Stage Cross Award for the best debut in 2005 and the Golden Stage Cross Award for best performance.

The shortlists for this year’s Awards were selected by the jury chaired by John Alison, editor of Opera magazine and classical music critic with The Daily Telegraph.

The first International Opera Awards ceremony was held in 2013. The key goal of the International Opera Awards is to popularize opera and classical music, the source informs.

Renowned Armenian painter Arsho dies at 75
16 May, 2016

YEREVAN, MAY 16. After battling a serious illness,
renowned Armenian painter Arsho (Arshavir Kirakosyan) died on May 14
at the age of 75. The funeral service will be held on May 16,
17:30-20:00, in the Funeral House at 10b Tevosyan Street.

Arsho painted since the age of 7. Since 1982, he was a member of the
Union of Painters of Armenia. From 1993-2011 Arsho taught at the P.
Terlemezyan College of Arts.

Currently, more than the half of his works is sold. Arsho’s paintings
are preserved in different museums and private collections throughout
the world (England, Canada, USA, Russia, France, Latvia, Germany, and
Netherlands), as well as in various Armenian state institutions
(Sardarapat Museum, Arts Fund of Armenia and elsewhere).

He worked in various genres, from painting to graphics, from ceramics
to sculpture.

[for tho who do not know, the Anti Defamation League is a US Jewish
NGO that resolutely defend the memory of the Holocaust but till now 
defiantly refused to recognise the Armenian Genocide]

ADL to recognize Ottoman Empire’s massacre of Armenians 
as ‘genocide’

“We believe that remembering and educating people about any genocide –
Armenian, the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda and others is a necessary tool
to prevent future tragedies,” says ADL head.

BOSTON  — The massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the early years of
the 20th century was “unequivocally genocide,” the head of the
Anti-Defamation League said.

His added that his organization will support US recognition of the
Armenian Genocide, a move the civil rights group resisted for many

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt on Friday staked out the ADL’s strongest
position on the subject in his blog post for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust
Remembrance Day in Israel, ahead of the organization’s national
convention that began Sunday in Washington, D.C. Greenblatt tied the
events to the Holocaust.

“Let me be crystal clear: …What happened in the Ottoman Empire to the
Armenians beginning in 1915 was genocide,” he wrote.

“We believe that remembering and educating people about any genocide –
Armenian, the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda and others is a necessary tool
to prevent future tragedies,” he also wrote.

Greenblatt said that the Jewish community’s experience regarding the
Holocaust is relevant to the discussion, pointing out that at the end
of World War II, there was “wide­spread shame in the West­ern world at
the real­iza­tion that anti-Semitism was deeply embed­ded across
cul­tures and coun­tries and could pro­duce such hor­ror.”

He cautioned that the passage of time since the Holocaust has in some
way eviscerated the sense of shame that has inhibited anti-Semitism,
and is allowing it to reemerge in full force, which shows that “we
must edu­cate each gen­er­a­tion about the tragedies of the past.”

“Silence is not an option,” he wrote.

Until August, 2007, the ADL, under the leadership of then-National
Director Abraham Foxman, did not use the term genocide to describe the
massacre. It reversed course after an internal debate went public and
a grassroots campaign by Armenian American activists targeted the ADL
in Boston and other cities and towns with large Armenian populations.

Foxman has since used the term Armenian genocide including in a 2014
speech. For many years, the group opposed formal recognition by the US
Congress, citing concerns for the Turkish Jewish community and
relationship between Turkey, Israel and the US.

New England’s ADL Director Robert Trestan told the Boston Globe on
Sunday that Greenblatt’s post was the “most unequivocal statement that
we’ve ever issued.” Trestan took part in meetings between the ADL and
local and national Armenian and Jewish groups, the Globe reported.

The statement does not go far enough, according to Andrew Tarsy, the
former New England ADL director whose dispute over the issue with the
national leadership in 2007 led to his temporary ouster by Foxman, who
later reinstated Tarsy.

Tarsy, a noted civil rights attorney, told the Globe that the ADL
ought to lead conversations about reparations for families.
“Everything that Holocaust reparations has represented should be on
the table,” he said.

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