European Union stands by Armenia in new reports

European Union stands by Armenia in new reports

May 22, 2010 – 13:42 AMT 08:42 GMT

This week, the European Union published two reports which are relevant
for Armenia.

According to these, the overall state of Armenia’s relations with
Europe is better than it has ever been before and looks set to improve
further, the European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) said in a press

The EuFoA welcomes the widely supportive nature of the reports and
provides a summary of the most relevant points, including one point
currently critically debated in Armenian media:

The European Parliament resolution, voted on 20 May 2010, was
criticized in Armenia for its paragraph 8, calling for the withdrawal
of troupes from Karabakh. EuFoA agrees that the wording of this
paragraph is confusing and stresses that it has to be seen in context
with paragraph 7 of the same resolution, which reiterates that all
demands of the EU need to be in line with ALL of the so-called Madrid
principles and explicitly the Aquila declaration. This means
concretely that the withdrawal of troupes can only take place, if
there are sufficient security guarantees for the population of
Karabakh, a corridor to Armenia, an agreement to the final status of
Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will and the right of
all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their
former homes. No EU institution has ever demanded the withdrawal of
troupes without such a comprehensive solution – this EP resolution has
not changed that. EuFoA regrets that paragraph 8 has left room for
interpretations and invites the Armenian authorities to discuss these
points during the coming meetings with the EP, but not to let this
recommendational resolution dominate the whole EU-Armenia agenda.

The same report (par 42) for the first time calls for extending EU
programs to Karabakh, ending the de-facto blockade for EU officials to
travel to Karabakh. This would have a very positive effect of
stabilization and progress for Karabakh and would no longer submit
such actions to a veto from Azerbaijan. The report also underlines the
separate nature of the Turkey-Armenia rapprochement and the
negotiations about Karabakh and calls for a ratification and
implementation of the respective protocols without preconditions and
in a reasonable time frame – supporting entirely the Armenian position
(par 12). Finally, it notes Armenia’s and Georgia’s commitment to the
implementation of the ENP Action Plans and calls on Azerbaijan to
accelerate its efforts in this regard (par 36).

The latter point was also welcomed by the comprehensive ENP report of
the European Commission, published on 18 May 2010. It notes that
Armenia made progress in many areas of the ENP Action Plan, launched a
regular human rights dialogue with the EU, improved the legislative
framework in the area of anti-corruption and strengthened the role of
the Human Rights Defender. The Commission also welcomes positive steps
to address the internal political crisis following the aftermath of
the Presidential elections in February 2008, including the Amnesty
issued in June 2009, the amendments to the Criminal Code and the
publication of the report by the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Inquiry
Committee. Besides, the EU adopted on 10 May 2010 the negotiating
directives for a future Association Agreement with which EU-Armenia
relations will reach a new level. Finally, the Commission welcomes
that Armenia widely aligned itself with the EU’s Common Foreign
Security Policy (CFSP) declarations (108 out of 138 in 2009, Georgia:
97, Azerbaijan: 56) and is generally very active in cooperating on
CFSP-related issues.

Araks Pashinyan: Armenia Should Spread Propaganda In Islamic Countri


May 20, 2010 – 19:35 AMT 14:35 GMT

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is a platform where
Azerbaijan can best use the ideology of Islamic solidarity to enlist
support on Karabakh, an Armenian expert said.

"Arab countries which maintain friendly relations with Armenia
unanimously vote against our country during OIC sessions, demonstrating
Islamic solidarity," orientalist Araks Pashinyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net
reporter when commenting on adoption of resolutions on the Nagorno
Karabakh conflict during the 37th OIC meeting.

"Armenia should spread propaganda in Islamic countries to neutralize
Azeri accusations. We can prove that cultural and historical
monuments are not destructed but, on the contrary, protected in
Nagorno Karabakh," she said.

G. Minasyan: Such Resolutions May Only Do Bad Turns

18:51 21/05/2010


"When a deep issue, like the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,
is not seriously studied, such resolutions may only do bad turns,"
Armenian NA ARP deputy Gagik Minasyan told referring to
the resolution endorsed by the European Parliament Thursday.

Note that the European Parliament passed Resolution N2216 at a plenary
session on May 20 which particularly urges to withdraw the Armenian
military forces from the "occupied territories".

"There is an institution, the OSCE Minsk Group, which has been studying
the issue for years, trying to settle it. Parallel involvement of
any other institutions in the issue cannot do any good.

I mean the European Parliament since the resolution has been approved
by an institution that is, let’s say, unaware of the issue," G.

Minasyan said.

Similar resolutions can never help the sides, he highlighted.

VivaCell-MTS CEO Visits Pilibos Armenian School


Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School welcomed VivaCell-MTS CEO Ralph
Yirikian on April 15. VivaCell-MTS is the largest mobile phone operator
in Armenia.

Yirikian was visiting the United States with the purpose of meeting
Armenian school and university students. VivaCell-MTS is planning
to expand its corporate responsibility programs outside Republic of
Armenia. Yirikian and his staff members were warmly welcomed to the
campus by Principal Nazo Apanian. Prior to meeting students, Yirikian
was briefed about the school by Apanian during which various facets
of the school were discussed and ideas were exchanged. Accompanying
Yirikian during his visit was the Chairman of Armenia Fund U.S.

Western Region Ara Aghishian and the Fund staff members.

The school had organized a student assembly meeting with Yirikian.

Before engaging on a question and answer session with students,
Yirikian spoke about his experience of moving to the Homeland and
setting up a mobile phone company. In addition, he stressed the
importance of not only maintaining one’s Armenian identity, but also
strengthening it. He called all students to further energize their
activism and continue working towards the betterment of Armenia
and Artsakh.

Principal Apanian thanked Yirikian for taking the time to visit
Pilibos. He noted that Yirikian’s exemplary story will inspire
students to expand their horizons and always strive to the top with
their strong and growing Armenian identities.

"Part of our expanding programs here at Pilibos is to make sure
that students go beyond textbooks and classrooms through interactive
meetings with special guests like Yirikian. This allows our students
to interact, challenge, and engage with individuals who have achieved
milestones across the globe," stated Apanian.

In addition to meeting with the Principal and the students, Yirikian
and his team toured the campus, including the Pilibos Ark Library
and Gymnasium. Yirikian and his team thanked the school and Apanian
for the warm welcome.

EU Must Play Greater Role In Stabilizing The South Caucasus Region,

20.05.2010 17:55

The EU must steer a strategy for stability, prosperity and
conflict-resolution in the South Caucasus, MEPs insist in a draft
resolution adopted by the Foreign Affairs committee on Thursday,
according to EP official website.

The implementation of the Eastern Partnership, which covers the three
South-Caucasian republics, and the entry into force of the Lisbon
Treaty offer the EU a prime opportunity to conceive a comprehensive
strategy for the region, says the report, drafted by Evgeni Kirilov
(Bulgaria, S&D). Europe will have to deal with a complex geopolitical
situation, however, in a region marked by conflict in the Nagorno
Karabakh area and in Georgia, as well as tensions between Armenia
and Turkey.

Although Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are partners of the EU’s
Neighborhood Policy since 2004, a comprehensive regional strategy is
still lacking for the region. MEPs had already underlined the need for
such a strategy, in 2006, when they recommended an EU stability pact
for the southern Caucasus, involving the EU (with the participation
of Turkey as an accession candidate), Russia, the United States and
the United Nations (the Quartet).

MEPs wish the EU strategy for the South Caucasus to concentrate on
three domains: conflict resolution, promotion of democracy, human
rights and the rule of law; and economic cooperation and social

The current situation of conflict in the region is neither acceptable
nor viable, states the resolution, which expresses concern over the
recent increases in military spending. "Frozen conflicts" are an
obstacle to economic and social development, warn MEPs.

MEPs call on Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High-Representative for Foreign
Affairs, to play an active part in promoting conflict resolution in
the region.

Finally, recognizing the importance of the region for the EU’s energy
security and supply, MEPs express their support for the strengthening
of EU-South Caucasus cooperation in energy projects, in particular
for the successful realization of the Nabucco pipeline.

Le Nouveau Projet De Loi Sur La Radiodiffusion Inquiete


20 mai 2010

Le Parlement armenien a commence a debattre mardi d’un projet
d’amendements sur la radiodiffusion qui suscite l’inquietude serieuse
de certains deputes et des associations de defense des medias.

En cause, la perspective d’un contrôle accru des autorites armeniennes
sur les medias. Les amendements du gouvernement sont rediges dans
le but de reglementer la transition numerique en cours en Armenie,
qui doit etre achevee d’ici juillet 2013.

Le processus a commence en juillet 2010 avec la suspension très
controversee de l’attribution de nouvelles licences de radiodiffusion.

Dans une declaration conjointe, le Yerevan Press Club, le Comite de
soutien pour la liberte d’expression et le groupe de soutien aux medias
Internews ont exprime de serieuses preoccupations sur ce projet de loi.

Ils se sont declares particulièrement inquiets au sujet des amendements
qui limitent le nombre de chaînes de television.

" Cela signifie qu’en cas d’adoption du projet de loi, le processus
de numerisation entraînera une reduction du pluralisme des medias ",
ont averti les trois groupes.

Le communique indique par ailleurs que les modifications proposees
ne definissent pas clairement " les modalites et les procedures
" des appels d’offres. Il appelle a l’examen de ce projet de loi,
au prealable, par une commission parlementaire.

Le debat s’est toutefois deroule comme prevu, en vertu d’une procedure
dite d’urgence qui ne necessite pas de passer par cette etape.

Des inquietudes qui sont egalement relayees par des deputes. Naira
Zohrabian, representante d’Armenie prospère, a notamment deplore la
volonte du gouvernement de supprimer certaines dispositions existantes
dans la legislation.

Les representants du parti d’opposition Heritage ont quant a eux accuse
les autorites armeniennes de chercher a limiter la liberte des medias.

" Le but de cette mesure est de s’assurer que les autorites ont des
possibilites illimitees de propagande lors des elections legislatives
de 2012 et des elections presidentielles de 2013 ", a declare Armen

Meme les representants du Parti republicain (HHK) ne se precipitent
pas pour approuver le projet de loi. Samvel Nikoyan a reconnu qu’il
contient des " dispositions controversees ". " Je ne veux pas que
nous adoptions une loi que nous pourrions avoir besoin de modifier
a l’avenir ", a-t-il declare.

Gevor Vs. Zbik Fight Set To Take Place July 17


May 19, 2010 – 15:16 AMT 10:16 GMT

Germany-based middleweight Armenian boxer Khoren Gevor (31-4-0, 16KOs)
will remain under anexclusivecontract withUniversum’s boxing stable.

Universum-Promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl said: "After Khoren had indicated
that he would like tostay with us further, wedid not hesitate. Hehad
somegreat battles and more great fights that have the potential to
become classics are possible with him. We look forward toJuly 17 for
a fight betweenZbik and Gevor to which both boxers immediately agreed."

Gevorgoes for aworld title fight under the Universum banner for the
third time. In 2007 he was defeated by former world champion Arthur
Abrahamin a great fight. In 2009 he lost to Felix Sturm. After
his clear victory in January 2010 against the Brazilian Jeferson
Luiz Goncalo, he now has his big chance tobe world champion at
middleweight. The fight is for July 17, 2010at the Sports and
Convention Hall in Schwerin, Germany. Sebastian Zbik (29-0-0, 10KOs)
has had the WBC interim-middleweight title since 2009. This tense
duel will be broadcast live on ZDF, reported.

Armenian community to organize protest at French Senate on May 18

Armenian community to organize protest action at French Senate on May 18

May 15, 2010 – 18:12 AMT 13:12 GMT

French-Armenians will hold a protest action at the French Senate on
May 18 to demand from senators that they approve the draft law
foreseeing criminal liability for the Armenian Genocide denial.

The event is initiated by the Coordinating Council of Armenian
Organizations of France (CCAF), member of the Armenian community of
France Asbed Harmandayan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

On October 12, 2006, the French National Assembly adopted a draft law
foreseeing criminal liability for denial of the Armenian Genocide in
the Ottoman Empire. To put the draft law into effect, it should be
approved by the French Senate and signed by President. The draft law
foresees 1-year imprisonment or fine at the amount of 45,000 euros.

Armenians have repeatedly faced the problem of the Armenian Genocide
denial at educational institutions of France.

Russia And Turkey Intends To Remodel Geopolitical Map Of South Cauca


2010-05-14 13:35:00

ArmInfo. Russia and Turkey intend to remodel the geopolitical map
of the South Caucasus, Chairman of Democratic Party of Armenia Aram
Sarkisyan told the media today.

"Relations being established between Moscow and Ankara are not reduced
to just economic factors. Lately, Russia and Turkey develop active
political interaction, that cannot but put Moscow’s strategic ally,
Armenia, on its guard", he said. A. Sarkisyan thinks that the last
visit of Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev to Ankara testifies
of fundamental changes which are being prepared in the region,
in particular, as regards Armenian-Turkish relations and Karabakh
settlement. "This is indicated by the Russian president’s statement
saying Moscow is ready to consult with Ankara concerning finding of a
solution on Karabakh. This is, undoubtedly, a new element in Russia’s
policy in the region, due to which Ankara will be able to essentially
strengthen its influence in the Karabakh settlement. There is also no
doubt that Armenia must at least show interest to these new impulses
in the region", Sarkisyan resumed.

Why Karabakh Was Left Out


Former adviser of the president of Armenia on national security issues
Ashot Manucharyan presented the philosophical reason because of which
Karabakh was left out of the negotiations.

"Negotiating parties, if interested in the solution of national and
state issues, prefer the parties in negotiations to be numerous
because it secures the flexibility of the system as well as it
gives possibility for a more effective policy. But if one says I am
to solve all the issues you can deal only with me, so the fewer the
negotiating parties are the better is. In this case you solve personal
and group problems, and national and state issues become subordinate",
says Manucharyan.

He says that foreign policy is the continuation of the home policy,
and hence the supremacy in the home policy is to earn money, it is
relevantly reflected in the foreign policy. In this context, Ashot
Manucharyan brought the example of Karabakh, which was left out of the
process, saying that a serious error occurred. Ashot Manucharyan says
that Armenia, unlike Azerbaijan, forgot about the issue of refugees.