Armenpress: Prime Minister Pashinyan to answer questions from the public during upcoming press conference

 10:15, 16 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 16, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will hold a live press conference on November 24 at 12:00 where he will answer questions from the public. 

The Prime Minister’s Office said that the public, including Armenians in the Diaspora, can send questions beforehand via a video-message on WhatsApp at +374 44 900 800 from November 17 to November 23. Members of the public are urged to mention their name, country of residence and occupation. The Prime Minister will answer questions that are “brief, appropriate and clear.”

The press conference will be broadcast live on Public TV, the Prime Minister’s Facebook account and the Government’s YouTube channel.

State Department signals pause in U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan

 11:17, 16 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 16, ARMENPRESS. Ambassador James O’Brien, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, told House Foreign Affairs Committee members on November 15  “we have not and don’t anticipate submitting a waiver on [Section ] 907,” referencing the 1992 U.S. law that restricts U.S. aid to Azerbaijan based on its ongoing aggression against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Amb. O’Brien flatly rejected arguments – often advanced by the Azerbaijani lobby — that enforcing Section 907 would undermine U.S. national security interests, the ANCA reports.

Amb. O’Brien’s statements came during the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) Subcommittee on Europe hearing on “The Future of Nagorno-Karabakh”, where Committee members pressed the State Department and USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator Dr. Alexander Sokolowski about expanding U.S. aid to the over 100,000 Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian victims of Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing and efforts to stop renewed Aliyev regime aggression against Armenia.

“Over 100,000 ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh are now living as refugees in Armenia. We cannot afford to look away from the region or be distracted by other conflicts proliferating across the globe,” stated Subcommittee on Europe Chair Tom Kean (R-NJ). He went on to call on State Department and USAID representatives to outline plans for humanitarian assistance to NK refugees and asked them to clarify the Biden Administration’s message to Azerbaijani officials to prevent further attacks against Armenia. “I hope our witnesses today will explain how they are communicating to President Aliyev that the use of force against sovereign Armenian territory, including in the Syunik province, would be completely and totally unacceptable,” stated Chairman Kean.

Subcommittee Ranking Democrat Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) concurred, noting “I strongly believe we must provide humanitarian and economic assistance to displaced people in Armenia and ensure accountability for any potential crimes committed against those fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh or those who are choosing to remain there.”

Speaking of the 100,000 Armenian refugees “uprooted” from NK, Amb. O’Brien told Congress “we insist on the people having complete access to the territory, on the protection of the property, the protection of the culture, and that the people receive adequate information so that they can make a real choice about their future and know that they have the viable opportunity to return and live well in Nagorno-Karabakh if that’s what they choose.” Amb. O’Brien announced that the State Department has commissioned independent investigators, and is working with international partners to provide “a comprehensive, thorough, and transparent record of what happened, not just on those days, but for the months before.” No timeline was announced for the presentation of the report.

In an attempt to address Congressional concerns about a clear US response to Azerbaijan’s attack on NK that led to the forced exile of NK Armenians, Amb. O’Brien noted “We’ve canceled a number of high-level visits […] We don’t anticipate submitting a [Section 907] waiver until such time as we see a real improvement in the situation. All of this is to say we continue to urge peace.”

With regard to the U.S. humanitarian aid for NK’s forcibly displaced, Dr. Sokolowski reiterated USAID Administrator Power’s commitment of $11.5 million in U.S. assistance. He also announced that “USAID has focused nearly $6 million in funding from existing programming at USAID Armenia to respond to the humanitarian crisis.”

Members of Congress were skeptical about the State Department’s optimism about Azerbaijan-Armenia peace talks and President Aliyev’s commitment to peace in the region.

“I don’t see the peace process as going nearly as well as some of the descriptions I’ve just heard. The meeting in Granada, Spain, the last two meetings, Azerbaijan refused to go. I don’t know how you describe that as being positive,” stated Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA). He went on to raise security concerns stemming from proposed economic corridors through Armenia. “Armenians are concerned and feel threatened by that corridor and what it might imply for another grabbing of land by Azerbaijan once it’s established.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) asked Assistant Secretary O’Brien to outline the specific resources the State Department is prepared to use to ensure Azerbaijan honors a peace deal. “What are you prepared to do, Ambassador [O’Brien], to create a carrot and stick to move this agenda? Are you willing to add sanctions for non-compliance?” Assistant Secretary O’Brien stated, “Yes, we are looking at all the tools we have. I’m not going to preview any sanctions decisions, but that’s certainly a tool in our toolkit.”

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) questioned Biden Administration’s military aid to Azerbaijan in the face of President Aliyev’s ties with Russia and Iran. “Sanctioned Russian and Iranian companies own significant shares in Azerbaijan’s gas fields exporting energy to Europe, and Azerbaijan has recently signed lucrative energy deals with both countries,” stated Rep. Lawler. Assistant Secretary O’Brien noted they were aware of Azerbaijan’s energy deals, and affirmed they are not in US national interests.

“Many of us here in Congress sent letter after letter after letter and supported resolution after resolution to exert pressure and relieve the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been exacerbated since the 2020 war. It looks like we failed,” stated Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) in powerful remarks questioning the State Department’s assessment of prospects for peace. “The tightening of the stranglehold around Nagorno-Karabakh over the years until the ethnic Armenian population was forced to leave, was not just about counterterrorism, and it was not just about geopolitics,” stated Rep. Schneider. He went on to relay the story of the brutal murder of Armenian serviceman Gurgen Margaryan, axed to death by Azerbaijani soldier Ramil Safarov during a NATO exercise in Hungary in 2004. Safarov was extradited back to Azerbaijan in 2012, where he was promoted and rewarded for his actions. “What should be our takeaway from what happened in 2004 through 2012? How should we think of the possibilities of peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan in this context,” asked Rep. Schneider.

Calling the Margaryan’s murder a “reprehensible” set of events, Amb. O’Brien cited the need for “accountability for crimes,” and “setting a new path going forward,” but stopped short of outlining any clear U.S. actions to achieve the former or to ensure the latter – placing the onus on Armenia and Azerbaijan. “We are creating a path for them to take and incentives for them to go there.”

Noting Turkey’s history of genocide against the Armenian people, Rep. Dina Titus cited the close ties between Turkey and Azerbaijan and asked “what kind of damage are they causing now?” Rep. Titus called for end-use monitoring of US weapons sold to Turkey, expressing concern about Turkey’s illegal transfer of military parts and munitions to Azerbaijan

Rep. Madeleine Dean stressed the importance of the hearing. “What started as a blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh culminated in the Azerbaijani offensive on September 19 and 20 to regain control of the region. Within 10 days, approximately 100,000 residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, about 80 percent of the population, fled to Armenia. Armenia, the U.S., E.U., and international organizations have stepped in to provide humanitarian assistance for the refugees, but many questions remain as to their future, as well as the future of Nagorno-Karabakh,” stated Rep. Dean.

IRNA to expand media cooperation with Armenia: CEO

IRNA – Iran
Nov 15 2023

Tehran, IRNA- Managing director of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) Ali Naderi has held a meeting with Armenian Ambassador to Tehran Arsen Avagyan to explore ways to expand media cooperation between Iran and Armenia.

During the meeting at IRNA’s headquarters in Tehran on Wednesday, Avagyan expressed his country's interest in developing media cooperation with Iran, especially IRNA as the official news agency of the Islamic Republic.

The ambassador said that increased media cooperation between the two countries would lead to a better understanding between the Iranian and Armenian people.

He considered the exchange of media and news delegations between Iran and Armenia as an effective step in strengthening the communication between the two nations.

At the meeting, Naderi also pointed to the friendly ties between Iran and Armenia and said, “We are always ready to expand relations in all areas.”

He also said that IRNA’s media policy toward neighboring countries reflects Iran’s foreign policy of developing closer ties with regional countries.

IRNA and the Armenian News Agency signed a memorandum of understanding in 2017 to increase media interactions.

Opening a Business in Armenia: Exploring the Costs and Benefits

Gillett News
Nov 11 2023

Armenia, a hidden gem in the South Caucasus region, has been gaining attention from entrepreneurs worldwide for its flourishing economy and business-friendly atmosphere. If you’re considering venturing into this dynamic market, one of your primary concerns may revolve around the expenses involved in setting up shop in Armenia. Let’s delve into the cost breakdown and uncover the potential benefits of establishing a business in this promising destination.

Cost Breakdown:

1. Registration Fees: To register your company in Armenia, you’ll need to allocate funds for the registration fees imposed by the State Register of Legal Entities. The exact amount hinges on the type and size of your business, ranging from AMD 10,000 to AMD 50,000 (approximately USD 20 to USD 100).

2. Legal and Notary Fees: Engaging a reliable lawyer and a notary public is essential for preparing and certifying the required legal documents. While the fees for these services vary based on your specific needs, they generally fall between AMD 50,000 and AMD 100,000 (approximately USD 100 to USD 200).

3. Accounting and Tax Services: To ensure smooth compliance with Armenian tax regulations, it’s advisable to enlist the assistance of an accountant or tax consultant. Although the cost depends on your business’s complexity, you can expect to allocate approximately AMD 50,000 to AMD 150,000 (approximately USD 100 to USD 300) per month for these services.

4. Office Space and Utilities: If you envision having a physical office, it’s crucial to consider the expenses associated with renting or purchasing office space, as well as utilities like electricity, water, and internet. These costs are contingent upon the location and size of your desired workspace.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q: Are there any additional expenses involved in establishing a company in Armenia?
A: Yes, additional costs may arise, such as business license fees, trademark registration fees, and employee salaries.

Q: Can I establish a company in Armenia remotely?
A: Absolutely! Opening a company remotely in Armenia is possible by utilizing a power of attorney.

Q: How long does the company registration process take in Armenia?
A: On average, the registration process spans about 5 to 7 business days.

Incorporating your business in Armenia can be an affordable endeavor, offering competitive advantages compared to other nations. With its conducive business environment and strategic location, Armenia presents entrepreneurs with remarkable opportunities for establishing a strong foothold in the region. Embrace the potential this vibrant country holds and embark on an exciting entrepreneurial journey in Armenia.

300 delegates from about 50 countries to arrive in Armenia, preparations for the OSCE PA session launched


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. In a few days, Yerevan will become the main platform of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the National Assembly of Armenia said.

300 delegates from around 50 countries will arrive in Armenia. The host party is the National Assembly.

The 21st Autumn Meeting of the OSCE PA will be held 18 – 20 November in Yerevan, Armenia.

Turkish Press: ‘Armenia still hasn’t handed over 8 villages to Azerbaijan’

Daily Sabah, Turkey
Nov 7 2023

Eight villages in liberated Karabakh are still under Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

"Armenia chose the path of enduring to menace the peace process, lives of our citizens, restoration and reconstruction work carried out in the region … Armenia also refused to hand over eight Azerbaijani villages, which are still under occupation," said a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

The statement was released on the occasion of Azerbaijan's Victory Day on Nov. 8, which celebrates Baku's victory in the 2020 Karabakh war. It said that despite its obligations, Armenia continued to provide military support to separatist forces in the Karabakh region amid peace talks.

It further emphasized that the separatist forces in the region ignored Azerbaijan's warnings at various levels and platforms, and increased their provocations back in September, resulting in the anti-terrorism operation which restored the country's full sovereignty over its territories.

"Currently, after the existence of the Armenian armed forces and the puppet regime created by Armenia in our territories were brought to an end, there are ample opportunities for peace and stability in the region," the statement said.

It added that "Armenia must finally recognize that there is no alternative to peace and cooperation in the region," noting that Azerbaijan calls on Armenia to demonstrate a "constructive and just position in the peace process and to understand the realities in the region properly."

Azerbaijan and Armenia relations have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Azerbaijan liberated most of the territory during a war in the fall of 2020, which ended after a Russian-brokered peace agreement and also opened the door to normalization.

This September, the Azerbaijani army initiated an anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh to establish constitutional order, after which illegal separatist forces in the region surrendered.

Azerbaijan, having now established full sovereignty in the region, has reiterated its call on the Armenian population in Karabakh to become part of Azerbaijani society.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan and Serbia reiterated their support for each other's territorial integrity amid talks between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov in Belgrade.

"President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia always supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and expressed gratitude for Azerbaijan's support to the territorial integrity of Serbia," according to a statement by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

It said satisfaction with the existing strategic partnership relationship between the two countries and the importance of mutual high-level visits were expressed during the meeting.

It also said Vucic and Bayramov exchanged views on the perspectives of the development of trade and economic relations, indicating there are a lot of opportunities for strategic cooperation in energy, agriculture, tourism and others.

"During the meeting, views were exchanged on the possibility of normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and establishment of sustainable peace in the region," it said, adding that other issues of mutual interest were also discussed.

Bayramov later held separate meetings with Vladimir Orlic, the head of the Serbian National Assembly and his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic.

Bayramov visited Bucharest on Monday where he met his Romanian counterpart, Luminita Odobescu.

Paris Mayor Blasts Baku for Arrest of Artsakh Officials

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo with Luis Moreno Ocampo in Paris on Nov. 6

Will Grant ‘Honorary Citizenship’ to Artsakh Residents

Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, blasted Azerbaijan for “arbitrarily arresting” Artsakh officials soon after more than 100,000 Artsakh residents were forcibly displaced from their homes last month.

“The tragedy continues in Armenia. Azerbaijan is guilty of arbitrarily arresting the former officials of Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)] and destroying the Armenian heritage in this territory,” Hidalgo said in a post on X, which detailed her meeting with human rights advocate Luis Moreno Ocampo, who in a report this summer said Azerbaijan was actively committing genocide of Armenians.

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to discuss it with Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the author of the report on the process of genocide carried out by Azerbaijan during the blockade of Lachin corridor,” added Hidalgo.

Ocampo will received the “Champion of International Justice” award during the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region’s annual awards banquet on Sunday.

“Our thoughts are with the casualties, their families, 100 thousand [Armenian] refugees and political prisoners held by Azerbaijan,” she said.

“On December 10, on the occasion of international Human Rights Day, I will hand honorary citizenship of Paris to the representatives of Artsakh Armenians,” Hidalgo announced. “Also, Paris calls for the immediate release of all Armenian captives being held by Azerbaijan.”

Armenian parliament member Arman Yeghoyan said that the European Region Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (OIF) has adopted a resolution expressing unconditional support to Armenia and particularly the Armenians of Artsakh, Armenpress reported.

Yeghoyan, who is representing Armenia at the assembly, said in a statement on Tuesday that the resolution stresses the need for respect of the rights of Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, and strongly condemns all forms of ethnic cleansing and the destruction of religious and cultural heritage in Artsakh.

Preserving Armenian cultural property in Artsakh was also on the agenda of the general assembly of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property currently underway in Rome.

Armenia was represented at the session by Harutyun Vanyan, Director of the Department of Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments at Armenia’s Education Ministry, and diplomats from the Armenian Embassy in Italy, the ministry said in a statement. Ambassador of Armenia to Italy Tsovinar Hambardzumyan attended the opening session.

Vanyan delivered a report on the issues of preservation of the historical-cultural monuments in Artsakh. He stressed that saving Armenian historical-cultural heritage in Artsakh will only be possible through the pressure and levers by reputable international organizations. Vanyan noted that unfortunately the Armenian heritage in Nakhichevan was not protected in the past during a similar situation.

Specific facts and numbers on vandalisms and destruction of monuments by Azerbaijan were presented at the session. The report also noted the resolutions and decisions adopted by reputable international organizations, which Azerbaijan has been disregarding.

An agreement was reached to cooperate as part of the ICCROM First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR) project, given the number of at-risk monuments in Armenia.

Turkish Press: Prosecutors seek higher sentences for defendants in retrial of Hrant Dink case

Duvar, Turkey
Nov 2 2023
 02.11.2023 16:00

Duvar English

The first hearing for the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink's murder case retrial took place on Nov. 1. The Court of Cassation as the top Turkish court of appeals had reversed the judgment as it found some defendants’ sentencing inadequate.

The court also accepted the Turkish Presidency’s request to participate in the proceedings as the latter argued that it suffer from the “violation of the constitution."

Lawyers of the defendants, the Dink family, and the Turkish Presidency were present at the hearing. Seven defendants tried in custody joined the hearing through video call. 

The defendants requested for the court to dismiss the Court of Cassation's reversal of judgment.

One of the defendants Yavuz Karakaya, an ex-sergeant of the Turkish military, took the stand. He stated, “I was not tried fairly and justly. I was made to be the scapegoat of this case. There is no eyewitness, videotape, or report revealing my alleged complicity.”

“I was released pending trial, but somehow I was suddenly sentenced to the highest degree and arrested. I do not know which evidence was entered into the file to necessitate my arrest. I was denounced guilty years later, and the evidence was backtracked. Evidence against me was fabricated,” Karakaya added and demanded his release. 

The Dink family’s lawyer stated that they would remain indifferent to the Court of Cassation’s retrial decision, as it has remained indifferent to the 131-page evidence folder submitted by the family. 

The court decided to proceed with the reversal and ruled for the defendants' continued arrest. The hearing was postponed to Jan. 10, 2024. 

Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, editor-in-chief of Agos Newspaper, was shot dead on Jan. 19, 2007, in Istanbul by then-17-year-old Ogün Samast. 

Samast was caught on his way back to his hometown Trabzon after the murder. He was tried in the juvenile court and sentenced to 22 years and 10 months in prison.

An Istanbul court ruled in March 2021 that the murder was carried out in line with the goals of the Gülen network, which the Turkish authorities refer to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

From the 78 people involved in the murder case, 37 public officials accused of various offenses, including not intervening despite knowing about the murder plan, were acquitted. 26 defendants were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, including four life sentences and two aggravated life sentences. 

The fugitive suspects in the case include Fethullah Gülen, former prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, and Ekrem Dumanlı, former editor of Gülenist newspaper Zaman. 

Armenian authorities thwart terror plot, five suspects arrested

 14:27, 2 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 2, ARMENPRESS. 5 suspects have been arrested in Armenia for allegedly plotting a terror attack, the National Security Service (NSS) has announced. 

The five suspects, together with unidentified accomplices plotted a bombing attack, seizure of government buildings and murder, the NSS said in a statement.

The goal of the would-be terrorists was to dismantle the activities of government bodies.

[see video]

Authorities raided the apartments of the suspects and found firearms and ammunition, a drone and two gas cylinders supposedly intended as attachment, body armor, military fatigues, handcuffs, surveillance devices, computers, mobile phones, communication devices, ten unused SIM cards of Armenian and Russian communications operators and documents outlining the preparations of the terror attack and other items.

The suspects had even come up with a codename of their plot – Northern Abscission.

The suspects had opened Ukrainian and Moldovan telegram channels under the name of National Salvation Rebellion intended for “involving broader segments” in the terror attacks.

The suspects had also acquired medical supplies and planned to move their families to Georgia before the attack.

The terror suspects planned detailed moves for ambushing, surveilling and retreating from buildings. They even planned to distribute flyers and other procedures to involve accomplices and coordinate their actions.

Authorities are working to identify other accomplices of the suspects.

Many forcibly displaced persons of NK are applying for Armenian citizenship

 15:47, 2 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 2, ARMENPRESS. Large numbers of forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh are applying for Armenian citizenship, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said.

“We were certainly expecting this process,” Pashinyan said at the November 2 Cabinet meeting.

“Our objective is to organize this work as quickly as possible. But this also has some legislative nuances that must be maintained,” he added.