Homenetmen Central Committee Chairperson Visits Western Prelacy

Prelate Bishop Torkom Donoyan Proposes Expanding Homenetmen Western Region’s “Hrashq” Initiative Into The Middle East

Western Prelate Bishop Torkom Donoyan, alongside, Vahe Hovaguimian, Chairman of the Western Prelacy Executive Council, Mher Der Ohanessian, Vice-Chair of the Western Prelacy Executive Council, and George Chorbajian, Secretary of the Western Prelacy Executive Council, welcomed Hagop Khacherian, Chairperson of the Homenetmen Central Committee.

Khacherian was accompanied by Vicken Apelian and Mher Tavidian, members of Homenetmen Central Committee from Los Angeles.

During the productive meeting, several issues of concern were discussed impacting our national and organizational life. H.G. Bishop Donoyan specifically referenced the significant position and role Homenetmen holds within our nation.

Prelate Donoyan proposed expanding Homenetmen Western Region’s “Hrashq” initiative to the Middle East. The Hrashq program aims to involve Armenian children and youth with special needs in Homenetmen activities, by providing a positive experience which can benefit other Armenian communities, especially communities in the Middle East.

Prelate Donoyan, as an _expression_ of moral and financial support for the expansion of the “Hrashq” program, allocated $10,000 to the Homenetmen Central Committee, from a special fund established six months ago at the Western Prelacy, aimed for children and youth with special needs. The Executive Council members of the Western Prelacy also expressed their complete support to Homenetmen.

The Homenetmen Central Committee members expressed their appreciation and gratitude to Bishop Torkom Donoyan and the Executive Council members and extended their warm wishes for the New Year and Christmas holidays with the hope of continuing cooperation on a pan Armenian resonance.

Georgian Parliament Speaker discusses relations with Armenian counterpart in informal visit to Armenia

AGENDA, Georgia
Dec 21 2023

Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili and Alen Simonyan, the President of the National Assembly of Armenia, on Wednesday discussed the existing relations between the countries, including trade and people-to-people ties, as part of the Georgian official’s informal visit to Armenia.

Papuashvili and Simonyan agreed to implement “concrete initiatives” to deepen the parliamentary cooperation between Georgia and Armenia, the Parliament press office said.

Regional peace and security, as well as the role of the parliaments in this regard, were also reviewed by the sides.

The Armenian official congratulated the Georgian Parliament Speaker on obtaining the European Union membership candidate status.

The Georgian parliamentary delegation accompanying Papuashvili includes the Vice Parliament Speaker Gia Volski, Nikoloz Samkharadze, the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Chair and Anton Obolashvili, a member of the Armenian friendship group in the Georgian Parliament.

Lawmaker expects Armenia-Azerbaijan prisoner swap in nearest time

 12:56, 13 December 2023

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 13, ARMENPRESS. Armenia and Azerbaijan did not exchange prisoners as of Wednesday noon almost a week after the agreement was reached.

Azerbaijan has to release 32 Armenian prisoners in exchange for Armenia's release of two Azerbaijani servicemen under the agreement.  

Asked to comment, a senior Armenian lawmaker on December 13 declined to give specific timeframes of the exchange. “First of all, I wouldn’t want to mention specific timeframes,” Member of Parliament, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Sargis Khandanyan said at a press briefing when asked on the delay and whether Azerbaijan has breached the deal. “The logic and perception is that the process should take place in the nearest time. There’s been no signals indicating that Azerbaijan has abandoned its obligation. After all, this is an obligation assumed in a written form, in the present tense, that Azerbaijan is releasing 32 prisoners. I assume there are some organizational issues which are in process and we must expect it to happen in the nearest time,” Khandanyan said.

Prime Minister chairs consultation with the participation of representatives of IT companies


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS. A consultation was held today chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, in which representatives of about 30 large IT companies participated.

Vice President of the National Assembly Hakob Arshakyan, Minister of High-tech Industry Robert Khachatryan, Minister of Finance Vahe Hovhannisyan and other officials also participated in the consultation, the Prime Minister's Office said in a readout.

"At the beginning of the meeting, the Prime Minister noted that the purpose of the consultation is to understand what problems exist in the sector, to find out the effectiveness of the policies implemented by the government for the development of the sector, as well as to discuss the future tasks.

The representatives of the IT sector presented the problems solved in the sector through the programs carried out by the government, presented their ideas on improving the existing regulations, as well as suggestions for long-term solutions of the existing problems in the sector, reads the statement.

According to the source, based on the results of the discussion, the Prime Minister instructed to create a working group, to carry out follow-up work on the raised issues, to develop an effective solution model, to set a timetable and to present it at the next meeting. The Head of the Government emphasized that seeing Armenia as a technological and technologically developed country has been a strategic goal since 2018. "My message is that the government has that political will, and it is a program thesis for us," added the Prime Minister.

Armenian citizens take loyalty oaths at new Armenian Embassy in UK

Armenia – Dec 16 2023

The Oath ceremony of citizens of the Republic of Armenia took place at the new Embassy of Armenia in the UK on Friday.

The citizens swore to be loyal to the Republic of Armenia, to uphold the Constitution and laws, to protect the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia, and to respect the state language, national culture and customs of the country, the Armenian Embassy reported.

Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan congratulated the participants of the ceremony, stressed the importance of holding Armenian citizenship with dignity and wished them best of luck.

Armenian parliament ratifies customs affairs cooperation agreement with India


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. The Armenian parliament has ratified a customs affairs cooperation agreement with India.

The treaty, titled the Agreement on Customs Affairs Cooperation and Mutual Aid between Armenia and India, was adopted by parliament on Monday with 95 votes in favor.

The agreement was signed on June 23, 2023 in Brussels. Under the agreement, Armenia and India will provide mutual administrative support to one another and exchange information regarding customs affairs.

The agreement will enable faster solutions and detection of possible violations during exports and imports.

Armenia and Azerbaijan make joint statement announcing ‘confidence-building measures’

Dec 8 2023
 8 December 2023

Azerbaijan and Armenia have announced a prisoner exchange and several other measures intended to ‘build confidence’ in a move hailed as a stepping stone to a potential peace deal.

In a joint statement on Thursday, Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration and Armenia’s Prime Minister’s Office suggested that there was ‘a historical chance to achieve a long-awaited peace in the region’.

According to the Azerbaijani side, the agreement was reached without the involvement of any third country. Since the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, negotiations between the two countries have been mediated by either the EU and the US or by Russia. Prior to that, talks were mostly held under the multinational Minsk Group.

The announcement may mark the first time in the two countries’ post-independence history that Yerevan and Baku have reached an agreement without external mediation.

European Council President Charles Michel wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he was ‘delighted to welcome a major breakthrough’ in Armenia-Azerbaijani relations, particularly the ‘unprecedented opening’ of political dialogue.  

‘I now encourage the leaders to finalise the [Armenia-Azerbaijan] peace deal ASAP’, wrote Michel. 

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller also welcomed the announcement, calling it ‘an important confidence-building measure’. 


‘We commend Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan for their joint efforts to lay the groundwork for a more peaceful and prosperous future for the people of the South Caucasus’, wrote Miller. 

The announcement came shortly after James O’Brien, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, visited Baku, where he met with Azerbaijan’s president. Earlier on Thursday, Aliyev announced that presidential elections would take place a year early.

O’Brien stated after his visit that the US would host peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan’s foreign ministers, Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov respectively, in Washington.

Mirzoyan affirmed on 8 December that he was ready to meet with Bayramov in Washington, but Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has not yet responded to the invitation.

On Friday, the chair of Armenia’s parliamentary foreign relations committee stated that the exchange of prisoners would take place on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in ‘a matter of hours or days’. 

Khandanyan also added that bilateral negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan had begun in ‘the last weeks’. 

‘We are talking about a short period of time’, said Khandanyan. 

The two countries agreed to exchange a total of 34 prisoners, 32 Armenians and two Azerbaijanis. Most of the Armenians were soldiers captured during clashes near Hadrut in December 2020, with six others captured at various times along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. 

According to a separate Azerbaijani statement, all had already served the majority of their sentences. They also emphasised that the list did not include detained officials from Nagorno-Karabakh, including former State Minister Ruben Vardanyan and former president Arayik Haratunyan. ‘Crucially, the released individuals do not and cannot include leaders of the so-called regime who committed war crimes and outrage on humanity against the Azerbaijani people’, they said.

They also emphasised that the list did not include Vagif Khachatryan, who was detained at the Lachin checkpoint earlier this year, and Alyosha Khosrovyan, who was captured during the 2020 war. Khachatryan is accused of participating in the 1992 Khojaly massacre, while Khosrovyan is accused of torturing Azerbaijani soldiers captured in 1992–1994.

The two Azerbaijani soldiers released were detained in April after crossing into Armenian territory. One was later charged with murdering a security guard at the Zangezur copper-molybdenum mine in Syunik Province, sentenced first to 20 years and then to lifetime imprisonment.

The shared statement also noted that Armenia had, as a gesture of goodwill, supported Azerbaijan’s bid to host the 29th session of the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP29) by withdrawing its own candidacy, while Azerbaijan had supported Armenia’s candidature for Eastern European Group COP Bureau membership. 

The Armenian and Azerbaijani courts had released verdicts for two of the prisoners shortly before the exchange was announced.

On Wednesday, the sentence of Azerbaijani soldier Huseyn Akhundov, accused of murdering a security guard after entering Armenia in April, was extended from 20 years to life imprisonment after an appeal by the security guard’s family.

The following day, Gagik Voskanyan, an Armenian reservist captured near the Armenian town of Jermuk in 2023, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in Azerbaijan on a number of charges, including terrorism.

Armenian prisoners were last released by Azerbaijan in October 2022, through US mediation.

U.S. wants to make sure it can help those in need around the world, including ethnic Armenians – Blinken

 14:47, 6 December 2023

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 6, ARMENPRESS. The U.S. wants to make sure that it can help those in need around the world, including ethnic Armenians, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.

“And then there are people in need around the world, throughout the world, whether it is ethnic Armenians, whether it’s Rohingya, whether it’s Sudanese – you name it, we want to make sure that America is there to help them,” Blinken said at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition 2023 Tribute Celebration.

He made the remarks in the context of ongoing debates in the U.S. Congress around additional funding for Ukraine and Israel, as well as various humanitarian goals.

Armenia’s Manuel Petrosyan wins Kazakhstan Chess Cup

 20:08, 7 December 2023

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 7, ARMENPRESS.  Armenian Grandmaster Manuel Petrosyan has  become the winner of the Kazakhstan Cup.

The Kazakhstan Cup was held using the knockout system. Among the 16 participating chess players, Petrosyan competed with Iranian chess player Bardia Daneshvar in the final and won with a score of 1:5-0:5.

Manuel Petrosyan had the highest rating at the tournament held in Almaty.