Artsakh Republic to hold parliamentary elections May 23

Artsakh Republic to hold parliamentary elections May 23

May 22, 2010 – 12:22 AMT 07:22 GMT

88 candidates from Free Motherland, Democratic Party of Artsakh,
Communist Party and ARF Dashnaktsutyun are running for 17 seats in the
parliament of the Artsakh Republic. 40 candidates are running by
majority system for 16 seats in the parliament.

`On May 23, the CEC press office will provide information on the
election process each three hours. 273 district electoral committees
were formed. The rolls include 94900 voters, what makes 66% of the
republic’s population,’ said Albert Voskanyan, Director of the Center
of Civil Initiatives NGO and Coordinator of the Working Group for the
Release of Prisoners and Hostages and the Tracing of Missing Persons
of the Karabakh Conflict.

`There is a provision dominating in all candidates’ election campaign
– the independence of Artsakh,’ Mr. Voskanyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net

60 international observers from Russia, U.S., European and regional
countries are expected to arrive. Several dozens of foreign news
agencies will cover the elections.

European Parliament’s Resolution On South Caucasus Leads To Resumpti


May 21, 2010 – 18:37 AMT 13:37 GMT

Member of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun parliamentary group Artsvik Minasyan
said that the European Parliament’s Resolution on the South Caucasus
is a result of active propaganda of the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem.

Although the document has a consultative nature, first of all,
it creates certain atmosphere, which is undesirable for Armenia,
Minasyan told a briefing in the RA National Assembly.

According to Minasyan, the resolution was prepared as a result of
the Armenian-Turkish process and activity of Turkey and Azerbaijan
in the Karabakh issue.

"Thus, Armenia should do the following: keep the Karabakh conflict
within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, actively populate
the liberated territories around NKR and finally withdraw from the
Armenian-Turkish process," he said.

According to Minasyan, Hay Dat committees’ activity allowed withdrawing
even more unfavorable provisions for Armenia prior to the resolution’s

"As far as I know, Armenia also took actions to improve the document.

However, it becomes clear from the adopted resolution that Armenia
should pursue a clearly shaped, systematized foreign policy,"
said Minasyan.

He added that implementation of the resolution’s provisions will
inevitably lead to a war in Karabakh.

Serzh Sargsyan: Armenia To Enjoy Economic Recovery This Year


May 20, 2010

YEREVAN, May 20. /ARKA/. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan thinks
that Armenia will enjoy economic recovery this year.

He thinks that indicators of the first four months of this year give
ground for thinking so.

"Along with that, we should continue reforms this year," the
presidential press office quoted the head of state as saying Wednesday
at his meeting with Mark Lewis,

IMF’s mission chief to Armenia, and Guillermo Tolosa, the IMF resident
representative in Armenia.

Sargsyan expressed appreciation of Lewis’ visit to Armenia saying
that the IMF representative has already met with the government and
the central bank officials and reached an accord on a program based
on particular arrangements.

Lewis informed the Armenian president about arrangements made between
the IMF and the country’s government on a three-year financing and
crediting program.

At their meeting, the Armenian president and the chief of IMF mission
discussed key focuses of Armenia’s economic policy steps to be taken
to spur the country’s economic development.

Lewis said that although economic environment is still adverse, but
Armenia’s economy is gradually recovering, its financial sector is
quite firm and state funds are run properly.

Inflation, business environment and poverty reduction were among the
issues under discussion.

Lewis informed Sargsyan about criteria of support under the new
cooperation program to be approved by the IMF executive board.

The executive board will consider this $392 million available financing
program in late June.

Under this program, Armenia will get loans on more advantageous
conditions than under Stand-By Arrangement.

BAKU: Azerbaijan Needs Permanent Peace With Armenia Rather Than Peac

May 20 2010

Tofiq Abbasov News.Az interviews Lider TV expert, political scientist
Tofiq Abbasov.

I will probably start our interview with a bit unexpected issue. A
number of local and even foreign political scientists recently say
that the worsening economic, demographic problems, as well as problems
in Armenian army and the democratization level of this country will
force Armenia to disavow its destructive position in the process of
negotiations on the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict
over Karabakh. Meanwhile, official Yerevan does not take any steps. In
addition, Armenians voice their claims on Nakhchivan more clearly.

Does it mean that the local political scientists are too optimistic
and mistaken in their forecasts?

Not all local and especially foreign political scientists support
your point of view speaking of the prospects of settlement of the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Karabakh. The growing claims
and appetites of our neighbors comply with the traditional logic of
Armenians according to which "the more you demand, the more you get".

In addition, this is Armenians’ attempt to distract the attention of
the community from the dangerous position of Yerevan that continues
undermining the negotiation process around the Armenian-Azerbaijani

Finally, we should not forget that the actions of official Yerevan are
defined outside Armenia. The diaspora, Russia, United States, France
continue controlling this "sovereign" formation. Unlike Armenia,
Azerbaijan has voiced its clear position on the updated Madrid
principles and it expects Armenia’s reaction. Baku’s position is that
the conflict settlement must be implemented within the framework of
the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan that is after the withdrawal
of Armenian troops from the occupied lands.

Then why do almost all foreign experts, political scientists rule
out the fact that Azerbaijan may restore its territorial integrity
by way of war due to the unconstructive position of Armenia in the
negotiation process?

Experts and political scientists are free to make their forecasts or
voice opinions but the real state of affairs does not depend on this.

Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity will be restored by any means.

Otherwise, Azerbaijan will never take purposeful steps to raise army
and defense capacity. Several days ago our country took part in martial
exhibition Forex in Amman (Jordan). Being new in such events, we have
managed to present about 50 types of arms. This proves that Azerbaijan
is developing its defense capacity. Therefore, it is possible to say
that the country will be able to restore its territorial integrity in
case the political process does not give any expected result. We should
not forget that Azerbaijan needs permanent peace with Armenia. If our
neighbors do not make concessions themselves, we will have to force
them to do so.

Here we should assess our opportunities in the information war with
Armenia rationally. Has Azerbaijan been successful in informing
the world community about the real causes and implications of the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Karabakh and is our country ready
for information war with Armenia in case of the start of operation
on deoccupation of the occupied lands of our country?

Azerbaijan has long been losing Armenia in information warfare. But
currently the situation has changed dramatically and the advantage
is on our part. This has been proven by the conference on "Regional
conflicts in mass media" that was held in Israel. Participation of
our colleagues showed that our mass media, the expert community
in information war with Armenia take not defensive but offensive
position. This explains the nervousness of the Armenian side that
sometimes does not understand what it is doing and that it makes
unforgivable mistakes. Our most important achievement is that the
world has a clear understanding about who is an aggressor and who is
a victim of aggression in the Karabakh conflict.

Laws Take Effect


01:46 pm | May 19, 2010 | Official

On May 18, President Serzh Sargsyan signed laws on making
amendments and addenda to the RA laws on Taxes, Budget System, Local
Self-Government, Casinos, State Duty, Fixed Payments, Value Added
Tax and Profit Tax, reports RA President’s press service.

Hover Chamber Choir Of Armenia Expects Serious Review


Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia is planning to pass a serious
international review in France, the Choir’s art director and conductor
Sona Harutyunyan said at a press conference today.

According to her some professional groups from 12 countries are taking
part in the review.

"We will present our activities to hundreds of managers," said she,
adding that the Choir will have 5 concerts in different music styles.

"Various financial problems will be solved, if we pass this review,"
she added.

At the same time Harutyunyan mentioned that it is the first time
that Armenia will participate in this review. Should it pass the
review successfully, Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia will spend 45
days in tours.

Turkish PM Urges Nagorno-Karabakh Settlement


Associated Press Worldstream
May 17, 2010 Monday 7:13 PM GMT

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that his nation won’t
ratify a deal to normalize ties with Armenia until the Nagorno-Karabakh
dispute is settled.

Neither Turkey nor Armenia have ratified the October agreement to
restore diplomatic ties and reopen their shared border.

Erdogan said Monday on a visit to Azerbaijan that the Turkish
parliament won’t ratify the Octobber deal until there is a settlement
of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 to protest the
Armenia-backed war by separatists in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an enclave in Azerbaijan that has been under the
control of ethnic Armenian forces since a six-year conflict ended with
a 1994 truce. Turkey shares ethnic and cultural bonds with Azerbaijan.

No Protocols But Preconditions


The Armenian and Turkish protocols are buried but the preconditions
still exist. Turkey managed to introduce three basic preconditions-
the recognition of the borders in accordance with Kars treaty,
refutation of the international process of genocide recognition and
acknowledgment of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. During
2009, Ankara got assured of the lack of prospects of the fulfillment
of the first two preconditions and decided to direct its efforts
to the implementation of the third task- concessions by Armenia in
connection with the Karabakh issue. Ignoring formality and etiquette,
Turkey stated that until there are no moves in the Karabakh issue,
the border will not open. It did not make this statement for Armenia,
which in essence, was not even thinking about the opening of the
border, but for the international community.

Azerbaijan supported its elder brother with a similar open argument –
if you do not give us the territories, we will start a war. So, the
current stage of the Armenian and Turkish relations can be called a
phase of cynical pragmatic trade.

Yesterday, the president of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev stated that either
Armenia will give a positive answer to the Madrid proposals, or the
negotiation process will be broken, "and between Armenia and Azerbaijan
a new period may start". What is the threat if Armenia refutes the
principles of Madrid was not clarified by Aliyev, but he hinted that
"if the Armenian party gives a positive answer and withdraws its forces
from the occupied areas, Azerbaijan will open the border with Armenia".

The Turkish premier Erdogan came out to be even more sincere and
stated that Armenia needs to withdraw only from 2 regions – Kelbadjar
and Fizuli.

The official Yerevan has not yet given concrete answers to these
proposals, but only Shavarsh Kocharyan, from time to time, "snarls"
at the Turkish-Azerbaijani statements.

Serge Sargsyan prefers philosophical reflection on the transience
of life. "We have to remember that peoples’ division into ethnic
and racial groups leads to bad consequences that their own welfare
cannot be built on the grief of others, that every people have the
right to live and develop, where they lived for centuries, and that
each nation itself must determine the way they wants to go".

In turn, Karabakh, not on the state but community level, proposes to
refute the principles of Madrid and direct all their efforts at the
international recognition of independence. During a recently held
"roundtable" in Stepanakert, experts stated that the only solution
of the current situation is to accept the reality.

Apparently, everything leads to this, and Azerbaijan is close to
recognition as never before. And now, only maximum restraint is to
be shown.

Mother Of Journalist Ernest Vardanyan Arrested In Transdniestr Molda


2010-05-18 13:05:00

ArmInfo. The mother of journalist and political expert Ernest
Vardanyan arrested in Transdniestr Moldovan Republic has addressed
an open letter to the heads of the leading countries of the world.

In her letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, US President
Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Japanese Prime
Minister Ukio Hatoyama, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi,
Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, Vardanyan’s mother states
that Ernest Vardanyan was arrested by the authorities of Transdniestr
Moldavian Republic on the fabricated charge of "espionage and treason
against the State". "Being an independent journalist, E.Vardanyan
could have no access to military, state and law-protected secret,
he did not work in a state structure.

Ernest has recently been included in the UN personnel reserve and
expected being assigned for the UN service in New York. Lacking
any proofs, the Transdniestr Moldavian Republic bodies immediately
accused him of espionage and rejected all our requests to change the
measure of restraint, having deprived us of the constitutional right
to choose a private counsel. I think that Ernest Vardanyan currently
under arrest is the hostage of the Transdniestr Moldavian Republic
authorities. We are unaware of the incarceration conditions of my
son",- she says in the letter.

In particular, the letter points out that ignoring the legal
customaries, the Transdniestr Moldavian Republic authorities revealed
the so-called "investigative secret" of the fabricated case due
to tortures and delivered the verdict without any trial. Actually,
distribution of the "secret" once again confirms that Vardanyan’s case
is groundless, contains no publishing of a state secret and no logic.

Thus, within the international community’s sight, the Transdniestr
Moldavian Republic authorities ignored the universal human rights and
violated the presumption of innocence of the person and his right of
protection from insinuations. "We, members of Ernest’s family: his
mother, wife, daughter and two children have no guarantees of the
arrested Vardanyan’s security and our security either. We believe
in no assurances of the authorities. These authorities can keep on
taking any unlawful measures".

In her letter, Ernest Vardanyan’s mother asks the leaders of
superpowers to take efficient measures for restoring justice and
immediately releasing his son.

Australian MP Raises Karabakh Issue In Parliament


May 18, 2010 – 11:56 AMT 06:56 GMT

The Member for Davidson, Jonathan O’Dea has spoken in the parliament of
New South Wales State, Australia, about the right to self-determination
of the people of Nagorno Karabakh, ANC Australia reported.

His address followed the Armenian National Committee of Australia’s
poster exhibition in Parliament House last week, which was held days
after the 18th anniversary of the Liberation of Shoushi, a victory
which led Nagorno Karabakh on a path to freedom from a long-oppressive

O’Dea told the Legislative Assembly: "I attended an excellent
exhibition in the Jubilee Room of the New South Wales Parliament on
various aspects of Armenian life, culture and history. There I was
introduced to the long and epic story of Nagorno Karabakh.

"The exhibition coincided with the eighteenth anniversary commemoration
of what is known as the liberation of Shoushi, which came at the end
of a battle that means much to the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh and
around the world, just as Gallipoli does to Australians."

O’Dea added: "Today, mindful of the principles outlined by Woodrow
Wilson, I note my support for self-determination of all peoples,
including Armenians.

"I honor those Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh and others around the
world who, in spite of continued threats and a commitment to fight
for self-determination, ultimately seek peace."

ANC Australia Executive Director Varant Meguerditchian thanked O’Dea
for bringing light to such an important chapter in Armenia’s history.

"It is our responsibility to inform our legislators on what is
important to Armenian-Australians, and Nagorno Karabakh is very
important to Armenians the world over," Meguerditchian said.

"We thank Mr. O’Dea for his address in Parliament and we expect this
will go some way toward achieving formal universal recognition of
the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh."