Thursday, 30 November 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian... Hrant Dink - Chirac Prize!
November 24 2017 16:37:00
Hrant Dink Foundation receives Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention

The Chirac Foundation has awarded the Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention to the Hrant Dink Foundation in a ceremony held at the Quai Branly Museum with the participation of French President Emmanuel Macron. 

Rakel Dink, the wife of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, received the award with Hasrof Dink, the journalist’s brother, on Nov. 23. 

“On behalf of myself and our foundation, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for this prize, which we hope will give further strength to everyone striving for democracy and going through challenging times in Turkey. Being with you today has made us stronger,” Dink said in her speech. 

Hrant Dink was shot dead with two bullets to the head in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos in 2007 in central Istanbul. The foundation was founded by Dink’s wife after his assassination. 

“When we decided to establish this foundation with our friends after the tragedy that our family suffered in 2007, we had just one intention: to continue Hrant’s efforts with this institution, and try to fill the huge emptiness created in our lives with his struggle for human rights,” Dink said after accepting the prize. The prize is given to “women and men committed to fighting on a daily basis, out on the field, so that tensions do not escalate into serious conflicts.” 

“The racist mentality that made him a target and enemy, and that killed him, is not only trying to get its share of power in Turkey today, but this mentality is rising in the world too, creating new others and enemies and putting up new walls. This world has seen so much pain, isn’t it enough now? So much blood and tears have been shed, isn’t it enough?” she also said. 

Saying that the Hrant Dink Foundation aims to “fight against discrimination,” their goal is also “to overcome the borders in people’s minds,” Dink noted. 

The Chirac Foundation was established in 2008 by the former French President Jacques Chirac, with the mission to “support efforts for prevention of conflicts, dialogue between cultures and increasing quality of access to health services.” 

The Chirac Foundation also presented its Culture for Peace Prize to the Zoukak Theater Company, which “has been contributing, through theater, to the rehabilitation efforts of refugees living in Lebanon camps.” 

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 28 2017
Armenia named among world's top 20 fastest-growing travel destinations 

Armenia ranks 17th in the list of the 20 fastest-growing travel destinations in the world recently announced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The organization tracks international visitors and presents information about which countries are spiking interest, Travel and Leisure reported. And over the past year, Armenia also welcomed an increased number of tourists.

“Throughout its long history (over 3,000 years), Armenia has been plagued with conflict. However now, in more stable times, the country had an 18 percent growth in tourism over the past year. Because it was the world’s first Christian country, many of the most popular tourist attractions are monasteries that date back thousands of years,” the organization noted.

The UNWTO also added that despite long-standing conflict in the Middle East, more visitors are venturing to countries like Palestine, Egypt and Tunisia.

Armenia is re-elected as UNESCO Member of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in case of Armed Conflict
November 28,2017

On November 27, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, launched the 7th meeting of the Second Protocol Member States for “Protection of Cultural Property in case of Armed Conflict 1954.”

In the framework of the meeting, the elections of members of the Committee for Protection of Cultural Property in case of armed conflict took place. Ten candidates were nominated for 6 vacancies. The following members were selected: Italy (48 votes), Armenia (44), Cambodia (43), Japan (42), El Salvador (39), Egypt (32). Hence, Armenia was re-elected for the period 2017-2021.

L.A. Weekly
Nov 29 2017
The Complicated History of Armenian Women's Genocide-Era Tattoos
Liz Ohanesian  

Inside the Natural History Museum's new exhibit "Tattoo," ink on flesh takes myriad forms. A touring exhibition that originated at Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in Paris, "Tattoo" explores millennia of markings, from the ancient tribal patterns that adorned the skin of indigenous people to the colorful sailor-style tattoos still popular in modern day L.A. There are examples of tattoos that are symbols self-_expression_, group identity and punishment. And then there's the 1919 photo of a woman in Aleppo. Tattoos run down her face and onto her chest, which is exposed by her partially open shirt.

The woman is not named, but the caption accompanying the photo gives a piece of her story. She was Armenian and had been able to escape a brothel thanks to the YWCA. The placard notes that during the course of the Armenian Genocide, women who had been captured and made slaves or prostitutes had been tattooed as a means of identification. It's a profoundly disturbing image and snippet of a story that points to an obscure facet of a genocide committed within the Ottoman Empire that is, to this day, denied by Turkey.

Even when your heritage is Armenian, when you are a descendant of genocide survivors, the sight of the tattoos can come as a shock. You grew up hearing about death marches and other atrocities. But the tattoos aren't included in many of these narratives. In 2011, filmmaker Suzanne Khardalian covered the subject in Grandma's Tattoos , a documentary that later aired as part of Al-Jazeera's Witness series. That film, though, was a personal story that delved more into the impact of trauma brought about by the Genocide. The question of why women were tattooed remained unanswered. That, perhaps, is because there isn't one clear-cut reason.

"Every woman's story is different," says Elyse Semerdjian by phone. Semerdjian is a historian who studies the Ottoman Empire and is a professor at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. She's currently working on a book about the Armenian Genocide and gender-related issues. Part of her research for the book includes a look into the history of Armenian women who were tattooed during the Genocide. A page from the Sept. 5, 1920 issue of the Washington Times

Semerdjian explains that the tattoos were used by multiple ethnic groups in rural parts of the Ottoman Empire, particularly Kurds and Arabs. She adds that, while some women may have been taken into a household as a slave, others were adopted by families. "They were traditional forms of tattooing that were worn by women in those communities," she says. "They were marks of inclusion in a tribe in many cases. It meant that those women had the same tattoos as other women in those communities. The Armenian women were not the only ones to receive those tattoos."

That's where deciphering the stories behind the tattooed Armenian women gets difficult. There's a gut reaction to look at them as a means of punishment. There's a long history of that in various parts of the world, according to Lars Krutak, an anthropologist and photographer who studies tattoos and was a consultant on "Tattoo: An Exhibition," citing examples from ancient Chinese and European history. For modern folks, though, the closest comparison might be the numbers tattooed on Jewish people's forearms during the Holocaust.

There's a problem with that kind of comparison, however. At Auschwitz , the tattoos were applied by SS authorities to mark prisoners at the concentration camp. During the Genocide, tattoos don't appear to have been a tool used by the Ottoman Turks, who orchestrated the campaign against Armenians, Semerdjian notes. In some instances, those tattoos may have actually helped women escape death. Semerdjian has found instances of that in her research.

Tattoos have long been used to identify people as being part of a specific ethnic group. Answering generally on the use of tattoos in this regard, Krutak notes, "Tattoo designs spoke about a collective identity because everyone wore ancestral patterns that were handed down from generation to generation. And once you carried the ancestral mark on your body, you were expected to be a responsible family and community member."

In that respect, the tattoos that Armenian women received would mark them as members of a group that was not being persecuted, but they also covered the women's true identities.

"For me, the interesting thing is that the tattoos are working on different levels," says Semerdjian. "It tells us that being tattooed could in some cases camouflage you in a period in which Armenians were supposed to be exterminated and not survive."

She adds, "It does give you a strong sense that the tattoos are about identity at [their] core. I think it produces a strong emotional reaction for Armenians because it's about the erasure of the Armenian identity and this new identity that's being placed on the face."

When World War I ended and some of the Armenian women were able to reconnect with their communities, their tattoos remained. Semerdjian notes that some women tried to hide these permanent reminders of life during the Genocide by using makeup or undergoing procedures to try and remove the tattoos. "They weren't excluded from society," says Semerdjian. "They may have felt stigmatized and ostracized because they were wearing those marks, but they had families and there was no separating them from other Armenians. Yet, psychologically, it does a kind of work that was difficult to undo."

Semerdjian has been poring over archives, including those of the League of Nations at the United Nations, to find photographic documentation of the tattoos, and there isn't much to find. Overall, she says, tattooing Armenian women wasn't an extremely common practice during the Genocide, but the images and stories that do exist illustrate one of the tragedies associated with genocide. "It's a minority of women who ended up rescued during World War I who actually bore the tattoos," she says. "But, the ones who were tattooed, they capture our imagination because it's come to mean so much about that forced assimilation, that moment of forced assimilation."

RFE/RL Report 
European Body Encouraged By Yerevan's Anti-Graft Efforts
November 27, 2017
Naira Bulghadarian

The Armenian authorities have made some progress in their declared
fight against widespread corruption among the country's judges, an
anti-graft arm of the Council of Europe said on Monday.

In a February 2016 report, the Strasbourg-based Group of States
Against Corruption (GRECO) described corruption as an "important
problem for Armenian society." "The judiciary is perceived as being
particularly prone to corruption," it said, also noting an
"unsatisfactory" degree of judicial independence in Armenia.

The 60-page report, based on an April 2015 fact-finding trip to
Yerevan by a GRECO delegation, listed 18 policy recommendations to the
Armenian authorities. In particular, it called for more powers for a
state body that scrutinizes income declarations filed by judges and
other senior state officials as well as their family members.

"Since our report a number of steps have been taken to address issues
raised by us," the GRECO secretary general, Gianluca Esposito, said
after a meeting of the Council of Europe watchdog held in Yerevan.

Esposito insisted that the authorities are moving "in the right
direction." But he also said: "I think that the glass is half full."

In that regard, the GRECO chief mentioned a new Judicial Code which
the Armenian authorities are planning to enact soon. He said it will
be essential for making further progress towards the greater integrity
and independence of Armenian courts.

Justice Minister Davit Harutiunian, who attended the GRECO meeting,
also stressed the importance of the planned code. He further argued
that the authorities have recently widened the circle of individuals
obliged to submit income and asset declarations to a new
anti-corruption commission that will start functioning in
April. Harutiunian claimed that the commission will have sufficient
powers to check the veracity of those disclosures and sanction
officials hiding their revenues.

Despite having undergone frequent structural changes over the past two
decades, Armenia's judicial system is still regarded by many people as
corrupt and dependent on the government. Armenia's former human rights
ombudsman, Karen Andreasian, highlighted the problem in a 2013 report
that accused judges of routinely taking bribes.

At least four Armenian judges are known to have been arrested and
prosecuted on charges of bribery over the past year. 

RFE/RL Report 
Watchdog Skeptical About Sarkisian's Anti-Graft Move
November 29, 2017
Karlen Aslanian

Armenia's leading anti-graft watchdog reacted with skepticism on
Wednesday to a tougher fight against bribery and other corrupt
practices ordered by President Serzh Sarkisian.

Sarkisian issued the order on Tuesday when he met with the leadership
of the Special Investigative Service (SIS), a law-enforcement body
tasked with combatting abuse of power by various state official. "For
us, the fight against corruption is a matter of national security
which simply has no alternative," he said in a speech.

"It's not the first time that I'm hearing that," said Varuzhan
Hoktanian, the director of programs at the Anti-Corruption Center
(ACC), the Armenian affiliate of Transparency International. "That has
been said periodically and is repeated now. Serzh Sarkisian has
repeatedly said such things since [taking office in] 2008."

"So I don't see a fundamentally new anti-corruption policy here,"
Hoktanian told RFE/RL's Armenian service (

Armenia ranked, together with Bolivia and Vietnam, 113th out of 176
countries evaluated in Transparency International's most recent
Corruption Perceptions Index released in January.

Prime Minister Karen Karapetian has repeatedly pledged to tackle
corruption and boost the rule of law in the country since he was named
by Sarkisian to run the Armenian government in September last year. He
has periodically discussed his reform agenda with Western diplomats in
Yerevan. Karapetian's most recent meeting with the U.S. Ambassador
Richard Mills held on October 20 reportedly focused on his
government's anti-corruption efforts.

In a February speech, Mills urged the authorities in Yerevan to send a
"clear message from on high that corruption will not be tolerated and
that no one is above the law." 

RFE/RL Report
EU Envoy Upbeat On Closer Ties With Armenia
November 27, 2017
Ruzanna Stepanian
The head of the European Union Delegation in Yerevan, Piotr Switalski,
expressed confidence on Monday that the EU and Armenia will
successfully implement a newly signed agreement to deepen their
political and economic relations.

Switalski refused to be drawn on the EU's response to the Armenian
government's possible failure to honor its new commitments stemming
from the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
signed in Brussels on Friday.

"I don't find it appropriate to speak of sanctions or failures because
I am quite optimistic that this agreement will give new impetus to our
cooperation," he told a news conference. "I am always optimistic. I
was optimistic months ago that this agreement will be signed this
year, and I am equally optimistic about its implementation."

"We will succeed. I am confident," added the diplomat.

Citing "common values" shared by the two sides, the CEPA commits the
Armenian government to implementing political reforms and
"approximating" national economic laws and regulations to those of the
EU. Yerevan will regularly report to Brussels on "the progress made
with regard to approximation" specified by several annexes to the
agreement. This "regulatory harmonization" will cover business
regulation, agriculture, transport, environment, consumer protection
and even energy.

The 350-page document does not contain far-reaching free trade-related
provisions, unlike an Association Agreement that was negotiated by
Armenian and EU officials in the summer of 2013. That deal fell
through after the Armenian leadership opted to join a Russian-led
trade bloc.

Switalski also announced that the EU plans to provide Armenia with up
to 170 million euros ($200 million) in fresh economic aid by
2020. "But this does not include those opportunities that have been
opened up by this agreement," he said. "I hope that we will be able to
use those funds very efficiently."

Speaking at Friday's signing ceremony in Brussels, the EU's foreign
policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the CEPA "will broaden the
scope of our relations." "It will now be important to implement it in
full, so it can deliver its full benefits," she said. "We will work
together on implementation and on monitoring the implementation we
will bring forward." 

A passionate response to Mkhitarian's treatment at Manchester United


I follow Mkhitaryan and football.

His game went down...
1. Because of maltreatment, even abuse, by obtuse Mourinho. 
2. Mourinho is not interested in exciting football and creative players. He his happy with boring games as long as he wins. 
3. Mourinho also played psychological games (hot and cold, good cop and bad cop treatment) with Mkhitaryan. From day one there was a coldness, if not hostility, toward Mkhitaryan.
4. I watched so many times when Mkhitaryan was substituted mid-game Mourinho wouldn't acknowledge his presence when the athlete left the pitch. Mourinho's behavior is different when he substitutes other players: he smiles at them, pats their back, even shakes their hands in encouragement. This was a repeated public insult to Mkhitaryan.
5. When Mkhitaryan scored or assisted he barely got recognition from mismanager Mourinho. However, Mourinho was eager with his criticism when Mkhitaryan didn't play well.
6. As you know, most of the key players of MU are black. They, too, have been less than impressive. However, Mourinho is careful not to criticize them. But he is free with his criticism of the Armenian Mkhitaryan. I guess snide Mourinho has no fear of being called 'racist' by Armenians or by the remote and small country called Armenia.

The above behavior of Mourinho psychologically hurt Mkhitaryan. He became a ghost on the pitch, his expression downright depressed. I hope he leaves scorpion Mourinho post haste and either returns to his former German club or finds a niche with a British team which appreciates his talents.



‘A shallow social climber’, Meghan’s half-sister termed her.  Sour grapes? Regardless, Meghan sure has climbed high enough. Up the Himalayas of earthly fame for a divorced, second rate, obscure actress. Well done!

‘Are you in love?’ a TV interviewer asked Harry’s parents when they got engaged. ‘Yes!’ Diana beamed but Charles, in his strangulated posh accent, let out: ‘Whatever in love means.’ Pussy-footing words that gave the game away. Diana was the sacrificial victim. (Camilla lurking in the background, witch-like.) Body language and tones are totally different with Harry and Meghan. Harry is caught. Infatuated. In the bag. ‘Accalappiato’, as Italians would say. Will it work? Time will tell.

Meghan is mixed-race, everybody keeps blabbing, just in case you hadn’t noticed. Actually, the skin colour of my gorgeous, former girl-friend Maria, who hailed from Calabria, was darker than Meghan’s but I never thought it mattered a fig. Harping on racial features speaks volumes about the obsessions and hang-ups of Western culture. So liberals and lefties of all hues are enchanted. Racists will be tearing their hair out. Maybe but racism is complicated.

Let’s get real. The neo-liberal, capitalist elites that run globalisation and worship the free market have no interest whatever in racism. Racism is bad for business, see? Promoters of consumerism don’t give a damn about consumers’ skin colour. Why should they? Profit is all that matters to them. If a new race of maculated green mutants emerged, providing they bought and sold the unnecessary gadgets that rule your life, they’d be gleefully welcome. Integrated into the capitalist machine overnight. No, racism has no market value. And the market is the god of our time.

The Left and the liberals find racism a useful stick with which to beat their enemies about the head. Propaganda and rhetoric are one thing, however, reality another. There is no colour bar in any Western country. There are whole rafts of laws, rules and regulations criminalising not just racist acts and crimes – as it is right and proper - but even the slightest suggestion, the faintest verbal expression of racist sentiments. Is racism a red herring then?

Not quite. Racism exists. In the Arab-Persian Gulf migratory serfs, even Muslims, are treated as second-class citizens by the local tribes that pretend to be nations. In Libya black Africans are trafficked and sold like slaves. In Britain a subtle but deeply-rooted  xenophobia is part of the psychic make-up of the native population. George Orwell, a progressive writer, stated correctly that ‘English people consider themselves superior to foreigners’. Whence does this mental racism come from? The result of many historical (and perhaps ‘racial’) factors.  I believe it originates from having being a great empire and never been invaded and conquered, unlike most European countries which have tasted the bitter taste of defeat, humiliation and degradation. A race accustomed, until fifty years ago, to feel like the lords of the earth, well, that’s not going to disappear easily or quickly.

What is to be done? I have the solution. A delightful French friend, a super girl called Justine, told me. It is set out at the end of my e-book, ‘The Dark Side of Britain’. Available here: And then you can stone me to death.

‘The last time a Royal wanted to marry a man of another race, things happened’, someone posted on Facebook. Guess he meant poor Dodi al-Fayed, Princess Diana’s last companion, who tragically died with her in Paris 20 years ago. Their official engagement was to be announced next day but fate (or some agency) interposed. Although poor Dodi, whom I met and whom I thought a very pleasant fellow, was Egyptian, described by Prince Philip as ‘an oily bed hopper’, the real issue was not skin colour but religion. Dodi was a Muslim. Of the blandest and most unthreatening kind but still a Muslim. If Meghan had belonged to the religion of the Crescent I figure that might have got some people jittery. Or indeed a Roman Catholic. TV voices hastened to reassure bigots that Meghan went to a Catholic school but she is ‘a Protestant’. (A laughable word in this case. Does she even own a Bible?) She will be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England before she marries Harry. A relief?
Guess the idiotic BBC has no inkling why in a godless nation an unbaptized Royal would fit in rather well.

Not racism but straight discrimination here. The 1701 Act of Settlement, still binding, forbids a member of the Royal Family to marry a Catholic. If he/she does, he loses right of succession to the throne. Pretty unfair but such are the laws of merry, post-Christian England.

As the Private Eye photo suggests, Harry when sowing his wild oats wore a swastika. Oops! That was a bit of a faux pas. Nazism is the beast no right-thinking person dreams of praising, unless determined on self-destruction. Despite that old British Empire having been pretty rough against lesser races. But it would be undiplomatic to dwell on that…

The swastika armband was folies de jeunesse. Water under the bridge…Wait a minute. Did Harry not take pot shots at the Taleban when serving in Afghanistan? Terminated a few Muslims, in other words? Hhmmm…not everybody will forgive him for that. Hold him tight, Meghan! Just in case.

Revd Frank Julian Gelli


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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Your Helping Hand Is Needed

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Dear Friend,

Nearly thirty years ago, when he was a young man, freedom-fighter Sarkis Hatspanian joined his comrades-in-arms to help liberate Karabagh/Artsakh. A few months ago Hatspanian underwent several surgeries when he was diagnosed with cancer. He is staying at a friend's home in France while he receives chemotherapy.

Hatspanian needs your financial assistance to take care of his family while he goes through a difficult time. Irrespective of your political affiliation, your helping hand is needed  by the Artsakh hero who left his career and comfortable life in France to make the ultimate sacrifice for our common good.

Through the efforts of Dr. Dikran Abrahamian of Canada and other concerned Armenians, a bank-loan has been secured and emergency funds will be transferred to Hatspanian's account in the coming week. Stay tuned for additional information. Meanwhile, you may correspond with Dr. Abrahamian at or regarding this vital matter.

Friends of Sarkis Hatspanian in Canada
Toronto, 26 November 2017

Ձոն Լեոնիդ Ազգալդյանին

Սարգիս ՀացպանեանFacebook,  Ֆրանսիա, 23 նոյեմբեր 2017
Երևի ոմանք գիտեն, որ Փարիզից 1990 թ. գարնանը, ձեռքումս միայն «Մեկ ուղղությամբ տոմսով – One way ticket» և մշտական բնակության նպատակով ժամանել եմ Երևան։ Ուզում եմ բոլորն էլ իմանան, որ իմ Ձեր հետ միասին 27 տարիներ ի վեր մշտապես ապրելը պարտական եմ ազգիս ամենաիսկական բոլոր դրական հատկանիշերով օժտված ՄԵԾ հայորդուն՝ Լեոնիդ Ազգալդյանին։
Խնդրում եմ իմ այս արտահայտությունից ոչ ոք թող չնեղանա, բայց ըստ իս, նա մեր պատմության 20-րդ դարի ավարտին «Օգտակար Գործողության Գործակցով» անչափելի մեծ առաքելություն կատարած ու իր մարտական ընկերոջ՝ «Ազատագրական Բանակի Արցախ Ճակատի» հրամանատար Վլադիմիր Բալայանի թաղման ժամանակ նրան բնութագրելու համար արտահայտածով «հարյուր տարին մեկ» ծնվող տեսակից էր։ Մինչև իր՝ 1992 թ. հունիսի 21-ին անմահանալը նրա հետ անընդմեջ ացկացրածս մոտ 2 տարով եմ ապրում մինչ այսօր ու երդվել եմ ապրել նաև մինչև ինձ բաժին հասած երկրային կյանքի ամենավերջին շունջը։ ....Read more >>
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Armenian News... A Topalian... EU's interest in Armenia, Armenia
Nov 25 2017
Juncker: Signing agreement with Armenia shows EU’s interest in cooperation with Armenia 

The signing of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with Armenia shows the interest of the European Union to cooperate with Armenia, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said during the press conference following the Eastern Partnership summit, underlining the progress Armenia has recorded. 

“I have participated in all the summits of the Eastern Partnership and this is the first time the leaders speak openly and sincerely. We can record significant progress since the Riga summit two years ago. I speak also about the progress and achievements of Armenia, which means stable work, education and strong economy”, Juncker noted. 

According to him, in the recent two years Armenia made the region more stable and all sides agree with that stability should start at home. 

“The European Union can be useful in that regard, but stability should start at home. People should receive education, job and live in strong economic conditions”, Juncker added. 

He emphasized that EU’s assistance to the Eastern Partnership participant countries focuses just on those issues. 

According to him, starting from 2009 the European Union has allocated 1.5 billion Euro assistance to the EaP countries. 

MediaMax, Armenia
Nov 25 2017
EU concludes negotiations with Armenia for a new aviation agreement
Yerevan /Mediamax/. On the occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit held in Brussels, the European Union concluded negotiations with Armenia for a new aviation agreement. 

This agreement will improve market access for airlines, providing better connectivity, more choice and lower fares for travelers, EU Delegation in Armenia said. 

“Today we are further delivering on our ambitious aviation strategy by taking our aviation relations with Armenia to the next level. This agreement will not only improve market access, it will also contribute to the highest safety, security and environmental standards. This is good news for European and Armenian travelers and businesses”, EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said. 

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
November 24, 2017 Friday
Ordinary citizen will feel Armenia-EU agreement results within 

the course of time, says President Sargsyan
An ordinary citizen will feel the results of the Armenia-EU agreement 
during the course of time since Armenia is able to quickly implement 
the reforms by the EU’s assistance, President Serzh Sargsyan told 
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty after the European People’s Party’s (
EPP) summit in Brussels, reports Armenpress.

Asked what this agreement will give to an ordinary Armenian citizen,
the President said: “The day after tomorrow, perhaps, he/she will not
immediately feel anything, but he/she will feel it within the course
of time since we are able to quickly implement the reforms by the EU’s
assistance. We ourselves do not have the ability and the desire to
invent a bicycle, there are absolute truths, and we should be led by
these truths. But during the course of time, in addition to internal
freedoms, Armenian citizens will have a chance to visit Brussels,
Paris and other European countries without an obstacle, and I think
this was clearly stated in the EPP’s today’s statement, let’s see what
will happen during tomorrow’s summit”.

Asked whether this agreement will contribute to strengthening
Armenia’s security, whether it is an alternative direction for
ensuring a security, President Sargsyan said here the word alternative
is not right to use. “But, of course, especially in case when the OSCE
Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the US and Russia in particular agree on the
main challenges threatening our security, and this is one of the
unique places where they completely cooperate, as they announce. This,
of course, is an achievement for us”, the Armenian President said.

The President also touched upon Russia’s stance over the agreement to
be signed with the EU, stating that he didn’t hear any criticism from
the Russian President over Armenia’s cooperation with the EU. “Soon it
will already be ten years I am a president, before that being in
different posts, I have never heard half a word from any Russian
leader, especially from President Putin which would involve in it a
reproach on our partnership with the EU”, Serzh Sargsyan said.

Asked how he imagines, where he will be after 2018, whether he will
remain Armenia’s President or not, President Sargsyan said: “If I had
imagined it, I would have already announced. When I imagine it, I will

Vestnik Kavkaza
Nov 26 2017
EU supports principles of territorial integrity 

Brussels, capital of the European Union, hosted the Eastern Partnership summit. This initiative, aimed at improving relations with the countries of the former USSR within the framework of the EU Neighborhood Policy, includes six countries, including Azerbaijan and Armenia. In the final declaration, participants of the summit expressed they support of territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of their partners and pledged to protect them.

That's how the Brussels declaration responded to the issue of unresolved conflicts, in particular (although no conflict region was specifically mentioned) the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It's especially important for Azerbaijan, since 20% of its territory is under the Armenian occupation for more than 20 years. As a result of this occupation, more than million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons. The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian troops from the Azerbaijani territories, but Armenia refused to do it.

"Aggressive separatism can't be accepted in the 21st century. All forms of separatism must be condemned and a common approach should be applied to all manifestations of separatism. Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is as valuable as territorial integrity of any other country, and it must be restored," Ilham Aliyev said in Brussels. 
Apparently, he was heard, since final document of the summit stated that violation of principles and norms of international law continues in the region. This declaration also urged to intensify efforts to resolve conflicts in accordance with principles and norms of international law.

"We believe that all these conflicts must be resolved through the prism of international norms and laws, through very clear support for territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. The EU supports existing platforms that help to resolve these conflicts," the document says.

What is the reason behind Europe's support of Azerbaijan's position in the conditions when there are still frictions between Baku and Brussels due to different views on the human rights issue, and due to the fact that Baku maintains relations of strategic partnership with Russia? Obviously, the answer lies in the fact that Azerbaijan, unlike other "Eastern partners", is able to pursue an independent policy and isn't going to join the European Union, although it's not against mutually beneficial cooperation with the bloc. 

This story demonstrates that it's much easier to pursue independent foreign policy when you're economically independent. The European Union is the main trading partner of Baku. 50% of Azerbaijan's trade accounts for the EU member states. the EU invested $20 billion in its economy since Azerbaijan became independent. The Southern Gas Corridor project is currently developing, it already exceeds $40 billion. Azerbaijan's gas fields will become a new source of natural gas for Europe and will change the energy map of the European continent.

Another important initiative is the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project, which connects Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, creating a new transport corridor between Asia and Europe. This will be the shortest transport route that will increase mutual trade turnover and allow many countries to join the project.

Another important result of the Brussels summit is the signing of an agreement on comprehensive and expanded partnership between the European Union and Armenia. Some experts suggested the Armenian leadership needs association with the EU for a more successful bargaining with Russia. 

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
November 24, 2017 Friday
Armenia and Germany exchanged agreements on "Avoiding double taxation
and preventing tax evasion"
Ani Mshetsyan. 

According to the press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, on
November 23, the official exchange of agreements between the Republic
of Armenia and the Federal Republic of Germany "On avoidance of double
taxation and prevention of tax evasion" took place at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of Germany.

On the Armenian side, the agreement was signed by RA Ambassador to
Germany Ashot Smbatyan, and from the German side - Maria Margaret
Goss, head of the Department of Legal and Consular Affairs of the
Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Armenpress News Agency
November 24, 2017 Friday
Polish Sejm adopts resolution relating to Armenian community
The Sejm of Poland (the lower house of the Polish parliament) has 
adopted a resolution relating to the Armenian community, reports 

In the resolution the Polish Sejm expresses its gratitude to the
Armenian community for the great role played in the history of Poland.
The resolution also mentions the 650th anniversary of privileges
granted to the Armenian community in Poland by King Casimir the Great.

The voting took place by the presence of the Armenian Ambassador to
Poland Edgar Ghazaryan and the Armenian community representatives.

A similar resolution has been adopted by the Polish Senate in the
presence of the Armenian delegation led by Speaker of the Parliament
Ara Babloyan. 

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia
November 24, 2017 Friday
The most generous benefactors on the TV Marathon of the Hayastan
Foundation were Samvel Karapetyan and an anonymous patron from the
United States, who donated $ 2 million 250 thousand to the fund.

The most generous benefactors on the telethon of the
Hayastan All-Armenian Fund this year were owner of the Tashir Group
concern Samvel Karapetyan and an anonymous patron of the US, both of
which donated $ 2 million 250 thousand to the fund. Zangezour Copper
and Molybdenum Combine, which donated $ 350,000, donated $ 350,000,
Samvel Alexanyan, businessman-deputy, handed over $ 200,000,
Vardanyan's family - $ 125,000, businessman Varuzhan Grigoryan-$
100,000, an anonymous philanthropist from the US $ 100,000, the
Baghdasaryan family from the United States $ 100,000, Valex Group $
100,000, Heinrich Ter-Ghukasian from Iran $ 100,000, businessman
Barsegh Beglaryan $ 100,000, businessman Vahe Karapetyan $ 60,000,
Jean Mari Atamian $ 50,000, Albert Boyajyan $ 50,000. It should be
noted that the owner of the multi-group concern, MP Gagik Tsarukyan,
in the framework of the telethon, has built a military unit in

It should be noted that during the telethon a total of $ 12 million
505 thousand 456 were collected. This amount will be directed to two
large-scale programs in Artsakh, namely: drilling of deep wells and
the construction of a new irrigation network and the establishment of
solar power plants.

It should be noted that the telethon has been held annually in the
USA, in the city of Los Angeles, for 25 years. During this time in the
telethon in Armenia and Artsakh were collected about $ 330 million,
aimed at more than 50 thousand programs.

During this time, the Fund repaired and built roads with the length of
605 km, 580 km of water pipes, 149 km of gas pipelines, 70 km of
electric lines, 359 schools and kindergartens, 24 community centers,
500 houses and apartments, 75 medical institutions, 58 cultural and
sports centers and . In 2016 within the framework of the telethon
under the slogan "My Artsakh" Hayastan Fund collected about $ 15.4
million. All the collected funds were used to restore the affected
settlements of Artsakh and measures to ensure the safety of the NKR
population., Armenia
November 26 2017
Armenia official says having population of 4 million by 2040 is realistic 

We will have the opportunity to have a population of 4 million in Armenia solely on the account of mechanical growth.

The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Artem Asatryan, on Saturday told the aforesaid to reporters in Jermuk town, according to RFE/RL Armenian Service.

President Serzh Sargsyan had announced about the objective of making Armenia’s population reach at least 4 million, by the year 2040. The minister said they will work toward achieving this objective.

Asatryan informed that they have identified three respective priorities. In his words, first, the growth in births needs to be contributed to. As per the minister, the next priority is ensuring the mechanical growth of Armenia’s population. And the next plan is to guarantee the immigration of emigrants.

Asatryan assured that steps are taken toward all these measures and programs.

The minister of labor and social affairs added that they need to submit all respective program directions and funding within three months. 

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 25 2017
Armenia Armenian church union comes under stone attack in Turkey 

The Armenian representation of the “Union of Salvation Churches” came under a stone attack by unidentified people in Turkey’s Malatya province, Ermenihaber reported, citing Turkish news agency.

According to the source, there was no one inside the building during the attack, which only left the glass of windows broken.

The security cameras installed in the area fixed the incident, with the faces of some of the attackers clearly outlined in the footage.

The Turkish police have launched an investigation into the incident.

To remind, a few days ago red crosses with red paint were spotted marked on the outside walls and doors of several households belonging to Alevi people in the Cemal Gürsel neighbourhood of Malatya.

Pan Armenian, Armenia
Nov 25 2017
Ani - forgotten Armenian capital’s majesty and solitude: Turkish paper
The contrast of majesty and isolation of theArmeniancity of Ani, which has been on the territory of modern Turkey since 1920, is the subject of a new article byTurkish newspaper Daily Sabah, in which the paper provides reasons for visiting the ancient and magnificent capital of the old Armenian Kingdom.

According to the publication, travelers can feel the rush of discovery if they take a flight out to Kars, and then a two-hour drive out to Ocakli village near the Armenian border, and then walk up the hill, where you'll find a lost city to discover.

Ani used to be a capital city of the Armenian kingdom in the 11th century.

“Its wealth and architecture rivaled Byzantine's Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). With a population of more than 200,000 at its peak, it was larger than both London and Paris at the time. It had a huge castle, battlements, a defensive wall, a thousand churches, 40 gates, and a thriving economy, and now, all that's left are its abandoned ruins on a high plateau. A stone bridge down in the gorge across a river, half collapsed. A guttered cone atop a brick church. The domes and arches of a sanctuary, fallen-in and exposed to the air. A cathedral with sturdy walls, covered with still-visible Armenian inscriptions, but with exposed, broken masonry. Walls and a gate no longer protecting anything. Emptiness,” the article says.

The contrast strikes you immediately: This must have been a magnificent city in its day, and yet today, this is the middle of nowhere and nobody lives here. Ani still has a lot of things standing, including some half-crumbled churches, towers, and a wall. It's wonderful to see such amazing stone architecture of a forgotten empire, and even better is that almost nobody goes there. On a really busy day, there might be eight other tourists.

The article then goes on to cite various authors, diplomats, military officials who were captivated by the beauty of the age-old Armenian city.

Daily Mirror, UK
November 24, 2017 Friday
Henrikh in a fight for future: Shape up or it's the end, Hen
MANCHESTER UNITED outcast Henrikh Mkhitaryan is facing a battle to
convince manager Jose Mourinho that he deserves to reclaim his place.

Mkhitaryan's form has deserted him to such an extent Mourinho has axed
him from United's last two match-day squads, despite the attacking
midfielder being fully fit.

Mourinho left Mkhitaryan (above) out of the squad that beat Newcastle
4-1 - and made the 28-year-old travel to Basel before omitting him
from Wednesday's disappointing 1-0 Champions League defeat in

Mourinho hopes the stigma of being dropped will jolt the Armenian from
his slumber.

Signed from Borussia Dortmund for £27million in July 2016, Mkhitaryan
enjoyed an impressive start this season - producing a handful of
assists to apparently cement his place as United's No.10.

But his form dropped off, with Mourinho and his United coaches
deciding he no longer warranted his place and agreeing to drop him

Mkhitaryan has been on the receiving end of Mourinho's 'tough love'
approach before. He was exiled for nearly two months last season
following a calamitous 45 minutes in United's 2-1 derby defeat by

The playmaker returned to become one of United's most effective
players as they won the League Cup and Europa League.

Mourinho has preferred Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial
in attacking roles recently, while Jesse Lingard is in favour again -
and £89m Paul Pogba back in business after injury.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Armenian Church News E-newsletter Latest E-Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 25 26 November 2017

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Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland
Armenian Church News
Latest E-Newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 25
26 November 2017
Please click here for the full pdf of this week's newsletter. 
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Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Read the whole text of the Primate's sermon in the newsletter.
On 18 of November the Primate visited Stevenage, St. George Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to attend the evening service on the occasion of the establishment of the Diocese of London of the Coptic Church and enthronement of Bishop Angelos as diocesan bishop for the new formed diocese.

21 NOVEMBER 2017

An important discussion on inherited trauma took place at St. Sarkis Church, London on 21 November 2017, presented from the Jewish and Armenian perspective by Katherine Klinger and His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukian and moderated by Canon Anthony Ball. It was the first time that our Church hosted Council of Christians and Jews Central London. Read the text of Prmate's speech here.

23 NOVEMBER 2017

Primate hosted Parliamentarians at St. Yeghiche Church representing the four fractions of the Armenian Parliament.  Armen Liloyan, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Embassy of the Republic of Armenia greeted the guests. More images here.
Read this interesting, important and moving speech by The Reverend Canon Chancellor Dr Patrick Thomas of St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire in the full version of the newsletter.
Join us for this interesting talk! Ani Shahinian is a D.Phil. student in Oriental Theology at the University of Oxford. Ms. Shahinian holds an M.A. degree in Near Eastern and Languages and Cultures - Armenian Studies from UCLA, and graduate certificates in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Oxford.
Join to this joyful and beautiful occassion at St. Yeghiche church!
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