No ‘progress or breakthrough’ in Kazan

NO ‘PROGRESS OR BREAKTHROUGH’ IN KAZAN
By Tatoul Hakobian in Kazan

AZG Armenian Daily #154, 31/08/2005

Kazan meeting

Yerevan Considers the Meeting of Presidents Positive Advancement

The foreign minister of Azerbaijan stated, according to ITAR-TASS
agency, that the results of the meeting between presidents Ilham
Aliyev and Robert Kocharian on the sidelines of Kazan summit do
not allow saying that progress or breakthrough was achieved. But,
Elmar Mamediarov underscored, that negotiations of the presidents are
always important as they try to bring things together. “Armenia and
Azerbaijan will need one or two weeks to analyze results and ideas
offered at the meeting as well as to think to what extent are the
sides ready to move forward”, Mamediarov said.

Karabakh regulation talks between Kocharian and Aliyev lasted 2
hours. After the meeting, neither the presidents, nor foreign ministers
and OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen made any statement for the media. The
spokesperson of the Armenian President made the only comment. “The
Armenian side has positive evaluation of the Kazan meeting and thinks
there was positive advance in talks process. The foreign ministers
will keep on working with the same spirits considering results of
this meeting”, Viktor Soghomonian said.

Aboard the plane to Yerevan, journalists tried to inquire
from President Kocharian about results of meeting with Ilham
Aliyev. Kocharian said that the meeting was positive on the whole and
said that the talks will reach a good final if they don’t stray. The
foreign minister was also optimistic.

Oskanian said that positive tendencies have not vanished and though
the date of the next meeting within Prague Process has not been set
the co-chairs will try to strike the iron while it is hot.

Foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as Minsk group
mediators Yuri Merzlyakov, Steven Mann and Bernard Fassie took
part in discussion of some issues at Kocharian-Aliyev meeting. The
Russian President was also supposed to take part in the meeting but
failed to do so. This can mean that the Russian side did not expect
serious progress in Karabakh regulation or Vladimir Putin was busy
with CIS affairs.

‘Armenia Will Be My Final Destination’

National minorities of Tatarstan also took part in the celebration of
the 1000th anniversary of Tatar capital of Kazan during the CIS summit.

Armenians settled in Kazan in 10th century. Head of the local Armenian
community Mikhail Khachaturian says that Armenian merchants used to
take satin, carpets and cochineal from Volga to Bulgaria. Armenians
grew in number in Kazan and neighboring regions as a result of
Seljuk incursion in 11th century. “There are now 7.000 Armenians in
Tatarstan, particularly in Kazan and Naberezhniye Chelny. Most of
them are engaged in building and business but you can find them in
every sphere”, he says.

Kazan used to be even a center of Armenian studies once. In 1842-54,
Stepanos Nazaryants headed the department of Armenian Studies at the
faculty of Oriental Studies of Kazan University before transferring
it to Saint Petersburg. In 1920, one of Kazan’s streets used to bear
the name of Armyanskaya Str (today it’s called Spartakovskaya).

Though Armenia is considered to be Russia’s military ally, a friendly
state, cases of harassment against Armenians are nothing rare. In
Krasnodar, for one, Armenians are attended as Caucasians in the
negative sense. What’s the situation in Tatarstan? “People know
Armenians as a nation with ancient history. Someone ignorant will
certainly take us as “black” but intelligent ones value Armenians. In
one word, there are people with negative and positive attitude”,
Khachaturian says.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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