ASBAREZ Online [11-17-2004]

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11/17/2004
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1) France’s Sarkozy Calls for EU ‘Partnership’ with Turkey
2) Abkhaz Government Undermined, as Interior Ministry Defies
3) Karabagh Parties Discuss Election Code
4) Construction of Armenia, Iran Pipeline Set for November
5) Armenia Rattles Romania

1) France’s Sarkozy Calls for EU ‘Partnership’ with Turkey

BRUSSELS (AFP)–French finance minister and future ruling party chief Nicolas
Sarkozy, has repeated his opposition to Turkish membership to the EU, saying a
decision next month from heads of government should focus instead on
‘partnership.’
Sarkozy, who steps down as minister later this month to head French president
Jacques Chirac’s Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), said he opposes Turkish
entry, ‘not because it is a Muslim country, but because Europe must
concentrate
on the enlargement which has already taken place.’
“On December 17, the perspective of partnership must feature in the decision
of the council of ministers,” he told French journalists in Brussels.
Sarkozy’s opposition to Turkish EU membership has put him at odds with
Chirac,
who has said the country’s eventual accession is inevitable.

2) Abkhaz Government Undermined, as Interior Ministry Defies

(Civil Georgia)–Reports say 2,000 employees of the Abkhaz Interior Minister
announced its defiance to Prime Minister of breakaway region Nodar Khashba
following the statement of the Chairman of the Abkhaz Parliamentary Chairman
Nugzar Ashuba, who recognized opposition leader Sergey Bagapsh as the
President-elect.
Vice-President of the unrecognized Republic of Abkhazia Valery Arshba,
said on
November 17 that employees of the Interior Ministry announced their
defiance to
the Prime Minister, accusing the Abkhaz government of destabilizing the
situation in the breakaway region.
“Over 2000 employees of the Interior Ministry, [everyone] except the Minister
and one deputy announced their defiance to the present government, claiming
that it pursues an anti-constitutional policy,” both Georgian and Russian
media
reported quoting Valeri Arshba.
While speaking to reporters in Sokhumi, head of the Abkhazian Parliament
Nugzar Ashuba commented over the recent crisis in the region by saying that
the
Abkhazian people “have already decided who will be the next President–Sergey
Bagapsh,” reported the Regnum News agency.
“It is widely known,” continued Ashuba, “that the elections passed without
any
serious disturbances.” He also said that Russia is a major guarantor of
Abkhazia’s security, “but Russia can not decide who has to be Abkhazia’s
President.”
The Abkhaz opposition movements Amtsakhara, Aitaira, and United Abkhazia
accused Prime Minister Nodar Khashba in urging Russia to send troops to
Abkhazia “for restoring order in the region.” But in an interview with Russian
news agency Itar-Tass Abkhaz de facto Prime Minister Nodar Khashba denied
these
accusations.

3) Karabagh Parties Discuss Election Code

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–A roundtable discussion in Karabagh on Tuesday detailed the
agreement between the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Artsakh and the
Democratic Artsakh party concerning the republic’s election code. On November
8, the two majority parties in Mountainous Karabagh Republic’s parliament
agreed that two-thirds of parliament members be elected under a party-list
system, and one-third from single-mandate constituencies.
Most of the participants of the ARF-sponsored talks accepted the concept.
Other issues, including the method of forming constituencies, were also
discussed.

4) Construction of Armenia, Iran Pipeline Set for November

YEREVAN (RIA Novosti)–The construction of the Armenian section of the
Iran-Armenia gas pipeline will start in late November 2004, the head of the
Armenian Energy Ministry’s technical development and foreign relations
department Levon Vardanyan revealed to journalists on Wednesday.
The construction of the 42-km section of that pipeline will begin at the
Meghri-Kajaran site. In compliance with existing agreements, the Iranian side
will finance the construction of this section; the remaining portion between
Yerevan and Ararat will be completed later.
In May of this year, Armenia and Iran agreed to construct the pipeline which
will provide 36 billion cubic meters of gas from Iran to Armenia over 20
years.
Armenia will receive 1.1 billion cubic meters of Iran’s natural gas annually
and pay for these supplies with its electric energy.
The construction of the 141-km long pipeline (41 km on Armenian territory and
100 km in Iran) will be completed at the end of 2006. According to preliminary
calculations, Armenian and Iranian investments in the project will total $90
and $120 million correspondingly.
The gas pipeline will link Tehran and Yerevan via the Meghri section of the
Armenian-Iranian border.

5) Armenia Rattles Romania

By Khachik Chakhoyan

A depleted Romanian side kept up their challenge in FIFA World Cup qualifying
Group 1 but were denied victory in Armenia after Karen Dokhoyan’s second-half
equalizer earned his nation their first point in the pool.
With 16 players missing from Anghel Iordanescu’s visiting squad, Romania
nevertheless began brightly, with hopes pinned on speedy forward Ciprian
Marica, who scored twice in this stadium for FC Shakhtar Donetsk in their 3-1
UEFA Champions League second qualifying round win against FC Pyunik. And the
19-year-old duly found the net, running on to Sorin Paraschiv’s incisive pass
and coolly converting a one-on-one past goalkeeper Edel Bete.
Marica continued to threaten, especially down the flanks, and after one of
his
crosses Bete did well to save from Adrian Neaga. But at the other end Aram
Voskanyan, making his first competitive appearance for Armenia, was also
proving dangerous and on 33 minutes captain Harutyun Vardanyan found Edgar
Manucharyan, who fed the striker, but his shot was blocked by defender
Cristian
Dancia.
Seven minutes before the break Voskanyan went close again, sent free by Armen
Shahgeldyan but shooting straight at Romania goalkeeper Bogdan Stelea. But
after the interval, Armenia–who had lost their opening four
fixtures–continued to press and on 62 minutes leveled the scores when
defender
Dokhoyan eluded his markers at a corner.
The final stages proved open, but Armenia had the better chances as Rafael
Nazaryan shot wide, as did Edgar Manucharyan in added time. But a draw
nevertheless gives them increased confidence for their next fixture on 26
March
when they welcome Andorra. Romania play the Netherlands the same day.

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