ASBAREZ Online [06-24-2004]


1. ANCA Joins Coalition Campaign to Stop Genocide in Sudan
2. Berlin Leader Momper Addresses Turkey’s Genocide Denial
3. Russian Mediator Confirms Work on New Karabagh Plan
4. Bomb Blasts across Turkey Days before NATO Summit
5. Armenia Reaffirms Plans to Join NATO Drills in Azerbaijan

1. ANCA Joins Coalition Campaign to Stop Genocide in Sudan

WASHINGTON, DC (ANCA)–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)
participated in a press conference yesterday, organized by the Congressional
Black Caucus and Africa Action, voicing its support for a nationwide,
grassroots campaign to secure US intervention to stop the impending
genocide in
Congressional Black Caucus members, including Chairman Elijah Cummings
Representatives Donald Payne (D-NJ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA),
Maxine Waters (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), and Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
were joined by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Tom Tancredo
and Africa Action Executive Director Salih Booker in calling attention to the
ongoing tragedy in Sudan, which has already claimed tens of thousands of lives
in 2004.
In response to a question by ANCA Government Affairs Director Abraham
Niziblian about individual involvement in stopping the cycle of genocide in
Sudan, Rep. Payne cited the example of he Armenian Genocide, noting, “if we
done something then [in 1915], we would not have had the 1930’s genocide
committed by the Nazis.” Salih then stressed the importance of
participating in
a petition drive initiated by Africa Action on June 15, calling on
Secretary of
State Colin Powell to support an immediate intervention to stop the killing
Over the past several weeks, the ANCA has called attention to the atrocities
in Sudan through a series of letters to Congressional offices, urging them to
take a stand to stop the cycle of genocide through support of Congressional
initiatives regarding Sudan as well as for the Genocide Resolution
(H.Res.193 /
S.Res.164), which reaffirms US commitment to the principles of the Genocide
In a June 17 memo to Congressional staff members, Niziblian stated, “As the
descendants of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, Armenian Americans feel a
special obligation to encourage our government to take the lead in preventing
genocides, anywhere around the world. Please stand up against genocide in
and do all that you can to ensure we, as a nation, meet our obligations under
the Genocide Convention to prevent and punish all instances of genocide.”
Similarly on June 23, Niziblian asked Members of Congress to “work for the
passage of the Genocide Resolution (H.Res.193 and S.Res.164) to reaffirm our
collective commitment to the aims of the Genocide Convention.”
The Genocide Resolution was introduced in the Senate in June, 2003 by
John Ensign (R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ). Its companion House measure,
H.Res.193, led by Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA), Adam Schiff
and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe
Knollenberg (R-MI), was adopted unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee
last May and has 111 cosponsors. The resolution cites the importance of
remembering past crimes against humanity, including the Armenian Genocide,
Holocaust, Cambodian and Rwandan genocides, in an effort to stop future
atrocities. Support for the measure has been widespread, with a diverse
coalition of over 100 ethnic, religious, civil and human rights organizations
calling for its passage, including American Values, National Organization of
Women, Sons of Italy, NAACP, Union of Orthodox Rabbis, and the National
of La Raza.
Africa Action has reported that, “In Darfur, the Sudanese government is
destroying African Muslim communities who have challenged the authoritarian
rule of the government. Government forces and Arab militias known as the
janjaweed have burned and pillaged thousands of villages, poisoned water
systems, and subjected the population to large-scale rape and other
On May 17, House Members overwhelmingly adopted H.Con.Res. 403, condemning
Sudanese Government for its attacks against innocent civilians in the
impoverished Darfur region of western Sudan, by a margin of 360 to 1. Its
companion resolution in the Senate, S.Con.Res. 99, was adopted unanimously on
May 6. Rep. Payne announced that he would introduce additional legislation
calling on the “UN Security Council to introduce a resolution authorizing
intervention in Darfur” and “urging the US Administration to expose those
responsible for the genocide.”


2. Berlin Leader Momper Addresses Turkey’s Genocide Denial

BERLIN (Armenpress)In a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Andranik
Margarian, the president of the Berlin House of Representatives Walter Momper,
said on Thursday that Turkey has to follow European Union (EU) guidelines in
aspiring to join the EU, and must review its policy on the recognition of the
Armenian genocide. “Every intelligent man knows the reality of Armenian
genocide,” said Momper, clarifying that at least “Germans know of what went on
in the Ottoman Empire in the beginning of the 20th century.”
Margarian urged Momper to consider taking up the issue of the Armenian
genocide in Berlin’s parliament so as to “serve as good example for
others.” He
stressed that recognition and denouncement of the genocide would prevent
repetition of such crimes.
Margarian, along with a sizable Armenian delegation, arrived in Berlin on
22 to conduct three day’s of meetings with high-level officials in an
effort to
boost a wide variety of relations between the two countries.
An Armenian-German Economic Forum took place on June 23 “to introduce Armenia
as reliable partner” according to Armenia’s ambassador to Germany Karine
“I am confident that this Conference will provide a good environment to
achieve its main objective to deepen and further develop the economic
cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of
and give a new incentive to enlargement and consolidation of the existing ties
between the business communities of the two countries,” Ghazarian stressed in
opening the conference.
The one-day forum was organized by the Armenian Embassy in Germany along with
the German Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry, as well as by the
Technical Cooperation Company, German Industry and Trade House, Restoration
Foundation (KFW), Oriental Commission on German Industry, German Investments
and Development Organization.

3. Russian Mediator Confirms Work on New Karabagh Plan

MOSCOW (RFE/RL)A senior Russian diplomat confirmed on Thursday that he and the
other international mediators are working on a new peace plan attempting to
reconcile the opposing strategies of Armenia and Azerbaijan on ending the
Mountainous Karabagh conflict. The Russian co-chair of the OSCE’s Minsk Group
Yuri Merzlyakov, said a synthesis of a “step-by-step” settlement of the
conflict pushed by Azerbaijan and a single “package” accord demanded by the
Armenian side, is the only realistic way of breaking the decade-long deadlock
in the peace process.
“The co-chairs are now trying to propose a variant of the settlement which
would literally allow us to synthesize incompatible proposals, namely, those
two approaches,” Merzlyakov said. “In our view, this is possible to do if the
parties display good will.”
The new “third-way” strategy of conflict resolution was apparently the main
focus. Merzlyakov and the Minsk Group’s French and US co-chairs also took part
in it.
Precisely what practical form that synthesis might take remains unclear.
After his meeting in Prague on Monday with Azerbaijan’s foreign minister,
Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian said that though the idea is
realistic, the approach must somehow address the thorny issue of Karabagh’s
President Robert Kocharian made it clear on Wednesday, however, that
will never agree to Karabagh’s return to Azeri rule.
“Karabagh has never been part of an independent Azerbaijan,” Kocharian said,
addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
“Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity therefore has nothing in common with
Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR).”
MKR’s leadership and the Kocharian administration insist on a “package”
settlement which was almost secured during a peace conference on the Florida
Island of Key West in April 2001.
According to the Armenian side, Azerbaijan’s then President Heydar Aliyev
backtracked on the deal which would have upheld Armenian control of Karabagh.
It proposes settling key problems, including status, security guarantees, and
troop withdrawal, with a single, comprehensive agreement.
Oskanian and other Armenian officials said earlier this year that the only
to push the peace process forward is to revive those Key West agreements.
The step-by-step solution that Azerbaijan advocates was strongly backed in
late 1997 by Kocharian’s predecessor Levon Ter Petrosian. It calls for Armenia
to surrender specific buffer zones to Azerbaijan, in exchange of deployment of
international peacekeepers in Mountainous Karabagh.

4. Bomb Blasts across Turkey Days before NATO Summit

ISTANBUL (Reuters)A bomb blast has ripped through a city bus, killing four
people in Istanbul, days before US President George W. Bush arrives in the
country for a NATO summit, Turkish television says.
It was the second bomb blast to rock a Turkish city on Thursday.
The bus was passing in front of a hospital in a residential district of
Istanbul, the country’s largest city, when the blast occurred, CNN Turk said.
Ambulances rushed to the scene. Seven people were hurt.
Witness Mehmet Tatli told Reuters that he helped carry bodies of the dead and
injured after the explosion and saw four bodies in total.
Earlier on Thursday a small parcel bomb exploded outside the Hilton Hotel in
the Turkish capital of Ankara, where Bush is due to stay on Saturday night
before attending the summit in Istanbul. That blast wounded three people.
The Turkish government, which hosts the NATO summit in Istanbul on June
earlier moved to reassure the public on security arrangements.
“Turkey is a sufficiently strong and secure country. Such incidents happen
everywhere, in London, in Paris, everywhere,” Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul
told reporters, adding that the Bush visit would go ahead as scheduled.
Analysts said the blast renewed global security concerns, which since the
September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States have tended to damage the
Bush is due to spend Saturday night at the Hilton in the southern part of
Ankara where many embassies are located, before talks on Sunday with Prime
Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

5. Armenia Reaffirms Plans to Join NATO Drills in Azerbaijan

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia reaffirmed on Thursday its plans to take part in the
NATO-led military exercise in Azerbaijan this September, but appeared to have
scaled back its participation, strongly opposed by many Azerbaijanis.
Armenian military officials had earlier said that they would like to
participate not only with staff officers, but also with a platoon of combat
troops, saying they did not want to be reduced to mere “observers.”
But Deputy Defense Minister Artur Aghabekian told reporters that only five to
seven officers will now participate in the “Cooperative Best Effort 2004” war
games to be held within the framework of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP)
program. “We have been assigned concrete roles [by the organizers] and we will
take part in the exercise in accordance with them.”
Aghabekian clarified that Armenia has been given five slots in the NATO-led
multinational force that will practice various peace-keeping tasks at an
Azerbaijani military facility.
Final preparations for the drills were discussed this week at a conference in
Baku attended by military representatives from the participating nations,
including two officials from the Armenian Defense Ministry. The conference was
overshadowed by angry protests against their arrival in the Azerbaijani
which were staged by a local pressure group favoring a hard line on Karabagh.

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