CSTO secretary general to discuss regional problems in Armenia

April 8 2004

CSTO secretary general to discuss regional problems in Armenia

YEREVAN, April 8 (Itar-Tass) – Secretary General of the Collective
Security Treaty Organisation Nikolai Bordyuzha will arrive in the
Armenian capital on a three-day working visit on Thursday evening.

He plans to discuss key regional issues with President Robert
Kocharyan of Armenia, a source at the Armenian Foreign Ministry told

In the course of his visit he plans to meet with the speaker of the
country’s parliament, defence minister and secretary of the Security
Council at Armenia’s president.

Bordyuzha also plans to hold talks with the foreign minister,
director of the National Security Service and the chief of the
country’s police.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Boxing: Harrison gets Abelyan date

Sportinglife, UK
April 8 2004


WBO featherweight champion Scott Harrison insists mandatory opponent
William Abelyan will pose the minimum possible risk when the two
fighters eventually meet in Glasgow on May 29.

Harrison will face the United States-based Armenian at Braehead more
than two months after the first scheduled fight was cancelled due to
Abelyan’s injured shoulder.

Abelyan will have been out of the ring for almost a year by the time
he arrives in Glasgow and Harrison insists Abelyan’s record indicates
he will be a less than troublesome opponent.

He said: “Boxing is a risky game and you can get floored with one
punch but I don’t think this will be that tough a fight, I see
Abelyan being stopped later in the fight.

“He’s been mouthing off a lot saying that I fight like a robot but
robots are programmed to win. But I couldn’t care less about him to
be honest.

“Who has he fought anyway? I’ve fought a lot of world champions in
the past but I don’t see anyone on his record.

“He’s not fought anyone that I’ve heard of apart from Guty Espadas
and he’s boxed nearly 30 fights. He got knocked out in one round by
Victor Polo so he doesn’t bother me.

“He hasn’t taken any warm-up fights before meeting me – I think
that’s in case he gets beat.

“I just see him running all night. He says he’s going to stand and
fight and he’ll have to if he wants to win the world title.

“But I think he’s just taking the money, he doesn’t really want to

There will be familiarity surrounding Harrison’s latest title defence
as the Scotsman is fighting for the ninth time in row in Glasgow and
the champion admits he wants to continue boxing in front of his home
fans as long as possible.

He said: “I don’t want to fight anywhere else, fighting in Scotland
is fantastic for me and you can’t beat the crowd, they are so
patriotic and it’s packed at Braehead every time I fight there.

“It all depends on the money of course but I wouldn’t want to fight
in America.”

In keeping with Harrison’s attitude, the Scotsman is keeping to his
tried-and-tested training regime which involves packing himself away
to a Fort William training camp to get into top shape.

He said: “It will be the usual preparation. I’ve done about four days
training and now I’m off to Fort William for a month.

“It gets me away from the city and I can concentrate on my training.
There’s mountains to run on every morning and night and it gives me
peace and quiet to train and concentrate on my job. It’s worked in
the past and I’ll stick with it.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea

American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea


The Middle East Journal (Washington)
Winter 2004
Vol. 58, Iss. 1
pg. 155

Book Review of “American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea”
by Gawdat Bahgat. Gainesville, FL: xiii + 173 pages.
Gloss, to p. 178. Notes to p. 192. Bibl. to p. 206. Index to p. 213

By Paul M Mecray III.

American Oil Diplomacy by Professor Gawdat Bahgat of Indiana University
of Pennsylvania is a thorough and sophisticated analysis of geopolitical
events encompassing Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, and
Kazakhstan. This book is recommended reading for those desiring a
dispassionate history of the region’s oil industry without succumbing to
personal biases – quite an accomplishment for any writer familiar with
the ethnic, religious, and political rivalries in that part of the
world. Dr. Bahgat manages to fill 173 pages with vital statistics, but
still produces a readable, objective narrative. Diplomats, businessmen,
and analysts seeking an in-depth understanding of the
regional alliances and rivalries that will directly impact American
foreign policy, global oil production, and, as a result, both the future
of oil and inflation would do well to read this book.

Particularly helpful is Bahgat’s discussion of the long relationship
that France and Russia have had with Iraq, involved as both have been in
the oil sector and as arms suppliers over the years.

Any treatise on the Middle East becomes dated quickly, and this book is
no exception. Written shortly before the invasion of Iraq in April 2003,
the book discusses reasons for and against launching the war but not the
subsequent chaos. Yet, from a longer term viewpoint, Bahgat does a
superb job explaining regional tensions and rivalries – ranging from the
Arab-Israeli conflict to the continuing friction between Azerbaijan and
Armenia, from pre-war Iraq versus all of its neighbors, Iran’s
relationships with the United States and with Pakistan – and their
implications for the oil industry.

A particularly valuable element of Bahgat’s analysis is his use of
Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections of potential oil
reserves and productive capability for Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran.
These figures are seldom cited by authors, many of whom prefer to use
much lower “official” reserve estimates. Given the ever more
sophisticated oilfield technologies, even the EIA figures cited by
Bahgat may be low. In particular, his projections for Kazakhstan are
clearly too conservative, as new data on the Tengiz and Kashagan fields,
alone, suggest recoverable reserves should surpass 25 billion barrels,
three times the BP estimate cited in this book.

That Kazakhstan’s oil potential is indeed far greater than many experts
had estimated focuses one’s attention all the more on Bahgat’s excellent
discussion of pipeline diplomacy, where the politics of competing routes
from the Caspian via the Black Sea/Bosporus, Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan (BTC)
to the Mediterranean, and sales to Iran that free up oil for export
through the Persian Gulf, all illustrate the battle for control between
Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and the United States. He correctly notes that
Washington initially exaggerated the significance of Caspian oil
potential in order to promote the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and thus
greatly reduce Russia’s control of export routes. In this instance, the
United States has been fortunate, for subsequent massive oil discoveries
in Kazakhstan will consume all the Caspian Pipeline Consortium capacity
to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossisk as well as that of the BTC
line to the Mediterranean. Both lines will now need to be expanded, and
pressures will grow to negotiate oil swaps with Iran, which heretofore
Washington has opposed.

In sum, Gawdat Bahgat has produced a superb account of the oil
-geopolitics nexus, and of the conduct of American diplomacy in
furthering US strategic interests in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea

[Author Affiliation]
Paul M. Mecray, III, Senior Vice President and Partner, Wellington
Management Company, LLP, has served as a global energy industry analyst
for 36 years.

Copyright Middle East Institute

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Russia, Armenia to hold several joint exercises in summer

ITAR-TASS News Agency
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Russia, Armenia to hold several joint exercises in summer


The Armed Forces of Russia and Armenia will hold several joint
exercises in summer this year, Colonel-General Mikhail Arutyunyan,
Armenia’s Chief of the General Staff and First Deputy Minister of
Defence, has announced in an interview published in the Krasnaya
Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper on Thursday.

Arutyunyan said, “Joint combat training activities are carried out
under the plan, signed by the defence ministers of our two countries,
for bilateral cooperation between the Defence Ministries in 2004 and
a plan for joint operational planning of the use of troops in the
interests of ensuring joint security.”

“A command-and-staff exercise in conjunction with the Combined Group
of Troops (CGT) and a joint tactical exercise with field firing are
planned for summer,” General Arutyunyan said. “Besides, it is planned
to hold a series of joint activities of air defence units and
aviation of the 102nd Russian military base and Armenia’s Armed
Forces that draw joint duty within the framework of the Joint Air
Defence System of CIS countries,” Arutyunyan emphasised.

“Joint command-and-staff training was conducted together with the CGT
early in February. At the end of that month, we held an operational
assembly of the Armed Forces’ commanding personnel with the
participation of the generals and officers of the Russian military
base located on Armenia’s territory,” Arutyunyan said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

CIS official arrival in Armenia not linked with opposition moves

ITAR-TASS News Agency
April 8, 2004 Thursday

CIS official arrival in Armenia not linked with opposition moves

By Tigran Liloyan


Nikolai Bordyuzha, the secretary-general of the Collective Security
Treaty Organisation, denied assertions that his arrival in Armenia is
linked with the fact that the local opposition stepped up its

Bordyuzha said in an exclusive interview to Tass upon his arrival
that the Collective Security Treaty Organisations is not going to
interfere in the events in Yerevan. “This will be decided by
political instruments, not by clashes,” Bordyuzha believes.

The opposition that became more active in the recent days urges the
Armenian authorities to fulfil the decision of the country’s
Constitutional Court, made last year, about a referendum on the vote
of confidence for the president. The opposition convenes a “national
rally” on Friday, wishing to compel the president to resign.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Armenia govt has enough legal means to curb extremism

ITAR-TASS News Agency
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Armenia govt has enough legal means to curb extremism

By Tigran Liloyan


The Armenian government has enough legal means to curb political
extremism in Armenia, President Robert Kocharyan said in an interview
to Armenian public television on Thursday.

“The opposition must be careful or else its actions can boomerang on
it,” the president warned. He believes people will not tolerate
provocations. Wisdom will help them make the right appraisal of the

Kocharyan understands “the indignation of those who elected him when
they constantly hear members of the opposition say that the backbone
of power must be broken, that blood must be spilt”.

He called on his supporters “to show restraint and ignore
provocations of the opposition”. “People have elected me, so I should
fulfil their expectations, not the vice versa”. “People have
authorised me to use levers of power to ensure law and order in the
country,” the president said. He believes opposing one part of the
people to the other would be “the worst scenario”.

The president “gets the impression” he “became the target for the
competing leaders of the opposition”. He said the situation would
ease as soon as the opposition, the “aggressive political minority”,
names its leader.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Burbank Parade Set for April 24, but Future Events May Be Shifted

City News Service
April 7, 2004 Wednesday

Burbank Parade Set for April 24, but Future Events May Be Shifted


The annual Burbank on Parade celebration will take place April 24 as
scheduled, but organizers agreed to shift future events to avoid a
day that marks a dark period in Armenian history. In mid-February,
members of the Burbank on Parade organizing committee scheduled the
parade for a Saturday that falls this year on Armenian Genocide
Remembrance Day. For the Armenian community, April 24 is a solemn day
commemorating the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman
Turkish Empire from 1915-23. Many of Burbank’s estimated 10,000
Armenian-Americans will not join the 23rd annual parade because they
will spend the day at homes, churches or rallies. But the event, a
celebration of the local community traditionally held the last
Saturday in April, cannot be rescheduled this year because of the
challenge of coordinating youth bands, drill teams, equestrian
entries and representatives from local organizations, event
coordinators said. In an attempt to avoid future conflicts, Burbank
Vice Mayor Marsha Ramos organized an informal meeting last week
between representatives of the city’s Armenian community and parade
organizers. “I believe the goal of this meeting was to allow everyone
to have a better understanding of the importance of April 24 to the
Armenian community,” Ramos said. “I felt it was important that people
meet face to face in order to facilitate a dialogue, and to foster
and strengthen community. “I believe we accomplished that goal
Thursday night. We plan to build on this first meeting and meet again
some time in May,” she said. Those attending the meeting agreed
future parade dates would be selected so they do not conflict with
Armenian Genocide commemorations. Joanne Miller chairs this year’s
parade effort. “The parade has been the same weekend for the 23 years
of its existence,” she said. “It’s extremely unfortunate that the two
events coincide this year. We have committed to an alternate and
permanent solution in the future to work better for everyone in our
community,” she said.

Viktor Dallaqyan Arrested

A1 Plus | 15:02:38 | 08-04-2004 | Politics |


This morning the Armenian law-enforcement bodies have invited MP and
“Justice” Bloc Secretary Viktor Dallaqyan to the department under the
pretext of having a talk.

He went to the department as a sufferer in connection with the recent attack
in the street. Under inaccurate information, Dallaqyan was arrested. We will
inform about the details during the day.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Prompt Response Group on Human Rights Protection

A1 Plus | 20:39:14 | 08-04-2004 | Social |


A prompt response group for human rights protection was formed in Armenia.

Free Tribune for Civil Initiatives, Civil Society Institute, Helsinki
Committee of Armenia, Caucasus Center for Peacemaking Initiatives, Helsinki
Citizens` Assembly Vanadzor Office, Speech Freedom Support Fund, Journalists
‘ Club “Asparez” Gyumri, have decided to establish such a group.

The organizations have made the above decision since they assess the
situation in the country as a state terror and intention to create fearful
atmosphere in the republic.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Oriental rugs

Newark Star Ledger, NJ
April 8 2004

Oriental rugs
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Nothing finishes off a room like an Oriental rug. Hand-made and
carefully crafted, each one has a story to tell and can speak volumes
against your polished hardwood floors and favorite furnishings.

Whether a rug is the finest heirloom quality silk or has more humble
beginnings, it still can add style and flair to just about any room.

There are literally hundreds of styles of rugs from exotic places
like Turkey, India, Iran and Tibet, but choosing an Oriental rug
doesn’t have to be one of the inscrutable mysteries of the Far East.

“Don’t let the names confuse you,” said Paul Mobasseri, the
Iranian-born manager of Oriental Rug Weavers Outlet in Green Brook.
“Each rug is named, not for the place where it’s made, but for the
village where its original design comes from — places like Bijar and
Tabriz in Persia, now known as Iran. But the important thing is to
look at a lot of rugs and then buy what you like.”

Buying a fine Oriental is like introducing a piece of history and
culture to your home. The tradition of rug weaving is a rich one.
Fragments of flat-woven carpets have been discovered in ancient
Egyptian tombs, dating back some 4000 years. The weaving of pile rugs
is generally associated with nomadic sheep-herding tribes in the
Middle East and parts of central Asia, long before 2000 B.C. “The
rearing of sheep, the prime source of carpet wool, is a traditional
nomad occupation,” according to the Web site “Add to
this the necessity of thick coverings for people having to endure
extreme cold, and it’s likely the craft of weaving developed to
replace the use of rough animal skins for warmth.”

What started out of necessity continued as a reflection of cultural
tradition and aesthetics. Antique Persian rugs are generally the most
expensive on the market, but many Persian designs are being produced
successfully elsewhere in the world, especially India. Everything
from the quality of the wool and density of the weave — counted by
the number of knots tied per square-inch — to the type of dye and
detail of design influences a rug’s value.

Depending on its quality, a 6 x 9-foot rug can take 3,000 man-hours
to produce, which accounts for higher prices on some types of
Oriental rugs.

In general, silk rugs are the most expensive, followed by a mixture
of silk and wool and 100 percent wool, which are considered the most

At Oriental Rug Weavers Outlet, prices can range from $850 to $20,000
for an 8 x 10 rug, depending on the quality of the wool, sharpness of
the design and density of the pile.

“A beautiful Oriental rug adds tremendous character to a room,” said
Marilee Schempp of Design I in Summit. Schempp recently redid a
dining room for a client in Chatham, using a 9 x 12 $12,600 Tibetan
rug from Tufenkian Carpets in Hackensack as the room’s anchor and
touchstone for color.

How do you know what size rug to buy? Mobasseri recommends using a
sheet or newspapers as a pattern, trying the dimensions on for size
until it looks right in the space. If you’re buying a rug for the
dining room, anticipate a four-foot border around the table, allowing
chairs to stay on the rug at all times. A reputable rug dealer will
let you bring a rug home to try in your room for a day or two. This
is truly the only way you’ll know for sure if the rug is for you.
About the only rule when it comes to placing an Oriental rug in a
room is that generally you want to center a rug with a prominent
center medallion. Other than that, rugs can complement existing
prints or other runs in adjacent rooms. Colors should harmonize, but
patterns don’t have to match for a rug style to work.

“Once you’ve established your budget, then it’s just a matter of
finding a rug that you fall in love with,” said Joyce Gibson, manager
for Tufenkian Carpets’ Hackensack showroom. Gibson recommends
building a room around a rug, instead of trying to match a rug to
existing paint color and furnishings.

In general, rugs with curving or curvilinear designs enhance formal
and traditional room settings, while geometric patterns work well in
more rustic or modern décor. Tufenkian Carpets specializes in rugs
produced in Tibet and Armenia, including commissioned designs by
Barbara Barry, Clodagh, Kevin Walz and Vincente Wolf. Company founder
James Tufenkian, produces most of the rug patterns, inspired by
traditional designs.

Prices for an 8 x 10 can range from $2,200 up to $13,000 and up. If
you want to spend more, you can also custom design a rug to fit your
world — a feature that has turned celebs like Goldie Hawn and Kelsey
Grammer into Tufenkian customers.

Once you’re ready to shop, spend some time at several different rug
stores, comparing styles and quality. Check out the price range for
the style of rug that you love most. Patronize an established and
reputable store that offers a wide variety of styles and price ranges
and will allow you to take a rug home to try out in the room.

What you don’t want to do is go cross-eyed counting the knots on the
back of the rug. “Don’t get caught in the knot count trap,” said
Gibson. “Some rug designs demand a looser, coarser weave. In general,
the higher the knot count, the more detail in the design. But the
bottom line is the value of good design and color and what you fall
in love with — that’s what ultimately sells a rug.”

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress