PM Pashinyan sends congratulatory message to the Prime Minister of Poland



 11:19, 3 May 2023

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent a congratulatory message to Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, on the occasion of the national holiday. The message reads as follows,

"Your Excellency,

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people, I send my warmest congratulations to you and the friendly people of Poland on the occasion of the national holiday of the Republic of Poland, the Constitution Day.

I am confident that the mutually beneficial and continuously developing cooperation between the two peoples, based on centuries-old friendship, will continue to develop and expand both at the bilateral and multilateral levels, including within the framework of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.

Taking the opportunity, I reaffirm our readiness to bring the realization of the significant potential of cooperation between our countries to the maximum for the benefit and welfare of our peoples”.

AW: Children of Genocide survivors honored at RI ANC flag raisings

The Armenian tricolor after being raised in North Providence

Descendants of survivors offered forceful and heartfelt statements on the occasion of the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the Armenian National Committee of Rhode Island (ANC-RI) flag raising events held in North Providence and Cranston on Friday, April 21 this year.

The North Providence ceremony was held in the morning with dozens of people in attendance to see the tricolor raised at the town hall. Mayor Charles Lombardi once again hosted the event, which was the first flag raising organized by the ANC-RI in the state more than 20 years ago. ANC-RI chairman Steve Elmasian welcomed the crowd, and Rev. Fr. Kapriel Nazarian of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church offered prayers of remembrance for the sainted martyrs, as well as for the people of Artsakh as they continue to endure the inhumane blockade by Azerbaijan. Reverend Hagop Manjelikian of the Armenian Evangelical Church closed the morning with prayer. 

ANC-RI chair Steve Elmasian addresses the crowd in North Providence

Reiterating his pledge to hold the flag raising every year, Mayor Lombardi declared April 24 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day in the town and state, while recognizing the substantial contributions of the Armenian community to the state of RI. He also introduced Margaret Moorachian, a resident of North Providence for 53 years, as the honoree and presented her with a proclamation from the town.

North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi

“I stand here both honored and humbled as an American Armenian and the daughter of Armenian Genocide survivors, Garabed and Tarviz Topalian,” said Moorachian, as her children George and Nancy and grandchildren Luke, Faye and Avedis looked on. Moorachian shared her parents’ story of love and survival, as well as the values they instilled in their five children: “loyalty, family, community, sacrifice, kindness, generosity, work and celebration,” along with education.

North Providence honoree Margaret Moorachian

“Since ancient history, Armenia has been a persecuted nation,” Moorachian said. “Yet its people have never given up and fought for their beliefs. Perhaps it is this heritage that helped my parents to be resilient despite the traumas they experienced. Our parents not only survived but thrived,” she stressed before hoisting the flag with assistance from her grandchildren.

Margaret Moorachian raising the flag in North Providence with help from her grandchildren

That evening, Cranston City Hall saw a substantial crowd turn out for its flag raising. AYF Providence “Varantian” Chapter president and Homenetmen Scout leader Rosdom Mkrtschjan served as emcee for a robust program of speakers, including several elected officials who stated their commitment to the Rhode Island Armenian community, to recognition of the Armenian Genocide, to the designation of April 24 as Armenian Genocide remembrance day and to the importance of genocide education in the state’s schools, as indicated by law now. Among those were host Mayor Kenneth Hopkins, Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos, Secretary of State Gregg Amore, State Senator David Tikoian and State Representative Barbara Ann Fenton Fung.

Rev. Fr. Nazarian offered the opening prayer. Taleen Donoyan beautifully sang the Star Spangled Banner and “Mer Hairenik” as the Homenetmen Scouts stood honor guard. Rev. Fr. Shnork Souin of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church closed the evening with prayer and unified singing of the prayer of resurrection. 

Mayor Hopkins said he was honored to continue the flag raising tradition in Cranston, begun almost two decades ago, as he introduced the evening’s honoree Jasper “Jake” Bedrosian, a resident of the city for more than 50 years and retired manager of the Garden City post office. Bedrosian received citations from the city of Cranston, Lieutenant Gov. Matos and Sec. of State Amore and a plaque from the ANC-RI.

And then, the descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors took center stage, including the honoree.

ANC-RI member Dr. Fotini Dionisopoulos

Dr. Fotini Dionisopoulos, a granddaughter of Genocide survivors, offered remarks on behalf of the ANC-RI, congratulating Bedrosian as an exemplary member of the Armenian community and one of many “who have contributed positively to this great city with your good character, citizenship, work ethic and warmth, while keeping your Armenian spirit alive and thriving amongst your families and communities.” Dr. Dionisopoulos, who is a beloved pediatric dentist in the community, spoke about the impact of the ANCA’s work and the importance of supporting its grassroots efforts.

“When I was a young girl, every April 24, I am sure many of you remember North Burial Ground Genocide remembrances,” recalled Dr. Dionisopoulos. “There our survivors, including my grandmother Arossiag, would gather and would walk in together to ‘Hanchetzek.’ Every year, the number got lower and lower. And then they were gone,” she said, stressing the need to continue advocating for those who have now passed.

The youth of the community, one from each of the three RI Armenian churches, took the podium and brought the crowd to thunderous applause.

Garen Zeitounian of the Armenian Evangelical Church went first. “I have great-great grandparents who lived through the Armenian Genocide. Although I never met them, it is because of their faith I am able to stand here today and talk about what being Armenian means to me,” began Zeitounian. “First, I am able to go freely and worship at the Armenian Evangelical Church. Ever since I can remember, Sundays are for going to church and spending time with family. Because Armenia was the first Christian nation, my parents taught me the importance of going to church and having Jesus in my heart. Second, I get to go to Armenian school, which is not always my favorite, but I do know the importance of it…Because of my ancestors I am able to play my dumbeg at Armenian events, something that I love to do. Because of Armenian school I now know how to read and write in Armenian which is something that I’m really proud of…It is our job to talk, remember and keep the Armenian culture going. Now more than ever with what is happening in Artsakh, we need to pray that those Armenians will survive and continue to prove how strong we are,” he concluded.

Next came John Stickler of Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Apostolic Church. “When the atrocities of 1915 began, my great-grandmother Shooshanig Avedisian was saved by German missionaries who brought her to an orphanage where she was educated and kept safe. Years later, she arrived in Pawtucket, RI, where she and her new husband made a life for themselves,” shared Stickler. “My great-grandmother worked very hard not just taking care of her young family but also educating other Armenians, who had also just immigrated to the United States. She also helped many fellow Armenians find their relatives after being scattered during the Genocide. She worked in local factories, doing whatever she could to provide for her family and also found work for many others…it is very clear the Turks did not succeed in 1915, but rather, they failed miserably. The survivors overcame many hardships but did not give up and made new lives for themselves, thus creating a new Armenia,” he forcefully finished.

Ryder Norigian of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church was the final youth speaker, who explained the importance of remembering the Armenian Genocide and our holy martyrs on April 24. “We are all here to honor and remember their sacrifices for us. While this is great for one day of the year, it is a continual process, and we need to do more,” stressed Norigian. “More involves talking about our culture and keeping it alive. Some ways I keep it alive is by talking about it in school. As an example, in my 8th grade social studies class, we were studying a world map, and for that day we were looking at the Middle East. I didn’t see Armenia, so I explained to my teacher about Armenia and ended up teaching and talking to my class about our history and culture,” he explained. Norigian concluded with the following: “Remember who you are and where you come from. Secondly, with assimilation we are growing farther from our ancestors; my great-grandparents who went through it have passed, and my grandmother who witnessed her parents go through it firsthand is slowly coming to an age where she could soon pass… Finally, never let your Armenian culture and spirit die; involve yourself and teach people about who you are.”

Cranston honoree Jasper “Jake” Bedrosian

The evening’s honoree was the final speaker. Bedrosian spoke about the children of the Genocide, specifically his parents, Akabi Kibarian and Hampartsoum Bedrosian, survivors who came to the US via Syria and France, respectively. Since neither was able to attend school, they worked to help the families who sponsored them in this country. Bedrosian shared his novel experiences as a young student of immigrant parents with the goal to learn English. “In an Armenian house, homework meant two things. Homework was, when you got out of school, you studied from three to six, your school homework. After supper, job lot people came in, and you did jewelry homework,” he said, explaining how he learned mathematics at a young age. He expressed his desire to learn and grow in his community. “I wanted to learn the English language but retain my Armenian language,” he said, regaling the crowd with his AYF and school exploits and successes as a championship wrestling coach. “It’s not how you start your race in life; it’s how you finish,” Bedrosian quoted coach Bill Parcells. “And Jasper is not finished,” he concluded to cheers from the crowd.

Jasper “Jake” Bedrosian with young speakers Ryder Norigian, Garen Zeitounian and John Stickler (Photo: Steve Elmasian)

In a fitting and emotional conclusion to the evening and the day, Bedrosian raised the flag as Homenetmen Scouts sang “Mer Hairenik.”

Jasper Bedrosian raising the Armenian flag as the Homenetmen scouts salute and sing “Mer Hairenik”

Following the event, Ara and Sevan Janigian of Sonia’s Near East Market & Deli generously hosted refreshments at their location around the corner from Cranston City Hall.

Pauline Getzoyan is editor of the Armenian Weekly and an active member of the Rhode Island Armenian community. A longtime member of the Providence ARF and ARS, she also is a former member of the ARS Central Executive Board. A longtime advocate for genocide education through her work with the ANC of RI, Pauline is co-chair of the RI branch of The Genocide Education Project. In addition, she has been an adjunct instructor of developmental reading and writing in the English department at the Community College of Rhode Island since 2005.

Armenia ready for CSTO mission deployment – Pashinyan




YEREVAN, APRIL 20, ARMENPRESS. Not only Russia but Armenia is also ready for the deployment of a CSTO monitoring mission to its border with Azerbaijan, PM Nikol Pashinyan said.

“Not only Russia is ready, Armenia is also ready. We’ve outlined the circle of our concerns, and basically our desire is for the possible mission to be effective. This is important for both Armenia, the CSTO and the region. And we continue to work in this direction,” he said.

Pashinyan urged to differentiate the CSTO from the EU mission when asked on the work of the EU monitors.

“The CSTO has security obligations towards the Republic of Armenia, so does Armenia, which, as a member state, and Chairman in 2022, it fully implemented. The EU mission can’t be placed in the same dimension as the CSTO mission. Thus, our expectations from the CSTO mission must be a lot higher than from the EU mission,” Pashinyan said.

He added that the EU mission is a long-term mission, and it’s only been two months since its launch, and it hasn’t even fully deployed yet and the process in ongoing.

AW: AYF Camp Haiastan gives iconic “tornig” a friend in new logo

FRANKLIN, Mass.  Ahead of the highly-anticipated 2023 summer season, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Camp Haiastan Board of Directors is thrilled to reveal Camp Haiastan’s update to the iconic “tornig.” This is the last step in the strategic initiative that was launched in May of 2022 with the refreshed logo of the formal camp logo and the recent announcement of the camp’s newly developed brand and website.

The emblematic “tornig” icon will always be a key part of Camp Haiastan’s branding, and we believe that these new enhancements are a visual commitment to ensure that the camp continues to broaden its awareness and ensure that our founding mission of inclusivity remains at the forefront of our work.

This positive step forward is another fulfillment of the Camp promise to “make it better than it was” and is a strong way to begin another fantastic summer at 722 Summer Street.

Located in Franklin, Massachusetts, AYF Camp Haiastan, was founded in 1951 and is the oldest Armenian camp in the United States. The Camp prides itself on providing a healthy and safe experience to Armenian-American youth to help them foster their Armenian identity and establish lifelong friendships.

Iran hosts Armenian security chief amid unabating tension with Azerbaijan

The story: Reiterating Iran’s opposition to any border changes in the South Caucasus, the secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) has hosted his Armenian counterpart in Tehran.

The meeting comes amid rising tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran. In the most recent escalation between the two neighbors, Baku has expelled four Iranian diplomats—with the Islamic Republic promptly declaring its intention to reciprocate the move.

The coverage: Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of Armenia's Security Council, met Ali Shamkhani in the Iranian capital on Apr. 9.

  • Shamkhani told the visiting top Armenian official that Iran opposes "any geographical changes in the Caucasus" because it would only "cause tension."
  • The SNSC secretary was referring to Baku’s plans to establish a corridor to the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan. Iran fears that the route will cut its land border with Armenia.
  • Shamkhani hailed economic ties with Armenia and insisted that annual trade of 3B USD "is an achievable target." Current bilateral trade is just over one-tenth of that figure.

Grigoryan spoke about economic cooperation with Tehran and particularly emphasized a proposed deal to transfer natural gas from Turkmenistan to Armenia via Iran.

  • Iranian Petroleum Minister Javad Owji said in May 2022 that talks on the gas swap deal had started.
  • Tehran has had a similar deal in place with Baku since Nov. 2021. In June 2022, the two sides agreed to double the volume of gas reaching Azerbaijan.

The meeting in Tehran took place just days after the foreign ministers of Iran and Azerbaijan held two telephone conversations amid a deterioration in ties.

  • The Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement on Apr. 8 that Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ceyhun Bayramov spoke "extensively" on the phone over Apr. 7-8.
  • The top diplomats spoke "frankly and transparently" and discussed how to address "problems and misunderstandings," according to the foreign ministry's read-out.
  • Referring to alleged Israeli "conspiracies" against regional security and unity, Amir-Abdollahian told Bayramov that "only enemies" benefit from disputes in the region.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani stated on Apr. 10 that he has a "positive assessment" of the phone conversations between the foreign ministers.

  • "We will try to take the next steps in coordination with the Azerbaijani side," Kanani told reporters.

Azerbaijan on Apr. 6 declared four Iranian diplomats persona non grata over "provocative actions."

  • The following day, Kanani criticized the expulsions as an "emotional and unconstructive" decision and said Iran intends to take reciprocal action.

The context/analysis: Azerbaijan and Iran have for years been at odds over Baku's growing relationship with Israel. More recently, tensions have also surged over Azerbaijan’s alleged attempt to cut off Iran’s land connection to Armenia.

  • Israel and Turkey reportedly aided Azerbaijan during its war with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020. Iran has long been an ally of Armenia, though it was careful to avoid taking sides during the conflict.
  • Azerbaijan captured large swaths of territory during the 2020 war, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace deal. Under the accord, Armenia agreed to the establishment of a corridor along its southern Syunik region linking the Azerbaijani mainland to the Nakhchivan exclave.
  • Iranian media see the corridor as a Turkey-backed attempt to cut Iran off from Armenia as Ankara seeks to expand its influence in the South Caucasus. Iranian officials, meanwhile, have repeatedly warned against "border changes" in the region.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf declared on Jan. 10 that "misunderstandings" with Baku had been "resolved" after meeting his Azerbaijani counterpart Sahiba Qafarova.

  • However, tensions have only worsened this year—especially following the deadly Jan. 27 attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran as well as Baku’s opening of a diplomatic mission in Israel on Mar. 29.
  • Azerbaijan ordered the evacuation of its Tehran embassy on the day of the attack, which left the head of security dead and two others wounded. The alleged assailant is reported to have been motivated by a personal dispute.

The future: An armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Iran would promptly drag in several external actors, pushing the South Caucasus into a second major confrontation in recent years. As such, neither side seeks all-out confrontation.

  • The escalatory discourse and diplomatic spats have reduced space for a political resolution to rising tensions. These dynamics are made more complicated by Israel and Turkey’s separate contests with Iran for regional influence.
  • If Baku and Tel Aviv pursue closer military and security collaboration that is perceived as a threat by Tehran, it could trigger targeted Iranian military action against select sites on Azerbaijani soil.

Moscow says Baku, Yerevan agreed to hold fresh round of peace treaty talks in Russia

Russia –
"We will let you know the dates of the specific events when all that is completely agreed upon," Maria Zakharova said

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to hold another round of peace treaty talks in Russia, with the exact dates to be announced later, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"I want to say that we are not letting up in our efforts to provide comprehensive assistance to Azerbaijan and Armenia to prepare a peace treaty between the countries. The partners have accepted a proposal to hold another round of bilateral talks on our territory. We will let you know the dates of the specific events when all that is completely agreed upon," she said at a news conference.

Baku and Yerevan have been disputing Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when it announced its secession from the Azerbaijani SSR. The situation in the region escalated on September 27, 2020, as intense fighting broke out. On November 9, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signed a joint statement on the complete cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to the document, the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides stopped at their positions, some areas went over to Baku, and Russian peacekeepers were deployed along the engagement line and in the Lachin corridor. Subsequently, the leaders of the three countries adopted several more joint statements on the situation in the region. Last year, Azerbaijan and Armenia began discussing a peace treaty.

Two bullets fired at building of Turkish opposition party



 16:19, 31 March 2023

YEREVAN, MARCH 31, ARMENPRESS. The building of a Turkish opposition party in Istanbul was hit by two bullets overnight, its leader said on Friday, in what she described as an attempt to scare party members ahead of landmark presidential and parliamentary elections next month.

There were no reports of anybody being hurt in the shooting, which targeted the Istanbul office of the IYI Party, Reuters reported.

One bullet hit the ground floor and another the third floor, IYI party leader Meral Aksener told reporters.

"This is an attempt to scare members of a political party just one month and a half before the elections. This is unacceptable. You cannot scare us but this is an insult to voters," Aksener said.

The Istanbul governor's office said the police had launched an investigation into the incident.

The IYI Party is part of a six-party opposition alliance which has nominated Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) as their candidate to challenge President Tayyip Erdogan in the May 14 elections.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, a CHP member, condemned the incident and Kilicdaroglu called on authorities to investigate.

The spokesperson for Erdogan's ruling AK Party, Omer Celik, also condemned the incident.

Anti-Armenian Hate Flyers Discovered in Glendale; Investigation Underway

April 1 2023

Officials in Glendale have condemned anti-Armenian Flyers found posted on light poles near St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church and in other areas of the city.

Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian and other officials held a news conference Friday at Glendale City Hall to discuss the discovery of the flyers, which contained language denying the Armenian Genocide and minimizing the suffering of the Armenian people.

“As mayor of Glendale, I’m very disturbed and upset that speech inciting violence against Armenians has visited our city by way of individuals vandalizing our city with hate-filled flyers,” Kassakhian said in a statement. “Our police are taking this issue seriously and will be investigating this as a hate crime. I speak for our residents and our council when I say that Glendale is not a place for hate speech against Armenians or any other group.”

The Armenian National Committee of America Glendale Chapter also denounced the flyers.

“We are extremely concerned by the dissemination of these appalling anti-Armenian flyers in Glendale calling for the continuation of the Armenian Genocide,” ANCA Glendale Chapter Chair Lucy Petrosian said in a statement.

“We are currently working with the Glendale Police Department to ensure this act of hate is investigated, and the perpetrators are brought to justice. This is yet another tragic reminder of how the incitement and institutionalization of anti-Armenian hate by the Azerbaijani government has threatened Armenian lives not only in Artsakh and Armenia, but across the diaspora,” Petrosian said.

“As we approach the 108th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, these hate flyers are a stark reminder that we must remain vigilant against the forces of discrimination, hatred and genocide denial,” Petrosian said. “Promoting the continuation of such atrocities is not only morally repugnant — it also constitutes a direct threat to our community’s safety and well-being.”

The flyers, which were distributed in the heart of the Armenian-American community of Glendale, promoted the “completion of the Armenian Genocide,” according to ANCA.

The incident comes months after similar flyers calling on Turkey and Azerbaijan to “wipe Armenia off the map” were distributed in Beverly Hills prior to a demonstration by the Armenian Youth Federation in protest of Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh, which has deprived the region’s 120,000 Armenians of access to food, fuel, medicine and other vital supplies for more than 100 days, ANCA said.

“The Glendale Police Department and I stand with the entire Glendale community against all incidents of hate,” Glendale police Chief Manuel Cid said in a statement. “We will use all the resources available to us to fully investigate any criminal acts associated with this incident while we work in collaboration with our community leaders moving forward.”

Iran’s ex-ambassador to Baku: Israel fueling tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia


Iran’s former ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan says Israel is covertly and indirectly encouraging Baku to play a negative role in the region.

Mohsen Pakaeen was speaking during an interview with Entekhab online media outlet.

He said while selling arms to Azerbaijan, the Zionist regime also cooperates with Armenia secretly.

Pakaeen added that Tel Aviv’s goal is to prolong the war in the Caucasus so that it can maintain its influence in the region.

Asked about the likelihood of a war between Iran and Azerbaijan, he said the major conflict is between Azerbaijan and Armenia and Iran is only playing a mediating role alongside Russia with the aim of easing tensions between Baku and Yerevan.

However, Iran, he noted, will continue supporting the territorial integrity of regional countries as it is opposed to any change in geographical borders.

According him, Tehran believes that such changes could ignite other wars and pave the way for the military expedition of extra-regional countries to the Caucasus. Pakaeen warned that if Azerbaijan seeks to capture the Zangzour corridor by force, then it’s likely that the US will intervene.

He said the corridor is part of Armenian soil but this has not been specified in the Moscow peace treaty that ended the 2020 conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Pakaeen added that this has provided Baku with an excuse to lay a claim to Zangzour.

He said Russia’s recent position against Azerbaijan is a deterrent because based on the Moscow agreement, Russia is monitoring the ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Armenian serviceman believed to have accidentally crossed into Azeri-controlled territory



 16:46, 21 March 2023

YEREVAN, MARCH 21, ARMENPRESS. An Armenian serviceman is believed to have accidentally crossed into Azeri-controlled territory after getting lost in low visibility and foggy weather, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

The serviceman of the Armed Forces of Armenia was transporting food to an outpost when he got lost, the ministry explained.

Search and rescue operations were launched immediately and “actions are being taken to confirm that the serviceman has appeared in Azerbaijani-controlled territory and return him.”