Armenia: Activists to demonstrate in Yerevan, Nov. 10

Crisis 24
Nov 7 2023

Activists affiliated with the National Democratic Pole plan to hold a protest march starting from Freedom Square, Yerevan, at 19:00 Nov. 10. The purpose of the action is to condemn Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. It is unclear where marchers will go from Freedom Square or how many demonstrators may take part in the action. Possible march waypoints or endpoints include the Prime Minister's Residence (26 Marshal Baghramyan Avenue), the National Assembly (19 Marshal Baghramyan Avenue), and the Government of Armenia building (Republic Square).

Heightened security and localized transport disruptions are likely. Low-level confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement officers cannot be ruled out.

Where is the most beautiful town in Armenia?
Nov 7 2023

Armenia, a small but picturesque country nestled in the South Caucasus region, is known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Within this captivating country, there are numerous towns that boast their own unique charm and beauty. However, one town stands out among the rest as the epitome of Armenian beauty – Dilijan.

The Enchanting Town of Dilijan

Located in the Tavush Province, Dilijan is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Armenia” due to its lush green forests, pristine lakes, and refreshing mountain air. This enchanting town is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, making it a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

Dilijan is characterized by its well-preserved traditional architecture, with charming wooden houses and cobblestone streets that transport visitors back in time. The town’s historic center, known as the Old Dilijan, is a maze of narrow alleys lined with quaint cafes, art galleries, and craft shops, where visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I reach Dilijan?
A: Dilijan is easily accessible by road from the capital city of Yerevan, which is approximately 100 kilometers away. Regular bus services and taxis are available for transportation.

Q: What are the must-visit attractions in Dilijan?
A: Dilijan offers a plethora of attractions, including the Dilijan National Park, Haghartsin Monastery, Goshavank Monastery, and the picturesque Lake Parz.

Q: Are there accommodation options in Dilijan?
A: Yes, Dilijan offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals, catering to different budgets and preferences.

Q: What activities can I enjoy in Dilijan?
A: Dilijan is a paradise for outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and birdwatching. The town also offers opportunities for cultural experiences, such as visiting local museums and participating in traditional craft workshops.


In the heart of Armenia, Dilijan stands as a testament to the country’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. With its stunning landscapes, charming architecture, and warm hospitality, this town captures the essence of Armenia and leaves visitors in awe. Whether you are seeking tranquility in nature or a glimpse into the country’s rich history, Dilijan is undoubtedly the most beautiful town in Armenia.

‘Rid its borders of Christianity’: Azerbajian lands on list of worst Christian persecutors

The Christian Post
Nov 4 2023

The predominantly Muslim nation of Azerbaijan has landed on a persecution advocacy group's list of the worst countries for Christian persecution over its policies toward neighboring Armenia.

The United States-based International Christian Concern (ICC), which tracks the persecution of Christians worldwide, released its 2023 Persecutors of the Year report this week. 

The publication lists Azerbaijan among the top 10 nations hostile toward the faith. The list includes Nigeria, North Korea, India, Iran, China, Pakistan, Eritrea, Algeria and Indonesia.

Sandwiched between Turkey and Iran, Azerbaijan has warred with Armenia for decades over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which consists of as much as a 98% majority Christian population, most of whom identify as Armenian Apostolic, according to ICC.

The two nations have entered into conflict at least twice over the last century, but following a monthslong blockade earlier this year, Azerbaijani forces commandeered Nagorno-Karabakh, a self-known to Armenians as Artsakh, in September. 

The region was previously controlled by ethnic Armenians as the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan. 

After a six-week war with Armenia in 2020, Azerbaijan regained control of territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. An armistice brokered by Russia left the region connected to Armenia only by the Lachin Corridor. Nagorno-Karabakh had been under varying degrees of blockade since December 2022 and was completely cut off from Armenian supplies in mid-June before the September offensive. 

"Azerbaijan's end game is clear: to rid its borders of Christianity either by forcing the Armenian people and their faith out of Azerbaijan or destroying the people and historical sites," the report states. 

ICC highlights the language employed toward Armenians by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, who "uses derogatory rhetoric, such as barbarians, rats, and vandals, to describe and dehumanize the Armenian people."

In 2012, Aliyev tweeted, "Our main enemy is the Armenian lobby."

"Armenia as a country is of no value," he tweeted "It is actually a colony, an outpost run from abroad, a territory artificially created on ancient Azerbaijani lands."

Despite the ancient heritage of Armenia as the world's first Christian nation, the report points to what it described as the international community's "ill-informed understanding of the ancient cultural heritage of Armenia."

Videos that surfaced of the 2020 conflict between the two nations showed Azerbaijani forces "intentionally destroying" Christian cultural landmarks like the centuries-old khachkars, or cross-stones, and churches such as the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, one of the largest Armenian churches in the world.

"For most people living in the region, to be Armenian is to be Christian," the report stated. "Therefore, persecution against Armenians and Armenian residents of NK is persecution against the body of Christ."

Until the September invasion, the region had a predominantly Christian population. The 24-hour Azerbaijan September offensive killed at least 200 ethnic Armenians, including 10 civilians. Over 400 were wounded. 

Officials last month estimated more than 100,000 Armenians were forcibly displaced from the region. 

Of the displaced, roughly 32,000 have taken up accommodation offered by the Armenian government, while others chose to stay with friends or relatives in Armenia.

In October, Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of "ethnic cleansing," warning that "in the coming days, there will be no Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh."

That prospect has raised international concern from organizations across the political spectrum, including the National Council of Churches (NCC), which released a statement reiterating its support for the Armenian Orthodox Church, one of the 37 member communions of the NCC.

"While genocide typically takes place methodically over months and years, the NCC believes we may indeed be witnessing a continuation of genocide against the Armenian people, one that is borne of supremacy as in other genocides, but rather than consume the perpetrators in swift and orchestrated killing, unfolds over the long term in disparate acts of ethnic cleansing," the NCC statement reads. 

"As we have noted with alarm the illegal, humanitarian blockade of the region and the destruction of critical infrastructure, and observe the steady stream of refugees flowing through a single geographic conduit to safety, can we not assume this is, in fact, what is happening?"

Between 1915 and 1923, an estimated 1.5 million Armenian Christians died after they were expelled from the Ottoman Empire, now known as Turkey. Turkey denied the existence of the Armenian Genocide, and it took over 100 years before the mass killing was finally acknowledged as a genocide by the U.S. government.

From Armenia to Gaza: War, Crimes, Truth and Denial

Informed Comment – Juan Cole
Nov 3 2023

( – This month’s catastrophic violence in Israel and Gaza — specifically, the contradictory statements from each side on the other’s war crimes — has taken me back to a revealing personal moment almost exactly 18 years ago, recalling a different war in a different part of the world.

That day in the fall of 2005 I was in Yerevan, Armenia, where I was teaching a post-graduate journalism course at the state university. In class that morning, my six students, all of them young women (as was not unusual in that time and place), began discussing the terrible treatment of young recruits in the Armenian army, where the vicious hazing that had been notorious in the Soviet armed forces was still common practice. I don’t remember how the subject came up, but when it did, one student after another chipped in with chilling tales about male relatives and friends who had been savagely treated by other soldiers and their superiors.

Just a few hours later, in an afternoon class with the same six students, someone mentioned Khojaly, the town where, according to the Azeris, Armenian soldiers massacred some 600 Azeri civilians during the Armenia-Azerbaijan war of 1992. My students insisted the story must be false because, as one of them said, “Our boys couldn’t do something like that.”

Only that morning, I reminded them, they had recalled numerous first-hand accounts of horrible things Armenian soldiers did to their own young recruits. Maybe the Khojaly massacre happened, I said, and maybe it didn’t, as Armenia has long insisted, but given the cruelties you spoke about this morning, how can you say Armenians couldn’t do that? For a long silent moment, they looked at me with stunned expressions. Finally, one of them said, “We can’t think that.”

When I heard her words, I realized they were probably the all-too-literal truth. Those young women simply couldn’t think things that didn’t fit the accepted national story about that war, a feeling far more powerful than facts or logic. In the world they lived in, the threat from the enemy was the potential extinction of the Armenian people — a continuation of the attempted genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Taking the Azeri side on anything, including the “facts” on Khojaly or any Armenian atrocity, would be collaborating with the murder of their own people, and that just wasn’t possible.

Echoes from Gaza

If I were in the Middle East today, I’m quite sure I would see the same dynamic playing out on both sides of the current Israeli-Hamas war. Just as my Armenian students couldn’t think that their country’s soldiers were guilty of a serious atrocity, many Israelis and Palestinians are undoubtedly incapable — not just unwilling, but incapable — of recognizing that their side in that conflict might be violating the laws of war and committing crimes against humanity. (The parallel with Israelis is particularly close, since just like Armenians, they have a collective memory of genocide, of facing an enemy that wanted not just to defeat them on some battlefield but to wipe their whole people off the face of the earth.) It also seems a safe assumption that those feelings will not be changed by additional evidence about specific incidents or the broader conduct of the opposing forces.

The conflicting reactions to the October 17th explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City are an apt example. Palestinians immediately blamed Israeli bombing or missile fire, which they said killed nearly 500 people on the hospital grounds. Israelis argued that the blast was from an off-course Palestinian rocket, while challenging their adversary’s casualty count. (Two days after the explosion, a Jerusalem newspaper reported that estimates from “foreign independent intelligence sources” were far lower — no more than 50 deaths, maybe as few as 10.)

There is no way to know at this writing what additional facts may come to light or if there will ever be a conclusive finding on which side caused the explosion. But even if there is, it’s a safe bet that Palestinians will keep blaming Israel and Israelis will go on accusing Palestinians. Moreover, people on both sides will believe what they’re saying because, like my students in Armenia, they simply can’t think anything else.

The parallels aren’t exact, of course. The Israeli-Hamas conflict is very different from Armenia’s with Azerbaijan — not just geographically but in terms of its history, its circumstances, and most notably its potential to ignite a much wider war with devastating consequences globally.

Another crucial difference is that the world in 2023 is not the world that existed in 2005 when I taught that class in Armenia. Facts carry significantly less weight in public discourse now than they did then. Truth-tellers in the news media, academic institutions, and the scientific world are less trusted and less believed, which gives untruths and those who spread them far more influence.

In the age of social media, people whose emotions (and identity) immunize them against unwelcome facts can easily find support and apparent confirmation for their false beliefs in ways that were only beginning to take shape in the early 2000s. Meanwhile, falsehoods spread much farther and faster to what would have been unimaginable numbers of people 15 or 20 years ago.

One stunning example of that change: when I was teaching in Armenia in 2005, Facebook had been in operation for only a year or so and had close to 5 million users. Today, something like two and a half billion people use that platform. In other words, 18 years ago Facebook was reaching approximately one out of every 1,300 people in the world. Now, it reaches almost one out of every three. Other social media networks have seen similar growth. In the United States alone, the percentage of adults who use social media is estimated to have increased from 5% to 79% between 2005 and 2019.

A New Weapon in the War on Facts

If the explosive growth of social media has meant a larger threat to truth, a more recent trend may pose a new and even bigger danger. Artificial intelligence clearly has the capability to create and distribute fake information that will make it ever harder — perhaps nearly impossible — to distinguish facts from falsehoods. So far, ideas about how to control it don’t exactly seem promising, while rapidly advancing technology is producing ever more effective tools of deception. In a recent column on the Axios news website, two of its cofounders delivered a chilling warning about one of those tools, which, they note, is being wielded by “anti-American actors” in crisis spots globally:

“A new weapon is being deployed in all these conflicts: a massive spread of doctored or wholly fake videos to manipulate what people see and think in real time. The architects of these new technologies, in background conversations with us, after demonstrating new capabilities soon to be released, say even the sharpest eyes looking for fake videos will have an impossible time detecting what’s real.”

Such misinformation is not only harmful when people believe things that are untrue, but possibly even more damaging in making it harder to believe things that are true. When lies fill the air around us, everything becomes suspect. Information becomes guilty-until-proven-innocent and, when people like those Armenian students are already motivated to deny reality, the effect will only be hugely magnified.

There’s a strong case to be made that, as misinformation and artificial intelligence gain ground, the greatest risk of all is that truth will simply lose credibility and facts will matter ever less. Ultimately, that trend won’t just subvert knowledge and understanding on specific subjects but undermine the belief that facts exist at all, that there is an objective reality outside our own consciousness.

That was the thesis of a chilling 2017 online essay by Mary Poovey, an emeritus humanities professor at New York University and author of A History of the Modern Fact. In her essay, she described a “post-fact world” where conventional knowledge sources are no longer trusted, formerly unquestioned assumptions are no longer shared, and traditional checks-and-balances processes no longer go unchallenged as validators of information. In that world, she concluded, “Ordinary citizens and parties with their own vested interests have begun to question the very possibility of facts.”

Reflecting on such thoughts in an interview earlier this year, Poovey noted that, without facts, we have no standard for what to believe, no trusted authority to teach us what’s real and what isn’t, and no way to correct false beliefs. And from that comes a bleak but inescapable conclusion: if facts don’t exist, knowledge doesn’t either.

How Misinformation and Disinformation Are Exploding Globally

The slide into low-fact or fact-free discourse is ominous for numerous reasons and across many areas of public life. In this country, false statements and willful denials of reality in the ongoing debate about fraud in the 2020 presidential election — a completely imaginary issue — have done grave and lasting damage to a fundamental foundation of democracy. (On the very day I drafted this essay, the House of Representatives chose as a new speaker a prominent election denier.) Thousands of Americans, perhaps tens of thousands, died as a direct result of misinformation about Covid-19. Intentional and unintentional falsehoods have seriously obstructed urgently needed policies and practices that could better prepare us for coming catastrophes associated with climate change. And, as always, misinformation and disinformation have exploded, along with rockets and bombs, in wars around the world.

To be sure, throughout human history, wars have generated lies and false beliefs. In the present era, however, those falsehoods seem to spread so much faster and more widely, arguably causing more pain than in the past. That has been visible in the current crisis in the Middle East, as well as in Ukraine, as documented in a list of nearly 100 separate false claims compiled in the early stages of that conflict by the newspaper USA Today.

Almost 80 of those items were fake or falsely captioned videos and photographic images, mostly seen on platforms that had barely existed a decade or two ago. In an ironic twist, one photo, purporting to show an explosion in Ukraine, had, in fact, been taken in Gaza in 2021. Another, that newspaper’s fact-checkers reported, wasn’t an image from any real war but from a video game. Strikingly, though on reflection perhaps not surprisingly, a video clip from the very same game was posted on Facebook recently with a caption claiming it showed Israeli anti-aircraft fire shooting a Hamas fighter plane out of the sky.

That clip was far from the only such deception appearing during the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In one of many examples, after the Al-Ahli Arab hospital explosion, a false posting, presumably by a pro-Israeli source, showed a screen-shot of a tweet supposedly from an Al Jazeera journalist reporting that he had seen “with my own eyes” a Hamas missile causing the blast and that Al Jazeera‘s coverage of the event was untrue. Fact-checkers for the French news agency AFP determined that the tweet was fake, and no Al Jazeera reporter had ever sent such a message.

Rewriting Ancient Times — And Yesterday

One effect of the misinformation epidemic is that rewriting the past has become an easier and more common practice than it used to be. An example — looking at a piece of ancient history but completely relevant to today’s headlines — is recounted in a recent blog post by David Shipler, former New York Times correspondent and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Arab and JewWhen he was based in Jerusalem from 1979 to 1984, Shipler wrote on his blog, “I never heard a Palestinian utter a doubt that Jewish temples had stood on what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary, and Jews call the Temple Mount” (the site of the Temple of Solomon, according to Jewish scriptures). But on a visit in the early 1990s, a Palestinian high school student in Ramallah told him categorically that no Jewish temple had ever existed there and that the claim was “a fabrication by Israelis to lay title to Jerusalem.”

“I don’t know how many Christian and Muslim Palestinians have embraced that temple denial,” Shipler went on, “but on subsequent reporting trips I heard it more and more widely until it seemed virtually ubiquitous.” On that and many other realities from ancient times to the present, the two sides have come to teach and believe completely different stories. Shipler calls it “an arms race of memory.” And while he was referring to Arabs and Jews, his term could just as aptly have been applied to countless other contests between facts and falsehoods in our time.

For obvious reasons, the memory arms race is particularly prevalent in remembering wars, which leave passionate and painful emotions that last for generations. Throughout history, those emotions have shaped false visions of reality that tend to endure long after the fighting ends. A maxim said to have been coined more than a century ago (and usually attributed to California Senator Hiram Johnson during World War I) put it this way: “Truth is the first casualty of war.”

That was certainly a valid observation in the past, but I’m not sure it’s accurate in the same way today. Truth wasn’t the first casualty in the present Middle East conflict. It had already been a casualty before that war even began. Today, truth is simply a casualty of our world.

Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian Prime Ministers address Tbilisi Silk Road Forum Areas Georgia

Nov 3 2023
03/11/2023 -  Onnik James Krikorian

On 26-27 October, the Georgian capital once again hosted the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, an event to discuss global economic challenges and international connectivity established by the Georgian government in 2015. The fourth edition was attended by around 2,000 delegates representing the governments and private sector from over 80 countries.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili naturally opened the forum, but so did the Prime Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Montenegro. More significantly, however, not only was it the first time an Armenian leader spoke at such a high-level event in Tbilisi, but it was also the first time that high-level officials from all three countries gathered on the same stage to do so.

Though the main focus was economic, Garibashvili used the opportunity to offer Georgia’s assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan in facilitating or mediating talks. The last time Tbilisi had made this offer was alongside Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev on his visit to Georgia on 8 October. In recent weeks, Baku has increasingly pushed the narrative that the region’s problems should be resolved within and not outside the region.

During that visit, Aliyev even suggested that Armenia and Azerbaijan could hold meetings at various levels in Tbilisi “immediately” if Yerevan agreed. However, in an interview with Armenian Public Television two days later, the Armenian Prime Minister clearly seemed reluctant to so, wary that this could threaten the continuation of efforts by the European Union. Such concerns are not unfounded.

For nearly a year, Baku has become increasingly frustrated with the EU-facilitated platform and what it believes to be French interference in the process. Aliyev had already pulled out of two scheduled EU-organised talks in October, first in Granada and then in Brussels. Moreover, since Aliyev’s Tbilisi visit, many Azerbaijani analysts have publicly advocated for holding the talks in Georgia.

Yet, despite Pashinyan’s concerns, these might now be starting. At the gala dinner  on the first day of the forum, the Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian Prime Ministers sat together on their own, while other guests huddled around tables seating five or more. Asadov, Garibashvili, and Pashinyan also held albeit likely informal but private talks lasting “several hours”. True, Asadov does not hold much power in Azerbaijan, but it was still an unprecedented occurrence.

“We held tripartite meetings yesterday”, Garibashvili said the following day  . “Georgia is interested in being an unbiased mediator and in establishing peace in the region as a friend of Armenia and Azerbaijan”.

After news of the meeting broke, the Armenian Prime Minister’s office said the talks  were “useful in terms of clarifying nuances of the positions of the parties in at least a number of issues”, though no other details were provided. It is quite possible, however, that one topic was unblocking region transportation links. Pashinyan’s address detailed his own idea in this direction – a “Crossroads of Peace” connecting and benefiting all countries in the region.

Asadov's speech made no reference to Armenia, including in future regional projects. After his scripted address, he reacted spontaneously to Pashinyan. Baku had offered Yerevan the chance to sign a peace treaty two years ago and that offer remains on the table. Given Armenia’s regional semi-isolation, however, he did warn that failure to reach an agreement will mean a planned link to connect with its Nakhichevan exclave could go via Iran and not Armenia.

On 7 October, Azerbaijani and Iranian officials had already attended a ceremony to mark the construction of bridges and the necessary customs infrastructure  to do so. Despite the stipulation in the November 2020 ceasefire statement that such a route would pass through Armenia, continued disagreement with Azerbaijan over the modalities of what Baku refers to as the “Zangezur Corridor” has delayed and frustrated those plans for three years now.

Arguably, Pashinyan's address at the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum demonstrated he was aware that Armenia might again miss out on another regional project – the Middle Corridor connecting China through Central Asia and the South Caucasus to Europe. Just as he did in his 17 October address to the European Parliament  , Pashinyan now offers his concept for an “Armenian Crossroads”, now rebranded as the “Crossroads of Peace”.

Recently Pashinyan announced that Yerevan established a special unit in the police force that will specifically provide security on all transit routes running through Armenian territory, likely in response to one sticking point over any Armenian route connecting Azerbaijani with Nakhchivan. The November 2020 ceasefire statement stipulated that it would be overseen by the Russian Border Guard Service. For Pashinyan, this would amount to loss of sovereignty.

Armenian opposition voices, however, remain skeptical  , arguing that such an idea is not new and has been floated by previous administrations. Moreover, they complain, the map that Pashinyan used for this Tbilisi Silk Road Forum omitted any sign of the previous existence of the former Soviet-era Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO). This was not unexpected. Armenia effectively recognised Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity last year and continues to do so.

Though it is uncertain whether Armenia and Azerbaijan are now ready to sign a long-awaited agreement to normalise relations, statements by officials from both sides indicate that such a possibility remains within reach. Meanwhile, at a European Council summit held on 26-27 October in Brussels, EU leaders called “on the parties to engage in good faith and to finalise this process by the end of this year”. Tbilisi, incidentally, has already offered to host  any signing ceremony.

Armenpress: Syunik is a symbol of Armenia’s resistance and strength: EU ambassador


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 28, ARMENPRESS. The European Union has extended its support for the establishment of a patrol service throughout Armenia by providing both technical assistance and expertise. 

The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Ambassador Vassilis Maragos, who participated in the event dedicated to the start of the work of Syunik division of the Police Patrol Service said: 
"On behalf of the European Union, I would like to reaffirm our strong commitment and support in the framework of reforms that have been a cornerstone of democratic governance and the effective execution of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement over recent years.

The rule of law and fundamental rights within the European Union will remain the foundation of our union.
As a noteworthy testament to this commitment and the advancements in these reforms, I would like to emphasize the launch and full operation of the patrol service, with the final phase of implementation taking place today in Syunik, and, of course, the creation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in January 2023.

The European Union has provided support for the establishment of a patrol service across Armenia, supporting its implementation and operation through the provision of technical assistance and expertise. Today, we are proud to present the integration of 75 newly purchased vehicles into the patrol service," said the EU Ambassador.

Vassilis Maragos emphasized and welcomed the involvement and participation of the Government in all areas of the Ministry of Interior.

 "Of course, challenges exist, and I am confident that they will be effectively addressed through enhanced capacity building, ongoing education, heightened transparency, and increased accountability. This way, the new, reformed police service system can better meet the needs of citizens, "the EU Ambassador said.

Vassilis Maragos  in his speech mentioned that Syunik is a symbol of Armenia's resistance and strength.
"I would like to quote the words of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during her statement following the meeting in Granada: 'The European Union stands by Armenia and is fully committed to supporting the negotiations,' " stated the EU Ambassador.

Vassilis Maragos emphasized that, in addition to this project, the European Union supports the enhancement of resilience in the Syunik region through various other initiatives.

"And one of those initiatives is the "Team Europe" initiative, within the framework of which more than 100 million euros have already been allocated for the development of the Syunik region. We expect to implement these projects and programs for the residents of this region, together with the government," the EU ambassador concluded.

Armenpress: Armenia needs to diversify security relations: Nikol Pashinyan

 22:53, 25 October 2023

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 25, ARMENPRESS. Armenia should diversify its relations in the security sphere. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this in an interview with The Wall Street Journal reporter Yaroslav Trofimov, noting that in the case of aggressive actions by Azerbaijan against Armenia, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Russia did not implement the actions described in the CSTO Charter and the agreement signed between Armenia and Russia

“In your speech to the European Parliament, you mentioned that you are disappointed with the behavior of some of your allies. Could you be more specific, what do you think your formal allies in the CSTO allies, particularly Russia, should have done differently, and what are your expectations from your Western partners?” asked The Wall Street Journal reporter.

“We are not talking about this for the first time and we have talked about the fact that in May 2021 and September 2022, Azerbaijan carried out aggressive actions against Armenia and occupied territories. The Collective Security Treaty and the Charter of the Collective Security Treaty Organization clearly state the actions to be taken when aggression against a member state occurs. What was described did not happen and, of course, it is disappointing for both the Armenian government and the Armenian public.

Also, we have a bilateral agreement with Russia in the field of security, and the actions described in that agreement also did not take place, which also raised very serious questions among both the Government and the public.

As for the relations with other partners, I will be more honest if I say that these situations, in fact, led us to a decision that we need to diversify our relations in the security sector. And we're trying to do that now,’’ answered PM Pashinyan.

 To the question that actually right now Armenia still has that agreement with Russia and there are Russian military bases in Armenia and whether Russia's military presence in Armenia is an asset or a liability, Nikol Pashinyan answered: “You know, at least at this moment I have already said that, unfortunately, we have not seen the advantages in the sidelines of the cases I have described.”

“Does this mean that you are planning to call that Russia withdraws its military bases from Armenia?” asked the correspondent.

“We are not discussing such a question. We are now more focused on discussing other issues, we are trying to understand what is the cause of such a situation, and of course, I also think that this will be the agenda of working discussions between Armenia and Russia, Armenia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.’’

“Quite senior officials in Russia, including former President Medvedev, have used really insulting words against you and called for a coup against you or removing you from office. How did you respond to all this, and in your opinion, what are the reasons for this campaign against you in Russia?” asked Trofimov.

“You know, if I'm not mistaken, I didn't directly respond to that and I'm not going to respond publicly in addition to what I have already said. But it is also obvious that those facts you mentioned at least raise questions, and the answers to those questions must be found, because such an approach violates many rules, starting from not interfering in each other's internal affairs and diplomatic correctness and, of course, it also creates problems at personal dimension, because such a wording, such a language and such a position are incomprehensible for people who have worked with each other for quite a long time,” noted PM Pashinyan.

Hungary ready to contribute to preservation of Armenian heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 27, ARMENPRESS. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó has expressed willingness to contribute to the preservation of Armenian cultural and spiritual heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian FM Ararat Mirzoyan said at a joint press conference with Szijjártó.

“After the forced displacement the issue of Armenian cultural and spiritual heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh has become more pressing. In the past we appealed to UNESCO and other international partners, there was a decision to send a UNESCO mission to Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions. But as a result of multiple obstructions caused by Azerbaijan, that visit hasn’t taken place thus far. But now that mission is needed more,” Mirzoyan said, adding that Armenia is working in that direction.

Mirzoyan said that the Hungarian Foreign Minister sincerely expressed desire to step in and have his contribution in that important issue, ensure the preservation of Armenian cultural and spiritual heritage, as well as access to such sites.

Mirzoyan thanked Szijjártó for Hungary’s willingness to contribute to the issue.

Finland sending aid to Armenia

yle, Finland
Oct 20 2023

More than 100,000 Armenians have been displaced from the region Nagorno-Karabakh.

Finland has sent an aid shipment destined for Armenia, according to the Finnish interior ministry.

Last month, Azerbaijan regained control of Nagorno-Karabakh, a region that had been under control of the majority ethnic Armenian population for the past three decades.

The situation prompted more than 100,000 Armenians to flee the region. Armenia has since requested assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

"The request for assistance includes necessities for young children aged 0 to 4, starting from beds, clothes and diapers. We deliver maternity packs and ready-made meals to meet the request for assistance," said Heikki Honkanen, Senior Coordinator at the Ministry of the Interior.

The ministry said the aid package had already left Finland and will arrive in Armenia next week. Austria is organising air transport for the aid shipment.

Well over a dozen European countries have also offered aid to Armenia, in addition to Finland and Austria.