ASBAREZ Online [08-03-2004]


1) Christian-Muslim Co-existence Vital to Middle East States Aram I
2) Paul Guiragosian Museum in Yerevan
3) Karabagh President and ARF Delegation Discuss Cooperation
4) BP Executive Meets Georgian President, Seeks Permission To Proceed with
Pipeline Construction
5) South Ossetia Accuses Georgia of Military Buildup

1) Christian-Muslim Co-existence Vital to Middle East States Aram I

ANTELIAS–Reacting to the recent series of coordinated explosions that rocked
five churches across Baghdad and Mosul on Sunday, including an Armenian
Apostolic Church, His Holiness Aram I released a statement condemning violence
as a means to solve problems, and emphasized solidarity, dialogue, and mutual
“Violence in all its forms and expressions is against human and religious
values and principles. Neither Islam nor Christianity will accept violence
as a
way to solve problems. Bombing of Christian churches in Iraq is a deep harm
against the Christian-Muslim existence. Both Christians and Muslims with their
equal obligations and rights are co-citizens of the Arab countries. It is my
firm expectation that the government of Iraq will take the necessary measures
to protect the rights and the well being of all citizens. It is also my
expectation that Christians and Muslims in Iraq and in different parts of the
Middle East will continue their dialogue and collaboration based on shared
values and aspirations, and strengthen their commitment to peace with
stated His Holiness.
Recalling the centuries-long co-existence of Christians and Muslims in the
Middle East, His Holiness emphasized that close affinities in various societal
sectors have emerged as a result of interaction and dialogue. “The
Christian-Muslim co-existence is neither a conceptual notion nor an imposed
reality; it is an integral and inseparable part of the societies in the Middle
East,” he concluded.

2) Paul Guiragosian Museum in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Armenpress/Art-lb)–A museum permanently displaying the works of
diaspora Artist Paul Guiragosian has been established in Yerevan, Armenia’s
Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Hovig Hoveyan, announced on
Tuesday, revealing that Guiragossian’s wife has donated the artwork for the
Born in Jerusalem in 1926 to survivors of the Armenian genocide, Paul
Guiragosian settled in Beirut with his family in 1939. He started to paint in
1942. In 1957, he received a scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts
in Florence, and spent a year studying and painting in Paris in 1061. He lived
the rest of his life in Beirut, where he created most of his works.
Guiragosian had a foreboding sense of tragedy from his earliest years.
Some of
his early paintings were haunted by a figure that had lost one leg.
in the early 1970s he lost a leg in an elevator accident. Guiragosian, during
his lifetime, became Lebanon’s most celebrated painter, and remains so to this
day. Guiragosian received a state funeral in 1993.
Paul Guiragosian was consumed by his art and paid little attention to
but his family and his painting. His mature works express the complexities of
the human condition through renderings of vertical, elongated, purged bodies,
both static and in motion, painted with thick layers of often luminous colors.
He also created frescoes, mosaics, stained glass windows, sculpture, and was a
book illustrator. His paintings are always serious in feeling.
In the thirty years of his professional career, Guiragosian held some forty
exhibitions in Lebanon, and throughout museums in Paris, Frankfurt, Marburg,
London, Milan, Florence, Washington, DC, New York, Ohio, Tokyo, Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia, and Syria. He garnered numerous prizes and was received by various
The human body is always present in Guiragosian’s work; man unchangeable over
centuries, beginning from the Stone Age: Man, the center of the cosmos, center
of nature, man the link between earth and sky, between finite and infinite
His works reveal his profound faith in man–symbolized in ethereal human
bodies–refined and unsubstantial, pressing against each other, with no
ornamental detail or embellishment.

3) Karabagh President and ARF Delegation Discuss Cooperation

STEPANAKERT (ArmenPress)–President Arkady Ghoukasian of the Mountainous
Karabagh Republic (MKR) met on Tuesday with an ARF delegation composed of
Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Vahan Hovhannisian and members of
ARF Artsakh (Karabagh) Central Committee.
The participants discussed the issues of democratic reforms in the MKR and
role of political parties in that process.
In that regard, Deputy Speaker Hovhannisian stressed the importance of
expanding the level of cooperation between the ARF and the Karabagh
In turn, President Ghoukasian expressed his government’s eagerness to engage
in constructive collaboration with all political forces in the republic,
including the ARF.

4) BP Executive Meets Georgian President, Seeks Permission To Proceed with
Pipeline Construction

(–A top British Petroleum (BP) executive met with Georgian
President Mikhail Saakashvili on Tuesday, aiming to secure permission to
proceed with construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline through an
environmentally sensitive area of Georgia. Georgian officials earlier
ordered a
two-week construction halt in the Borjomi region, saying BP had not obtained
the necessary permits.
David Woodward, BP’s top executive in the Caucasus who is overseeing the BTC
project, sought to reassure the Georgian leadership that the oil giant was
committed to protecting the Borjomi region, site of a national park and
water springs. Woodward reportedly characterized his talks with the Georgian
president as successful without disclosing details. No Georgian officials gave
any immediate comment on the discussions. The day before the
Woodward-Saakashvili meeting, Azerbaijani officials raised the Borjomi-BTC
issue during talks with Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania.
The Borjomi controversy can be traced to July 12, when Georgia’s Environment
Ministry reportedly sent BP a formal reminder that the oil company needed
permits to begin construction on a 17-kilometer stretch of pipeline that
through the Borjomi region. BP reportedly did not respond to the government
reminder, and, as photographs taken by local activists affiliated with the
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) showed, the company proceeded with construction in
the area. The government issued an order July 22 to suspend construction for
two weeks, giving BP time to obtain the necessary permits.
Shortly after the stoppage was announced, a BP representative in Tbilisi,
Rusudan Medzmariasvhili, indicated that a two-week halt would not cause any
change in the pipeline’s overall construction timetable, which calls for the
1,750-kilometer conduit to be completed in early 2005.
The plan to run the BTC pipeline through the Borjomi region of Georgia has
long generated controversy. Environmental groups have asserted that BP’s plans
to protect the area from spills and other pipeline-related problems are
inadequate. The US $3.6-billion project has been plagued by negative publicity
of late. In late June, a report published by the British newspaper, The
Independent, said the safety of the pipeline was being threatened by shoddy
construction practices. Contractors and sub-contractors, according to the
report, were “cutting corners” in the attempt to meet construction deadlines.

5) South Ossetia Accuses Georgia of Military Buildup

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti)–Authorities in the breakaway Georgian republic of South
Ossetia have accused Georgia of increasing its military presence in the
Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone.
“According to our intelligence,” Irina Gagloyeva, chair of Georgia’s Media
Committee, told RIA in a telephone interview Tuesday, “80 Georgian interior
troops have been recently deployed in the vicinity of the Georgian village of
Nikozi, on the border with South Ossetia. A barrack is now being hastily built
for them in the village.”
According to her, Georgia has taken further provocative actions against South
Ossetia in the past 24 hours. Georgians fired small arms on South Ossetia last
night; however, no one was injured.
Georgian policemen reportedly detained and beat two South Ossetian policemen
near the village of Kekhvi. “The policemen were not released until 4 a.m.,”
said. “They are now in a Tskhinvali hospital and one has a concussion and the
other has broken ribs.”
She also noted that Georgia’s actions were carefully orchestrated, and aimed
at “exerting pressure on authorities in South Ossetia ahead of their planned
meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania.”
“Consultations are currently underway,” she said, “and the South Ossetian
has no unanimous opinion yet as to the format, the time-frame or the venue of
such a meeting.” She said that the South Ossetian government would like the
meeting to involve a third party.

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