Armenian Genocide recognition an irreversible process: Edward Nalbandian

“The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide marks a new start in the process of recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said as he lectured at the Yerevan State University today.

“The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is an irreversible process that proceeds on different levels and in different directions,” he added.

Speaking about the Karabakh conflict, the Minister noted that “despite the provocative and non-constructive policy of Azerbaijan, Armenia will continue to work jointly with the OSCE Minsk Group to solve the conflict exclusively through peaceful means.”

The Foreign Minister also referred to Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, the allied relations between Armenia and Russia, Armenia’s cooperation with the United States, the European Union and the neighboring countries.

All Azeri assaults have been successfully averted: Armenia’s Defense Minister




The Azerbaijani side has undertaken several acts of sabotage over the past days, all of which have been successfully averted, Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan told reporters today.

“Our people can be assured the Armenian Army keeps the situation under control,” the Minister said.

US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick has said the mediators are planning a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers in the fall.

Speaking of the expectations from the meeting, Ohanyan said: “We expect all types of shooting and assaults to stop thanks to every meeting within the framework of the negotiation process.”

Pilgrimage to Akhtamar cancelled due to security reasons

The annual liturgy at the Armenian Church of the Holy Cross on Akhtamar Island in Lake Van has been cancelled, the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul reports.

“The pilgrimage to Akhtamar planned for September 6 has been cancelled,” the Patriarchate said in a statement.

The decision was made, considering the terrorist acts committed over the past day. “The liturgy has been postponed to avoid creating security problems in Van and the surrounding areas,” the Patriarchate added.

U.S. trade delegation to visit Armenia in October

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) welcomes the Department of State’s recent announcement of a U.S. trade delegation to Armenia, during the first week of October, to explore investment opportunities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation to achieve greater energy independence.
“We welcome news of this U.S. trade delegation to Armenia and are, more broadly, gratified by the renewed focus – both here in Washington and in Yerevan as well – on the further growth of bilateral economic cooperation,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “In just the past few months, we have seen the signing of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement – a longstanding ANCA priority – and a meaningful increase in America’s investments in Armenia’s sustainable development.  We will work to build upon this progress and also to help remove barriers to increased commerce, such as the very real danger of double-taxation, a potential problem which can be resolved through the negotiation of a new U.S.-Armenia Tax Treaty.”
During the first week of October, the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships will organize a Partnership Opportunity Delegation (POD) to Yerevan, Armenia to explore investment opportunities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation to achieve greater energy independence.  Partnership Opportunity Delegations (PODs) facilitate partnership activities between the U.S. private sector and private sector in target countries. The Armenia POD is organized in cooperation with USAID Armenia.  It builds upon the successes of PODs to Colombia, Ireland, Tanzania, and Burma.  POD participants can include investors, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, academics, and members of diasporan communities.  They will meet with political leaders, engage with Armenia’s energy sector leaders regarding potential projects, partnerships, and business opportunities, and visit with local financial institutions about investment possibilities.  Ten to 12 participants will be chosen from the pool of applicants for this week-long delegation

Knesset Speaker calls for recognition of Armenian Genocide

The Knesset must do the moral thing and recognize the Armenian genocide, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said at a Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee meeting Wednesday, the reports.

“I visited one of the Armenian memorial sites and it is very hard to ignore what I saw there,” Edelstein recounted. “I expect that I and the Knesset behave appropriately so that we can make decisions according to the moral standards of a democratic state.”

The Knesset Speaker explained that many governments do not recognize the atrocity, while their parliaments clearly do.

“I will try to promote the issue and I hope that MKs will know the right way to vote in the moment of truth,” he stated.

Twenty-two countries recognize the 1915 massacres as a genocide, including Canada, France and Germany, but not the US.

The Knesset sent a delegation to the Armenian government’s 100th anniversary ceremony in April, but Israel does not formally recognize the Armenian Genocide, in hopes that it can repair ties with Turkey, which perpetrated it.

Education, Culture and Sport Committee chairman Ya’acov Margi (Shas) said “we are aware of the diplomatic sensitivities, but we overcame them and the time has come for the government to do so, too.”

Margi called for the government to recognize the genocide and for the Knesset plenum to make a historic decision in keeping with Jewish values.

“Ignoring [the Armenian genocide] will bring the next genocide,” MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz), who initiated the meeting along with MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Union), said.

Shai, who attended the memorial ceremony in Armenia, said: “We want to be in the international arena with countries that respect morals. Israel, the state of the Jewish People, must recognize what happened to the Armenians. Nothing will change in our relations with Turkey or Azerbaijan.”

Foreign Ministry representative Oded Yosef said that Israel has ties with Armenia and cooperates with the country in many projects, but the international debate as to whether there was a genocide or not is a political one about semantics.

Gal-On responded: “It would bring honor to Israel to recognize the Armenian genocide. It was a tragedy, but the word tragedy is not enough.”

$50,000 raised in Australian appeal to help Armenians in Syria

The Sydney Armenian community has responded magnificently to an “Appeal to Help Armenians in Syria”, donating $50,000 during a week of fundraising between 22nd June and 28th June, 2015.

The Australian chapters of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen, Hamazkaine, the Armenian National Committee, the Armenian Youth Federation and Armenia Media Inc., joined forces to organise a series of fundraising activities in response to news of severe financial hardship coming from their counterparts in Syria.

These activities were:

  1. Radiothon on Armenia Radio 99.3FM on Monday 22nd June;
  2. Door Knock Appeal throughout Sydney’s suburbs, powered by members of the ARS, AYF and Hamazkaine, every night between Monday and Thursday;
  3. Online Credit Card Appeal, organised by the ANC;
  4. Appeal to Businesses for Donations;
  5. Sydney Benefit Concert for Syrian-Armenians, which was held at Galstaun College’s Nalbandian Hall on Sunday, 28th June.
All fundraising activities leading up to the Benefit Concert had already raised $26,000, and the attendees at the Concert increased the amount to $40,000.

Considering the Benefit Concert had a turnout of just over 120 people, the result of raising an additional $14,000 was amazing and commendable.

The Benefit Concert featured five of the Armenian-Australian community’s top singers, who had donated their services to help their brothers and sisters in Syria. Karnig & Hovik, Styop Avedissian, Raffi Adourian, Vartan Gulumian and Hagop Gulumian entertained the audience with their repertoire of Armenian dance and patriotic songs. The audience was on their feet with a Kochari tribute to Syrian-Armenians, when Karnig & Hovik raised the roof with the popular song, Ter Asdvadz.

The finale featured all singers on stage, singing “Hayer Miyatsek.”

Ghana’s newly-appointed Ambassador presents credentials to Armenian President

Kodzo Alabo (residence in Moscow), the newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Ghana to the Republic of Armenia, today handed over his credentials to President Serzh Sargsyan.

The president congratulated the ambassador on his appointment and wished him success, noting that Armenia attaches importance to promoting political dialogue and contact with African countries, including Ghana.

At the outset, Ambassador Alabo conveyed the Ghanaian president’s gratitude to the RA president for the condolence letter on the recent terrific explosion in Accra which took multiple lives and for symphonizing and being with the Ghanaian people during these tragic times.

The ambassador noted that during all of his tenure, he will work, with sincere devotion, towards strengthening the relationship between Armenia and Ghana and revealing the full potential for multifaceted collaboration.

The interlocutors agreed that by maintaining close contacts, conducting consultations between the foreign ministries and developing a legal framework, the two countries will provide a firm foundation for cooperation in the areas of, inter alia, education, culture and economy.

Serzh Sargsyan and Ambassador Alabo expressed their satisfaction with the level of mutual cooperation within the frames of international organizations.

UC Santa Cruz student government votes to divest from Turkey

On Tuesday, June 2, the student government at the University of California, Santa Cruz, unanimously passed “A Resolution to Divest from the Republic of Turkey to End the Perpetuation of the Armenian Genocide,” Asbarez reports.

The resolution ultimately called for UC Santa Cruz, the UC Santa Cruz Foundation, and the University of California to divest $72.6 million dollars worth of University of California bonds and investments in the Republic of Turkey for its crimes in, and continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Various students of UC Santa Cruz, members of the Armenian Students’ Association (ASA), along with members of the greater Armenian community gathered for the hearing of the resolution and spoke about the university’s investments in the Turkish government, its compliance in genocide denial, and the need for divestment.

” Going through the process of this divestment was an amazing feeling and experience. With this victory we are showing the Republic of Turkey, which is a remnant of the Ottoman Empire, that we are still here. This divestment proves that their ancestors failed in their mission. And not just us but a diverse body of people, like the students of UCSC, stand with us in solidarity to continue the fight until they acknowledge the crimes committed against our people and we achieve justice,” ASA member Kami Kahwedjian.

“I’m very grateful to have been a part of the divestment process here at UC Santa Cruz. It’s very important that, we, as students, take the initiative to make these types of things happen to show the Republic of Turkey that the Armenian Youth are stronger than ever and we will fight for the Armenian cause until we die. Lastly, I want to thank Kami Kahwedjian for working on the divestment process with me and the divest Turkey team as well,” said anothe ASA member Maral Tatoian.

The student governments of UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC RIverside, and UC Berkeley unanimously passed similar resolutions during the first half of this year. Moreover, just a few months ago, ASUCI unanimously passed a resolution “Commemorating the Armenian Genocide and Condemning its Denial,” raising further awareness on campus about the Armenian Genocide and its need for international recognition.

The resolution is an initiative started in part by the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Western United States- a grassroots community organization dedicated to justice for the Armenian cause and the Armenian people. For any questions, comments or inquiries on the #DivestTurkey campaign, please email [email protected]

Islamic State ‘seizes last Syria-Iraq border crossing’

Islamic State militants have seized the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq, a Syrian monitoring group says, BBC News reports.

Government forces withdrew from al-Tanf – known as al-Waleed in Iraq – crossing as IS advanced, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

The loss of al-Tanf to IS follows the group’s takeover of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday.

The US says that fighting the militants will be a “difficult challenge”.

Islamic State now controls “more than 95,000 sq km (36,679 sq miles)” of Syria, which is 50% of the country’s entire territory, the SOHR said.

The militants dominate the provinces of Deir al-Zour and Raqqa and have a strong presence in Hasakeh, Aleppo, Homs and Hama.

However, correspondents say there are large areas under IS control in the east that are not very significant strategically.

IS has also been made significant gains in neighbouring Iraq, capturing the strategically-important city of Ramadi in Anbar province after weeks of fighting.