Monday, 17 April 2017

Armenian News ,,, A Topalian,,, The Promise and The Ottoman Lieutenant

The Promise and The Ottoman Lieutenant

[article that reviews and contrasts two films,  both stories during 
the Armenian Genocide. The second one funded by Turkish sources 
and cleverly coincides with the release of the first, and is described 
as a 'whitewash']

Vestnik Kavkaza
April 15 2017
Azerbaijan’s military power becomes richest army in region

ssian international television network Russia Today (RT) has
published a photo gallery titled 'The Azerbaijani Army: The richest
army in the region'.

The Azerbaijani army is in constant combat readiness because of the
unresolved conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, Azerbaijan has increased its
military budget twenty-fold.

Global Firepower ranks Azerbaijan 60th, leaving Armenia behind by 34
positions. Over the past 15 years, the Azerbaijani army has made a
huge leap. The country’s military expenditures in 2003 amounted to
$160 million, and in 2013 to $3.7 billion.

Azerbaijan buys weapons of Russian, Israeli and Turkish production.
The aviation of Azerbaijan considerably surpasses that of Armenia. The
country’s Ministry of Defense has purchased second-hand MiG-25 and
MiG-29 fighter jets from Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

"Today Azerbaijan has at its disposal 314 tanks, 1600 armored
vehicles, 119 self-propelled artillery systems, 240 towed artillery
pieces, 191 salvo fire systems. The Azerbaijani army has 70,000 active
manpower with another 300,000 in reserve. The Navy of Azerbaijan has
31 combat ships,” RT said.

RFE/RL Report
Armenian General Named New Head Of Russian-Led Alliance
April 14, 2017
Arman Hovhannisyan
After nearly two years of delay, Russia, Armenia and four other
ex-Soviet states appointed on Friday the new, Armenian secretary
general of their Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

The presidents of the CSTO member states unanimously approved the
candidacy of Yuri Khachaturov, Armenia's top army general until last
October, at an informal summit held in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek.

"Khachaturov will take over his duties on May 2, 2017," Valery
Semerikov, the CSTO's acting secretary general, was quoted by Russian
news agencies as saying.

The CSTO member states agreed in 2015 that their representatives will
take turns to run the organization on a rotating basis. An Armenian
official was supposed to replace the Russian-led alliance's longtime
secretary general, Nikolay Bordyuzha, more than a year ago.

However, the presidents of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan decided to extend Bordyuzha's tenure by one
year. They again failed to agree on his replacement at summits held in
Yerevan and Saint Petersburg in October and December last year

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is thought to be the main reason for the
delay. Some CSTO states, presumably including Kazakhstan and Belarus,
were reportedly reluctant to have an Armenian hold the position
because of their warm ties with Azerbaijan.

Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states have repeatedly signed
pro-Azerbaijani declarations on Karabakh in the past, prompting
criticism from Armenia. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko
signed a similar joint statement with his Azerbaijani counterpart
Ilham Aliyev when he visited Baku in November.

Born and raised in Georgia, Khachaturov served in the Soviet army
before joining Armenia's newly established armed forces in 1992. The
64-year-old general was the chief of the Armenian army's General Staff
from 2008-2016. He was appointed as secretary of President Sarkisian's
National Security Council in October.

RFE/RL Report
Ruling Party Rocked By Another Election Scandal
April 14, 2017
Ruzanna Stepanian

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has come under more fire
following the publication of secretly recorded audio purportedly
indicating that employees of one of its wealthy parliamentarians were
told to campaign for his reelection or lose their jobs.

The website posted on Thursday the recording of what it
called a staff meeting that was held by businessman Artak Sargsian's
senior aides in the run-up to the April 2 parliamentary elections. It
features the voice of an unknown man threatening to fire those
employees of Sargsian's SAS supermarket chain in Yerevan who have
failed to guarantee in writing that their friends and relatives will
vote for the HHK member.

"For example, Anush Adamian has brought 14 votes, let's applaud Anush
Adamian," says the man. "How come Anush can bring [so many votes] but
Ashot Aghakhanian can't?

"Why haven't you brought votes? You don't want to? If you treat us
like that, then we'll treat you five times as badly."

The man goes on to praise another woman, Irina Nazarian, who he says
promised to earn Sargsian 44 votes and will be rewarded
handsomely. "You'll rock the elections, get the tickets to Paris, go
there, have a lot of fun, come back and your [higher] position will
await you. Agreed?"

The Office of the Prosecutor-General told RFE/RL's Armenian service
( on Friday that it is "examining" the 40-minute audio
which was swiftly disseminated by Armenian media outlets and social
media users. Even before its emergence, the HHK faced many opposition
and media allegations of foul play in the elections.

Sargsian, who managed to secure reelection in a Yerevan constituency,
did not comment on the embarrassing recording as of Friday
evening. The 43-year businessman has held a seat in Armenia's
parliament since 2004. He has not made public statements on the
parliament floor for at least five years.

Sargsian and other wealthy HHK candidates running for the parliament
already faced last month media allegations that they are bullying
their workers and bribing many other voters for electoral purposes.

The HHK's parliamentary leader, Vahram Baghdasarian, reacted
cautiously to the scandal. He said that law-enforcement bodies should
determine whether the audio is authentic and, if so, whether Sargsian
was aware of the staff meeting.

"Journalists and political forces are quite inventive these days,"
said Baghdasarian. "So it may have been a ploy. But I don't rule out
anything. We will address this topic after the examinations."

At least one opposition group, the Congress-HZhK alliance, seized upon
the recording, calling it further proof that the ruling party
illegally used its administrative and financial levers to win the
April 2 elections. The Congress-HZhK's Aram Manukian said the alliance
will use the audio in its appeal to the Constitutional Court aimed at
annulling the official vote results.

In their preliminary report on the elections released on April 3,
European observers cited "credible information about vote-buying, and
pressure on civil servants and employees of private companies." 
Despite Israel’s denialism its people denitely recognize the Armenian genocide - Yair Auron
15 April, 2017
Anna Grigoryan
Despite Israel denies the Armenian Genocide, the people of Israel stand with Armenians. The Jewish people denitely recognize the Armenian Genocide, Israeli researcher and lecturer, Genocide scholar Yair Auron told “Armenpress”.

“I can say for sure that Israel will not recognize the Armenian Genocide this year and during the upcoming years, which is a deep pain and shame for me. But the people of Israel have the same position as me and stand with us for sure. Still 30 years ago the people had no idea about the Armenian Genocide, but now everybody knows. Since those years this issue has been covered by many news outlets and TV programs. And the people by learning about that have come to the conclusion that the genocide of Armenians has really taken place. Today only the genocide of Jews is a subject of studies at Jewish universities and schools, but the Armenian Genocide is bypassed. But at the university where I am a professor a branch has already been opened where the Armenian Genocide is touched upon and discussed”, Yair Auron said, adding that already hundreds of students have graduated from the university who know about the Armenian Genocide.

The genocide scholar’s interest in the “Medz Yeghern” (Armenian Genocide) arose when he rst read in a news outlet in 1986 that Israel support Turkey and denies the Armenian Genocide. He could not understand the denialism of his country. Yair Auron thinks Armenians should go on with their struggle until other countries and peoples also recognize the genocide.

Referring to the position of the international community Yair Auron noted that nearly 200 countries are UN member states, while only 2-3 dozens of them have recognized the Armenian Genocide, which is a great shame for humanity.

Mosman Daily, Australia
April 13, 2017 Thursday
Premier victim of crude slur
by Andrea McCullagh

Zimmerman goes in to bat for Berejiklian as offensive banner alludes to genocide

A SIGN linking Premier Gladys Berejiklian to the "genocide of
democracy" caused shock and anger during Saturday's North Shore

A giant banner was tied to the back of a blue vehicle and driven
around the electorate on Saturday, witnesses say.

It is understood that Ms Berejiklian - whose relatives were victims of
the 1915 Armenian Genocide - was disgusted by the poster.

North Sydney federal MP Trent Zimmerman intervened after witnessing
the poster near a polling booth in Waverton. He said he was shocked
given Ms Berejiklian's family history.

"It was pretty insensitive and awful to be used for political
purposes," he said.

"It is highly offensive to Gladys and the Armenian community. I think
it is important people recognise that events like the Armenian
Genocide had a profound impact on a lot of people and there's a line
that has to be drawn on what you do to score political points." The
poster had the message: "The most dangerous leader to genocide of
democracy" alongside a photo of the Premier and her name spelled with
a dollar sign.

Mr Zimmerman asked the driver of the vehicle to remove it immediately.
He said he had never met the man before and that he was very defensive
before driving away.

"I said I thought it was offensive that he was using that language,"
Mr Zimmerman said.

"It was beyond the pale." The man had another sign on the roof of his
vehicle which read: "Liberal'$ selling NSW - Vote them out".

Ms Berejiklian is the daughter of Armenian migrants. Her grandparents
were orphaned during the genocide under the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

It is estimated that more than 1.5 million people lost their lives. Ms
Berejiklian attended the 100th commemoration of the tragedy in Armenia
two years ago.

The North Shore by-election took place at the weekend after the
retirement of Jillian Skinner after 23 years in the seat.

The election had not been officially called before deadline but the
Liberal Party was confident of retaining the seat with political
newcomer Felicity Wilson.The party experienced a swing against it of
about 15"per cent.

Premium Official News
April 13, 2017 Thursday
IMF Staff Concludes the Fifth and Final Review under the Extended Fund
Facility Arrangement and the 2017 Article IV Visit to Armenia

Pennsylvania: International Monetary Fund has issued the following news release:

GDP growth is expected to reach around 3 percent in 2017, assuming the
economy continues to build momentum, while end-year consumer price
inflation would reach around 1.75 percent

Armenia’s revenue collection will be above the 2017 budget projection,
enabling additional growth-friendly foreign-financed capital spending
relative to the budget.

The CBA should continue to strengthen the monetary policy transmission
mechanism to better support the inflation targeting framework.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Hossein Samiei
visited Yerevan during March 29–April 12 to conduct discussions for
the Fifth and Final Review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF)
arrangement and the 2017 Article IV consultation.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Samiei issued the following statement:

“Armenia continues to be affected by external shocks. Since late 2014,
the significant decline in remittances and copper prices have weighed
heavily on growth, adversely impacting the fiscal position. GDP growth
in 2016 was only 0.2 percent, deflationary pressures persisted, the
fiscal deficit rose to 5.6 percent of GDP, while the current account
deficit remained below 3 percent of GDP and reserve buffers were
rebuilt. In the financial sector, banks completed the process of
meeting higher minimum capital. In early 2017, economic activity has
shown signs of recovery, with robust private sector credit growth
supported by monetary policy easing. We project GDP growth and
end-year inflation to reach around 3 percent and 1.75 percent,
respectively, in 2017. There are risks to the outlook: the recovery in
remittances and copper prices may not endure, and growth in key
trading partners could be weaker than expected.

“The IMF-supported program is on track. All end-December performance
criteria and structural benchmarks have been met. The team discussed a
policy framework for 2017 as a basis for the completion of the final
review. Additional growth-friendly foreign-financed capital spending
is appropriate given strong evidence that revenue collection will
surpass the budget projection. However, the fragility of the recovery
and risks to revenues require contingency plans, including potential
cuts in non-priority current spending in the event of a revenue
shortfall. The team supports the authorities’ plans to amend the
existing pro-cyclical fiscal rule to enhance the credibility of the
fiscal framework, while protecting growth. The Central Bank of Armenia
(CBA) should remain open to further policy easing, consistent with the
inflation targeting framework. The IMF Executive Board is scheduled to
consider the review in late June 2017. Upon approval, the IMF will
disburse SDR 15.69 million, bringing total disbursements under the EFF
arrangement to SDR 82.21 million.

“Looking ahead, Armenia continues to face significant challenges:
growth remains volatile and narrowly based; the export sector is
relatively undiversified; unemployment and poverty remain high; and
public and external debt are on the increase. This warrants decisive
action to promote sustainable and inclusive growth, including reforms
to attract foreign direct investment, improve infrastructure and
education, tackle corruption, and enhance the business climate. The
authorities should also remain committed to a fiscal path that ensures
debt sustainability, supported by a rigorous implementation of the new
tax code and prioritization of foreign-financed capital spending. The
CBA should strengthen the monetary policy transmission mechanism to
better support the inflation targeting framework and maintain exchange
rate flexibility as a key shock absorber.

“The team met with Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, Deputy Prime
Minister Vache Gabrielyan, Minister of Finance Vardan Aramyan, Central
Bank Governor Arthur Javadyan, Minister of Energy Ashot Manukyan,
Minister of Agriculture Ignati Arakelyan, SRC Chairman Vardan
Harutyunyan, as well as other senior government officials, and
representatives of civil society, the business sector, and the
international community. The mission thanks the authorities and other
interlocutors for their cooperation and hospitality.”

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