Roundtable Discussion In Yerevan On Criminal Justice Responses To Tr

14.05.2010 11:21

The UN Department of Public Information, International Organization
for Migration Mission in Armenia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs
organized roundtable discussion on Criminal justice responses to
trafficking in persons: links to transnational organized crime today.

Declaration on Comprehensive Strategies for Global Challenges: Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice Systems and Their Development in
a Changing World was adopted by at the 12th Congress and submitted
to the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice. The Declaration highlighted that the participating countries
are greatly concerned by the negative impact of organized crime on
human rights, the rule of law, security and development.

UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia Ms. Dafina Gercheva said: "Our goal
is to inform the public about what measures are being taken in Armenia
in crime prevention and criminal justice in the area of prevention
of trafficking of human beings and what else should be done. The UN
office in Armenia is pleased to support country’s efforts aimed on
prevention and combating trafficking in human beings and strengthening
rule of law in Armenia."

Ms. Dziunik Aghajanyan, Head of International Organizations Department
of Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke on the issues related to the
implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational
Organized Crime in Armenia in light of the preparation of the 2010 –
2012 National Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking in Armenia

Ms. Ilona Ter-Minasyan, Head of IOM Mission in Armenia, Ms. Maria
Dotsenko, Representative of UN Department of Public Information in
Yerevan, Mr. Gagik Avetisyan, Head of the General Department to Combat
Organized Crime, RA Police, Mr. Armen Baibourtian, senior adviser to
UN RC, Mr. John Maher, Transnational Crime Affairs Officer of Bureau
for International Narcotics of US Embassy led the discussion.

Representatives from the government, international organizations,
civil society, media and different UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes
discussed criminal justice responses to trafficking in persons in the
framework of the responsibilities that Armenia has committed itself.

Chess: Vladimir Hakobian Plays In Draw Against Mamedyarov


May 14 2010

In round four of the FIDE Grand Prix among men, taking place in
Russia’s Astrakhan, Russia’s Ernesto Inarkiev, playing with black,
won over Vassily Ivanchuk and joined the tournament’s leaders. The
fourth round resulted in 2,5 points for 6 chess players.

Armenia’s Vladimir Hakobian played in draw with Azerbaijan’s Mamedyarov

BAKU: Armenian-Captured Anar Hajiyev Sends Letter To His Family


May 14 2010

Baku. Kamala Guliyeva – APA. Azerbaijani soldier Anar Hajiyev captured
by Armenians in Fuzuli region of Azerbaijan last year on May 10 sent
a letter to his family.

The soldier’s mother Naila Mammadova told APA. To her, Azerbaijani
representation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
called and said that they met with her son and that they had a letter
from him. Mammadova said that the letter would be conveyed to her on
May 17.

Chief of the ICRC international humanitarian law and information
department in Azerbaijan Ilaha Huseynova confirmed the information to
APA. She said that she met with Hajiyev on May 12, monitored detention
conditions and had face-to-face meeting with him.

Note that, Anar Khanbaba Hajiyev, 20, was drafted from Goranboy
region. He was captured by Armenian armed forces in Fuzuli at 09.45
on May 10, 2009.

BAKU: Azerbaijani Embassy In Russia Says Armenian Diplomat’s Stateme


May 13 2010

Embassy of Azerbaijan in Russia says Armenian diplomat’s statement
is nonsense.

The statement by Armenian ambassador to Russia released by Regnum news
agency on May 11 with reference to the news service for the Armenian
embassy in Moscow is extremely surprising, according to statement
issued by the Azerbaijani embassy in Russia.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated its adherence to the fastest peaceful
resolution of the conflict by way of talks with Armenia on all levels,
beginning from leadership to the wide community. However, it clearly
says that in case the talks are ineffective, it will preserve a
right to liberate its lands. No diplomat will ever doubt that the
protection of homeland is a sovereign right of a state as fixed in the
UN charter. The use of this right, appeals to the quickest deoccupation
of the Azerbaijani lands can never be viewed as bellicose. However,
probably, the said person experiences difficulty in understanding
this copy-book maxim, the statement by the Azerbaijani embassy says.

The fact that Azerbaijan is taking an active part in the negotiation
process on the conflict settlement and the representatives of its
civil society, primarily intellectuals, in fact demonstrate readiness
for dialogue with the representatives of the Armenian community and
intellectuals demonstrates good will manifested by the Azerbaijani

"However, the provocative statements by O.Yesayan and other "hawks",
who are proud of the participation in the atrocities against the
peaceful Azerbaijani population of Karabakh and the capture of
the Azerbaijani lands, not only cause indignation and rejection
at the international level from the Council of Europe to the UN,
but also torpedo all efforts for the peaceful settlement of the
situation. Perhaps, the representatives of the forces pursuing a war
of aggression against Azerbaijan hope for some profits in case of its
renewal. But these hopes will never come true, and in the days of the
world celebrations of the 65th anniversary of victory over fascism,
the instigators of war should understand: any aggression, even if
it is temporarily successful, is doomed to an ignominious end,"
the embassy said in its statement.

RAU To Host International Conference On Economics


May 13, 2010 – 10:57 AMT 05:57 GMT

The Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University jointly with the Stockholm
School of Economics in Riga organize an international conference on
economics on May 13.

According to RAU press office, the conference will focus on problems
in monetary policy and the role of education in a transition economy.

Professors from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Gunnar
Ljungdahl and Morten Hansen will be the guest speakers. RAU rector
Armen Darbinyan, pro-rector Edward Sandoyan, former Armenian PM Hrant
Bagratyan will also participate.

Mevlut Chavushoglu Arrives In Armenia

16:38 12.05.10

Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
Mevlut Chavushogly arrived in Armenia this morning, press officer of
the National Assembly of Armenia Gohar Poghosyan told

She also said the meeting of the Armenian parliamentarians planned
with Chavushogluy will take place on May 13.

Earlier Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun, ARF-D) said
it would not meet him pointing to the fact that Chavushoglu had said
he would not pay a visit to Tsitsernakaberd – the hill-top memorial
dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in the
break up of the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Armenian Heritage Party decided on May 11 that it would meet
Chavushoglu and tell him the party’s viewpoints.

"Generally, Heritage does not avoid good or bad meetings because you
do not chose your interlocutors in politics," Secretary of Heritage’s
parliamentary faction Larisa Alaverdyan said at a press conference

Armenian Publishers Take Part In 23rd Tehran International Book Fair


MAY 12, 2010

Tehran is hosting the 23rd Internation Book Fair on May 5-15, with
more than 2000 local and over 1700 foreign publishers taking part in
it. Armenian publishers are also among fair’s foreign participants.

According to the MFA press service, the number of Armenian pavilion’s
visitors is unprecedentedly big. Armenia’s participation was
initiated by the Armenian Embassy in IRI and with the assistance of
the RA Ministry of Culture. Foreign visitors take much interest in
the sphere of Armenian tourism and higher education, especially the
theme of Armenian Genocide.

Armenian Policy On Turkey: Domestic Policy Shifts

By: Lennart Lehmann
Dialogue With The Islamic World
May 12 2010

The governing coalition in Armenia has suspended talks with Ankara over
a normalisation of bilateral relations. It is primarily the Armenian
diaspora that has threatened to withdraw all support from Yerevan if
demands on Turkey are moderated in any way. Lennart Lehmann reports
from Yerevan

Some elements of the international media recently rejoiced at the news
that the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Garegin II,
had attended a congress of international religious leaders in the
Azerbaijani capital, Baku, where he also met the Azeri president,
Ilham Aliyev. Talks also apparently touched on the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict. The visit was hailed as "historic" by some commentators.

Garegin’s visit also included a three-way summit with the patriarch
of the Russian-Orthodox Church, Kirill, and the mufti of Azerbaijan,
Allashukur Pashazade, to plead for a solution to the Karabakh
question. Just two days previously, the government in Yerevan had
suspended talks with Turkey; one of its reasons for doing so was the
conflict over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Two conflicts obstruct reconciliation

Observers say that the main problem is that Ankara has linked
ratification of a number of protocols to a solution to the Karabakh
conflict – a stance that demands concessions from Yerevan.

Turkey views itself as a close, long-time ally of Azerbaijan, which
has been waging a bitter conflict with Armenia over the autonomous
Nagorno-Karabakh region for over 20 years. Moreover, the Azeris and
the Turks are ethnically related to each other.

Another obstacle to progress is that Yerevan is still waiting for
Ankara to admit that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915
was genocide. But although there has been some movement on this issue
in recent times, Ankara still refuses to acknowledge that genocide
took place. Negotiations have hit deadlock over this particular matter.

The domestic policy factor

There are, however, internal policy factors, which President Serge
Sarkisian may have brought into play in his decision to suspend talks
with Turkey. Since the mayoral elections of May 2009, the opposition
Armenian National Congress (ANC), an alliance of 18 parties also
including former president Levon Ter-Petrosian, has been stepping up
its challenge of Sarkisian’s political legitimacy.

Its tactic is to highlight controversial events that took place in
Armenia in 2008 and the government’s foreign policy rapprochement
with Turkey to stir up emotions among the people and to create bad
feeling towards the president.

In March 2008, 10 demonstrators were killed by police in Yerevan during
public rallies against Sarkisian’s election victory. Numerous people
are still in prison since taking part in these protests. Human rights
groups are demanding the release of what they describe as "political
prisoners". The powers that be in Yerevan have reacted badly to
oppositional resistance, and have applied systematic pressure to
elements they consider to be subversive.

Last year, Amnesty International drew attention to the harassment of
journalists reporting on opposition activities. As one university
lecturer told "The directors of the state university
threatened to sack me if I took part in any events organised by
the opposition."

Foreign policy influence

At the same time, the three major geopolitical players in the Caucasus
– the EU, the USA and Russia – are demanding that Yerevan approaches
Azerbaijan and Turkey in a bid to solve the prolonged conflict over
the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

Nevertheless, says David Petrosian, political analyst and journalist
at the Noyan Tapan news agency, all three rely on Serge Sarkisian:
"In doing so they are propping up a regime of dubious legitimacy. At
the same time, they are increasing Sarkisian’s dependence on the
international community. That reduces any room he might have to
negotiate with Ankara and Baku."

"The ANC," says David Petrosian, "enjoys no support from the West,
because its position is not anti-Russian."

Although the country’s economy would definitely stand to gain if the
border with Turkey was reopened, there are also groups in Armenia
that profit from the nation’s current isolation.

"Civil servants, the military establishment and businesspeople who
share the same political views encounter no difficulties on account
of the closed border," writes Armen Grigorian, an Armenian national
working at the Central Asian Caucasus Institute in Washington. "On
the contrary, economic advantages in exchange for political loyalty
create opportunities to make a quick buck. And as for the military, for
the time being it benefits more from the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh

Political pressure from the diaspora

Another important factor is the Armenian diaspora. Most Armenians in
Western Europe and the USA are descendants of the survivors of the
1915 genocide. They are unyielding in their insistence that Turkey
admits to the massacre and issues an apology.

The Armenian national budget is extremely dependent on lobby work
and financial aid from Armenians living abroad. Diaspora groups have
repeatedly threatened Yerevan with the withdrawal of all support
should demands for an unambiguous admission of guilt from Turkey be
watered down.

"The more Sarkisian responds to the demands of Washington, Moscow and
Brussels, the more he moves himself into domestic policy isolation
and shores up the opposition," says David Petrosian in analysis.

The Armenian president seemed to realise this in the run-up to official
remembrance ceremonies to mark the 95th anniversary of the Armenian
genocide. Now, instead of forging ahead with the Ankara reconciliation
dialogue, he is again focusing efforts on securing his own power base
at home.

Armenia-NATO IPAP To Be Considered At The Sitting Of The North Atlan

12.05.2010 12:07

Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and Foreign Minister Edward
Nalbandian will participate in the sitting of the North Atlantic
Council in Brussels in NATO-Armenia format.

The annual report on the assessment of the Armenia-NATO Individual
Partnership Action Plan is expected to be discussed during the sitting.

Azeri Agricultural Minister Arrives In Armenia


May 10, 2010

An Azerbaijani delegation, led by Azerbaijan’s Agriculture
Minister Ms. Ismet Abasov, has arrived in Yerevan this morning to
participate in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) 27th
regional conference of Europe and Central Asia, Armenia’s Ministry
of Agriculture reported. It said some 160 officials from over 40
countries have arrived in Yerevan to take part in the conference,
slated for May 13-14.

The conference aims at discussing and making proposals on essential
food and agriculture issues affecting the region of Europe and
Central Asia.-