Armenpress: The number of births has increased in Artsakh

The number of births has increased in Artsakh

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 17:16, 5 July 2022

YEREVAN, JULY 5, ARMENPRESS. In the first half of the current year, 864 births were registered in Artsakh, which, compared to the same period of 2021, is an increase of 204 or 131 %. ARMENPRESS reports Lilia Petrosyan, Head of the Social-Demographic and Labor Market Statistics Department of the National Statistical Service of the Artsakh Republic, told ARTSAKHPRESS.

"Boys predominated among the newborns, making up 53.6 percent. The most popular names for boys are: Davit, Tigran, Hayk, and for girls – Mane, Maria, Eva," said Lilia Petrosyan.

According to her, during the reporting period, compared to the previous year, the number of registered deaths decreased by 22.5 percent. As a result, in the first half of this year, the natural increase of the population of the Republic was 372 people.

Fwd: The California Courier Online, July 7, 2022

Note: There will not be a copy next week due to the newspaper’s semi-annual vacation. The next issue will be dated the week of July 18, 2022.
The California Courier Online, July 7, 2022

1-         Armenian Officials Discourage Diasporans

            From Sending Aid to Armenia

            By Harut Sassounian

            Publisher, The California Courier

            www.TheCaliforniaCourier.com

2-         AAF Delivers $16.5M of Medicines, Medical Supplies

            to Armenia, Artsakh in Last Six Months

3-         At Least 53 People Still Missing after Arstakh War

4-         Western Diocese Holds 46th Annual Debutante Ball

5-         Armenia Continues Fight Against COVID-19

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1-         Armenian Officials Discourage Diasporans

            From Sending Aid to Armenia

            By Harut Sassounian

            Publisher, The California Courier

            www.TheCaliforniaCourier.com

Just when you think you have come across every oddity in Armenia,
someone will surprise you with a brand new one. Let we warn you that
this problem has nothing to do with internal politics. It has to do
with incompetent, careless, and sometimes, corrupt officials whose
unacceptable conduct has been going on for over 30 years in Armenia.

I received last week an email from Kevork Yazedjian, a scholar and
activist in Armenia. He described his frustration and anger at an
objectionable incident that he had just experienced. He addressed his
email to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Head of the State Income
Committee, and the High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs of Armenia.
Kevork sent copies of his email to hundreds of Armenians in and out of
Armenia to alert them and seek their intervention.

The problem started on June 27 when Kevork along with his sister and
her husband went to the State Income Committee’s office to pick up
Armenian books sent from the United States by Vahakn Kupelian who had
shipped 78 copies of his mother’s, Siran Seza’s (1903-1973), two
novels. Kupelian had asked Kevork to donate the books to libraries
throughout Armenia and Artsakh. When the government official, Mr.
Sahakyan, saw multiple copies of the two books, he became suspicious
that Kevork was going to sell them. Sahakyan wrote a memo to the
Customs Officers at the Yerevan airport, asking them to evaluate the
price of these books and charge Kevork the corresponding import duty.

Once at the Customs Office, Kevork was shocked when five officials,
after consulting with each other, told him that copies of the two
novels will be sent to the National Security Service (NSS) to inspect
their contents! Kevork wondered whether censorship of books was part
of NSS duties. He was concerned that by the time NSS employees
finished reading the two novels, he could be asked to pay a large
amount for storage fees. Disgusted by this violation of free speech in
a “democratic country,” Kevork told the Customs officials that they
can have the books.

After he sent several letters of protest to various officials, Kevork
received on June 30 an unexpected phone call from Sahakyan, who asked
him to come over so he can give him the books. When he arrived at the
office the next day, Sahakyan was not there, but his boss received
Kevork with utmost courtesy, saying that he had gotten many complaints
about this case which had embarrassed him in front of the whole world.
The Chief Customs Officer also claimed that his office had sent
several pages of the novels to the National Security Service, asking
them to review them urgently. The NSS had supposedly replied that
there are no national security issues in the two novels. The first
book, “Shattered Lives,” was published in 2015 and the second one,
“Book of Genesis,” in 2019.

Given this frustrating experience and his serious interest in Armenian
literature, Kevork has come up with a new proposal, asking the
government to facilitate the transfer of Armenian books and
periodicals to Armenia through diplomatic pouch by Armenia’s Embassies
and Consulates overseas.

There is a second more shocking example of Armenian officials’ gross
negligence which had serious medical and diplomatic repercussions.

After the Artsakh War of 2020, on Dec. 12, 2020 and January 9, 2021,
the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) of Greece collected urgently needed
humanitarian aid which was flown to Armenia by two Greek military
planes. A small part of the cargo was released shortly after its
arrival and distributed by the ARS. More than a year later, however,
it was discovered that the bulk of the aid was still at the Customs’
warehouse at the Yerevan Airport. After several letters of complaints
which had remained unanswered, Armenia’s recently-appointed Ambassador
to Greece, Tigran Mkrtchyan, responded on June 28, 2022, with
troubling news: While the ARS humanitarian aid was finally cleared
from Customs, “due to the expiration of the items [medicines], part of
the cargo had to be destroyed.”

Amb. Mkrtchyan was answering the Greek Armenian community’s letters
sent to Prime Minister Pashinyan and other officials on Dec. 14, 2020
and February 7, 2022.

The urgently dispatched medicines were supposed to save the lives of
Armenian soldiers wounded during the 2020 war. Who will be held
responsible for the loss of the lives of the soldiers who were
deprived of these medicines? Furthermore, has the Armenian government
sent a letter of apology to the Greek government for the lengthy delay
in releasing and destroying a part of the urgently flown medicines to
Armenia? Greece may not be as responsive next time there is a medical
emergency in Armenia. Besides Armenia’s utter negligence in clearing
the cargo, the ARS did not even get a reply to its two letters until
18 months later!

This is a prime example of gross negligence. Regrettably, no Armenian
official was held responsible for this scandalous behavior and no one
was fired!

No good deed goes unpunished in Armenia!

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2-         AAF Delivers $16.5M of Medicines, Medical Supplies

            to Armenia, Artsakh in Last Six Months

The Armenia Artsakh Fund (AAF) delivered $16.5 million of humanitarian
assistance to Armenia and Artsakh during January to June 2022. Of this
amount, the AAF collected $16 million of medicines and other supplies
donated by Americares ($12.9 million) and Direct Relief ($3.5
million).

Other organizations which contributed valuable goods during this
period were the Howard Karagheusian Commemorative Corp. ($78,700), the
Armenian Missionary Association of America ($50,700), Dr. Albert
Phillips ($15,700), and Dr. Hrair Garabedian of Medical Outreach for
Armenia ($10,000).

The medicines and medical supplies donated during this period were
sent to the AGBU Claudia Nazarian Medical Center for Syrian Armenian
Refugees in Yerevan, Arabkir United Children’s Foundation, Kanaker
Zeytoun Medical Center, Muratsan Children’s Endocrinology Center,
National Hematology Center, St. Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center, and
the health ministries of Armenia and Artsakh.

 During the first six months of 2022, AAF delivered much needed
medicines and medical supplies for oncology, hematology,
cardiovascular and gastrointestinal patients.

In the past 33 years, including the shipments under its predecessor,
the United Armenian Fund, the AAF has delivered to Armenia and Artsakh
$962 million in relief supplies on board 158 airlifts and 2,530 sea
containers. “The AAF is regularly offered free of charge millions of
dollars of life-saving medicines and medical supplies. We simply pay
for the shipping expenses. We welcome generous donations to be able to
continue delivering this valuable assistance to all medical centers in
Armenia and Artsakh,” said AAF President Harut Sassounian.

 For information, call AAF: (818) 241-8900; [email protected]
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3-         At Least 53 People Still Missing after Arstakh War

(PanArmenian)—At least 53 people, including 33 servicemen and 20
civilians, are still missing one a half years after the end of the
44-day war in Artsakh, according to the country’s Commission on
Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons, dedicated to the Day
of Remembrance of Missing Freedom Fighters

The Commission met on Wednesday, June 29 and said that 1711 remains
and bodies were recovered from November 13, 2020 to the first half of
2022.

The chairman of the commission, Minister of Internal Affairs of
Artsakh Karen Sargsyan noted that negotiations are underway with the
Russian and Azerbaijani sides to resume the search for the bodies and
remains of soldiers killed in action. The members of the commission
stressed that Azerbaijan maintains a non-constructive approach to
ensuring the return of Armenian captives from Azerbaijan.
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4-         Western Diocese Holds 46th Annual Debutante Ball

LOS ANGELES—The night of June 12 was a celebration with approximately
350 guests attending the 46th Annual Debutante Ball hosted at the
Beverly Wilshire Hotel by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Western Diocese
of the Armenian Church. The festivities began with a reception at 5
p.m., affording the families and friends the opportunity for a reunion
before the presentation.

The Presentation began at 6 p.m. with Diocesan Ladies Chair Cindy
Norian welcoming the guests. “It is so wonderful to be finally able to
present our 46th Debutante Ball. We are especially thankful to the
families who have waited through delay after delay due to the Covid
pandemic,” said Norian. “The Debutante Ball has become a memorial and
wonderful tradition. Year after year it brings together our youth from
all our churches to celebrate the sacred institution of family, our
shared Armenian heritage, and the Christian values that we hold in
reverence.”

Mistress of Ceremonies Lory Tatoulian—noted comedian, actress and
writer, and the daughter of Archpriest Der Datev and Yeretzgeen Araxy
Tatoulian—presented the sixteen debutantes to His Eminence Archbishop
Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese. Tatoulian then
invited the fathers to dance with their daughters and then to dance
with their escorts.

After the presentation, guests enjoyed dinner followed by an evening
of socializing and dancing. Everyone received a keepsake booklet which
contained pictures and biographies of the debutantes, escorts and the
cross bearers, and also contained congratulatory messages from
families and friends.

***********************************************************************************************************************************************

5-         Armenia Continues Fight Against COVID-19

More than 2.2 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been
administered in Armenia since commencing the vaccination program a
year ago, authorities said on Monday, July 4. For the third week, no
new deaths were reported. Armenia has recorded 423,243 coronavirus
cases. Armenia has recorded 8,629 deaths; 412,661 have recovered.

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Turkish press: Iran says ‘misunderstandings’ with Azerbaijan cleared

Syed Zafar Mehdi   |04.07.2022


TEHRAN, Iran

Iran and Azerbaijan said Monday they are on course to accelerate their bilateral relations after overcoming their “misunderstandings.”  

The announcement was made by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a joint presser with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov in Tehran. 

The top Iranian diplomat said the presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan have met twice in the past ten months, more recently on the sidelines of the Caspian Sea littoral states summit in Turkmenistan, describing the talks between them as "constructive" and "forward-looking." 

In Monday's meeting, Amir-Abdollahian said the issue of territorial integrity of countries, including Azerbaijan, was emphasized. 

He said Tehran reiterates its support for the "peaceful settlement" of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Karabakh region based on the "principles of international law.” 

Karabakh was liberated from the Armenian occupation after almost three decades last year, but Armenia has continued to make territorial claims on the region. 

Amir-Abdollahian reaffirmed Iran's readiness to help resolve the dispute between the two neighboring states through dialogue "based on respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of the two parties." 

The Iranian minister also backed regional formats, saying he agreed during a recent visit to Ankara that a tripartite meeting between Iran, Türkiye, and Azerbaijan at the level of foreign ministers will be held in Tehran, besides an expert-level meeting in the 3+3 format. 

The dates of the two summits, as well as Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's planned visit to Tehran, are expected to be decided during Bayramov's stay in Tehran. 

The two sides, Amir-Abdollahian said, also discussed bilateral economic ties, describing energy and transit as "two key areas of cooperation" between Tehran and Baku, and announcing that Iran's oil minister will be visiting Baku this week. 

The issue of pollution of rivers in Iran's northeastern provinces bordering Azerbaijan also figured in their discussions, with both sides pledging to resolve the issue at the level of experts. 

Bayramov, in his remarks, said relations between the two sides are based on "cultural commonalities,” stressing that meetings between Aliyev and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi have paved the way for the expansion of Tehran-Baku ties. 

He said the two sides discussed expanded economic cooperation, stressing the importance of the North-South corridor as well as the Persian Gulf-Black Sea corridor. 

The top Azerbaijani diplomat said his country seeks normalization of ties with Armenia and has taken steps in that direction by submitting a five-point peace plan as well as proposals of transit between the two countries. 

Bayramov said the reconstruction of liberated lands in Karabakh was Baku's "top priority,” announcing that Iranian companies will be undertaking reconstruction work of a hospital and a school in the region. 

He further said that his government supports Iran's position on regional formats, including the 3+3 format.

Armenian PM receives President of National Endowment for Democracy

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 15:41, 4 July 2022

YEREVAN, JULY 4, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan received American foreign policy expert and the President and CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy, Damon Wilson, the PM’s Office said.

The National Endowment for Democracy is an independent grant-making foundation supporting freedom and democracy around the world. 

During the meeting PM Pashinyan stated that the development and strengthening of democracy is one of the key priorities of the Armenian government, adding that democratic reforms are underway in Armenia in a number of areas. In this context he highlighted the support of the United States and other international partners in strengthening democratic institutions in Armenia.

In his turn Damon Wilson emphasized the commitment of the National Endowment for Democracy to closely cooperate with different Armenian structures towards the development of democracy.

The sides exchanged views also on the opportunities of mutual partnership.

ANCA Senate testimony shines spotlight on Azerbaijan’s ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh, torture of Armenian POWs

In ANCA testimony submitted on June 30th, Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan urged Senate appropriators to allocate $50 million in U.S. aid to Artsakh to help its families “rebuild their lives and resettle in safety upon their indigenous Armenian homeland.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Government Affairs director Tereza Yerimyan shared findings from her recent, three-person ANCA fact-finding mission to Artsakh in testimony submitted this week to the US Senate panel drafting the FY23 foreign aid bill. Yerimyan underscored the longstanding calls for to end all US military aid to Azerbaijan and the delivery of an urgently needed $50 million aid package to Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

“Having recently returned from a fact-finding mission in Artsakh, I can bear witness to the devastating humanitarian impact of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh’s civilian population,” stated Yerimyan. “As many as 100,000 Armenians were displaced. Many schools and hospitals, destroyed during the war, remain in ruins. Countless homes remain uninhabitable. The maternity ward of the state hospital has been rendered completely unusable. In addition to losing at least 70% of their indigenous lands, the Armenians of Artsakh now live upon a landscape littered with landmines and, especially, unexploded ordinance, posing a threat to the daily lives of children and families.”

Yerimyan continued, “Azerbaijan, for its part, continues to illegally hold and abuse Armenian prisoners of war, in contravention of the ceasefire agreement and Baku’s own commitments under international law. During our recent ANCA visit to Artsakh we interviewed a repatriated POW – an 80-year-old female civilian who was captured in her village home, witnessed the beating of her husband, and was tortured herself.”

Yerimyan made the case that Congress should hold the Aliyev regime accountable for the ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh and Baku’s ongoing occupation of sovereign Armenian territory by cutting off all US military aid to its armed forces. She also pressed for a long-term developmental investment in Artsakh, to help its families “rebuild their lives and resettle in safety upon their indigenous Armenian homeland.”

Speaking to the need for increased aid to Armenia, Yerimyan prioritized US aid programs aimed at materially strengthening Armenia’s security and sovereignty in the face of escalating Turkish and Azerbaijani threats.

Senate appropriators are currently drafting their version of the FY2023 foreign aid bill, to be taken up by the committee, likely over the next month.

In May, Yerimyan, ANCA IT director Nerses Semerjian and ANCA Programs director Alex Manoukian were joined by ANC International’s Gevorg Ghukasyan in a week-long fact-finding mission to Artsakh. While there, they worked closely with the ANC of Artsakh, which was launched in September 2021, to focus on protecting the rights of Artsakh’s citizens, securing international recognition of the Artsakh Republic, and restoring Artsakh’s territorial integrity.

The ANCA team discussed Artsakh’s geopolitical challenges with Foreign Minister David Babayan and learned new details about the plight of the 100,000 Armenian refugees forced from their ancestral homes during the 2020 war from Artsakh Republic Minister of Social Development and Migration Armine Petrosyan. Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan discussed the effects of Azerbaijan’s ongoing attacks on border villages and the water and gas challenges facing the Artsakh population. During meetings with Vardan Tadevosyan, the founder and director of the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center, the ANCA team learned more about the life-changing assistance the center provides for soldiers and civilians injured during the 2020 Artsakh War, while working with children and adults with physical and mental disabilities. The ANCA team also met with representatives of The HALO Trust, whose demining efforts have saved countless lives in Artsakh for over two decades, in part through ANCA-supported US assistance.

The ANCA’s Tereza Yerimyan and ANC Artsakh’s Gev Iskajyan on the field with The HALO Trust Artsakh directors and deminers during the ANCA’s May, 2022 fact-finding mission.

In April, Yerimyan submitted ANCA testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, sharing similar pro-Artsakh/Armenia funding priorities. Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee called for $60 million in US aid to Armenia, $2 million for Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) demining and a special report by the State Department and US Agency for International Development to identify humanitarian needs in the aftermath of the 2020 Artsakh war as part of its version of the Fiscal Year 2023 foreign aid bill.

#####

The Armenian American Community & U.S. Foreign Assistance Policy For Fiscal Year 2023
presented by Tereza Yerimyan, Government Affairs Director
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)
for the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Committee on Appropriations, of the United States Senate

Thank you, Chairman Coons, for your strong leadership of this Subcommittee and your long history of support for the national and democratic aspirations of the Armenian nation.

In the wake of Azerbaijan’s ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), and amid Baku’s ongoing occupation of sovereign Armenian territory, we ask this Subcommittee to hold the Aliyev regime accountable by cutting off all U.S. military aid to its armed forces and to help meet pressing humanitarian and developmental needs in Artsakh with a robust assistance package.

Having recently returned from a fact finding mission in Artsakh, I can bear witness to the devastating humanitarian impact of Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh’s civilian population. As many as 100,000 Armenians were displaced. Many schools and hospitals, destroyed during the war, remain in ruins. Countless homes remain uninhabitable. The maternity ward of the state hospital has been rendered completely unusable. In addition to losing at least 70 percent of their indigenous lands, the Armenians of Artsakh now live upon a landscape littered with landmines and, especially, unexploded ordinance, posing a threat to the daily lives of children and families. Azerbaijan, for its part, continues to illegally hold and abuse Armenian prisoners of war, in contravention of the ceasefire agreement and Baku’s own commitments under international law. During our recent ANCA visit to Artsakh we interviewed a repatriated POW – an 80-year-old female civilian who was captured in her village home, witnessed the beating of her husband, and was tortured herself.

As members of this panel know, both Artsakh and Armenia continue to endure the brutal consequences of the unprovoked attack launched on September 27th of 2020 by dictatorial Azerbaijan – backed by its ally Turkey – against democratic Artsakh. USAID has estimated that 90,000 Armenians have been displaced from their ancestral homes, describing their situation as an “acute humanitarian crisis.” Azerbaijan has destroyed countless homes, churches, and hospitals. It has targeted civilians, used prohibited cluster munitions and white phosphorus, illegally detained and abused Armenian prisoners of war, and continues to desecrate Armenian Christian holy sites and cemeteries. Shockingly, Azerbaijan has yet to be held to account. Just the opposite, in fact: Azerbaijan’s oil-rich Aliyev regime continues to receive U.S. military aid under President Biden’s reckless waiver of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act.

Sadly, neither the Trump nor the Biden administration investigated Turkey’s role in Azerbaijan’s aggression, including Ankara’s recruitment of jihadist mercenaries from Syria and Libya to fight against Armenians. Nor has either administration investigated reports of Turkish F-16s having been used in Azerbaijan’s attacks. Closer to home, we have yet to see either the Pentagon or Department of State look into potential violations of U.S. arms export laws related to the discovery of U.S. parts and technology in Turkish Bayrakdar drones deployed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh.

Our specific requests related to the FY23 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill fall into three categories:

1) Aid to Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh):

Through the leadership of this Subcommittee, since Fiscal Year 1998, direct U.S. aid to Artsakh has provided its peaceful inhabitants with maternal health care, clean drinking water, and life-saving demining by the HALO Trust. In the wake of Azerbaijan’s 2020 attack, this aid program must be meaningfully expanded to meet the humanitarian and development needs confronting the families of Artsakh – estimated at well over $250,000,000 – helping them rebuild their lives and resettle in safety upon their indigenous Armenian homeland. In this spirit we ask the Subcommittee to support a long-term investment in Artsakh, and, in order to meet the most urgent needs facing Artsakh, request the following language to be included in the body of this Act:

Of the funds appropriated under this act making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs not less than $50,000,000 shall be made available for global health, humanitarian, and stabilization assistance for the Armenian population in Artsakh:

Refugee Relief: $20,000,000
Housing: $10,000,000
Food Security: $5,000,000
Water/Sanitation: $5,000,000
Healthcare: $5,000,000
Rehabilitation: $3,000,000
Demining/UXO: $2,000,000

2) Azerbaijan

We remain troubled that the Administration – even in the wake of Azerbaijan’s attack on Artsakh – has chosen, recklessly and irresponsibly, to waive Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act. Compounding this misstep, the Administration has – according to the General Accountability Office – officially confirmed that it has demonstrably failed to meet its statutory reporting obligations under this law.

U.S. military aid to Baku – including Section 333 (Capacity Building), Foreign Military Financing, and International Military Education and Training – should not materially add to Baku’s equipment stores, tactical abilities, and offensive capabilities, or free up its state resources for renewed cross-border action against both Artsakh and Armenia. Moving forward, the Administration should strictly enforce Section 907. Congress, for its part, should rescind the President’s authority to waive this provision of U.S. law, and enact statutory prohibitions on any new U.S. military or security aid to Azerbaijan.

We request the following language to be included in the body of this Act:

No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under this Act may be provided to the Government of Azerbaijan for U.S. military or security programs.

3) Armenia

Armenia – an ancient Christian nation deeply rooted in Western democratic values – has, despite the crushing economic impact of Turkish and Azerbaijani aggression and blockades, stepped forward as an ally and partner for the United States on a broad array of complex regional challenges. Armenia is a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace and the Armenian military has been among the highest per capita providers of peacekeepers to U.S.-led deployments, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Kosovo, and Mali.

Moving forward, the U.S. aid program to Armenia should focus on Armenia’s security and sovereignty. As such, we request the following language to be included in the body of this Act:

Of the funds appropriated by this Act, not less than $100,000,000 shall be made available for assistance for Armenia to support Armenia’s security and sovereignty in the face of regional threats from Turkey and Azerbaijan.

We commend the Subcommittee’s commitment to American Schools and Hospitals Abroad, and encourage continued support through this program for the American University of Armenia and the Armenian American Wellness Center. We also ask the panel to prioritize supporting Armenia’s role as a regional safe haven for at-risk refugees.

In closing, we would like to underscore, once again, our urgent calls for robust aid to the Armenian population of Artsakh and a statutory prohibition on U.S. security or military aid to Azerbaijan.

The ANCA, as always, thanks you for your leadership and looks forward to working with the Subcommittee to help save Artsakh, defend Armenia’s sovereignty, strengthen the U.S.-Armenia alliance, and advance American interests and our shared democratic values.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.


Armenia’s Security Council Secretary, Diplomatic Adviser to French Minister of Armed Forces discuss regional security

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 15:32, 29 June 2022

YEREVAN, JUNE 29, ARMENPRESS. Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan met with Vincent Braconier, the Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister of the Armed Forces of France, the Office of the Security Council Secretary said.

During the meeting the sides discussed regional security-related issues and their possible developments, in the context of which Armen Grigoryan presented Armenia’s approaches on ensuring regional security. 

The sides also discussed the bilateral cooperation prospects in security field.

Fallen servicemen’s 10 parents enter Armenia Prosecutor General’s Office building

NEWS.am
Armenia –

Ten of the fallen servicemen’s parents, who are protesting in front of the building of the Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia, have entered the building for the expected meeting with Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan.

Earlier, the Prosecutor General's Office proposed that only two of them enter the building for this talk, but the parents rejected this proposal, and demanded the presence of at least eight parents.

Later, the Prosecutor General's Office stated that ten parents could enter the building—but without the presence of the media and smartphones.

According to the Armenian News-NEWS.am reporter at the scene, these parents have entered the building of the Prosecutor General's Office without smartphones, but demanded the presence of the media.

As reported earlier, a group of relatives of the fallen servicemen are staging a protest in front of the Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia. They want to meet with Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan.

Their demand is that the criminal case filed with the Investigative Committee—and under the Criminal Code article on "abuse of official power, which has caused serious consequences"—be transferred to the National Security Service.

Also, they demand that this criminal case be investigated under the Criminal Code article on "apparent high treason," and that PM Nikol Pashinyan be summoned for questioning under this article.

Discussions on the draft Medium-Term Expenditure Program 2023-2025 summed up

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 18:07,

YEREVAN, JUNE 29, ARMENPRESS. A consultation chaired by Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan took place, during which the draft Medium-Term Expenditure Program (MTEP) 2023-2025 was discussed, ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister.

Minister of Finance Tigran Khachatryan and Deputy Minister Vahe Hovhannisyan reported on summing up the discussions on the MTEP. It was mentioned that the MTEP 2023-2025 outlines the priorities and measures to achieve the targets set by the Government Action Plan, including in the areas of social protection, education, healthcare and other spheres. In this context, the fiscal framework of the MTEP, the forecasts on macroeconomic indicators, the departmental applications within the framework of the expenditure quotas of the MTEP, as well as proposals for supplementary capital expenditure programs for 2022 were presented.

During the exchange of views on the above-mentioned topics, issues related to the implementation of the Government's targets, development programs and other issues were discussed.

The Prime Minister instructed the heads of departments to be consistent so that the current and capital expenditures envisaged by the state budget 2022 are fully implemented.

The discussion of the state budget execution report for the second quarter of 2022 is planned for the near future.

Armenian Memorial Church bids farewell to longtime minister

Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian delivering his final sermon at Armenian Memorial Church, June 26, 2022

WATERTOWN, Mass.—Armenian Memorial Church marked the end of an era on Sunday morning as congregants and members of the community witnessed their beloved minister of almost 19 years lead his final worship service.

“May God bless you and keep you,” proclaimed Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian in Armenian following a singing of the “Hayr Mer” and a Liturgy of Farewell and Release. “May God shine his blessings upon you and bring you peace.”  

Rev. Alex Shea Will leading the congregation in a Liturgy of Farewell and Release, June 26, 2022

And with that final prayer, Reverend Boynerian made his way down from the pulpit of Armenian Memorial Church for the last time. He looked to his proud sons Antranig and Arek in the first pew and his tearful wife Dr. Arpi Boynerian, who followed her husband to the entrance of the church where they would await a lineup of parishioners and well-wishers, eager to embrace and shake hands with their longtime community leaders.  

“Let’s see where God will lead us,” said Reverend Boynerian during an interview with the Weekly in an empty sanctuary weeks ahead of this bittersweet ending. “It is only fair for the church, and it is only fair for us to hear a new voice, and as for me, seed a new congregation.”

While Reverend Boynerian remains undecided about his new field of ministry following his resignation from Armenian Memorial Church, he says this decision was not taken lightly. He and his family are prayerfully and patiently planning their next steps and awaiting God’s new purpose for their lives. During this time, they will be visiting family in Dubai and celebrating the once-postponed 175th anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Armenia. Reverend Boynerian says he is also exploring opportunities to preach in Armenian Evangelical communities in Beirut, Lebanon.

“Ministry is a calling,” said Reverend Boynerian. “We try to discern God’s calling, God’s voice through the Scriptures, through prayer, through colleagues, through friends and family.”  

Reverend Boynerian, who is 64 years old, was born in Aleppo, Syria and moved with his family to Beirut, Lebanon in 1966. A talented soccer player, Reverend Boynerian recalls racing from the pitch to the pew on Sunday mornings to hear the pastor’s message before heading home. When civil war broke out, Reverend Boynerian said he experienced a spiritual awakening during the shellings in October 1978. “I said to God, ‘If I come out of this mess alive, I will do two things: I will commit my life to Jesus, and I will become a minister.’” He said his mother Azniv, a devout Christian and loving mother of eight children who indeed lived up to her gentle and noble name, was the first person to understand her son’s earnest desires to live a life of service to God.

After graduating Beirut’s Near East School of Theology (1986) and Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey (1987), Reverend Boynerian returned to his home country of Syria where he became a notable figure in the Armenian Protestant community, pastoring the Armenian Evangelical Martyrs’ Church in Aleppo for 16 years. As newlyweds, he and his wife Arpi shared a love for the youth and spent quality time with young members and growing families within the Syrian Armenian community, organizing excursions and Christian camps, hosting dinners and soccer games, as well as leading a couples ministry.

Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian, Antranig Boynerian, Dr. Arpi Boynerian and Arek Boynerian

In 2003, the Boynerians, now a young family of four, took heed of God’s call and moved to the United States to shepherd the faithful of Watertown’s Armenian Memorial Church, incorporated in 1915 by a small group of Armenian Protestants from Marash.

“We left our family, and that was a sacrifice, and then we found another family here in this church,” recalled Reverend Boynerian. “We always felt they loved us from day one, and we loved them too.”

A soft-spoken, reserved and compassionate man of faith, Reverend Boynerian has always been a phone call away, offering his time and wisdom in nurturing prayerful relationships with members of this small and loving church. Faithfully serving by his side for almost 35 years has been his loving wife and his spirited counterpart Digin Arpi—the backbone of Reverend Boynerian’s ministry—whose steadfast faith and limitless and uplifting words of encouragement have always reminded congregants and community members alike about the goodness, the power and presence of God.

Rev. Dr. Avedis Boynerian and Dr. Arpi Boynerian

Together, they helped propel the church’s spiritually robust offerings, while continuously mentoring the youth and married couples, just as they did in Aleppo. “I feel it is the church’s responsibility to keep an eye on these families as they go along. Marriage is a commitment, and it is the church’s responsibility to help and teach couples to stand firm on their commitment,” explained Dr. Arpi Boynerian. “The love of Christ always brings people together.”

One of the many defining qualities of Armenian Memorial Church is the generations of families that have kept its legacy alive and supported the church wholeheartedly. Maral Orchanian and her family have been longtime members and dear friends of the Boynerians since their days in Aleppo. She was overjoyed when the young family moved from Syria to the United States 19 years ago. “Our children grew up together, and we grew closer over the years,” shared an emotional Orchanian in her comments to the Weekly. Digin Arpi’s fellowship ministry with the women in the church left a lasting impression on Orchanian. “Arpi led by example to show us what it means to have God’s love in our lives. And Badveli Boynerian kept the Armenian language alive in our church. He is a man of integrity and faith—a testament to our church, our people and our families.”

A transition plan is in place for Armenian Memorial Church. In July, its congregants will travel to neighboring Belmont, Massachusetts for Sunday services at their sister church First Armenian Church, where New Jersey’s Rev. Dikran Youmshakian has been serving as a visiting pastor since August 2019. “You served boldly and joyfully within many different ministries through your church, as well as in collaboration with us, to bring [the] glory and light of the Lord into the hearts of many,” read a social media statement from First Armenian Church, “You will be deeply missed.” 

Then beginning in August, the United Church of Christ and the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America arranged for guest preachers and worship team lay leaders to deliver Sunday sermons at Armenian Memorial Church until the end of the year. A search committee has also been tasked to secure a permanent replacement in Watertown.

“We loved our church. I loved them dearly. I loved them faithfully. I served them wholeheartedly,” expressed Dr. Arpi Boynerian. “But we know that as the Lord calls us to come, He calls us to leave.”

Reverend Boynerian says that while this transition may present its challenges, he believes he is leaving the church in capable hands. “The ministry is done by the members,” he explained. “Because the church is congregational, they already have the training. They have the experience. They have the zeal. I am confident that they will do their best to carry on.”

In helping close a significant chapter of his life on Sunday morning, Reverend Boynerian invited his congregants to share in the singing of his favorite hymn “Great is Thy faithfulness.” “Morning by morning, new mercies I see,” they sang. “All I have needed, thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.”

Assistant Editor
Leeza Arakelian is the assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly. She is a graduate of UCLA and Emerson College. Leeza has written and produced for local and network television news including Boston 25 and Al Jazeera America.