ASBAREZ Online [02-28-2005]


1. ARF Fundraiser Gathers $1.7 million for ANC Undertakings
2. US Ambassador Evans Says Statements on Genocide, Mountainous Karabagh were
3. Turkey Condemns Germany Resolution on Armenian Genocide
4. Karabagh Negotiations Progressing Says Kocharian, but Must Include MKR
5. Mass Rally in Yerevan to Victims of Sumgait Massacres

1. ARF Fundraiser Gathers $1.7 million for ANC Undertakings

YEREVAN (YERKIR)–A fundraising event in Paris raised almost $1.7 million to
help advance the work of Armenian National Committees worldwide, including
recognition of the Armenian genocide, and advancing Armenian issues.
Over 180 Armenians from Armenia, Russia, Middle East, and Europe gathered
at a
banquet on February 26, with the participation of Catholicos Aram I of the
See of Cilicia, Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau representative
Hrant Margarian, Armenian ministers, religious leaders, politicians, and
ARF Western Europe Central Committee representative Murad Papazian, European
Armenian Federation for Justice Chairperson Hilda Choboian, ARF Bureau
representative Hrant Margarian presented accomplishments and undertakings of
ANCs worldwide.
The ARF Press office reported that though donations are still coming in,
$555,000 has already been received from Armenia and Russia, $325,000 from
Lebanon, $150,000 from Iran, $200,000 from the Persian Golf Arab countries, as
well as sums from the UK, France, Belgium, Greece, and other countries.

2. US Ambassador Evans Says Statements on Genocide, Mountainous Karabagh were

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans issued on Monday an
ambiguous explanation for his public description of the 1915 mass killings of
Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as genocide, saying that it was an “inappropriate”
expression of his personal opinion.
Evans again referred to the Armenian genocide as a fact, but regretted
“misunderstandings” caused by his remarks.
“Misunderstandings may have arisen as a result of comments made by me during
recent informal meetings with Armenian-American groups in the United States
regarding the characterization of the Armenian tragedy in Ottoman Turkey and
the future status of Nagorno Karabagh,” he said in a statement.
“Although I told my audiences that the United States policy on the Armenian
Genocide has not changed, I used the term “genocide” speaking in what I
characterized as my personal capacity. This was inappropriate,” he added.
Evans became the first US government official since former President Ronald
Reagan to publicly refer to the 1915-1918 slaughter of some 1.5 million
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as “genocide” at a series of meetings with
American Armenians in February.
“The Armenian Genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century. I
pledge to
you, we are going to do a better job at addressing this issue,” the envoy
declared at one of those meetings.
Evans was equally vague on his reported remark that Mountainous Karabagh’s
return under Azeri rule would have “disastrous” consequences.” “The U.S.
government supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and holds that the
future status of Nagorno-Karabagh is a matter of negotiation between Armenia
and Azerbaijan,” he said in Monday’s statement.
“Everybody realizes that Karabagh can’t be given back to Azerbaijan,” Evans
said in a February 19 speech in Berkeley, California, according to the local
chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America.
Azerbaijan was quick to condemn the remark. According to the official AzerTaj
news agency, Baku’s ambassador in Washington, Hafiz Pashaev, demanded an
explanation from top State Department officials and was assured by them that
Evans had voiced his personal views.
“It seems that the atmosphere of the two-week meetings in different states
with the Armenian Diaspora influenced Ambassador Evans to such an extent that
he didn’t adhere to a basic principle of diplomacy,” Pashaev was quoted as

3. Turkey Condemns Germany Resolution on Armenian Genocide

(dpa)–Turkey’s ambassador to Germany Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, on Sunday angrily
denounced a parliamentary resolution by the German conservative opposition, on
the mass expulsion and murder of Armenians by Ottoman Turks 90 years ago.
In a statement published Sunday, the ambassador accused the opposition
Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) of having made
itself a “spokesman for fanatical Armenian nationalism.” He called the
resolution, put forth by the CDU/CSU faction in the German parliament on
February 22, a one-sided portrayal and said the matter should be left to the
“We would hope that our friends in the Union parties, through their clumsy
slander of Turkish history, are not aiming to insult in particular our
living here and in this manner to damage the manifold relations between Turkey
and Germany,” he said.
The CDU/CSU resolution was put forward to mark the upcoming 90th anniversary
of the events in the former Turkish Ottoman Empire involving the Turks’
treatment of the ethnic Armenian minority. In the resolution, the CDU said
on April 24, 1915, the order was given by the Ottoman Turks to arrest and
deport the Armenian cultural and political elites, leading to the murder of
most of them. It said 1.2 to 1.5 million Armenians were victims. The
said that to this day, Turkey as the legal successor to the Ottoman Empire is
still denying that the events were planned and massacres carried out.
“This position of rejection stands in contradiction to the idea of
reconciliation which guides the community of values in the European Union
Turkey wants to join,” the CDU/CSU resolution said.
In his statement Sunday, Irtemcelik said the CDU/CSU needed to explain why it
has waited so long, including the period when it was in power in Germany to
such a sensitive topic on the agenda. The CDU/CSU was in power in Bonn and
Berlin between 1982 and 1998. He said the Union parties in the past had always
opposed initiatives which had sought to manipulate the German parliament.
Over two million Turks live in Germany, making up by far the largest foreign
ethnic group in the country.
In January, the eastern German state of Brandenburg, bowing to diplomatic
pressure from Turkey, struck the subject of the Turkish genocide against
Armenians from its classroom curriculum.
After pressure by Armenian representatives, the move was rescinded, so that
genocide against Armenians is taught in the classroom as one of several
examples of genocide in the 20th Century.

4. Karabagh Negotiations Progressing Says Kocharian, but Must Include MKR

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the
Mountainous Karabagh conflict are intensifying, and could lead to a final
resolution, according to Armenian president Robert Kocharian.
Kocharian’s statements were published in an interview to the independent
semi-weekly Russian language newspaper Golos Armenii, based in Yerevan,
Kocharian also insisted that officials from Mountainous Karabagh Republic
partake in negotiations that are led by the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe. Azerbaijan, however, has refused to negotiate with the
regional leaders.
“The negotiating process is becoming more intensive, and there is slight hope
for results,” Kocharian said. “As long as no practical solution to the
Mountainous Karabagh problem has been found, people will keep saying the
negotiating process is at a dead end.” Kocharian also stressed that similar
conflicts can not be settled quickly.
Speaking on other issue, the Armenian president dismissed claims that there
exist scenarios in Armenia similar to those that sparked the Georgian and
Ukrainian revolutions.
“The best guarantee of stability is an efficient and energetic government and
a targeted and balanced foreign policy,” Kocharian said. “If the government is
sluggish, there will always be someone who could try to seize power; if there
are a lot of angry people, this someone could lean on them; and if the
government stands on the way of someone powerful, these attempts will gain
support from abroad. All the three factors worked in Georgia and Ukraine,”
Kocharian said.
He stressed that there is no strong opposition in Armenia right now. “The
higher the opposition’s level, the higher the standards society wants the
government to comply with. A weak opposition corrupts the government and
produces apathy in society; I, therefore, favor of a strong opposition.”

5. Mass Rally in Yerevan to Victims of Sumgait Massacres

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Thousands of citizens, along with political figures paid
their respects on Monday to the victims of pogroms against Armenians in the
Azeri city of Sumgait in 1988.
During a somber remembrance at the Dzidzernagapert memorial to the victims of
the Armenian genocide, the head of the Armenian Writers’ Union Levon Ananian,
said the events of Sumgait, and Azerbaijan’s brutality not only affected
Armenians, but also the European community that has established the valued on
which human rights are based.
“We gather here today to voice that the entire Armenian nation, independent
Armenia and liberated Karabagh are united in their issues and are ready to
tackle all of our old and new issues,” said Ananian.
Writer and publicist Zory Balayan called on those gathered to take the issue
to the US Embassy in Armenia, especially in response to recent statements by
Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN) who, referring to Armenian genocide
statements by
various Congressmen each April, said they “commemorate the so-called Armenian
Genocidethe exact details of which are still very much under debate today
almost 90 years after the events,” but who have never “once mentioned the
ethnic cleansing carried out by the Armenians during the Armenia-Azerbaijan
which ended a mere decade ago.”
In his February 17 speech to the floor of the US House of Representatives,
Burton continued, saying, “This savage cruelty against innocent women,
and the elderly is unfathomable in and of itself but the senseless brutality
did not stop with Khojaly. Khojaly was simply the first. In fact, the level of
brutality and the unprecedented atrocities committed at Khojaly set a pattern
of destruction and ethnic cleansing that Armenian troops would adhere to for
the remainder of the war.”
Following Balayan’s calls, participants proceeded to march to the US Embassy
where they presented a document of protest to embassy officials.

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