Greece says it’s hoping to nudge ally Armenia’s alliances westward

Feb 27 2024
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — NATO member Greece says it wants to help traditional ally Armenia shift alliances westward, arguing that improved ties with the European Union would boost stability in the troubled Caucasus region. Armenia, which has close military and trade ties with Russia, is reeling from a border conflict with neighbor Azerbaijan in recent years. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitstoakis on Tuesday told his visiting Armenian counterpart, Nikol Pashinian, that his government hoped to help Armenia build closer ties with the EU and Western alliances.

Turkish Press: Armenian FM to attend Antalya Diplomacy Forum on March 1

Feb 27 2024
Politics  |

Editor : Sanem Topal
2024-02-27 10:57:08 | Last update : 2024-02-27 11:20:53

Armenia's Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan is set to undertake a working visit to Antalya on March 1 to participate in the Antalya Diplomatic Forum, as announced by the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

The Antalya Diplomacy Forum, scheduled from March 1 to March 3, is an initiative led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mirzoyan also attended the Forum in 2022.

Former Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the closure of Türkiye's airspace to Armenian planes due to the opening of the "Nemesis Monument" in Yerevan in May 2023, despite normalization talks.

Later in September, the conflict in Karabakh erupted once again.

Now in its third iteration, the Antalya Diplomacy Forum will bring together heads of state and governments, ministers, diplomats, business leaders, academics, think-tank experts, as well as representatives from youth and media sectors for comprehensive discussions.

The central theme for this year's forum is "Advancing Diplomacy in Times of Turmoil." The aim is to provide a deep reflection and explore pathways toward peaceful resolutions amid the turbulent global landscape.

From ongoing conflicts and acts of terrorism to issues of irregular migration, the rise of xenophobia and Islamophobia, challenges posed by artificial intelligence, climate change, natural disasters, pandemics and widening socioeconomic disparities are going to be addressed.

Additionally, the erosion and loss of trust in the rules-based international order are concerning trends, affecting the predictability of the global operating environment for states.

Source: Newsroom

Macron announces new coalition to send Ukraine medium- and long-range missiles


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 27, ARMENPRESS. French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Feb. 26 that a new coalition will work to supply Ukraine with medium- and long-range missiles and bombs, Le Monde reports.

After a summit on Ukraine held in Paris, President Macron said at a press conference that France and other allies of Ukraine will “create a coalition for deep strikes and therefore medium- and long-range missiles and bombs.”

Ukraine has long appealed to allies for long-range weapons, but fears of escalation with Moscow have prevented Western partners from readily transferring the weapons, according to Kyiv Independent.

France has already supplied Ukraine with long-range SCALP missiles that can travel up to 250 kilometers.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said on Feb. 24, two years after Russia launched military operations in Ukraine, that Kyiv will not use long-range missile systems to strike targets in Russia.

Asbarez: Prof. Seta Dadoyan to Hold Lecture Series on ‘Counterpoints: Philosophy, Historiography, Art’

Prof. Seta Dadoyan’s ‘Counterpoints: Philosophy, Historiography, Art’ lecture series flyer

Following the publication of her latest book, “Encounters and Convergences: A Book of Ideas and Art” (2023), and as a prologue to an exhibition of her artworks later in the year, Professor Seta B. Dadoyan is organizing a series of lectures, to be held on March 14, April 4, and May 2 at the Atamian-Hovsepian Curatorial Practice in New York.

The first lecture, titled “Dialectics as Perception, Outlook, Praxis,” will be held on Thursday, March 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.  In this lecture, Dadoyan introduces dialectics as the theoretical context for what Professor Dadoyan calls “counterpoints” in her philosophical historiographic and artistic careers, hence the commonalities between them.

The second and third lectures, titled “Aesthetics of Historical Thinking/Writing” and “The Artwork and the Dialectics of Truth Content,” will be held on Thursday, April 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m., respectively.

All lectures will take place at 227 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010. Wine will be served.

Prof. Dr. Seta B. Dadoyan is a prominent Armenian scholar and academic. She holds a Doctor of Sciences degree in Philosophy, and has twelve volumes and over 60 scholarly papers in leading academic publications to her credit. She is also a prolific painter. In addition to her research and publications on Western Armenian culture, Dadoyan’s groundbreaking research position her as the initiator of the discipline of Islamic-Armenian interactive history in the Near East. She has been Professor of Cultural Studies, Philosophy and Art History at AUB and later taught at Columbia University, the St. Nersess Seminary, University of Chicago, and Yerevan State University. Professor Dadoyan has received numerous awards including the Society of Armenian Studies “Lifetime Achievement Award,” the “St. Mesrop Mashtots Medal” of the Catholicoate of Cilicia, and the highest “Medal and Diploma of David Invictus/Anhaght” of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.

WFP Seeks $13.9 Million to Sustain Lifeline for Refugees in Armenia Amid Growing Needs

Feb 25 2024

Imagine fleeing your home, leaving everything you've ever known behind in search of safety, only to find yourself in a foreign land, unsure of where your next meal will come from. This is the reality for tens of thousands of refugees who have found a temporary haven in Armenia. Amid this humanitarian crisis, the World Food Programme (WFP) has emerged as a beacon of hope, providing essential food assistance and support. However, with funds depleting, WFP now requires USD 13.9 million to continue its emergency response efforts from February to July 2024.

Since the influx of refugees three months ago, the WFP has been on the front lines, delivering food assistance to 58,811 individuals. This support has not only been about alleviating hunger but also about restoring a sense of normalcy and dignity to those who have lost everything. The next cycle of in-kind food aid is set to reach approximately 40,000 refugees through March, with an additional plan to provide food card assistance to about 21,000 refugees, who are most food-insecure.

Yet, the challenge is far from over. The WFP's efforts to meet the burgeoning needs of these vulnerable populations hinge on the availability of funds. The required USD 13.9 million is not just a number—it represents the hope, well-being, and future of tens of thousands of individuals seeking refuge and a fresh start in Armenia.

WFP's intervention in Armenia goes beyond merely providing food; it's about building resilience and fostering a healthier future for the refugee population. In Gegharkunik province, for example, WFP is promoting wholegrain wheat products. By training bakery staff and school cooks on using wholegrain wheat, supported by the 'Kenats Hats' Wholegrain Academy, founded with WFP's help in 2022, the program aims not only to improve nutrition but also to stimulate local economies.

Moreover, the introduction of a Healthy Lifestyle curriculum targeting fifth and eighth-grade students in Armenian schools is a forward-thinking move. This initiative promotes healthy eating habits, physical activity, and sports, setting the foundation for a healthier, more active generation. With plans to expand this curriculum, WFP is planting seeds for sustainable change that goes beyond immediate food relief.

As the WFP strives to navigate the complexities of this humanitarian crisis, the path forward is clear: support from the international community is paramount. The plight of refugees in Armenia is a stark reminder of the fragility of human life and the profound impact of collective action. The USD 13.9 million required by the WFP is more than a financial goal; it's a lifeline that can ensure the continuation of these vital programs.

With every donation, we inch closer to a world where no individual has to worry about their next meal, where children can thrive and learn in a supportive environment, and where communities can begin to rebuild. The time to act is now, to ensure that the WFP can continue its crucial work in Armenia, offering hope and tangible support to those who need it most.

Istanbul’s Hrant Dink School Holds Annual ‘Love Table’ Event

Hrant Dink School students and staff at the Cathedral

Translated by Louisa Janbazian

The Hrant Dink School, located at the Armenian Evangelical Church in Gedikpaşa, Istanbul, held its annual “Love Table” event on February 4 at the Cathedral of the Mother Church. The event, which benefits the school, tells a 20-year story in the history of the Istanbul Armenians.

The entire school community, including Trustee Arto and Talar Horozoğlu, Rev. Kirkor Ağabaloğlu, Pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Gedikpaşa, the Principal, teaching staff, officials, students, and parents gathered at the Cathedral with the call of unity while the bells of the church were ringing and calling all to attend the annual Madağorhnutyun (blessing of sacrificial meal) followed by the Love Table for the school, held at the hall of the church..

“The mission of Hrant Dink School is unique among the other 16 Armenian schools in Istanbul because it implements the Republic of Armenia’s Educational Curriculum and prepares Armenian students from the Motherland living in Istanbul to further their Armenian education in Armenia. These children are our children; therefore, we are obliged to prepare a future for them,” said Archbishop Sahag II Mashalian, Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, during the Love Table event.

Representatives of the Hrant Dink School at the “Love Table” event

“Probably, there is no such school neither in France nor America, but there is one in Istanbul. So, this testifies to the educational traditions of our Istanbul Armenians,” continued Archbishop Mashalian. “On my side sitting I have Father Vartan representing the Armenian Catholic community, on the other side Rev. Ağabaloğlu representing the Armenian Evangelical Community, and I, as the Patriarch, representing our Armenian Apostolic community. We are all one, we are Armenians, we have the same destiny, we serve the same nation, therefore the existing difference between our churches and traditions does not affect that we implement our national plans together on this public denominator.”

“This school is unique because the impossible became possible. I remember the founder-director of the school Mrs. Heriknaz Avagyan. When I was the Pastor of Gedikpaşa church, she came to me and asked for a room, but it was not easy to provide a room for a school. The District Council was thinking about the legal issues. However, the Armenian Evangelical church of Gedikpaşa was courageous enough to open its doors because that church has a brave Pastor, Rev. Kirkor Ağabaloğlu,” added the Archbishop.

Hrant Dink School students performing at the “Love Table” event

“I heartily encourage and congratulate his courage, because there are fateful moments where sometimes one should not turn to the mind, but to the heart. Therefore, he did so and opened an era for himself, for the Armenian Evangelical Community and for the church of Gedikpaşa, and until today this holy work continues successfully. But we are here as a community, as a Patriarchate to support the school from the start of the work, because we know that this work is not the work of this or that person,” he said.

“Benefactors of the Armenian Community in Istanbul have found representatives in Arto and Talar Horozoğlu, who participated in this crazy case and have reached out to protect our children with their guardianship. Twenty years have passed since the establishment of the school and God only knows how the future will be. With faith, we will leave this important task in His hands,” Archbishop Mashalian concluded.

Hrant Dink School students performing at the “Love Table” event

While donations were being collected, the Hrant Dink School students presented a special program of songs and recitations which radiated their longing for their Motherland. With the innocence of children and teenagers, they expressed the dreams they had for their “small in area but rich in history” Homeland. “A piece of Armenia,” a safe, secure, prosperous country is the dream desired by the children and young people and it was weaved into their speeches. At the conclusion of the program, a video was shown in which the history of the school was presented through the eyes of the students, from kindergarten to the 9th grade.

And it is no coincidence that Rev. Kirkor Ağabaloğlu mentioned in his remarks that the Hrant Dink School is like a small Armenia, where for almost 20 years, students have enjoyed the breath of Armenia under the roof of the school and the church every day.

“A heroic story of Armenian Evangelical courage from Camp Armen to Hrant Dink School,” said Zaven Khanjian, AMAA Executive Director/CEO.

Founded in 1918, the Armenian Missionary Association of America serves the spiritual, educational, and social needs of Armenian communities in 24 countries around the world including Armenia and Artsakh. For additional information, please visit the website.

Lilit Poghosyan, is an administrator and teacher at Hrant Dink School.

France, Armenia hail military ties amid Russia tensions

Feb 23 2024


  • Feb 23, 2024

France and Armenia on Friday hailed growing military cooperation as Armenian leader Nikol Pashinyan seeks to reduce his small country's dependence on former master Russia.

In an interview with French media, Pashinyan said Armenia had put on ice its participation in a Russia-led security bloc, while France's Sebastien Lecornu travelled to Armenia on the first such trip by a French defence minister to the South Caucasus nation.

Diplomatic tensions are high between France and Azerbaijan, which arrested a Frenchman on espionage charges in December.

And a rift is growing between Moscow and Yerevan, which has become angry with the Kremlin over its inaction over Armenia's long-running confrontation with Azerbaijan.

"Armenia has adopted the idea of modernising the army. We are going to use our own means and the help of partner states," Armenian Defence Minister Suren Papikyan said in Yerevan alongside Lecornu.

Lecornu said Armenia was "turning to partners who really provide security". 

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Caucasus country has relied on Russia for its military and economic support, and also hosts a Russian military base.

But many Armenians say they cannot forgive Moscow for shirking its responsibility to defend their country militarily against Turkey-allied Azerbaijan.

Analysts say Moscow, which invaded Ukraine in 2022, does not want to hurt ties with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought two wars, in the 1990s and in 2020, before Azerbaijani forces last September retook control of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in a lightning offensive that ended three decades of Armenian separatist rule over the enclave. 

Pashinyan has warned that now Azerbaijan is preparing for a "full-scale war" with Armenia, whose population is around three million people.

On Friday, Armenia agreed a deal for the purchase of precision rifles from French arms manufacturer PGM, though its price tag was not disclosed. 

In October 2023, France announced the sale of defence equipment — three radar systems and night vision goggles — to Armenia, provoking anger from Azerbaijan. 

"Armenian-French defence cooperation and joint efforts are exclusively aimed at establishing long-term peace and stability in the South Caucasus region, as well as at developing the defence capabilities of Armenian's armed forces," the defence ministry in Yerevan said.

Azerbaijan has slammed France's policy of "militarisation" in the Caucasus.

Analysts say both Moscow and Baku are carefully watching Armenia's growing cooperation with France. 

This week French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern about a "risk of escalation" between Armenia and Azerbaijan as he received Pashinyan in Paris.

France is home to a large Armenian diaspora, and this week a stateless Armenian poet, who died fighting the Nazi occupation of France during World War II, became the first non-French Resistance fighter to enter the Pantheon mausoleum for national heroes.

In an interview with broadcaster France 24, Pashinyan said Armenia was suspending its participation in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Moscow-led defence pact that comprises several former Soviet republics.

Pashinyan said that the CSTO "had not fulfilled" its obligations in relation to Armenia.

"We have effectively frozen our participation in this organisation," he said. "We will see what happens tomorrow."

He also accused Moscow of leading a "coordinated propaganda campaign" against him and his government. 

The Kremlin said Friday that it had not received confirmation that Armenia was putting on hold its membership in the pact.

"I have a feeling that Nikol Pashinyan is going all-in, demonstrating that he has found a serious military shoulder to lean on in Armenia's confrontation with Azerbaijan," political analyst Arkady Dubnov told AFP.

"Pashinyan is playing a risky geopolitical game by shifting responsibility on Macron."

Analyst Tigran Yegavian said Azerbaijan would continue to "nibble away" at Armenia's territory.

"The question is whether French military support can act as a deterrent."


Armenia Signs Arms Contract with France for Precision Rifles and Military Training

feb 23 2024

Armenia signs arms contract with France: defence ministers

  • France Commits To Sell Precision Rifles And Train Armenian Military Officers
  • Armenia Aims To Reduce Dependence On Moscow And Modernize Its Army
  • France To Deploy A Military Adviser Specializing In Ground-Based Air Defense Systems
  • Growing Rift Between Armenia And Moscow Over Perceived Inaction On Armenia’s Conflict With Azerbaijan
  • France has signed commitments to sell precision rifles to Armenia and train Armenian military officers, as Yerevan seeks to reduce its dependence on Moscow. The two countries also agreed on additional support for Armenia’s defense capabilities.

    France has pledged to sell precision rifles to Armenia and provide training for its military officers. This move comes as Armenia aims to modernize its army and reduce its reliance on Moscow.

    Armenia’s decision to seek support from France highlights a growing rift with its historic ally, Moscow. The perceived inaction of the Kremlin in Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan has strained relations between Yerevan and Moscow.

    Book: Peerless: Rouben Mamoulian, Hollywood, and Broadway

    Publisher's Weekly
    February 2024
    Jensen debuts with a scrupulously researched portrait of Armenian director Rouben Mamoulian (1897–1987), whose wide-ranging career boasted 16 films and 17 Broadway productions, including Oklahoma!. Born in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia, to a banker father and actor mother, Mamoulian and his family fled the Russian Revolution of 1905 for Paris. As an adult he immigrated to London, where a series of chance encounters landed him a job as director of the experimental play Porgy, which debuted in 1927 and paved the way for an eclectic career that included the films Applause (1929) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), which used such cutting-edge techniques as spinning cameras and colored filters. In 1932 he directed the romantic musical comedy Love Me Tonight in collaboration with Richard Rodgers, forging a partnership that would redefine his career when the two—along with Oscar Hammerstein—collaborated for the wildly successful Oklahoma!, which, Jensen argues, cast off “long-accepted tropes of musical comedy” to pioneer the “integrated” musical, in which “songs and choreography advance the plot.” Sifting through a wealth of production notes, diaries, and letters, Jensen weaves together a biography that gives equal due to Mamoulian’s stylistic innovations, wide-ranging artistic legacy, and uncompromising vision that was buttressed by egotistical self-confidence (Mamoulian sometimes claimed “to be the Zeus from whose brow all talkie innovations sprung,” according to film historian Scott Eyman). Musical theater buffs will be riveted. (May)

    Any territorial changes are unacceptable for Iran: Ambassador on the “Zangezur Corridor”


    YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 16, ARMENPRESS. In response to the question of whether Iran's position regarding the "Zangezur Corridor" has changed, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mehdi Sobhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Republic of Armenia stated that the official position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that the territorial integrity of regional countries should be respected.

     “The final position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that we cannot accept a territorial change in any way. Any territorial changes should take place on the basis of mutual recognition of the territorial integrity of both countries, and this  remains our final position. The final position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that the territorial integrity of the countries of the region should be respected," the Ambassador emphasized.

    According to the diplomat, it is unacceptable for Iran to see a tense situation around Armenia.

    "We support all parties in establishing warm and peaceful relations as soon as possible. We are confident and believe that the only way is to have peaceful relations and friendly dialogue. And we have relations and dialogue with all the parties to facilitate peace in the region," said the Ambassador.