Armenia applies to EEC for $1 billion loan

Aysor, Armenia
May 22 2010

Armenia applies to EEC for $1 billion loan

The Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) is considering Armenia’s
application for a loan to build a railway connecting Armenia and Iran,
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said.

`From the economical point of view this is not a simple project.
However, Armenia has applied for more than a billion dollar loan to be
provided by the EEC. The application is being considered,’ Vladimir
Putin told the MIR Broadcasting Company.

Interfax said that the project’s goal is `to give Armenia a way to the
Iranian border by rail, not for connecting Iran and Russia.’

Parliamentary Hearings To Be Organized May 26


MAY 21, 2010

YEREVAN, MAY 21, ARMENPRESS: At today’s session of the NA Standing
Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Affairs,
which was conducted by Chairman of the committee Artak Davtyan, a
decision was adopted by the proposal of NA Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan
to organize parliamentary hearings May 26 at 12:00 pm, where the
legislative initiative of the government on making amendments in RA
law on "Television and Radio" adopted by the first-reading on May
20 will be discussed. The committee discussed issues connected with
organization of parliamentary hearings and a number of other additional
issues. The parliamentary hearings will be conducted in the sessions’
hall of the Armenian government.

Press service of the Armenian National Assembly told Armenpress that
Anahit Bakhshyan, member of the committee, proposed to organize a
discussion for examining the educational structure and programs of
the Yerevan Pedagogical University. As a result of the discussion,
a decision was adopted on the proposal of Artak Davtyan to organize
in near future an outgoing session just on place – in the Yerevan
Pedagogical University.

Member of the committee Heghine Bisharyan proposed in that context to
refer to different issues connected with Armenian higher educational
establishments and schools.

Armenia, Argentina Interested In The Deepening Of Bilateral Cooperat

20.05.2010 14:27

The newly appointed Ambassador of Argentina to Armenia, Miguel
Angel Cuneo, handed his credentials to the President of Armenia,
Serzh Sargsyan.

President Sargsyan congratulated Ambassador Cuneo on assuming office,
and noted that "Armenia attaches great importance to the relations
with Argentina and is interested in the further development of those."

President Sargsyan voiced hope that the newly appointed Ambassador
would make a considerable contribution to the reinforcement of
bilateral collaboration.

According to Ambassador Cuneo, his country is interested in the
deepening of multifaceted relations with Armenia and an evidence of
it is that it opens its first Embassy in the region in Yerevan.

President Sargsyan and Ambassador Cuneo agreed that promotion of
economic cooperation was one of the primary issues in the development
of the Armenian-Argentinean relations.

The interlocutors emphasized the role of the Argentinean Armenian
community in the development of bilateral relations, noting that the
community serves as a unique bridge between Armenia and Argentina.

President Sargsyan praised Argentina’s balanced position on the
settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

TBILISI: Armenian Analyst On Russian-Turkish Relations


The Messenger
May 19 2010

Armenian analyst Ohanes Nikogosian is very much concerned about the
current warming of relations between Russia and Turkey. He says that
historically any such closeness has resulted in Armenia losing some
of its territories. He asks what price Armenia will pay for cordial
Russian-Turkish relations, as this alliance is absolutely against
Armenia’s interest.

Nikogosian does however cite some factors which might prevent the
alliance between the two countries becoming very extensive. Turkish
membership of NATO is one, and another is a certain laziness in
US foreign policy towards Turkey and the entire region. It appears
that many decision making bodies are waiting for the outcome of the
forthcoming Parliamentary elections in Turkey, but Nikogosian thinks
that it is in Armenia’s interests that the US gets more involved in
issues concerning this region, as Russia alone is unable to guarantee
Armenia’s security currently.

The analyst thinks that the April visit of Armenia’s President to
Washington was a good sign and suggests that Armenia should encourage
the US to get more involved in Armenian issues in general. He says
that an Armenian (not American) centre should be established in
Washington for this purpose.

BAKU: Jamestown University Expert: France Should Not Be Co-Chair Of


May 18 2010

Interview with expert at the U.S.-based Jamestown University Vladimir

In your opinion, to what degree the current Armenian authorities are
independent to make decisions in the Karabakh problem? For example,
liberation of territories in exchange for opening borders…

It depends on many factors that are difficult to predict. For example,
it is not known whether nationalist political forces of Armenia are
able to prevent moderate decisions by their own government or not. In
1999, the Armenian authorities tried to make a deal with Washington
to make it adopt a moderate political course in the resolution of
the Karabakh conflict. The deal failed for obvious reasons. It is
not known whether this scenario may happen again or not.

I think that the policy of the Azerbaijani leadership, which can be
characterized as a "strategic patience", is correct. Azerbaijan’s
policy is designed for long term. Time is in favor of Azerbaijan.

Armenia has not been modernized, and the difference in development
between the two countries is growing every year. Armenia faces growing
public dissatisfaction and high rate of emigration.

It is clear that time is working in favor of Azerbaijan, but this
does not mean that one can indefinitely delay withdrawal of Armenian
troops from occupied areas. This must be achieved as soon as possible.

Withdrawal of Armenian forces is one of the basic items in the Madrid
principles of Karabakh conflict settlement. This is also position of
the OSCE Minsk Group.

However, Armenia does not agree with this. Hence, it is clear that
the co-chair countries must put pressure on Armenia. However, this is
not happening. In fact, Russia does not intend to put pressure on its
ally. France does not have a significant impact on the conflicting
parties. So, in general, this country should not be co-chair of the
OSCE Minsk Group.

We are witnessing endless transpositions in the United States. In
2006-2007, the Bush administration pursued scattered and chaotic
foreign policy. Decisions passed back them were ill-advised. Then
the Obama administration took up solution to the Karabakh issue. The
South Caucasus is not a priority for the current U.S. administration.

The priority of this administration is the internal policy. The U.S.

is in a state of permanent election campaigns. Foreign policy decisions
are largely based on domestic political considerations. That is why
the U.S. does not exert pressure on Armenia to accept the Madrid
principles and withdraw troops from Azerbaijani territories.

How can Russia help its ally Armenia to exit from isolation?

I cannot imagine how Russia can help Armenia in this situation. Moscow
has no influence on Turkey so that it will unilaterally open the
Armenian-Turkish border. At some point, Turkey did not exclude such
a possibility, but later declined to do this. Unfortunately, the U.S.

tried to put pressure on Turkey to open border with Armenia
without Azerbaijan’s consent and, most importantly, without
withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories. It
was a huge mistake of the American diplomacy. Such a policy by the
administration of President Barack Obama was motivated by purely
domestic considerations. Obama wanted to meet expectations of his
Armenian voters.

Washington’s actions jeopardized strategic position of the West in
the South Caucasus. Fortunately, Turkey refused to open the border and
thereby saved the U.S. strategic interests in the region. Next year,
elections will be held in Turkey. Therefore, Ankara will not quarrel
with the fraternal Azerbaijan and set the Turkish public, which
expressed solidarity with the Azerbaijan people, against themselves.

Now Turkey’s position is quite stable.

Resolution of the Karabakh conflict was also discussed during Russian
President’s latest visit to Turkey. In your opinion, to what extent
Ankara and Moscow are interested in accelerating the peace process?

Russia is not interested in resolving the Karabakh conflict, which is
Moscow’s leverage on both Armenia and Azerbaijan. So, Moscow does not
wish to lose such an opportunity. Russia may support a final settlement
of the conflict only if it meets its interests for example, deployment
of troops, formed mainly from the Russian military, in the conflict
zone. Alternatively, Russia may try to strike a deal with Azerbaijan,
under which Moscow will use its influence on Armenia to liberate at
least 5-6 occupied regions, and in return Baku will change its foreign
policy orientation. But I do not think that Azerbaijan will agree.

By the way, Russia and Turkey have reached an agreement on "South
Stream" project. In your opinion, what are chances of the EU-backed
Nabucco pipeline project?

The "South Stream" project has no a single chance to get to become
real. Russia has neither resources nor money to implement South
Stream. Nabucco’s chances do not depend on the Russian project. In
August last year, Turkey and Russia agreed to build a gas pipeline
under the Black Sea in the area of Ankara’s economic interests. But
there was no agreement on gas supplies. Nabucco is a very attractive
project for Turkey and other European countries. The fact is that
Nabucco is part of a more ambitious project of the European Commission
called "Southern Corridor". Nabucco will open a way for other pipelines
through Turkey. There is gas and finance for this project.

Moreover, Nabucco will help Turkey to become an important transit

Mort En Prison D’Un Condamne Dans L’Affaire De La Fusillade Du Parle


19 mai 2010

L’un des sept hommes condamnes pour la fusillade meurtrière du
Parlement armenien en 1999 a ete retrouve mort dans sa cellule samedi
15 mai.

Les autorites penitentiaires armeniennes ont declare avoir ouvert
une enquete pour determiner la cause de la mort.

Stepanian purgeait une peine de prison de 14 ans pour avoir aide
cinq hommes armes a s’introduire dans l’Assemblee nationale le 27
octobre 1999.

Le Premier ministre Vazgen Sarkisian, le president du Parlement,
Karen Demirchian, et six autres deputes ont ete tues dans la fusillade.

Les hommes armes menes par Naïri Hunanian, un ancien journaliste, se
sont par la suite rendus a la police après une nuit de negociations
avec le president Robert Kotcharian. Tous ont ete juges, avec
Stepanian, et condamnes a la reclusion a perpetuite en decembre 2003.

Dans une courte declaration, le ministère de la Justice a indique
qu’un premier examen du corps de Stepanian n’a decele aucune " trace
de la violence ".

Dans le cadre de cette enquete, quatre membres d’un conseil non
gouvernementales de contrôle des conditions de detention en Armenie,
ont ete autorises a assister a une autopsie realisee par des experts
legistes. L’un d’eux, Laura Galstian, a suggere lundi que Stepanian
est decede d’une crise cardiaque.

Galstian, qui est elle-meme medecin, s’est referee aux medecins de la
prison affirmant que Stepanian n’avait aucun antecedent de troubles
cardiaques graves.

Galstian a declare qu’elle et les trois autres membres du conseil de
surveillance ont egalement parle aux 16 autres detenus de la prison
Nubarashen qui ont partage la meme cellule de prison que Stepanian.

" Ils nous ont dit qu’ils avaient dîner ensemble samedi soir et qu’une
demi-heure plus tard, Stepanian a dit qu’il se sentait malade et est
alle se coucher. Ensuite, ils ont entendu un sifflement, mais ont
ete incapables de l’aider. "

S’adressant a RFE / RL, Aghasi Atabekian, l’avocat qui a defendu
Stepanian au cours du procès entre 2001 et 2003, a refuse d’exclure
la possibilite d’un assassinat. Atabekian a cite les deux autres cas
de decès de suspects dans l’attaque du Parlement.

L’un d’eux, Norayr Yeghiazarian, a ete retrouve mort lors de sa
detention provisoire en 2000, plusieurs mois après avoir ete accuse
d’avoir fourni des armes aux hommes.

Les autorites policières ont declare a l’epoque que Yeghiazarian,
electricien de profession, s’est accidentellement electrocute a mort
lors de l’utilisation d’un poele de chauffage dans sa cellule.

En 2004, Vram Galstian a ete retrouve pendu a Nubarashen.

L’administration penitentiaire affirme qu’il s’est suicide.

Ces deux decès en prison ont alimente les allegations des proches et
des partisans des deputes assassines selon lesquelles on tenterait
de camoufler la fusillade du Parlement.

Certains d’entre eux suspectent Kotcharian et l’actuel president
Serge Sarkissian (aucune relation avec Vazgen), alors ministre de
la Securite nationale, d’avoir commandite les meurtres pour eliminer
les rivaux du gouvernement.

Agency Report: Azeri President Outlines Conditions To Open Borders W


i_president_outlines_conditions_armenia_border_ope ning
News | 18.05.10 | 11:28

Azerbaijan’s president has voiced conditions Armenia should meet so
that Azerbaijan resumed relations with it.

"If Armenia gives a positive response to the OSCE Minsk group’s
proposals and, on this basis, begins to withdraw its armed units from
the occupied Azerbaijani territories, Azerbaijan will open its borders
with Armenia, resume communications and thus large-scale peace and
security measure will be ensured in the region," Ilham Aliyev told
a news conference on the results of his talks with Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Itar-Tass.

The Russian news agency reports that the Azerbaijani president said his
country has accepted practically all intermediaries’ proposals with
minor exceptions (the Madrid document outlining the basic settlement
principles). "We expect the Armenian side to show a similar approach,"
he said, adding that Armenia had yet provided no response to the
intermediaries’ proposals of six months ago.

"We consider it as Armenia’s attempt to temporise, not to
take important steps to settle the problem, and thus to have the
negotiating process last for years. But we will never agree to it,"
the Azerbaijani president said and stressed that "negotiations must
have certain frameworks, including in terms of time limits."

He reportedly accused Armenia of taking steps "breaking the
peacekeeping process," each time a crucial moment comes.

"Regrettably, we see a similar picture now," Aliyev said and
urged Armenia to voice its position. "Either it (Armenia) gives
a positive answer to the proposals of Russia, the United State and
France (co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk group) and we come closer to the
problem settlement. Or it gives a negative answer and the negotiating
will be broken and the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia will
enter a new stage," he stressed.

Hurriyet: Erdogan To Raise Withdrawal Of The Armenian Forces From 2


Turkey’s PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to leave Tehran for
Azerbaijan. The highlights of the visit are the gas price deal with
Baku and Ankara’s new proposal over the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement
process, Hurriyet writes. According to the source, Erdogan will
suggest Baku to make the Armenian military forces withdraw from
two of the 7 territories adjacent to Karabakh and open the Armenian
-Azerbaijani border.

"Baku is persistent over the withdrawal of the Armenian forces from 5
territories in the upcoming future, though, the Armenian side refuses
to and this has brought the talks to a deadlock," the paper says,
adding that even if Baku states it will not take a step back from 5+2
format, the talks on the proposal over handing the two territories
continue behind the close doors.

According to the Turkish paper, the two regions are Kelbajar and
Fizouli. Ankara closed the border with Armenia in 1993 when the
Armenians liberated Kelbajar. That’s why the withdrawal from Kelbajar
is so important for Ankara. It is signified in terms of Armenia-Turkey

Hurriyet highlights that the cut of Azerbaijan’s expectations by
withdrawal of the forces from two territories has another point of
significance: Ankara is trying to ensure any signals form Armenia over
withdrawal. This will form beneficial grounds for the ratification
of the protocols in the Turkish parliament and resuming the process
Armenia suspended. Citing government’s sources, the paper says that
providing Armenia does not compromise over the new proposal, Ankara
will freeze the normalization process on long-term basis.

The Nagorno-Karabakh (armed) conflict broke out back in 1991, when,
subsequent to the demand for self-determination of the Nagorno-Karabakh
people, Azerbaijani authorities attempted to resolve the issue
through ethnic cleansings, carried out by Soviet security forces
(KGB special units) under the pretext of the implementation of the
passport regime and by launching of large-scale military operations,
which left thousands dead and caused considerable material damage. A
cease-fire agreement was established in 1994. Negotiations on the
settlement of the conflict are being conducted under the mediation
of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen (Russia, USA, France) and on the
basis of their Madrid proposals, presented in November, 2007.

Azerbaijan has not yet implemented the 4 resolutions of the UN
Security Council adopted in 1993, by continuing to provoke arms race
in the region and openly violating on of the basic principles of the
international law non-use of force or threat of force.

ISTANBUL: The Gulen movement plays big in Washington

Hurriyet, Turkey
May 14 2010

The Gülen movement plays big in Washington

Friday, May 14, 2010

It was one of the lavish lounges of the Willard Hotel in Washington
where hundreds of Turkic people from all across America with plain
name tags gathered to mark the creation of a new umbrella Turkic
Assembly last Wednesday. Six Turkish-American federations, which have
close proximity to Mr. Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric and the
exiled leader of the Turkey-based religious Gülen Movement joined to
form the Assembly of Turkic American Federations, or ATAF, a
non-profit organization.

Half a dozen U.S. Senators and a few dozens of U.S. Representatives
made a strong showing at the reception and the Gülen Movement hinted
that its new assembly has some muscles to flex in Washington already.

One would think bringing that many U.S. Senators and Representatives
should require loads of money for campaign donations. "No," said,
Mahmut Yeter, president of one of the six federations that formed the
ATAF, "this strong turnout owes its success to their members who
worked voluntarily, often visited these lawmakers in their local
offices and finally convinced them with their persistence that they
have to be at the reception."

I had a chance to talk with some of the congressmen and senators who
participated at the reception. I asked Ms. Gabrielle Giffords,
representative from Arizona’s 8th. District, why she chose to come to
a Turkic community gathering, considering that there is a very tiny
Turkic community in her district. Gifford turned and pointed out a
young Turkish man who was standing next to her. According to the
congresswoman, that young Turkish man had visited Gifford’s district
office several times recently and finally persuaded her to show up for
the reception "even though I do not like to go such events," Gifford
said, before responding my question and telling me that she never
heard of Fethullah Gülen.

The Gülen Movement accelerated its activities in U.S., especially
since the leader of the Movement, Fethullah Gülen settled in
Pennsylvania about a decade ago. During the mid ’90s, after almost
three decades in the making, it was still operating very much under
the radar in Turkey.

The unexpected and sudden decision to combine all of their 180
organizations under one umbrella assembly was a surprising move, at
any rate, for those who follow the Gülen movement closely and are
aware about its cautious strategies and steps.

Mr. Gülen first decided to go public with a wide ranging interview in
early 1995, and in the following years the movement attracted
ever-increasing attention. The postmodern-military coup of Feb. 28,
1997 pushed Gülen out of Turkey to find refuge in the U.S. Only more
than a decade later, the Gülen Movement gathered enough manpower,
recognition and credit to bring dozens of members of Congress to its
half-official Washington debut night. The Turkish ambassador to the
U.S., Mr. Namık Tan, came to the reception and stayed there almost the
entire night, having conversations with the members of the U.S.
Congress – alhough not everyone was as joyful about the new kid in
town. The Assembly of Turkish-American Associations, or ATAA’s,
president, Günay Evinç, was pretty upset about the name of this new
assembly because of its similar word selection with their own
assembly. Evinç argued that this name similarity has created a big
administrative disaster for their organization to explain the

Evinç, who has had good relationships with the Gülen Movement’s
organizations so far, did not seem as thrilled with the idea of this
alternative Turkish assembly. "ATAA," Evinç said while describing the
difference, "promotes an inter-Turks dialogue, not interfaith." Evinç
pleaded that he wanted "a dialogue and to stay on good terms with
everyone, including this new organization.’ However, this name
confusion is such a huge issue, he said, adding that they would even
consider finishing `the whole partnerships and dialogue with them.’

Another Gülen Movement member in Washington said when told about this
complaint, "for 30 years, ATAA has been the leading voice to represent
Turkish people in the U.S. Now rapidly increasing numbers of
Gülen-tied assemblies are taking the market, and ATAA’s and others’
maneuvering room is shrinking."

Decision from Gülen

This decision of "combining all Gülen-related Turkic or Turkish
associations and federations under one assembly,’ was decided by
Fethullah Gülen, another active member of the movement who came to the
reception from a long distance said. "This decision was too big to let
other leading members of the Gülen Movement to take on. Gülen took the
initiative," said the well-connected member while listening to
speakers at the reception.

It is the "Turkic American Federations," not Turkish, because this
umbrella organization represents not only those Turks who are from
Turkey, but those "citizens from Central Asia, Anatolia and the
Balkans… as part of [America’s] cultural mosaic" the website of the
ATAF notes.

The Gülen Movement also sent an important signal to the political
leadership in Ankara by fetching this many U.S. Congress members. The
movement made a psychological statement in Washington that they should
be also taken into consideration in terms of multi-leveled relations
between Turkey and America by demonstrating that they have a few
strings to play in Washington.

Mr. Gülen motivates his followers in the U.S. to contribute and visit
their local representatives. Gülen, according to another active member
of the movement at the reception, asks those who want to visit his
compound in Pennsylvania "to donate to their local representatives
first,’ before they show up at his door.

"This is just a beginning," another participant told me during the
night, while pointing out a group of senators and representatives
along with the Turkish ambassador having a conversation.

The Gülen Movement last week made it official that its members are
here in America to stay and expand at an even faster pace in coming

This looming scenario would have two possible upshots for
Turkish-American relationships. One is: increasing the presence of the
movement in Washington will help Turkey during some of the threatening
developments for its interests, such as the Armenian genocide
resolution discussions. The Gülen Movement proved with this year’s
`genocide’ fights in Washington and other states that the movement
will be another influential venue to advance Turkey’s interests in
Washington on many matters.

The second upshot is the strong possibility for the Gülen Movement to
become a leading voice among the Turkish groups in Washington to reach
the U.S. Congress and other Washington decision makers to narrate the
contemporary domestic issues of Turkey and relate them to U.S.
politicians. In that sense, members of the U.S. Congress, most of whom
do not have much international affairs on their resume, might be just
happy while swallowing concentrated education pills on Turkey through
Gülen Movement recipe.

The Gülenists deserved a big round of applause with being able to pull
off such an impressive gathering at the heart of Washington this week
at the end of the day.

The Gülen Movement members are disciplined, loyal and they complete
their assignments as they are told. The movement is able to mobilize
its members to fulfill its leader’s vision even in America.

It is a tough competitor for any other movement.

That is why we hear more often greetings to Pennsylvania these days
from unexpected places.

CSTO Next Summit Will Take Place In Armenia


The next summit of the member states of Collective Security Treaty
Organization (CSTO) will take place in August in Armenia, said CSTO’s
Secretary General Nikolai Bordiuja, RIA Novosti reported.

According to Bordiuja it is still to be decided whether or not the
meeting will be an official one.

CSTO member states are Armenia, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.