ASBAREZ Online [03-25-2004]


1) The Ararat Wing of the Opposition Seeks Personal Revenge
2) Latest Efforts to Save World’s Historic Armenian Monuments
3) Azerbaijan Cancels Crucial Talks on Karabagh
4) Azerbaijan Warns Against Opening Turkey-Armenian Border
5) Javakhk Council of NGOs Throws Support behind Saakashvili Party

1) The Ararat Wing of the Opposition Seeks Personal Revenge


YEREVAN–The home of former Defense Minister Vagharshak Haroutiunian has been
converted into the “Strategic Headquarters” for the realization of regime
change in Armenia, reliable sources have informed Azg.
Leaders of the Armenian opposition–specifically its Ararat wing, led by
former Prime Minister Aram Sargsian–regularly gather there to plan out
scenarios for toppling the administration of Robert Kocharian.
Also active and interested in this matter are the Armenian National Movement,
although for now in a supporting role, and the first President of Armenia,
Levon Ter Petrosian. The undertaking is reportedly receiving financing from
Vatche Manoukian, the London-based millionaire.
The opposition will attempt to take to the streets, rallying crowds to
surround the President’s office and obstruct him from entering his workplace.
The former authorities of the Republic are placing their bets on Aram
Sargsian, taking into account his family’s misfortune: his brother, former
Defense Minister and Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsian was the victim of the
October 27, 1999 killings, and his other brother, Armen Sargsian, was
to 15 years’ imprisonment on charges of contracting the killing of chief of
Armenian State TV Tigran Naghdalian. The strategists of regime change seem to
have made the right choice in Aram Sargsian, who is eager to take revenge on
Robert Kocharian.
The [current] authorities are in a determined mood and are prepared to stifle
the opposition by resorting to forcible means, according to information
available to Azg.
Only a few weeks ago, during his television interview, Kocharian made it
to the opposition that maintaining the constitutional order is the purview of
the power structures–the interior and security forces. The response of
Minister Serzh Sargsian was more clear and unadorned: “We’ll see who
whom.” It is plain, notwithstanding the threats directed at the opposition,
that the authorities are becoming upset.

2) Latest Efforts to Save World’s Historic Armenian Monuments

YEREVAN (Armenpress/ArmeniaWeek)–A Non-Governmental Organization that studies
Armenian architecture has located and examined Armenian monuments in the
Republic of Armenia, historic Armenia, the Diaspora, as well on sites of
The aim of the organization, Research on Armenian Architecture, has been to
photograph, examine, and register Armenian historical monuments and to publish
corresponding informational documents.
Head of the organization Samvel Karapetian, says that the task at hand is to
“preserve Armenian historic and cultural treasures on paper.”
Examinations of Armenian cultural monuments are being conducted in Georgia,
Azerbaijan, certain regions of Northern Iran, historic Gougark, Barskahayk,
Mountainous Karabagh Republic.
Unlike Armenia’s other neighbors, says Karapetian, Iran not only preserves
also restores Armenian monuments, allocating funds from its national budget
towards that goal.
Karapetian said he is convinced that the unique Armenian historic and
treasures prove that Armenia is an equal among other nations and
The town of Jugha was the center of Yerndjak province in the late Middle
In 1605, its population was deported to Persia under orders of Shah Abbas I
the town was destroyed.
Only Jugha’s cemetery was left unharmed, with gravestones dating back to the
Ninth Century. In 1648, there were 10,000 khachkars (stone crosses) registered
at the cemetery, a number that had shrunk to 2,700 by 1973.
In 1998, eyewitnesses on the Iranian side of the border reported seeing
smashing the khachkars with bulldozers and removing the pieces on trucks.
In February 2003, Karapetian announced that the Armenian cemetery in the
has been entirely destroyed.
“These acts not only harm those who have created culture, but also all of
modern civilization,” says Karapetian.
To date, Research on Armenian Architecture has published 13 volumes,
some in English and Russian. An outline of an additional 30 volumes is ready
for print. The organization’s archives house 56,000 digital images and 140,000
photographs of Armenian cultural and historical monuments.
“We have photographs of the majority of Armenian monuments throughout the
world,” revealed Karapetian.
In Northern Artsakh alone, there are 2,800 monuments and a total of 6,200 in
Mountainous Karabagh Republic, with 1,800 in the liberated lands. Georgia
houses 650 Armenian churches.
Research on Armenian Architecture was founded in Germany in 1983 by Dr. Armen
Hakhnazarian. Branches were established in the United States in 1996 and in
Armenia in 1998.

3) Azerbaijan Cancels Crucial Talks on Karabagh

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliyev has canceled
his upcoming crucial meeting with his Armenian counterpart. Armenia had hoped
the talks would serve to establish whether the Mountainous Karabagh conflict
could be resolved in the foreseeable future.
The decision was announced late Wednesday amid renewed Azeri criticism of the
American, French, and Russian mediators. President Ilham Aliyev again accused
the three co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe of doing little to achieve a peaceful settlement of the
dispute. He also warned ally Turkey against reopening its border with
Guliyev said that he will not travel to the Czech capital Prague to meet with
Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian because the agenda of the talks scheduled for
Monday has not been specified.
There was no immediate reaction from the Minsk Group. Russia’s top Karabagh
negotiator Yuri Merzlyakov, was quoted as only telling an Azeri television
channel that the talks initiated by the mediators will not take place because
“one of the parties” decided so. The Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed the
information on Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry in Yerevan declined a comment, though Hamlet Gasparian,
told RFE/RL that the ministry has received no written notification from the
Oskanian said last week that the Prague meeting should clarify whether
Baku is
ready to revive Karabagh agreements reached by the Armenian and Azeri
presidents in Paris and in Key West three years ago. He added that Aliyev
have to negotiate only with Karabagh Armenians if he finally backpedals from
those agreements.
Aliyev, however, reiterated Baku’s vehement denial of any peace deals cut by
his late father and predecessor Heydar at the Paris and Key West talks. “There
was and there is no agreement,” he told journalists in Baku. “This is just
another lie circulated by the Armenian side.”
Aliyev went on to attack the Minsk Group, which he said has done “nothing
positive” since being set up in 1992. “When we are told that the presidents of
Azerbaijan and Armenia should reach and agreement themselves and the co-chairs
will support whatever they decide, that is not mediation,” he said.
Azeri leaders have repeatedly complained that peace proposals put forward by
the mediators in recent years would not return Karabagh to Azeri rule. Aliyev
declared recently that his oil-rich nation is not in a hurry to agree to a
compromise deal because he believes it is the Armenians who suffer more from
the unresolved conflict.

4) Azerbaijan Warns Against Opening Turkey-Armenian Border

BAKU (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–Azeri President Ilham Aliyev warned that a reopening
of the Turkish-Armenian border, not ruled out by the current government in
Ankara, would further complicate the Karabagh peace process because
would lose in that case an important lever.’ `It is no secret that the
Union and other influential countries are putting pressure on Turkey to open
its border with Armenia,’ he said. `But I have said many times that if that
happens then the Karabagh conflict will never be resolved.’
Insisting that pressure on Turkey stop if interested parties genuinely seek a
peaceful resolution to the Karabagh conflict, Aliyev confidently said that
Turkey would not give in to this pressure. “The Turkish-Azeri brotherhood is
above everything else both for us and for the people of Turkey.”
Aliyev also criticized the OSCE Minsk Group for its inability to play a
positive role in finding a resolution to the Karabagh conflict.
Reacting to the remarks, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said the lifting of
Turkish blockade would, on the contrary, facilitate a Karabagh settlement.
`Turkey could really be an important factor in political and economic
developments in our region if it abandons its one-sided approaches favoring
Azerbaijan,’ a ministry statement said.

5) Javakhk Council of NGOs Throws Support behind Saakashvili Party

AKHALKALAK (A-Info)– During its March 24 general session, the Council of
Armenian non-governmental organizations (NGO) of Javakhk adopted a
statement in
support of the National Movement party in the upcoming parliamentary

Their support lies in the bloc’s `practical approach to carrying out reforms
in the country,’ reads the statement, stating that the number of Armenian
candidates running on the party’s ballot was also a consideration.
The council stresses the significance of the May 28 elections in deciding the
future of the country. With an interest in the establishment of stability in
Georgia, the council expressed readiness to contribute to the holding of fair
elections, concluding that `constitutional reforms and the establishment of
democratic values will give an opportunity to resolve the problems of the
population of Javakhk.’
Formed by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, the National Movement was
the opposition party during the Shevardnadze administration.

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