ASBAREZ Online [04-20-2004]


1) Opposition Moves Strengthen Coalition Says Kocharian
2) Russian Mediator Says Prague Meeting Raises Optimism
3) Ghulian Tells Mann Karabagh Must Be Active Participant
4) US Envoy Meets Armenian Opposition Leaders
5) Holy Mass and Requiem Service in Memory of the Victims of the Armenian

1) Opposition Moves Strengthen Coalition Says Kocharian

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Meeting with reporters at the National Picture
Gallery on Tuesday, President Robert Kocharian dismissed allegations that he
plans to disband parliament and appoint a new cabinet.
“I can say for certain that I do not have such intentions,” Kocharian told
reporters. “We are able to work effectively with this political team. We are
going to work together at least until the next parliamentary elections, which
is for three more years.”
He pointed to the absurdity of such assertions especially when considering
Armenia’s economic growth and smooth implementation of the national budget.
“Dissolution of a government that provides economic growth is nonsense,” he
Rumors of internal dissentions emerged last week when coalition government
members, in a joint statement, announced they would not be attending
sessions, so as to avoid possible clashes between their supporters and the
opposition crowd.
Referring to those rumors, Kocharian insisted that the governing coalition
partners have not boycotted parliament sessions, and plan to resume work next
week. “The previous session did not take place because of the demonstration
threats specifically addressed to the parliament.”
He suggested that the coalition has even strengthened and begun to work more
effectively, in having to face the opposition. “The concept of having to work
within a coalition has not yet developed in our country; this [was perhaps]
incentive necessary for the political forces in the coalition to work more
closely and in a coordinated manner.”
Asked about the opposition’s pledge to continue to seek his resignation, he
said that as long as the opposition organizes its meetings and demonstrations
without closing the streets and without unlawful actions, they are allowed to
do so. He cautioned that though it is natural for the opposition to seek to
replace those in power, it is also natural for the leadership of any country,
to take steps to provide stability. “We are doing our job; we have done it,
will continue doing it, while the opposition shirks its duties in parliament,
and gathers meetings in the streets.”

2) Russian Mediator Says Prague Meeting Raises Optimism

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The Russian co-chairman of the Minsk Group Yuri
Merzlyakov, told Azeri ATV that new ideas on resolving the Mountainous
conflict were put forth during the meeting between Armenian foreign minister
Vartan Oskanian and his new Azeri counterpart Elmar Mamedyarov. The meeting
which took place in Prague was mediated by the US, Russian, and French
co-chairs of the Minsk Group, which spearheads the Organization for Security
and Co-Operation in Europe’s (OSCE) efforts to find a political solution to
this conflict.
Merzlyakov called the meeting “useful,” and disclosed that the co-chairmen
presented fresh ideas and suggestions on how to end the conflict.
Merzlyakov also said that the Prague meeting has roused certain optimism
future prospects fore a settlement–a sentiment shared by the foreign
of the countries, who conferred they were satisfied with the meeting.
The group’s co-chairman, along with Oskanian and Mamedyarov, will be drafting
a joint statement on the results of their latest meeting to present to the
presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. “The new venue of the meeting can be
decided only after the presidents of the two countries are fully informed
the Prague meeting,” Merzlyakov said.
According to the Baku-based 525 Gazet, Mamedyarov said that the Prague
meeting’s end result was to set a tentative agreement to meet again next
and that the meeting did not discuss the new proposals put forth by the

3) Ghulian Tells Mann Karabagh Must Be Active Participant

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Mountainous Karabagh Republic’s (MKR) Foreign Minister
Ashot Ghulian and the new American co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk group Steven
Mann met on April 19 at the MKR permanent representation in Yerevan.
In presenting MKR’s official position on regulating the conflict, Ghulian
stressed that Karabagh, as a side to the conflict, must directly
participate in
peace talks. Ghulian also summarized the economic and political situation of
the country.
Mann confirmed the determination of the US to continue the regulation
working within the framework of OSCE Minsk group.
Mann’s next visit will include meetings in Stepanakert with MKR authorities.

4) US Envoy Meets Armenian Opposition Leaders

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–US Ambassador John Ordway met on Tuesday with the two most
senior leaders of Armenia’s opposition, but did not comment on his separate
meetings with Stepan Demirchian of the Artarutyun alliance and Artashes
Geghamian of the National Unity Party (AMK). Demirchian and Geghamian did not
provide details either. Geghamian said only that both the United States and
European Union would like to see a peaceful end to the Armenian political
“The ambassadors of both the United States and the European Union are calling
for all contentious issues to be resolved through negotiations,” he said.
The US State Department urged both sides last week to embark on a “dialogue.”
Anther opposition rally is planed for Wednesday in Yerevan.

5) Holy Mass and Requiem Service in Memory of the Victims of the Armenian

On the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Armenians all over the world
will commemorate the tragic events, and will attend church services to exalt
the sacred memory of our martyrs.
On this occasion, a special requiem service will be held on Saturday, April
24, at St. Mary’s Apostolic Church in Glendale with the participation of the
spiritual leadership of the three Armenian religious denominations in the
Western United States.
The ceremony will be held under the auspices of the Prelate His Eminence
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian. Very Rev. Vrouyr Demirjian, the Pastor of
Forty Martyrs Church will conduct the Holy Mass. Very Rev. Rafael Minassian,
the spiritual leader of the Armenian Catholic Community in California, and
Apraham Chaparian of the Armenian Evangelical Church will participate in the
ceremony. Also present will be the spiritual leaders of sister Churches who
will deliver their word of blessing.
After the 9:30 AM Holy Mass, a requiem service will be held in the
in front of the monument dedicated to the 1.5 million victims of the Genocide.
His Eminence the Prelate will deliver his message during the ceremony.

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