Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Introducing Armenia to President Trump

Introducing Armenia to President Trump 

Ateshian Forces Resignation of Istanbul Patriarchate Religious Council Chair
Horizon Weekly

IChairman of the Religious Council of the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul Bishop Sahak Mashalian has announced his resignation in a statement released on Monday , stating that General Vicar Aram Ateshian is to blame for his decision, reported Istanbul-based Agos newspaper.
Mashalian stated in his resignation letter that his decision came after the Clerical Assembly meeting on February 13 , where he stated that Archbhishop Ateshian had “unfavorable attitudes.” Mashalian also announced that he will step down from his candidacy for the patriarchal seat, and has plans to leave Istanbul.

The Religious Council voted Archbishop Aram Ateshyan to lead the Patriarchate after Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan II withdrew from his duties due to his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mashalian in his letter presented the proper procedure of holding elections for the patriarch, indicating Ateshian’s attempts to sabotage the process.  He informed that the religious council had set up a commission comprised of 4 clerics, which was to submit an application to the authorities about holding new elections. But Ateshian did not allow the letter to be submitted to the governor of Istanbul as a result of which the submission process has been suspended.Mashalian noted that the elections should be held following the constitutional referendum in Turkey, referring to the Armenian community leader Bedros Sirinoglu and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan January 27 meeting , adding that it should have accelerated the election process. Ateshian, however, used this information as another pretext to avoid elections.

“Ignoring his promise given to the community, he told the media without consulting with anyone that no application will be submitted for holding elections. The Religious Council of the Patriarchy, and I, the chairman of the Council, got to know about it from media,” the bishop stated.During the February 13 meeting, Mashalian stated that the application of the commission should be immediately submitted to the governorate and released to the community. “His Eminence Aram managed to manipulate this issue with his capricious and threatening attitudes; he even threatened us with leaving the meeting,” he wrote in the letter, adding that his proposal was rejected.“It’s evident there can be no Patriarchal elections as long as Aram Ateshian holds the position of the General Vicar of the  Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople. Today already everyone shares the opinion that the existing situation, when the post is vacant, while the chaos goes deeper, worsens due to Aram Ateshian,” said Mashalian, adding that the Patriarchal post has never been vacant for eight years in the Armenian Church’s history. “Manipulating for 8 years by using his powers, abusing his position has criminal nature and he deserves punishment according to Church laws,” the Bishop said, announcing that he steps down from the post of chairman of the Religious Council.“Clerics, leaders and people, leave me alone. This is a speech of defeat. But I am not the only defeated, you are all defeated. Once again only one person remains victorious,” Mashalian concluded in his letter. 
Azerbaijan unhappy with Francois Hollande’s statement on self-determination for Karabakh
14 Feb 2017 

An Azerbaijani lawmaker blames France for pro-Armenian position and urges to send a note to Paris over President Francois Hollande’s recent statement on Nagorno Karabakh.

MP Azay Guliyev on Tuesday criticized French President Hollande’s latest comments on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, calling on Baku to send a note of protest to Paris.  He believes “France supports Armenia in violation of the norms of international law.”

Addressing the Parliament’s plenary sitting, the MP described Hollande’s recent statement on self-determination for Karabakh as a “non-constructive” step.

He said “France is a country which has the closest relationship with Armenia” and noted that French citizens constitute the majority of those visiting Nagorno Karabakh.

The comments come after French President Francois Hollande’s remarks at the annual dinner with the Coordinating Council of the Armenian Organizations of France .  Addressing the meeting Francois Hollande announced plans to discuss the Karabakh issue with Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan during the latter’s visit to France in March. He emphasized the urgency of finding a way out of the conflict “because the murderous clashes that occurred during those terrible days of April 2 to 5 remind us that deaths are reported in Nagorno-Karabakh almost every day.”

“So we have to act. We must act, first of all, to stop hostilities when they happen – this is what we did with our Russian and American partners: there was a halt to the fighting, the opening of a dialogue , a truce. But we cannot be satisfied with a truce, because the ceasefire is not the solution. We must open real negotiations for the resolution of the conflict. It would be a serious mistake, once again, to consider that the situation has stabilized. We need to find elements of conflict resolution. We know them; they have been fixed; these are the Madrid principles – I will not state them here – but we know that they will lead, if they are applied, to the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Hollande stated, in part.

“This was the first time a President of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing country declares that if applied, the Madrid Principles will lead to the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Kayts Minasyan,  analyst at the Center of Strategic Studies of France, said in an interview with Public Radio of Armenia . Accoridng to him, no President had done it before.

“President Holande spoke about the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination, without even referring to the other ones. Surely, other principles are also included in the Madrid Principles, but he didn’t speak about territorial integrity,” said Minasyan, who was present at the dinner.

Commenting on Azerbaijan’s anger over the statement, the expert said: “Azerbaijan has recently suffered three defeats on the diplomatic fields.  First, France’s current Interior Minster is on Azerbaijan’s black list for having visited Nagorno Karabakh two years ago. The second defeat was President Holande’s statement. The third defeat was the refusal of the French Court to accept a complaint from Azerbaijan against MP Francois Rochebloine, a friend of Armenians.”

Armenian defense ministry says Karabakh positions came under shelling
from Azerbaijani side
February 12

The Azerbaijani side opened fire at Nagorno-Karabakh’s positions at 
the contact line in the conflict zone overnight to Sunday, the Armenian 
defense ministry reported.

"Overnight from February 11 to February 12, the Azerbaijani side
committed about 35 ceasefire violations at the contact line in
Nagorno-Karabakh," the ministry said. "More than 48 shot were made
from firearms."

"The Azerbaijani side fired five shells were fired from 62mm and 80mm
mortars at the eastern section of the contact line," the ministry
said. "Armenian army unit continue to perform their duties and resort
to response action when necessary."

Earlier in the day, the press service of the Azerbaijani defense
ministry reported the death of an Azerbaijani soldier in an exchange
of gunfire in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The situation along the contact line of conflicting sides in
Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan,
deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2, 2016 when fierce
clashes began. The parties to the conflict accused each other of
violating the truce. On April 5, a ceasefire agreement was reached
with Russia’s mediation.

The participants in talks on Nagorno-Karabakh in Vienna on May 16,
2016 involving the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia and mediated
by the foreign ministers from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries
(Russia, the United States and France) agreed to observe ceasefire in
the region in compliance with the 1994-1995 accords. The parties to
the conflict also agreed to complete as soon as possible the work on
an OSCE tool on investigating incidents on the contact line.

In a trilateral statement adopted on June 20 following a summit of
Russian Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in St. Petersburg, the
sides confirmed their commitment to the normalization of the situation
along the engagement line in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The conflict between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan over
Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of
Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated
by Armenians, broke out in the late 1980s.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military
action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories.
Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed
30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh
republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

National News Agency Lebanon (NNA)
Guidanian calls for respect of the special nature of Armenian community
February 12, 2017 Sunday

Minister of Tourism, Avedis Guidanian, emphasized on Sunday the
importance of respecting the specificity of the Armenian community
when dealing with the issue of a new electoral law that preserves the
equity of representation.

"It is important to respect the specific nature of the Armenian
community, which is no less important than that of the Druze
community, which the Progressive Socialist Party is talking about,"
Minister of Tourism noted during an interview on Voice of Lebanon

Guidanian said that the new electoral law that would be issued would
be approved by the majority of politicians.

The Minister stressed on the importance of parliamentary elections,
hoping that the Armenian deputies get elected by Armenian votes.

He noted that Armenians have been marginalized over the past 25 years.

He also called on all politicians to issue an electoral law that
ensured equity in representation to all Lebanese components.

"I warn against setting up new (electoral) divisions at the expense of
Armenians," he went on.

Guidanian said that the Tachnag Party would participate in the
upcoming parliamentary elections whether the electoral law adopted was
proportional or majoritarian.

He assured that the Tachnag Party's stance towards the electoral law
was independent of any of its political alliances.

"At a certain stage, it is important to apply the mixed electoral law
before arriving to the full proportional law," the minister concluded

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