Thursday, 21 September 2017

Armenian News,., A Topalian...Turkey-Armenia protocols null & void!
Yerevan Will Declare Turkey-Armenia Protocols Null and Void, Sarkisian Tells UN
President Serzh Sarkisian addresses the 72nd UN General Assembly on Tuesday
Says Azerbaijan Has No Moral or Historic Claim to Artsakh 

UNITED NATIONS—In a speech at 72nd UN General Assembly on Tuesday, President Serzh Sarkisian announced that Yerevan will declare the Armenia-Turkey Protocols null and void, saying Turkey has not shown any positive progress toward their implementation. In discussing the Karabakh conflict, Sarkisian told the international body that Azerbaijan has no historic claim or right to Artsakh, adding that its independence must be recognized.

Sarkisian said Armenia has “never made the recognition of the Armenian Genocide a precondition for the normalization of the bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey. Moreover, it was upon the initiative of Armenia that a normalization process was launched, resulting in the conclusion of the Z├╝rich protocols in October 2009.”

“Up to this day, those documents have not been ratified. Instead, they have festerd in some dark drawers of the official Ankara. The Government of Turkey came up with preposterous preconditions for their ratification that run counter to the letter and spirit of the Protocols. I expressed the clear-cut views of the Armenian people on this issue three years ago, when I spoke from this eminent podium,” added Sarkisian.

“Now the time has come for additional explanations. The leaders of Turkey are mistaken if they think that those documents can be held hostage forever and ratified only at the most opportune occasion from their very point of view. The Protocols were negotiated in the existing circumstances in order to find solutions to the actually existing issues,” added Sarkisian before announcing the Yerevan will declare the Protocols null and void.

“We will enter the spring of 2018 without those, as our experience has demonstrated, futile Protocols,” he declared.

Outlining that the struggle for self-determination by the people of Artsakh began almost 30 years ago, Sarkisian went on to explain that any _expression_ of free will by Artsakh has been met with violence, massacres, ethnic cleansing, deportation and war. These tenets by Baku continue today, he explained, enumerating the grave crimes against humanity committed by the Baku regime, including war crimes during the 2016 April War and state policy of armenophobia and xenophobia, which Sarkisian said is poisoning generations of Azerbaijanis.

“Azerbaijan has no legal or moral ground whatsoever to present any claims toward Artsakh. Artsakh has never been part to independent Azerbaijan, and therefore the attempts of its annexation to that particular state cannot be justified,” said Sarkisian.

“All of these lead us to believe that the exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Artsakh is of existential significance. In this regard, I convey the consolidated view of Armenia and Artsakh as well as the one shared by Armenians from all over the globe. I bring this message from Yerevan, where right now Armenia-Diaspora conference is taking place,” announced Sarkisian.

“Meanwhile, everyone should be aware that the Nagorno Karabakh issue is a human rights issue. It can be resolved exclusively through one of the fundamental and inalienable human rights – the people’s right to self-determination,” said Sarkisian.

“At the end of the day, whatever option for the conflict resolution we arrive at, the Republic of Artsakh should not enjoy a status and liberty that might be inferior to the one it enjoys today. Azerbaijan shall recognize and respect the right of the people of Artsakh to decide its own future through a free _expression_ of will. All available international and domestic mechanisms should guarantee the security of the Armenian population of Artsakh,” added Sarkisian who lamented that the lack of international recognition of Artsakh is complicating the already tense situation in the region.

RFE/RL Report
Sarkisian Calls For Immigration, Investments From Armenian Diaspora
September 18, 2017
Anush Muradian

Armenia's government will encourage ethnic Armenians living abroad to
relocate to their historical homeland in an effort to address its
demographic problems, President Serzh Sarkisian said on Monday.

Sarkisian urged Armenian Diaspora organizations to assist in that
endeavor as he addressed hundreds of their representatives attending a
government-organized conference in Yerevan. He also renewed his calls
for greater Diaspora investments in the struggling Armenian economy.

"We note that demographic trends in our country are extremely
concerning and result from many objective and subjective factors of
the last 25 years," he said in a long speech delivered at the Sixth
Armenia-Diaspora Conference. "In the coming years, our efforts will be
aimed at speeding up the natural growth of Armenia's population and
substantially changing the emigration-to-immigration ratio.

"We have declared that our goal is to ensure that Armenia has at least
4 million residents by 2040. Obviously we would have trouble attaining
that goal only by increasing the birth rate, prolonging life
expectancy and taking other steps to improve the demographic picture."

The ambitious goal, he went on, also requires "achieving serious
indicators of immigration into Armenia" in the next 25 years. "In my
view, the realization of this objective will be the main subject of
the next Armenia-Diaspora conferences," he said.

"I believe that we are ripe for seriously discussing the issue of
organizing repatriation," declared Sarkisian.

There are an estimated 8 million to 9 million ethnic Armenians around
the world. Only up to 3 million of them live in Armenia. Most of the
others reside in Russia, the United States, Europe and the Middle

Throughout Sarkisian's nearly decade-long rule, scores of Armenia's
citizens have continued to leave their country for primarily economic
reasons. Opposition politicians and other critics of the Armenian
government blame the emigration on what they see as the Sarkisian
administration's failed economic policies and unwillingness to enforce
the rule of law in the country.

Some participants of the forum were skeptical about Sarkisian's
statement, saying that the authorities in Yerevan should ease
socioeconomic hardship in Armenia and stop people leaving the country
before setting such demographic targets.

"I don't believe in utopias," said Stepan Hovakimian, a representative
of the Armenian labor unions in Los Angeles. "I only believe in real

"Thirty thousand Syrian Armenians came to Armenia. How many of them
stayed here?" said Vasken Kasemjian, head of the Social Democrat
Hnchakian Party in Britain. "There are still problems in Gyumri. More
than 25 years have passed since the [1988] earthquake but there are
still homeless people there."

"Let them solve those problems before speaking of grandiose programs,"
he added.

In his speech, Sarkisian again called on wealthy entrepreneurs from
the Diaspora to invest in Armenia. "All necessary conditions for doing
that and the right business environment have been created in Armenia,"
he claimed.

Greater Diaspora investments in the Armenian economy have been
hampered by the country's flawed business environment. While some
wealthy ethnic Armenian entrepreneurs from Russia, the United States
and other parts of the world have set up shop in the country, many
others have been scared away by government corruption and a lack of
judicial independence.

Those problems are apparently not on the agenda of the
Diaspora-Armenia conference that got underway on
Monday.Representatives of Armenia's main opposition groups were not
invited to participate in the forum.

Nikol Pashinian, a leader of the opposition Yelk bloc, condemned the
snub. "This and several other facts prove that the event is meant to
be a PR stunt by Serzh Sarkisian," he claimed.
Our goal is to have 4 million population by 2040 – President Sargsyan 

Our steps over the coming years will seek to bolster the population’s natural growth in Armenia and achieve a significant change in the emigration and immigration ratio, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said during the 6th Armenia-Diaspora conference.

“Summing up the achievements and shortcomings of the twenty-fifth years of independence, at the first session of the National Assembly of 6th convocation, we put on record our perceptions of the main priorities for the next 25 years. Improving the demographic situation in Armenia was a key focus over there. We are stating that the demographic trends are extremely worrying in our country: they are caused by several objective and subjective factors. Our steps over the coming years will seek to bolster the population’s natural growth in Armenia and achieve a significant change in the emigration and immigration ratio”, Sargsyan said.

In the words of the President, it has been announced that the goal of the authorities is to ensure at least 4 million population in Armenia by 2040. “Obviously, we will hardly achieve that goal by merely increasing the birth rate, life expectancy or by improving the demographic pattern. Nevertheless, we will be steadfastly moving forward in the aforementioned areas. Therefore, this goal implies achieving serious indicators in immigration over the next 25 years”, he said, adding that this will be the main topic of the discussions of the coming Armenia-Diaspora conferences.

“The next Armenia-Diaspora Forum will come as a pan-Armenian discussion of the “4 million Armenia” program and the real start of its implementation. This is what we should agree upon here and right now”, President Sargsyan said.

Sept 20 2017
6th Pan-Armenian Armenia-Diaspora conference concluded, final declaration adopted 

The 6th Pan-Armenian Armenia-Diaspora conference concluded its work on Wednesday in Yerevan with a final declaration. The text of the adopted declaration is available below.

the participants of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Conference held under the title “Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility” in Yerevan on the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the First Republic of Armenia, the 100th anniversary of the Battles of May 1918 and the 2,800th anniversary of the foundation of Erebouni-Yerevan,

Guided by the imperative of consolidation of the potential of all Armenians, ongoing dialogue and multi-layered engagement for the strengthening of the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora triumvirate;

Attaching importance to the joint enshrining of the goals of the nation, the development of plans for accomplishment of those goals, the provision of an opportunity for everyone to participate by different means and the awareness of all Armenians of their collective responsibility for the outcomes;

Taking into consideration the fact that the empowerment of the Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic and the strengthening of their national security, further reinforcement of democratic institutions and systems of governance, dynamic economic development, increase of the living standard of the people and their spiritual, educational and cultural advancement, the preservation of the national identity and cultural development within the Armenian communities of the Diaspora are the guarantees of the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora triumvirate and the collective goals of the entire Armenian nation;

Considering consolidation around spiritual, moral and conventional values, strengthening of the Armenian family and stimulation of the birth rate as vital;

Reaffirming our pan-national responsibility for exercise, by the people of Artsakh, of their inviolable right to dispose their destiny freely, for the development of democracy in Artsakh and for its full-fledged integration into the international community;

Realizing the need for response to the current and potential challenges facing Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora through consolidation of the efforts of the State, the Armenian Church, pan-Armenian structures and community organizations and for the solution to pan-Armenian issues through combined efforts;

With the conviction that the dynamic growth of Armenian communities of the Diaspora in a changing world provides the opportunity to participate in the economic and cultural development of Armenia and Artsakh in a new way and help build a powerful homeland through that effort;

Stating that the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia enshrines the mission of the State to lead a policy on preservation of the Armenian identity and promote repatriation multilaterally, which will convey new quality and content to Armenia-Diaspora relations;

Certifying that the struggle of the Armenian nation for protection of its rights and restoration of justice is hinged on universal values and serves as one of the key benchmarks for our pan-national partnership;

Welcoming the process of formation of the Pan-Armenian Council as the ongoing development and enrichment of a unified agenda, as specification of the pan-national priorities, as consolidation of the intellectual potential of the nation and as the creation of a platform for high-level strategic dialogue;

Staying true to the principles stated in the Pan-Armenian Declaration on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide;

We reaffirm our willingness to further strengthen the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora triumvirate in order to accomplish and resolve the following goals and issues together, with mutual responsibility and through consolidation of human, material and spiritual potential:

to empower the Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic, strengthen the national security of the Republics and make them prosperous, consolidate the Armenian communities of the Diaspora, preserve the national identity and encourage repatriation;

to reach a peaceful and just resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and achieve international recognition of the exercise, by the people of Artsakh, of their right to self-determination;

to implement a more unified and coordinated policy for international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide and elimination of the consequences of the Armenian Genocide planned and perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire and various administrations of Turkey and maintain the firm position, on the frontline, in the struggle of the international community for the prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity, considering this as a moral duty – hinged on universal values and international law – of a nation of genocide survivors to the whole international community;

in the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, to further raise the level of awareness, attach importance to the preservation and transfer of historical memory and lead the struggle against denial and depreciation of the crime, including by legal force;

to strengthen the protection of Armenia, modernize the military-technical, technological and professional potential of the armed forces and enhance the military production complex as a driving force for economic development and technological advancement and as a key direction for implementation of the “Nation-Army” Concept Paper;

to lead a unified struggle against Armenophobia and anti-Armenian propaganda on different information platforms around the world and continue to implement practical programs and coordinated activities to neutralize the impact of such a policy;

to disseminate and strengthen the collective qualities of the national identity among young people, reinforce Armenian schools, bring up generations of Armenians with the spirit of “Armenianness”, introduce modern technologies in Armenian education and develop and implement new programs and projects for homeland recognition;

reinforce within Armenians love, solidarity, tolerance, trust and unity, ensure a favorable environment for Armenians to live in safety and to live a dignified life;

to combine efforts to resist and overcome the challenges facing Armenian communities and identify other potential challenges;

to show multilateral support to Armenians in the Middle East and particularly to the Armenians undergoing trials and tribulations in Syria, preserve Armenian institutions, historic and cultural monuments and cultural assets in that region;

to develop and implement programs for the enhancement of various spheres of activity in the settlements of Armenia and Artsakh (particularly borderline settlements);

to raise the level of awareness of the international community about Armenia and Artsakh, form a pan-Armenian agenda for that purpose and develop and implement a unified policy to achieve the goal through new and conventional institutions;

to exert combined efforts to preserve Armenian historical and cultural heritage in different countries, properly present Armenian culture in the world and help Armenian communities become self-organized;

to consolidate the potential of professionals of Armenia and the Diaspora to support the preservation, dissemination and regulation of the Western Armenian language and the teaching of Armenian and subjects devoted to Armenia and the Armenians in the Diaspora.

We, the participants of the conference, fully hope that all the structures and organizations of Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora, with broad engagement of young Armenians, properly celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia, the 100th anniversary of the Battles of May, as well as the 2,800th anniversary of the foundation of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

We guarantee that this DECLARATION will serve as a benchmark for all Armenians, the state authorities of the Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic, the Armenian Church, as well as pan-Armenian and community structures and organizations to be consistent with the accomplishment of the pan-Armenian goals.
Sept 19 2017
Armenia: Hint of Territorial Concessions to Azerbaijan Sparks Controversy
by Emil Sanamyan 

Armenia's foreign minister suggested the country could hand over certain territories around the disputed Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan as part of a hypothetical peace deal, sparking controversy among Armenians.

The widespread outrage underscores the disconnect between hardened public perceptions of the conflict and diplomatic proposals that have long been the subject of negotiations in the effort to resolve it.

Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian made the remarks on September 18 at the “Armenia-Diaspora” conference in Yerevan. During the question and answer session he was asked about Armenian territorial withdrawals outlined in what is known as the “Madrid Principles” worked out by international negotiators.

“As far as the return of territories, we are talking about those territories that [if returned] would not threaten the security of Karabakh, nor the [conflict’s] resolution,” Nalbandian was quoted as saying. “I cannot add any other details, or negotiations might fail.”

The question was most likely spurred by the outgoing interim United States negotiator for Karabakh Richard Hoagland’s comments on the Madrid Principles made last month.

“There can be no settlement without respect for Azerbaijan’s sovereignty, and the recognition that its sovereignty over these territories must be restored,” Hoagland said .

That statement was widely criticized in Armenian American media as excessively pro-Azerbaijani.

The Madrid Principles are not final but broadly call for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from five former Azerbaijani districts south and east of Nagorno Karabakh and special modalities for two other districts sandwiched between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, linked with the determination of Nagorno Karabakh’s status and workings of other security arrangements.

Most Karabakh watchers will be hard-pressed to remember when in recent years have negotiations not failed between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The last vague document the two sides agreed to was in November 2008, at a time when both countries were still in a particularly intimidated state after Russia's military rout of Georgia. The focus in talks since then has been on preventing an escalation in violence rather than on any actual peace agreement.

Nalbandian’s deputy Shavarsh Kocharian rushed in to express ‘surprise’ by the brouhaha. Nalbandian wasn’t giving anything away, Kocharian assured, insisting that if anything Nalbandian had “added two conditions” to what has been a long-standing provision in the negotiations.

Some in Azerbaijan, meanwhile, crowed over the statement. “Perhaps, Yerevan has finally realized that it is necessary to move towards peace and this is the only chance to avoid a war which Armenia has obviously lost,” wrote commentator Elmira Tariverdiyeva.

Nalbandian’s comments and the subsequent reaction recalled a controversy around Armenia’s previous foreign minister, Vartan Oskanian, in 2001. Oskanian was lambasted then for calling the former Azerbaijani districts around Nagorno Karabakh “occupied.” Incidentally, Kocharian – then an opposition member of parliament – was one of those who criticized Oskanian at the time.

In 2001, as now, Armenian press accounts saw the comments as evidence of a scheming government testing the waters for a possible “sell-out” of Armenian territory. As a result, no Armenian politician has used the term “occupied territories” since.

The Times, UK
September 19, 2017 Tuesday 12:01 AM GMT
Turkey shows its anger over genocide motion

Ankara Turkey summoned the German ambassador to its foreign ministry
in the capital yesterday to raise the matter of a German parliamentary
motion last year that declared the 1915 massacre of Armenians by
Ottoman forces to have been a genocide - a description that Turkey has
long fiercely rejected.

Germany has criticised mass arrests made in Turkey since last year's
failed coup against President Erdogan and demanded the release of a
dozen German or Turkish-German citizens. Angela Merkel, the
chancellor, has also called for Turkey's EU accession talks to be
called off. (Reuters)
Diyarbakir’s St. Giragos Armenian Church continues to be looted
– Armenian community expects measures from authorities 
Vartkes Ergun Ayik, the chairman of the executive board of Saint Giragos Armenian Church Charitable Foundation in Diyarbakir has announced that the largest Armenian Church in the Middle East, St. Giragos Church, has been looted, ARMENPRESS reports Turkish T24 informs.

The chairman of the executive board emphasized that Suri region of Diyarbakir, where the church is located, is until now considered a banned zone as a result of Turkish-Kurdish clashes, and it’s necessary to obtain permits from at least 10 places to go there.

“While we apply to different state bodies for going to the church, thieves easily enter there. After the end of the operations in the region and the heavy damages caused to the church as a result of the operations a lot has been looted from the church. We demand the authorities to take measures”, Ergun Ayik said.

Member of the Turkish parliament Garo Paylan of Armenian origin has referred to the problem. “It’s already a year neither I nor Diyarbakir’s residents are able to enter the region where the church is located. Who loots our church”, Paylan asked a rhetoric question on his Facebook page. 

Public Radio of Armenia
Sept 19 2017
Armenian physicist Aram Papoyan receives 2015 ICO Galileo Galilei Award 

Aram Papoyan from the National Academy of Science in Armenia was presented the 2015 ICO Galileo Galilei Award during the 24th Congress of the International Commission for Optics in Tokyo, Japan.

At the plenary session Aram Papoyan presented a 30-minute report on “Selective reflection of light as a spectroscopic tool.”

Aram Papoyan, Director of the Institute for Physical Research of National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, won the 2015 ICO Galileo Galilei Award for his “considerable achievements in the field of spectroscopic study of high solubility of alkali atoms and his contribution to the development of experimental atomic physics in Armenia.

The ICO Galileo Galilei Award contributes to one of the essential missions of the International Commission for Optics: recognize the promotion of Optics under difficult circumstances. The award was established by the 1993 General Assembly of ICO and has been awarded annually since 1994.

Aram Papoyan was born in Yerevan in 1959. The scope of his study includes laser and atomic physics, as well as quantum and nonlinear optics. In 2004 he received RA President’s Award in Physics for the series of papers on “New possibilities for the study of laser radiation interaction with atomic vapor opened by new optical cells.”

He is a member of the Alfred Kastler Foundation of the French Academy of Sciences and a member of the Armenian Optical Society.

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