Armenian opposition upbeat on talks with authorities

Armenian opposition upbeat on talks with authorities

6 May 04


During today’s political consultations between the ruling coalition
and the Armenian opposition, a mutually acceptable formula was drawn
up on conducting a referendum of confidence in the president. The
sides agreed that the referendum will be on the agenda of the talks
between the opposition and the coalition, Viktor Dallakyan, secretary
of the opposition’s Justice bloc, told journalists today after a
five-hour meeting between the coalition and opposition leaders.

Today’s meeting, initiated by Armenian National Assembly Speaker Artur
Bagdasaryan, was the beginning of a new political situation in
Armenia, Dallakyan said. “If the sides display political will, then
these consultations will become a basis for forming a new domestic
political situation in Armenia,” he said.

The consultations today mainly concerned the issues that may be
included in the agenda of the forthcoming talks between the sides,
Shavarsh Kocharyan, an MP from the Justice bloc, said. The agenda will
include 30 items, including 10 proposals put forward by the opposition
some time ago, as well as the discussion of certain points of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe resolution on the
domestic political situation in Armenia.

Among the 10 proposals, the key one concerns the conduct of a
referendum of confidence in the president. The opposition is also
demanding that the authorities stop political persecution and
repression, free opposition activists from prison, refrain from
violence against demonstrators and rally-goers, allow the free
movement of citizens within Armenia and ensure unbiased coverage of
the situation by public television. The opposition also wants live
airtime to deliver speeches.

The opposition is demanding the prosecution of those who organized the
mass falsifications during the presidential and parliamentary
elections held in 2003 and those who organized and perpetrated the
“punitive action” [breaking up an opposition rally in Yerevan] on the
night of 12-13 April.

BAKU: Zurabishvili: Local conflicts in region impeded development

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
May 7 2004

[May 07, 2004, 11:20:23]

As correspondent of AzerTAj reported, Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Georgia Salome Zuarabishvili is paying an official visit to Moscow.
On May 6, head of foreign policy department of this country had a
meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Sergey Lavrov during which have been discussed situation in Georgia
after resignation of the head of Ajaria Aslan Abashidze and the
further prospects of development of the Russian – Georgian relations.

On results of negotiations, the head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of Russia and Georgia have held press conference on which the
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov
has stated that the position of Russia on Abkhazia has not changed
and based on recognition of territorial integrity of Georgia. `Russia
proceeds from the principle of respect of territorial integrity of
Georgia – this position is consecutive and constant’, the head the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has told. He
has emphasized, that Russia is satisfied with the peace settlement of
situation in Ajaria, it always considered this conflict as internal
work of Georgia.

In turn, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili,
answering questions of journalists, has declared that: `Georgia
highly estimates the political support rendered to authorities of
Georgia on the part of Russia, considers, that `arrival of the
Secretary of Security Council of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov
to Batumi was very important. Russia during last moment has offered
help, and it creates that ground of trust which is necessary for
development of relations in a right way ‘.

The head of foreign policy department of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili
also has declared, that the delayed local conflicts brake development
of the Caucasian states, and these conflicts into which also enters
also Nagorny Karabakh – actually, freeze our development. As she
said, on the solution of similar conflicts depend all the Caucasian
peoples. S. Zurabishvili has emphasized, that the CIS countries take
the important place in the policy of Georgia, and Georgia would
continue further active interaction with the states of Commonwealth.
She has noted also that her country attaches great importance to
cooperation with the Organization of the Black Sea Economic

Alongside with it, Salome Zurabishvili has declared, that Georgia
wants to combine partnership with the NATO and cooperation with

It is necessary to note that during the meeting of the head of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the head of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation also have been discussed
questions on situation in Abkhazia, about the status and terms of
stay of the Russian military bases on territories of Georgia,
questions of visa regime between the two states, combat against the
international terrorism.

Planned monitoring

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
May 7 2004


On May 6 the OSCE Mission held planned monitoring of the border
between the armed forces of Nagorni Karabakh and Azerbaijan to the
northwest of the settlement Seysulan. On the side of the NKR Defence
Army the monitoring group was headed by the personal representative of
the OSCE Chairman- in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk. The group involved also
field assistants of the personal representative Jurgen Schmidt
(Germany) and Miroslav Vitemal (Czech). During the monitoring no
violations of the cease-fire were reported. The mission was
accompanied by the representatives of the NKR ministries of defence
and foreign affairs. On the eve, on May 5 Andrzej Kasprzyk met with
the NKR foreign minister Ashot Ghulian and minister of defence Seyran
Ohanian. During the meeting they discussed the situation at the border
and questions referring the prospects of settlement of the Karabakh

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

BAKU: FM gives statement on Cyprus issue

Baku Sun, Azerbaijan
May 7 2004

FM gives statement on Cyprus issue

BAKU – The position of members of the Azerbaijani parliament on the
Cyprus issue does not reflect that of the government and neither can
it be interpreted as a change in the relationship between Baku and
Ankara, a statement issued Wednesday by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of
Foreign Affairs read.

The statement printed in the state-run Azerbaijan daily newspaper on
Thursday said nothing can besmirch the relationship between the two
countries who are bound by centuries-old historical, cultural,
language and other ties.

Members of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe stated on Tuesday that they intentionally
did not show up at PACE’s 29 April meeting, which denied Turkish
Cypriots a right to be represented at the Parliamentary Assembly.
Head of the delegation, Samad Seyidov said they did not attend the
meeting in order to protect Azerbaijan’s interests.

Voting against the PACE resolution that urged Turkish Cypriots to
attend the Parliamentary Assembly meetings as `integrated’ with the
Greeks Cypriots, would set up a new precedent under which all
unrecognized republics, including Nagorno (Daghlig)-Karabakh, could
demand representation at PACE, Seyidov said.

The foreign ministry statement said Azerbaijan has always been for a
fair solution of the Cyprus problem, and supports the activities of
the United Nations, European Union and the Council of Europe to help
settle the problem.

Economic policy in Karabakh is favorable

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
May 7, 2004


This is the opinion of the manager of “Base Metals Ltd.” Artur
Mkrtumian, which he stated during his meeting with the mass media. So
far 7 million dollars have been invested by the shareholders of the
company in capital building, equipment. “The implementation of so much
work within a period of about 1.5 year is not only the result of the
technical skills and efforts of the specialists but also the
favourable economic policy. The construction of a similar factory
might usually be delayed, hindered. It should be mentioned that
everything was done quickly, without any difficulties, and the result
is the powerful factory. At the same time in parallel with the growth
of the company the legislative regulations of Karabakh have been
accomplished, which today favour similar companies to make
investments, set up a business and achieve success,” said Artur
Mkrtumian. PERSONNEL PROBLEMS. The prevailing part of the 750 workers
of the company, mainly the technical staff, are invited. According to
the manager of the company Artur Mkrtumian, the company cannot keep
the invited specialists in the country for years on. Therefore the
company intends creating a base of specialists in the factory through
the invited specialists. The manager explains the absence of
specialists by the absence of similar production in Karabakh. It the
beginning the factory also had lack of labour force. According to him,
the reason was the events of the last 10-15 years. People have been
alienated from industrial work which supposes certain scheduling and
responsibility. The problem, however, has been solved, according to
A. Mkrtumian. Moreover, there are now hundreds of people wishing to
work in the mine. “We have local specialists, miners who excellently
carry out this hard work from the point of view of specialization and
earn as much as the 6th class specialist invited from Kapan,
Alaverdy. They are 24-26 years-old young men and the company has great
expectations from them,” said A. Mkrtumian. The manager also informed
that for the organization and development of the production in
Karabakh with the NKR government they work out a program of training
necessary specialists at Artsakh State University. The program is in
the initial stage. The company has presented the list of the necessary
monthly salary fund of the company “Base Metals” totals about 80-100
million drams. The work in the factory lasts 24 hours, in three
shifts, except for the underground mine which works a six-hour shift
taking into account the hard working conditions. “Base Metals” also
favours the improvement of the social conditions of the population of
the adjacent villages. The evidence to this is the newly built
dormitory which will be opened soon. The same is pursued with the plan
of the management of the company to build a resort center on the side
of the reservoir Sarsang.


We cannot cure their bodies but we can cure their souls

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
May 7, 2004


The union of disabled children “Zangak” was founded on May 18, by a
group of representatives of the intelligentsia. The aim of the union
is to bring together the disabled children of Artsakh, broaden the
range of their interests and favour their integration to the society
preventing their alienation from it. In the course of time the
organization also started to involve begging and homeless children,
therefore the management of the organization founded a nursery school,
in April 2001 undertook the foundation of the children’s center
“Zangak” which was granted license by the Ministry of Education,
Culture and Sport in 2003. Since its foundation the organization has
brought together here 212 children from the capital and 404 children
from the entire republic. Currently the organization works with 8-14
year-old children. According to the chairman of the organization Anna
Asatrian, including in “Zangak” homeless or begging but healthy
children they aimed at using the relationships of the healthy and ill
children to develop best human qualities in them, such as
king-heartedness and generosity in healthy children and optimism and
vitality in the disabled children. The organization is not funded by
the state and it operates on non-regular donations of businessmen from
Artsakh and abroad. According to Anna Asatrian, for the implementation
of a number of programs “Zangak” has cooperated with the NKR
Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Defence, as well as businessmen
from Artsakh and abroad. A number of programs were approved by
business circles of France and Iran. Time to time benefactors lend a
hand to “Zangak”, bring into being this or that program and leave,
whereas the organization has too many problems to be solved. Recently
the organization has had a period of difficulties. To overcome them
“Zangak” applied to the governmental and other organizations of
Karabakh. Fortunately, the director of the company Karabakh telecom
Ralf Yeirikian agreed to cooperate with “Zangak”. Visiting the
organization and getting acquainted with the working conditions he
agreed to become the permanent sponsor of “Zangak” and start funding
in April of the current year. The fact of a permanent sponsor
encouraged the management of the organization to undertake a program
for 32 disabled, homeless and insecure children included in the
center. After the improvement of the building and communal facilities
the organization will create a boarding house for 10 children from 8
to 14 years old. The personnel of the organization visited the houses
of the children whose parents had applied to them, got acquainted with
their living conditions and undertook an attempt of cooperation with
corresponding organizations dealing with children of this social
class. Besides the reconstruction of the boarding house, “Zangak”
faces many other problems. According to Anna Asatrian, the lack of
transport makes the communication with the regions difficult. Starting
from the financial hardships the employees of “Zangak” carry out
several jobs at the same time; the organization should have 17
positions, whereas it has only 7. To acquaint children with the
holidays and special days of Karabakh “Zangak” celebrates almost all
the holidays. Today we are living in a period called transition
period. It is difficult to forecast what will happen in the
future. One thing is certain that independent of the geopolitical
actualities and the economic model of development the vocation of the
human being is to aid the weak and the sick. Believe me, all the
children of “Zangak” need is kindness. We cannot cure their bodies but
we can cure their souls. So let’s give them a chance!


Gasifying of Stepanakert completed soon

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
May 7, 2004


In two or three months gasification of Stepanakert will be completed,
assured the director of “Artsakhgas” State CJSC Maxim Mirzoyan. In
this direction efficient work is carried out not only in the capital
but also the regions of the republic. Presently the company carries
out repairs of the old gas pipelines. Since May 1 the tariff of the
gas fee has been increased from 51 to 59 drams for each cubic meter.
Taking into account the fact that there are terms for payment of gas,
as well as electricity fees, which is from the first to the fifteenth
of each month, we tried to find out whether this would not arouse
problems among the population in relation to the increased tariff.
According to Maxim Mirzoyan, the employees of “Artsakhgas” carry out
corresponding explanation works among the population to pay in time
the fees for the gas used during the previous month. If the users do
mot make the payments within the mentioned term they will have to pay
by the new tariff. Maxim Mirzoyan says that all the problems in this
reference will be settled within a month.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Numbers say

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
May 7, 2004


According to the data provided by the Civilian Registry Office of
Stepanakert, 212 births, 74 marriages and 11 divorces were registered
from January 1 till May 1 of the current year. Against the same period
of the past year, the birthrate dropped by 14, the marriage rate by
3. Unfortunately, the divorce rate increased; last year in the same
period only 9 divorces were registered.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Le Monde chat with Yves Ternon – Turquie face au génocide arménien?

La Turquie face au génocide arménien
LEMONDE.FR | 07.05.04 | 17h24
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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Who Are Political Prisoners?

A1 Plus | 19:03:48 | 06-05-2004 | Politics |


“It is wrong to call those arrested for participation in the Opposition
rallies political prisoners”, “Republican” Party Chair Galust Sahakyan says.

So, how to call them? “People can cause disorders, break laws and be
arrested. When it is said a political prisoner or a political pursuit,
scaled operations we have witnessed are meant. And we cried all over the
world that we have political despots and political arrests”, Sahakyan

“Why was I arrested?”, “Justice” Bloc Secretary Ruzan Khachatryan asked.
“You know, I can’t now answer what for you were taken in detention. But as
far as I know you I think you wouldn’t commit a sin”, Mr. Sahakyan answered.

“Would you answer the same way if you knew all those arrested in person?”, a
journalist asked. “To know them we must gather, discuss, analyze all the
cases and make decisions”, Galust Sahakyan said.