ASBAREZ Online [04-19-2004]


1) New York Times Revises Policy on Armenian Genocide
2) New US Karabagh Envoy Visits Armenia
3) Turkey to Keep Border with Armenia Closed
4) Aram I Stresses Need to Condemn Genocide Perpetrators
5) Antelias Conference on Genocide, Impunity, and Justice

1) New York Times Revises Policy on Armenian Genocide


WOODSIDE, NY–The New York Times has lifted its long-standing policy against
the use of the term “Armenian Genocide,” reported the Armenian National
Committee (ANC) of New York.
According to a news release by the International Association of Genocide
Scholars, The New York Times revised guideline for journalists states that
“after careful study of scholarly definitions of ‘genocide,’ we have
decided to
accept the term in references to the Turks’ mass destruction of Armenians in
and around 1915.” The policy goes on to note that “the expression ‘Armenian
genocide’ may be used freely and should not be qualified with phrasing like
‘what Armenians call,’ etc.”
The New York Times guidelines continue, noting that, “by most historical
accounts, the Ottoman Empire killed more than one million Armenians in a
campaign of death and mass deportation aimed at eliminating the Armenian
population throughout what is now Turkey.” Finally, it advises journalists
“while we may of course report Turkish denials on those occasions when they
relevant, we should not couple them with the historians’ findings, as if they
had equal weight.”
“We welcome this decision taken by the New York Times as a meaningful step
toward ending official US complicity in the Turkish government’s campaign to
deny the Armenian Genocide,” said ANC of New York Chairperson Tony Vartanian.
“We appreciate the tremendous contribution of all organizations, historians
activists who, over the years, worked to provide the necessary information to
the New York Times so that they can make this informed, but long overdue
decision. Armenian Americans feel a tremendous sense of pride that the
Times–the paper of record–no longer actively participates in the denial of
this great crime against humanity.”
The New York Times’ recently released guidelines returns the newspaper to its
policy of accurate reporting established during the years of the Armenian
Genocide. Nearly 200 articles on the genocide were published by The New York
Times between 1914 and 1922, all of which were compiled in a book by Richard
Kloian titled “The Armenian Genocide-News Accounts from the American Press:
For more than two decades, the ANC, working with its network of grassroots
activists around the country, initiated several nationwide campaigns to press
The New York Times to end its practice of dismissing the Armenian Genocide as
simply an Armenian historical claim. Armenian Weekly editor Jason Sohigian has
written extensively to the New York Times, working to provide timely
information and input to the editorial staff.
Last year, the ANC of Eastern Massachusetts spearheaded the successful effort
to urge the Boston Globe to suspend its policy against the use of the term
“genocide” when referring to the Armenian Genocide. The decision was made in
July 2003, setting a precedent for its parent company–The New York Times–to
reexamine its policy.

2) New US Karabagh Envoy Visits Armenia

YEREVAN (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–Ambassador Steven Mann, the newly appointed chief
US negotiator on Mountainous Karabagh did not reveal details of his talks with
President Robert Kocharian and other senior officials in Yerevan on Monday.
Mann, who is on his first visit to the region in his current capacity as US
co-chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Minsk Group, said he had a “very useful and warm meeting” with Kocharian but
refused to disclose details. “I want to preserve the confidentiality of our
diplomatic dialogue,” he told reporters.
He was scheduled to meet with Ashot Ghulian, the foreign minister of the
Mountainous Karabagh Republic, later in the day.
The US envoy arrived in the Armenian capital three days after a meeting in
Prague between Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian and his new Azeri counterpart
Elmar Mammadyarov. The talks were mediated by the US, Russian, and French
co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
Speaking at a news conference in Yerevan, Oskanian said he and Mammadyarov
spent most of their time in Prague familiarizing with one another and did not
discuss any peace proposals in detail. He added that they reached a tentative
agreement to meet again next month.
Oskanian and Mann also met in Yerevan on Monday to discuss approaches to
conflict resolution, and explore means to strengthening the peace talks.
foreign minister of Armenia Tatul Margarian and US ambassador to Armenia John
Ordway participated in the discussions.
Mann also met with Defense Minister Serge Sarkisian who was quoted as saying
that Armenia promotes a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and stressed the
Minsk Group’s essential role in the process of regulating the conflict.
Before assuming his current position, Mann for years served as a special US
representative to the Caspian Sea region, focusing on the development of its
oil and natural reserves by Western multinational companies. He admitted that
that his “familiarity with the region” played a major role in his
“It has been 25 years that in one way or another I have been working
professionally with the Caucasus region and the former Soviet Union,” he
In January 1992, Mann opened the US Embassy in Yerevan and served as the US
charge d’affaires to Armenia. He served as US ambassador to Turkmenistan from
1998-2001. A career diplomat, Mann has also held posts in Moscow, Jamaica, Sri
Lanka, and Mongolia.
Mann said that he will head to Tbilisi on Tuesday “for consultations with the
Georgian government” before proceeding to Baku later this week. He did not
specify the subject of those consultations.

3) Turkey to Keep Border with Armenia Closed

(AFP)–Turkey reinforced its ties with neighboring Azerbaijan on Monday when
the Turkish foreign minister said his country would not re-open its border
“For now, it is out of the question to re-open the Turkish-Armenian border,”
Abdullah Gul said, days after visiting Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 to support Baku in its war
against Yerevan over the Mountainous Karabagh enclave. Azerbaijan had feared
that Turkey would re-open its border with Armenia in a bid to please the
European Union, which it is hoping to join. Aliyev said in a recent interview
that relations with Ankara would suffer if Turkey again opened the border.
While Turkey’s foreign minister renewed his support for Azerbaijan on Monday,
he also urged the two countries to find a solution over Karabagh. “We cannot
let this question go into hibernation,” he said. He said Ankara wants to
organize a meeting “in the next few months” between Turkey, Azerbaijan, and
Armenia to help find a settlement over the region.
A Turkish diplomat told AFP that the meeting, the third of its kind in recent
years, could take place on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Istanbul on
Improvement of ties between Azerbaijan and Armenia carry significance for
Turkey. Such a prospect can pave the way for a corresponding thaw in relations
between Ankara and Yerevan.

4) Aram I Stresses Need to Condemn Genocide Perpetrators

ANTELIAS–In his speech “Genocides in The 20th Century and Lessons to
Humanity,” delivered to the international conference “Lasting Peace in
His Holiness Aram I, emphasized that taking a punitive approach is crucial in
preventing genocides. Referring to the Armenian Genocide as “still awaiting
justice,” his statement stressed that neither negation nor denial would
dialogue, or serve to restore justice, build peace, or achieve

Teny Simonian, who accompanied the General Secretary of the World Council of
Churches Dr. Sam Kobia, delivered the address on behalf of Aram I, who was
unable to travel to Kigali, Rwanda for the conference.
In another address to a public gathering at the Kigali stadium, His Holiness
Aram I expressed extended support to the people of Rwanda in their process of
renaissance and reconciliation. “The truth must be told and accepted; memory
must be respected.” That text was delivered by Very Rev. Krikor Chiftjian, the
Communication Officer of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia.
Kobia and Simonian, on behalf of His Holiness Aram I, met with the President
of Kenya and the Prime Minister, and referred to the Armenian Genocide in
official meetings and at public gatherings.

5) Antelias Conference on Genocide, Impunity, and Justice

In commemorating the Armenian Genocide this year, the Armenian
Catholicosate of
Cilicia will hold an international conference, “Genocide, Impunity and
Justice,” in addition to religious and political functions marking April 24.
The conference will take place April 22-23 in Antelias, Lebanon, under the
auspices of His Excellency General Emile Lahoud, the President of the Republic
of Lebanon.
Composed of three panels, the conference will address Impunity: a Juridical
Perspective: Impunity: a Religious Perspective; Overcoming Denial and

Several university professors, lawyers, and special guests will participate
part in the conference, including French Court of Cassation Magistrate and
Rapporteur of UN sub-Commission on Human Rights Louis Joinet, who will present
a lecture on the United Nations and the struggle against impunity; Haigazian
University President Dr. Paul Haidostian, who will present a Christian
perspective on impunity; Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology Dr.
Abdallah El-Sayed, who will present a Muslim perspective on impunity; and
Lebanese University professor Dr. Meguerditch Meguerditchian, who will present
the Armenian experience on overcoming denial and impunity.
The Rwandan president’s representative will address the conference and
participate, along with a high-ranking delegation form Rwanda.

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