US experts happy with “election process” in breakaway Karabakh

US experts happy with “election process” in breakaway Karabakh

Arminfo, Yerevan
26 Jul 04

STEPANAKERT

International experts are closely following the situation in Nagornyy
Karabakh and have not registered any violations in the election
process over this period, the president of the Project on Transitional
Democracies and the head of the US Senate Committee on NATO, Bruce
Jackson, said at a meeting several days ago with the head of the
Central Electoral Committee CEC of the Nagornyy Karabakh Republic NKR,
Sergey Davidyan. Jackson was on a one-day visit to Stepanakert.

Our Arminfo correspondent reports from Stepanakert that during the
meeting, Davidyan familiarized the guests with the NKR’s election
law. He said that the referendum on independence and a number of
presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections have been held in
Nagornyy Karabakh since the republic was proclaimed in 1991. Davidyan
informed the experts about preparations for the upcoming elections to
local government bodies on 8 August. Davidyan said that the NKR
adheres to democratic values, and the conduct of free and fair
elections was only a mechanism for forming legitimate authorities in
the republic.

According to the CEC, 375 candidates for community leaders have been
registered in the NKR. Commissions have registered 1,582 of the 1,708
candidates for membership of the councils of elders. Ten people have
been nominated for mayor of Stepanakert, however, only six candidates
are continuing the struggle at the moment, while 46 of the 52
candidates for membership of the council of elders have been
registered.

BAKU: Baku Not Quite Sure On What the Word `Compromise’ Means

Baku Not Quite Sure On What the Word `Compromise’ Means

Baku Today
27/07/2004 18:48

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on Tuesday
said his government is not quite sure on what the OSCE’s Minsk group
co-chairs meant by ` compromise,’ a word they uttered frequently while
their last visit to the region.

Mammadyarov told ANS that during his recent visit to the United States
he asked Stephen Mann, the US co-chair of the Minsk group, to express
precisely what they mean by the word.

`I told him that the most important issue for Azerbaijan is its
territorial integrity. If you think of another compromise beyond that,
make sure what idea it is exactly,’ the Foreign Minister told ANS.

Mammadyarov added that his country is currently waiting to hear from
the co-chairs.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

BAKU: Azeri FM asks mediators to specify Karabakh compromises

Azeri foreign minister asks mediators to specify Karabakh compromises

Azad Azarbaycan TV, Baku
27 Jul 04

[Presenter] Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov insisted
during his visit to Washington that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen
specify their position on the Karabakh settlement. He said that
although the co-chairmen call on the conflicting sides to make
compromises, the Baku government still does not know what they are all
about.

[Correspondent over video of Mammadyarov] The Baku government has
asked the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen to clarify what compromises
they are calling for. Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan would not
compromise on one issue – its territorial integrity.

[Mammadyarov speaking to journalists] What these compromises are all
about, we cannot understand precisely. Truth to tell, when I was in
Washington and discussed this issue with [US co-chairman of the OSCE
Minsk Group] Steven Mann, he said the same thing about the
compromises. I said, you know, territorial integrity is very important
for Azerbaijan. Please specify what compromises you are talking about
outside this issue. Now we are waiting, let them clarify it. Then we
can say what compromises we can make.

[Correspondent] Mammadyarov also spoke about the Austrian state
printing company printing the Karabakh separatists’ currency. He said
that the government is seriously dealing with this issue.

[Mammadyarov] We are examining this because, you know, the Foreign
Ministry, cannot take a decision immediately. Of course, we have to
examine and we are seriously dealing with this issue at the moment.

[Correspondent] As for missing officer Firuz Qasimov who represented
our country at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Mammadyarov said
that nothing is known about his fate yet. But Mammadyarov said that
criminal proceedings have been instituted into the case at the
Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General’s Office. In addition, he said that our
embassy in Belgium and the Belgian Foreign Ministry are in control of
this affair on a daily basis.

Farida Agaverdiyeva and Dilqam Mirzayev for “Son Xabar”.

“Light to Armenian’s Eyes” Action to be Held in Syunik

“LIGHT TO ARMENIAN’S EYES” ACTON TO BE HELD IN SYUNIK

KAPAN, July 26 (Noyan Tapan). The “Project of Armenian Ophthalmology”
benevolent organization will hold the benevolent action “Light to
Armenian’s Eyes” action in the Syunik region from July 28 to August 7
with the purpose of the prophylaxis of acquired blindness among the
population. A group of ophthalmologists organize reception of patients
in Kapan, Goris, Sisian and Meghri, as well as in a number of rural
communities. The primary diagnostics of patients will be held, and the
patients will be sent for treatment in a mobile hospital or in other
medical establishments if necessary. Operations will be performed in
the mobile hospital situated in the town of Goris free of charge for
vulnerable people.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Necessity of Security Zones Shouldn’t Appear While Settling NK issue

ACCORDING TO AMERICAN EXPERT, NECESSITY OF SECURITY ZONES SHOULDN’T
APPEAR WHILE SETTLING KARABAKH CONFLICT

STEPANAKET, July 26 (Noyan Tapan). A meeting of heads of the local
public organizations with representatives of the German Marshall Fund
of the United States (GMF), which is engaged in the problems of
conflicts, was held in Stepanakert on July 23. During the meeting the
guests got acquainted with the the numerous aspects of the settlement
of the Karabakh problem. International experts were convinced of the
fact that the majority of the local population prefers to see the
country in an independent status rather than united with Armenia in
the future. Answering the inquiry of the experts how the Karabakh
public will react if the discussion of the issue of the return of the
territiories controlled by the Army of the NKR Defense starts,
representatives of the public organizations of Artsakh mentioned that
almost all the population of the republic adheres to the opinion that
the indicated territories shouldn’t become a subject of political
speculations, as they are security zones for Artsakh. According to
Bruce Jackson, an American expert, the necessity of security zones
shouldn’t appear while settling the Karabakh conflict. According to
the expert, the current uncertain situation in the negotiation process
may create new obstacles in the region, and one should undertake
decisive steps in the direction of the making of the final
decision. The same day, the international experts met with NKR
President Arkady Ghoukassian.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Armenian PM Meets Reps of Armenian Community of Tbilisi

ARMENIAN PREMIER MEETS WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF ARMENIAN COMMUNITY OF
TBILISI, VISITS PANTHEON OF ARMENIAN CULTURAL WORKERS

TBILISI, July 26 (Noyan Tapan). Armenian Prime Minister Andranik
Margarian arrived in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on a two-day
official visit July 25.

RA Government’s Information and Public Relations Department reported
to NT, the premier, who is also co-chairman of the Armenian-Georgian
Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation, and the
delegation headed by him, attended the opening ceremony of the
Commission’s third meeting in the morning.

The Armenian delegation members were hailed by Georgian Co-Chairman of
the Commission, Georgian Prime Minister Zourab Zhvania followed by
Andranik Margarian’s speech. Further, the Armenian premier visited the
memorial complex devoted to the memory of the heroes who persihed for
the sake of Georgia’s unity, the pantheon of Armenian cultural workers
and laid wreaths. During his visit to St. Etchmiadzin Church,
Andranik Margarian met with the representatives of the Armenian
community. Later, the Armenian premier visited the Georgian Government
building to meet with his Georgian counterpart Zourab Zhvania. RA
Prime Minister Andranik Margarian is expected to meet with Georgian
President Mikheil Sahakashvili later today.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Euro/Armenia Partnership Implementation Plan to be Submitted Oct. 10

NATONAL PROGRAM ON IMPLEMENTATION OF AGREEMENT ON PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN
EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES AND ARMENIA TO BE SUBMITTED TO GOVERNMENT TILL
OCTOBER 10

YEREVAN, July 26 (Noyan Tapan). On July 23, RA Prime Minister Andranik
Margarian convened a consultation with participation of members of the
Coordination Commission on Elaboration of the National Program on
Cooperation between the European communities and Armenia. A number of
ministries and bodies attached to the RA government, the RA National
Assembly, the RA Central Bank, the RA Central Electoral Commission,
the Commission on Coordination of Public Services, the RA National
Statistical Service, the Commission on Securities, the National
Commission on TV & Radio and the RA Civil Service Council are within
the newly established commission by the decision of the
government. According to the government’s decision, they instructed
the Coordination Commission to submit the national draft program on
implementation of the agreement on partnership signed between the
European communities and the Republic of Armenia to the government
till October 10. Stressing that the commission should carry out great
and importance work, the RA Prime Minister said that besides the
coordinating commission, which is presented on the level of ministers,
a coordinating task force consisting of Deputy Ministers, as well as
separate task forces in different spheres headed by chiefs of the
departments will be established with the purpose of the organization
of more effective and operative work. According to the RA government’s
press service, the RA Prime Minister instructed to form corresponding
task forces as soon as possible, mentioning that he will always watch
the activities of the Coordination Commission and he will periodically
convene discussions with the purpose of the reception of reports on
the work done.

Armenian-Georgian Commission on Economic Coop Opens Third Meeting

ARMENIAN-GEORGIAN COMMISSION ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION OPENS ITS THIRD
MEETING

TBILISI, July 26 (Noyan Tapan). Armenian Prime Minister Andranik
Margarian paid a two-day official visit to Tbilisi July 26. The
Armenian premier and the delegation headed by him attended the opening
ceremony of the third meeting of the Armenian-Georgian
Inter-Governmental Commission on Economic Cooperation on July 26. The
RA Government’s Press Office reports to NT, Georgian Prime Minister
Zourab Zhvania stressed the importance of organizing the meeting after
a certain break. The fact that the prime ministers of the two
countries are co-chairmen of the Commission, Mr. Zhvania stated,
testifies to the serious intentions of the sides to enlarge and
develop economic cooperation. “It is impossible to imagine Georgia’s
development without the development of Armenia.

Harmonic development of the closest neighbors, including Armenia, is
priority for Georgia,” Zourab Zhvania stated. RA Premier Andranik
Margarian also emphasized in his speech that the decision to increase
the level of the inter-governmental commission proves the two
countries are serous about improving trade and economic cooperation
which is a new stimulus for the full use of the potential observed in
the sphere. He stated part of the decision adopted at the Commission’s
previous meeting were not carried out, thus the relevant ministries
and departments of the two countries must take efforts to fill in this
gap. Stressing the importance of both bilateral and multilateral trade
and economic cooperation between Armenia and Georgia, he emphasized
that Armenia is really interested in the future development and
deepening of this cooperation in two directions: East-West and
North-South. The agenda of the meeting includes around a dozen issues
among them the approval of the order of the Commission’s activity, the
process of fulfillment of the decisions adopted at the previous
meeting’s, the current state cooperation and development prospects in
the sphere of legal-contractual base, as well as trade and economic,
transport, communication, and humanitarian spheres.

Special trips from Austria to Armenia

ArmenPress
July 26 2004

SPECIAL TRIPS FROM AUSTRIA TO ARMENIA

YEREVAN, JULY 26, ARMENPRESS: One of the well-known Austrian
travel agencies, Vienna Mozer, in cooperation with Austrian Airlines
has organized a special trip to Armenia for about 700 Austrian
intellectuals and nature funs.
The project was launched at the beginning of July and will end in
early August. As a result, one more flight has been added to the
already functioning four Vienna-Yerevan-Vienna weekly flights. During
the trip the tourist groups will be provided an opportunity to visit
places of interest in Armenia, from Yerevan to Khor Virap,
Etchmiadzin, Ashtarak, Sevan, Dilijan, Garni-Geghard.
According to Mozer company head Fritz Mozer, this exceptional
project aims to discover Armenia for Austrian people. The fact that
700 people have expressed their interest in the trip is a good sign
that the project interests the residents of Austria and may have good
prospect to become traditional.

Armenian PM speaks in favor of reopening Abkhaz section of railway

ArmenPress
July 26 2004

ARMENIA N PRIME MINISTER SPEAKS IN FAVOR OF REOPENING ABKHAZ SECTION
OF RAILWAY

TBILISI, JULY 26, ARMENPRESS: Restoration of railway communication
across Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia topped the agenda of
Armenian-Georgian talks today in Tbilisi with participation of
Armenian prime minister Andranik Margarian and an extensive Armenian
delegation. “Armenia is greatly interested in the resumption of the
railway operation of the Abkhaz section,” Margarian told reporters
after concluding talks with his Georgian counterpart Zurab Zhvania.
He said though this issue is not linked directly to Armenian-Georgian
relations, the ongoing negotiations inspire some hopes that a certain
progress may be achieved in that direction “as Georgia has too
softened its position on this issue.”
“We hope that if not this year then some years later this problem
will be resolved,” Margarian said adding that the operating railway
is of vital importance not only for Armenia but for Georgia as well,
as deeper economic cooperation with the breakaway region may serve as
an additional resource for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
Concerning the current level of trade and economic cooperation
with Georgia, Margarian said though its amount is growing day by day
the available potential is not used to the full extent. Overall there
are only 25 joint Armenian-Georgian ventures, which is not a good
figure, according to the prime minister, especially having in mind
traditional Georgian-Armenian ties, the huge potential of Georgian
Armenians, many of whom are engaged in businesses and serve as
government officials.
According to the Armenian prime minister, a bigger attention
should be devoted to building favorable conditions for private sector
cooperation, which he said is hampered by some security problems
Armenian businessmen run into on Georgian highways, despite a
recorded progress, following a Georgian government decision to cut
the number of road police officers.
“During our meeting with president Mikhail Saakashvili we learned
that Georgia is trying to introduce simplified customs procedures on
border with Armenia, supposed to facilitate cargo forwarding services
and if all these promises come true we may expect a great upsurge in
the volume of bilateral trade by the close of this year,” Margarian
said.
Margarian said also Armenia has proposed that a wholesale market
in Gogavan on the border, closed by Georgian authorities, reopen to
allow bordering provinces to establish contacts and start mutually
beneficial trade.
The Armenian prime minister also spoke about power supplies from
Armenia to Georgia saying Armenia’s power grid is run by private
companies which will supply as much electricity as Georgia would
request.