Armenia ready to develop economic ties with neighbouring states

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 24, 2004 Wednesday 8:26 AM Eastern Time

Armenia ready to develop economic ties with neighbouring states

By Tigran Liloyan


Armenia is ready to establish and develop economic relations with all
neighbouring countries without any preconditions, Prime Minister
Andranik Margaryan said.

In his meeting with EU Special Envoy to the South Caucasus Heikki
Talvitie on Wednesday, Margaryan said these relations would provide a
foundation for the peaceful settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia’s membership in the Council of Europe and the compliance of
obligations before the CE will allow the country to hope that it will
be able to integrate into a European family, the Armenian prime
minister said.

In his view, the EU efforts to strengthen economic cooperation with
European countries and reforms in Armenia prove that these are real

Talvitie said the European Union was discussing a possibility of
involving the South Caucasus in Wider Europe/New Neighbours
Initiative. Ambassador Talvitie said he is hopeful that this process
would yield positive results. He is in Yerevan on a four-day visit as
part of an extended regional tour

In order to achieve this goal the EU envoy stressed that it would
necessary to develop regional cooperation, encourage economic
relations between the region and West European countries, and settle
the existing conflicts, in particular the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Talvitie said he is ready to help find a peaceful solution to the
Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

State court administration’s loss is Russia’s gain

Times Union, NY
March 24 2004

State court administration’s loss is Russia’s gain

Albany– Tireless Joseph Traficanti Jr., who oversaw operations in 57
counties, takes on challenge overseas


Joseph Traficanti Jr. was known for his sterling character, keen
intellect and tireless enthusiasm in his 13 years as an Office of
Court Administration deputy administrative judge, his soon to be
ex-boss said Tuesday.
The 61-year-old Kingston resident oversaw court operations in 57
counties outside New York City, staffed by more than 3,000 judges and
6,000 court personnel, and always took on additional work cheerfully,
Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman said.

But now he’ll use those skills to help developing nations establish a
solid court structure, Lippman said. Traficanti announced his
departure for a career with the U.S. Agency for International
Development project in Russia — and the World Bank project in

“I really am leaving the best job in the world,” Traficanti said
Tuesday. “But if I’m ever going to do something different, it’s

Traficanti said he knows he will be leaving tangible proof of his
efforts behind.

The court-mandated drug treatment initiative he led now numbers 114
alternative-to-incarceration programs statewide, with another 71 in
various planning stages.

Sharp reductions in criminal and civil caseload backlogs, as well as
alternative dispute resolution initiatives across the state also made
a difference, he said: “This is a new mountain to climb. It’s
frightening and exciting.”

Albany County Judge Stephen W. Herrick called Traficanti’s departure
a great loss.

Herrick has run the county drug court since February 2002, a program
he also started in Albany City Court in 2000.

“I don’t know how anyone can replace him,” Herrick said. “He’s just a
wonderful human being.”

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye added: “I have no doubt that
his vast experience in court administration will be a great asset to
other nations in the fledgling stages of democracy and in modernizing
their judicial systems.”

Traficanti began his career as the town attorney of the town of
Rochester. He also served in the Ulster County district attorney’s
office and conducted a private practice.

He ascended to the bench in 1982 as Ulster County surrogate judge and
has served as acting state Supreme, County and Family Court justice.

He leaves for Russia in May.

BAKU: Talvitie meets with Azeri officials

Baku Today, Azerbaijan
March 23 2004

Talvitie meets with Azeri officials

Baku Today 23/03/2004 11:08

Integrating into the European Union is Azerbaijan’s strategic choice,
have said Azerbaijani president when receiving European Union’s
special representative for South Caucasus Heikki Talvitie yesterday,
according to ANS.
Earlier today Talvitie has met with Azeri foreign minister Vilayayt
Guliyev. Talvittie said, at a press conference following the meeting
that the sides have talked about Karabakh conflict.
Talvitie has been visiting Azerbaijan since March 18, 2004.
He met with leader of Karabakh’s Azeri community Nizami Bahmanov on
March 19,2004.

Samuelian Comments on New York Life Insurance Company’s Settlement

State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814
Contact: Tony Lee
Tel: (559) 240-1903

March 10, 2004

Samuelian Comments on New York Life Insurance Company’s Settlement

Armenian Policyholders who perished during the Armenian Genocide One Step
Closer to Justice

Fresno – California State Assemblymember Steve Samuelian (R-Clovis) released
a statement recently regarding the State’s Insurance Commissioner, John
Garamendi’s announcement that a $20 million dollar settlement on behalf of
survivors of victims of the Armenian Genocide was reached. In his statement,
Samuelian expressed his satisfaction with the long-awaited outcome of the
litigation between the descendants of the victims of the Armenian Genocide
and the New York Life Insurance Company and went on to commended all
involved who worked relentlessly to insure that New York Life be held
accountable to it’s former policyholders.

In particular, Samuelian commended the lead plaintiff Mr. Martin Marootian,
who in 1999 along with his friend and attorney Vartges Yeghiayan, initiated
widely-publicized lawsuit against the insurance company on behalf of his
uncle, a victim of the Armenian Genocide.

Marootian’s uncle’s case is one of thousands that spans clear back to
shortly before the beginning of World War I. It was then, that the New York
Life Insurance Company began selling thousands of life insurance policies to
Armenians living in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The War, sparked
international chaos, and allowed the Turkish government the opportunity to
initiate the systematic genocide campaign of more than a million Armenians
in 1915. Thousands of those that perished happened to be policyholders with
New York Life, but the Company disavowed any obligation to the victims and
more than 2,200 policies went “unresolved” till 1999, when Marootian began
his pursuit of justice.

Marootian’s seemingly simple case became increasingly complicated. Had it
not been for the intervention of many prominent attorneys, elected officials
who enacted new legislation, and the backing of an increasingly powerful
Armenian community and its grassroots organizations, Marootian’s endeavor
would not have ended so successfully.

In his statement, Assemblymember Samuelian said, “I commend Mr. Marootian,
along with all of the attorneys, the families of those involved, and the
fine grassroots organizations such as the Armenian National Committee of
America and the Armenian Assembly who led the public charge to raise
awareness of this issue.” Samuelian also said, “I am glad that the New York
Life Insurance Company made a principled decision to properly honor the
memory of it’s former policyholders through this $20 million restitution
settlement. Those 1.5 million innocent lives that perished at the hands of
the Ottoman Turk Government during the Armenian Genocide of 1915 were
indeed, as New York Life’s then Vice-President put it – “prematurely
terminated” at the hands of the Turks” and thus entitled to full payment of
their life insurance policies. This settlement does not vanquish the pain of
the descendents of those who were massacred but it does restore one’s faith,
that in the end, justice prevails.”

# # #

Teenager topples ex-world chess champ

Teenager topples ex-world chess champ

Magnus Carlsen of Norway continues to make headlines on the international
chess circuit. The 13-year-old boy from Baerum defeated one of the game’s most
successful players ever, former world champion Anatoly Karpov, in a blitz
tournament in Reykjavik, Iceland on Wednesday night.

Carlsen’s victory over Russian Karpov came in a lightning game where both
players had roughly five minutes each for the entire game. Conventional
tournament games allow much more time for thinking and lower margins of error, but the
result is still sensational.
Carlsen has made headlines in recent months after achieving two successive
results towards the international grandmaster (GM) title, the game’s highest
The Baerum youngster won a grandmaster tournament in Holland in January and
then placed highly in an open event in Moscow, one of the year’s top
One more such result will give Carlsen the GM title, and make him the
youngest titleholder in the world.
The Reykjavik blitz event was a preliminary for a knock-out tournament which
was to continue on Thursday. The star line-up features a total of 16 players
and includes the world’s top-rated player, Garry Kasparov, who will meet
Carlsen in the first round.
The knock-out event will be a ‘rapid’ chess event, with each player having
roughly half an hour each for the entire game.
Carlsen is trained by Norway’s Simen Agdestein, a national celebrity who was
both a young chess grandmaster and a member of Norway’s international soccer
Aftenposten English Web Desk
Jonathan Tisdall

Armenian opposition calls for new president

Armenian opposition calls for new president

Haykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
13 Mar 04

“The time will soon come when all of us will turn to the people and
stay [in street demonstrations] until the administration leaves,” the
leader of the Anrapetutyun [Republic] Party, Albert Bazeyan, said
yesterday during a meeting in the cultural centre for the deaf,
organized by the intelligentsia. By the way, in saying “all of us”
Bazeyan meant two opposition political forces: the Justice bloc and
the National Unity Party. But it is worth noting that this time, as
well as well-known opposition members, there were also some
politicians, who may not be considered unreservedly members of the
opposition. Specifically, the leader of the Christian Democratic
Union, Khosrov Arutyunyan, the president of the ALM TV channel, Tigran
Karapetyan (as a leader of the People’s Party) and the former deputy
of the National Assembly, Ovanes Ovanesyan, who recently set up his
Liberal Progressive Party, took part in the meeting. Anyway, according
to Bazeyan, the sooner there is a change of power in our republic, the
better for the country. He is also sure that, if there is a nationwide
powerful wave, today’s administrative group will have no option but to

But what are they going to do, if they manage to get [Armenian
President] Robert Kocharyan’s resignation? Bazeyan replied: “We shall
form an alternative power centre: all of us should take one
responsibility – to organize democratic, free and fair elections in
Armenia.” He said that the political forces in the [governing]
coalition will also be invited to be involved “in the alternative
power centre”. Bazeyan said that the president of the country should
be a man elected by the republic and it is not ruled out that the
opposition will put forward several candidates for president in
extraordinary presidential elections.

[Passage omitted: musician Ogan Duryan says in his speech that the
people do not like Robert Kocharyan]

All the opposition politicians emphasized in their speeches that
Armenia needs a change of power and in this way should create the
opportunity for the formation of legitimate authorities, really
elected by the people. Only Tigran Karapetyan had a different view:
“Really, there is a crisis in the country. I think that if the
authorities do not do anything, then one should not continue to live
in this way, and they should give up their place to those who will be

Antelias: HH Aram I Wants Christian Identity of Jerusalem Preserved

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Armenian version:


ANTELIAS, LEBANON – After an intensive discussion with His Beatitude
Patriarch Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem at the Armenian
Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, His Holiness Catholicos Aram
I made the following statement to the press:

“We follow closely and with profound concern the prevailing situation in the
occupied Palestinian territories as well as in Jerusalem. Unfortunately the
ongoing violence, destruction and killing keep the prospect of permanent
peace with justice far away. His Beatitude shared with us the tremendous
difficulties and daily problems facing the Palestinian population. He also
expressed his deep concern regarding the diminishing Christian presence in

In fact, for centuries the churches have had an organized and impact making
presence in Jerusalem. Therefore, one cannot remain indifferent vis-à-vis
the actual situation in Jerusalem where the numerical size of Christian
communities has been significantly reduced, many Christians are leaving
Jerusalem and the activities of Christian churches are becoming increasingly
confined to certain areas of Christian life. These developments are due to
the intolerant and oppressive policy of Israel. We never accept that the
Christian identity of the Holy City be eligibly ignored and systematically
changed. We never accept that the Christian presence and witness become more
and more weakened in the birthplace of Christianity. We never accept the
policy of the Government of Israel aimed at the total judaization of

Where are our western Christian brothers and sisters in view of this dangero
us developments taking place in Jerusalem? In fact, Jerusalem cannot be
simply considered a place where a western Christian finds the remnants of
Christian history. The Christian communities have been integral part of the
history of Jerusalem. They are living and witnessing realities in the Holy
City and they should remain so. Therefore it is expected from the Churches
outside the Middle East to express their solidarity and their attachment to
Jerusalem more tangibly and actively by exerting pressure on their
respective governments to stop the judaization of Jerusalem. We firmly
believe in co-existence of religions. This is integral to the history of the
Middle East. Jerusalem has been a model of co-existence and it should remain
so. I believe that the World Council of Churches, the Vatican and the Middle
East Council of Churches will continue to assist the churches of Jerusalem
more efficiently as they face new challenges and tremendous difficulties”.


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the Ecumenical
activities of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.


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