ASBAREZ Online [07-21-2004]


1. Thousands Participate in ARF/ADL-Organized Demonstration
2. ARF-ADL Joint Press Conference
3. Turkish PM in Paris, Peppered With Probes on Genocide
4. Political Representatives Meet with Journalists on Karabagh Issue
5. Regional Stability Focus of Georgia FM Visit to Armenia

1. Thousands Participate in ARF/ADL-Organized Demonstration

PARIS (AYFFM1/–Thousands of demonstrators on Tuesday converged
on the spot where Prime Minister Erdogan was expected to give his press
ARF and ADL representatives as well as representatives of the Cypriot and
Kurdish communities of France addressed the demonstrators. Also participating
was the ARF representative of Holland. That country will assume the Presidency
of the European Union in the coming months.
ARF’s Papazian stated that representative of Armenian communities would be
visiting the European leaders with whom Prime Minister Erdogan met during his
Papazian also reported that on Monday Erdogan had addressed a gathering of
3,000 Turks in France in an attempt to reorganize the Turkish community there.

2. ARF-ADL Joint Press Conference

At the very moment that French President Jacques Chirac and the Turkish Prime
Minister were meeting in France on Tuesday, the Armenian Revolutionary
Federation and the Armenian Democratic League (the Ramgavar party) held a
press conference.
Also participating in the conference was Michel Tubiana, President of the
French League for Human Rights and Vice-President of FIDHthe International
Federation of Human Rights (La Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits
de l’Homme).
First to address reporters was Mourad Papazian, Representative of the Western
Europe ARF Central Committee. Referencing reports by FIDH and other human
rights organizations, he pointed out the dismal state of the human rights
situation in Turkey.
Papazian referred to Turkey’s policy of genocide denial and the conditions
forth by the 18 June 1987 decision of the European Parliament. He also
discussed the Copenhagen Criteria, saying that the reforms being carried
out in
Turkey are entirely insufficient and superficial, and the newly adopted laws
have simply remained dead letters.
The ARF representative concluded that Turkey is not ready for entry into the
European Union. He explained that the decision to open accession talks are
given only for those countries that have met the conditions set by Europe,
whereas Turkey ignores European courts, which every year issue numerous
condemnations of and verdicts against Turkey.
Varoujan Sirabian spoke on behalf of the ADL, presenting the numerous reasons
why Turkey is ineligible for entry into the European Union. He spoke of the
threats to human rights and democracy in Turkeyand the dangers of the Turkish
regime, in particular the Islamist ideology of Erdogan’s Justice and
Development Party (AKP) and his ideological orientation and statements.
Michel Tubiana spoke about the current situation in Turkey. He criticized
Turkey’s delays in implementing its recently adopted laws and considered its
continual denial of the Armenian Genocide unacceptable.

3. Turkish PM in Paris, Peppered With Probes on Genocide

PARIS (AYFFM1 )–Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during his
official visit to France, held a press conference in Paris on Monday, July 19,
in the course of which he attempted to alleviate widespread concerns in French
public opinion regarding Turkey’s candidacy for accession to the European
Erdogan said there is no need for concern in France, because December 17,
is not the date by which Turkey would be joining the European Union. Rather,
that is when a date would be set for starting negotiations, he stressed.
Erdogan was in France July 19-20, after having visited Germany and
Holland, in
an attempt to secure support.
Turkey has recently undertaken a massive public relations campaign in an
attempt to show that it is making significant progress toward meeting the
European Council’s Copenhagen Criteria for Turkey’s accession to the Union and
should therefore receive a date for beginning accession talks.
Five of the approximately 15 questions put to Erdogan during the press
conference were on Armenian topics, including the Armenian Genocide. In his
responses, Erdogan did not attempt to term the Genocide “alleged” or “so
called” or otherwise refute the fact of its occurrence.
He did say, however, that the Armenian Genocide is a matter of the past and
should be left up to historians. He stressed that it is necessary to focus on
the part of the glass that is full and to look toward the future.
Erdogan was asked about what assurance he could give that Turkey would adhere
to the decisions of the European Parliament if Turkey were to become a member
of it, when in fact it has not complied with the 18 June 1987 decision of the
Parliament, which set forth the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the
resolution of the Cyprus and Kurdish problems as preconditions for Turkey’s
entry into the European Union.
Erdogan replied, “We respect and implement [only] those decisions that are
An Azerbaijani television reporter asked the Prime Minister, “Previously you
used to say that to normalize relations with Armenia it is necessary to
the Karabagh question, but now you talk about the Genocide issue and final
recognition by Armenia of Turkey’s borders. Which is the more fundamental
Erdogan replied that regarding both sets of issues all sides must work
hand-in-hand to reach just resolutions and live in a peaceful environment. He
added that in any event the populations of the Armenia-Turkey border area wish
to see the Armenia-Turkey border opened.
The reporter of the Turkish Zaman paper asked what Turkey would do if the
French Parliament passes a law criminalizing denial of the Genocide, and
whether that issue had been a subject of discussions with the French President
and Premier. Erdogan replied that no such discussions have taken placeand, in
any event, he does not wish to interfere in the internal affairs of another
The Turkish Prime Minister also referred to France-Turkey relation, economic
matters, the Middle East crisis, and Iraq… always attempting to present
as a peace-loving and democratic leader.

4. Political Representatives Meet with Journalists on Karabagh Issue

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Representatives of various political forces and several
journalists met in Yerevan on July 21 to discuss the official position along
with public perception about the Mountainous Karabagh conflict resolution
Organized by the Armenian Press Club, the event attracted Armenian
Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and Republican party representatives, and
members of the Constitutional Rights Union.
The most outspoken critic of returning liberated territories under some sort
of mutual agreement was ARF’s Giro Manoyan who categorically ruled out the
option, saying those territories serve as a protective zone around the
Mountainous Karabagh Republic.
He instead proposed that the liberated territories be defined, and MKR
sovereignty over the liberated territories. “We shouldn’t forget that blood
shed there,” he declared
Manoyan explained that if the status of liberated territories remains
not only will speculation about its surrender to Azerbaijan persist, but its
population will also face constant threat.
“We should do our best to establish a situation, in which those living within
the liberated territories cannot be exiled,” he emphasized, saying
need to become more active.

5. Regional Stability Focus of Georgia FM Visit to Armenia

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Georgia’s Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili, arrived
in Armenia on Wednesday to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional issues
with Armenia’s leadership.
Zurabishvili and Armenian counterpart Vartan Oskanian spoke about the
advantages of forging and strengthening existing partnerships with European
Euroatlantic structures, namely, the European Union and NATO. The two bodies
have recently shifted their focus to the stability of the South Caucuses, and
have stepped up activity there.
Addressing regional economic development, Oskanian targeted the
development of
road and transport corridors extending east-west, and north-south in order to
make the South Caucasus a lively trade route. In this context, the full
reopening of regional railroads–specifically the Kars-Gyumri-Tbilisi, and the
Abkhazian section of the Russia-Georgia-Armenia railroads–were emphasized.
Regional energy safety was reviewed, along with possible approaches to
resolving issues in Mountainous Karabagh, Ossetia, and Abkhazia.
Later in the day, Zurabishvili met with Armenian National Assembly Speaker
Artur Baghdassarian and Prime Minister Andranik Margarian who stressed that
healthy bilateral relations between their two countries is key to regional
Margarian, who co-chairs the Armenian-Georgian Inter-Governmental Commission
on Economic Cooperation with his Georgian counterpart Zurab Zhvania, is due to
visit Georgia for a regular meeting of the commission to review cooperation in
the economic, energy, and transportation sectors.
Margarian offered Armenia’s assistance in implementing socio-economic
development programs in Georgia’s impoverished region of Javakhk, and
confidence that Georgia would pay due attention to the economic, cultural, and
education problems that Javakh’s majority Armenian population faces.
Zurabishvili also met with representatives of the Georgian community in
Armenia at the Georgian Embassy, and visited the Parajanov house-museum, and
the Armenian Genocide memorial. She will also be meeting with President Robert


7,000 Urban Residents in Lori to Receive Food Aid

VANADZOR (ARMENPRESS)Some 7,000 urban residents in the province of Lori will
be the recipients of food aid from the UN World Food Program. The aid
distribution is set to begin later on this month. Each individual will receive
29 kg of flour, vegetable oil and lentil. Under an agreement with the Armenian
government, the World Food Program will continue its assistance into 2006.

Ambassador to Italy Gives Talk on Karabagh Conflict

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)Armenian Ambassador to Italy Gagik Baghdasarian, made an
hour long presentation about the Mountainous Karabagh conflict during the
`Identity and Memory: Europe and the Management of Conflicts’ seminar,
organized by the Italian San Marino Summer University. The seminar, which was
held between July 16 and 18, was attended by students, young researchers and
professors from across Italy.

Armenian Youth Particpate in Italian Soccer Competition

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)The Italian embassy in Yerevan said on Tuesday that it
issued visas to a group of young Futbol Federation of Armenia players. The
Armenian soccer players, who are between the ages of 9-14, have invited to
participate in a competition in Italy organized by the Federazione Italiana
Gioco Calcio (FIGC).
The competition is scheduled to take place in the Summer Center of the
Norcia, Italy from July 25 to 31. The FIGC has also invited a delegation from
Azerbaijan. It is likely that the two teams may face each other in a friendly
match. All trip-related expenses will be covered by the FIGC.

Javakhk Artists Display their Work In Yerevan

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)An exhibition featuring the work of artists from Javakhk
opened in Yerevan on July 20. Approximately 100 paintings are on display. A
similar event was last held about ten years ago.

Armenian Wrestler Wins Silver Medal

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)Greco-Roman wrestler Khosrov Melikian snatched the silver
medal at a Europe youth championship in Slovenia. Melikian, who is a resident
of Gyumri, defeated all four of his rivals in the 50 kg weight class.

Writers Union Condemns Review Court Decision

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)In a move that is likely to further exacerbate relations
between Armenian writers and judicial authorities, the Union of Armenia’s
Writers issued a statement on July 20 `to express the deep indignation about
the rude violation of the Union’s rights by a court of review.’
The statement followed a court of review verdict that cancelled a lower court
decision in favor of the Union concerning a hospital that was run by the Union
for decades. The hospital was sold by the Arabkir community to a businessmen
through an agreement, which the writers say is non-existent and that the
community had no right to regulate the fate of the hospital.
In a letter addressed to the president, the Union asked Robert Kocharian to
interfere. On Monday, the chairman of the Union stated that they were not
to surrender and will take the case to the Court of Appeals.

Reporters Demands Investigation into Azeri Case

BAKU (ARMENPRESS)On Tuesday, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders called
upon Azerbaijan’s law enforcement bodies to find out and punish the
perpetrators of last Saturday’s assault of Aydin Guliyev, who serves as the
chief editor of opposition daily Baki-Khabar (Baku-News). Guliyev was abducted
and beaten by four unidentified assailants in Baku on July 17.
Guliyev said on Monday that the four masked men accused him of dispersing
anti-Islamic propaganda through his publication and being disrespectful to
Azerbaijan’s `statehood.’ He emphasized that his newspaper never published
articles against Islam and that the accusations were intended to cover the
reason for the attack, which he believes could have been ordered by the
government. Guliyev added that he had been receiving phone threats for around
ten days prior to his abduction. The editor has since appealed to the various
embassies in Baku in search of asylum.
Baki-Khabar serves as the publication of the opposition Azerbaijan Democrat
Party, which is currently chaired by Rasul Guliyevan ex-parliamentary speaker
who now lives in exile in the United States. A former ally of the late
President Heydar Aliyev, Aydin Guliyev split with the leader in 1996 and
founded the opposition party. He is accused of appropriating large amounts of
state funds while working as the head of an oil refinery plant in Baku during
the early 1990s.

PM Meets with Outgoing American Ambassador

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)On Tuesday, Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Margarian
received the outgoing United States Ambassador to Armenia, John Ordway.
our first meeting three years ago I was sure that we were going to cooperate
successfully. Today it is a reality,’ the ambassador stated during his
meeting with the prime minister. He thanked the Armenian government, and the
prime minister personally, for the work the two sides were able to accomplish
during his tenure.
In turn, Margarian commended the ambassador’s efforts in deepening the ties
between the two countries and noted that visible political and economic
relations and cooperation within international organizations has emerged.
Margarian specifically referred to Armenia’s eligibility in the Millennium
Challenge Account (MCA) program, and assured the ambassador that Armenia will
comply with the deadline and submit its suggestions and approved program to
US government.

Agency to Ask Court To Dissolve 58 Political Parties

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)According to State Registration Agency of the Justice
Ministry, only 63 of the 121 formerly registered political parties, have
submitted the proper paperwork required for formal registration. Agency head
Gurgen Sarkisian stated that they will ask the courts to dissolve the 58
parties that have not fulfilled the required criteria under the country’s

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