Armenian FM’s Washington visit was a ‘fiasco’, analyst says

Armenia –

Political analyst Suren Sargsyan has called the visit of Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan to the U.S. in early May a "complete failure".

"Ararat Mirzoyan failed to raise issues concerning Artsakh's status and its peoples' right to self-determination in Washington. Globally, Mirzoyan's visit to Washington was a fiasco. Now I am going to justify my claims:

1. The 30th anniversary of the establishment of the relations was a serious reason to review and update the agenda of Armenian-U.S. relations, which, however, wasn't done.

2. To mark the 30th anniversary, a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken was arranged. Unfortunately, the meeting was not used to discuss pressing issues on the agenda or to push for an agenda stemming from our interests.

3. Instead, a document on civil nuclear cooperation was signed, which has nothing to do with Armenia's vital interests. It is an American agenda, and the Americans are signing this document with dozens of developing nations.

4. During nearly a dozen meetings, Ararat Mirzoyan didn't raise issues related to Artsakh's status, the recognition of Artsakh's independence and the right of nations to self-determination. As we can see, the American side does in his stead.

5. Speaking about the Congress, don't you know any other congressmen or senators? There are 100 senators and 435 Congress members in the United States. Don't you have a desire to make new friends? Why do you always communicate with the same people?

6. A meeting was arranged with Mirzoyan at the Atlantic Council think tank (don't you know another think tank?) in attendance of only 20 people, including the embassy staff and the official delegation, occupying more than half the room.

7. It was obvious that the Armenian side wanted to “extort” from Washington several important messages for their use in the domestic political arena. In particular, the messages were about the U.S. support for the reforms launched by the Armenian government. All Armenian governments without exception, including Vazgen Manukyan's government, have heard this message. It should be capitalized on and not turned into a domestic political message," the analyst wrote on Facebook on Friday.

Journalists not allowed into Yerevan hotel hosting democracy forum

Armenia –

POLITICS 15:26 20/05/2022 ARMENIA

Reporters covering the ongoing anti-government protests outside the Armenia Marriott Hotel in central Yerevan were denied entry to the hotel hosting the Armenian Democracy Forum on Friday.

Organized by the U.S.-based watchdog Freedom House, the forum addresses, among other things, issues concerning freedom of speech. The hotel building is cordoned off by a large number of police officers.

They denied a request of reporters to be allowed into the hotel to attend the forum.

"We asked the deputy chief of police to convey our request [to organizers], but journalists were not allowed to enter the hotel and take part in the event. It was a very important event for reporters, as issues related to freedom of speech were to be discussed," said Ani Gevorgyan, a journalist for MediaHub.am.

‘F’: Ambassador Tracy Gets Final Failing Grade from ANCA



On the left: Amb. Henry Morgenthau Sr. (U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913-1916), a heroic figure who raised alarm bells – privately and publicly – about the Armenian Genocide and helped launch the Near East Foundation which raised over $2 billion (in current figures) to support victims of Ottoman atrocities. He later devoted much of his professional life to the rights of the Armenian nation. To the right: Current U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy, who has received an “F” rating from the ANCA.

WASHINGTON—After more than three years at her diplomatic post, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Lynne Tracy, has received a final grade of “F” from the Armenian National Committee of America for her consistently poor performance across a broad array of diplomatic metrics.

Ambassador Tracy’s report card from the ANCA

“As I have said previously, the ANCA wants every U.S. Ambassador to Armenia to be successful,” said ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “Sadly, Ambassador Tracy has compounded her silence during the 44-day war with reckless disregard for over 90,000 displaced Artsakh Armenians and Azerbaijan’s ongoing encroachment on sovereign Armenian territory.  Three years into her tenure as Ambassador to Armenia,  Ambassador Tracy has continued to fail on issue after issue – falling far short of the most basic professional expectations of a competent American Ambassador to Armenia.”

The ANCA first gave Ambassador Tracy an “F” rating in December 2020, based on her poor performance in fifteen different issue areas. In the 18-months since this grade was given, Ambassador Tracy has continued to fail across multiple metrics, among them the lack of meaningful U.S. aid to Artsakh refugees, playing favorites among Armenian political forces, further complicating Armenia’s security and regional relationships, and failing to meaningfully address Azerbaijan’s illegal detention, abuse, and murder of Armenian prisoners of war.

Career U.S. foreign service officers, like Ambassador Tracy, usually serve tours of roughly three years before receiving a new diplomatic assignment.  With her time in Armenia already past that mark, the ANCA urges the Biden Administration to reset the U.S.-Armenia relationship on solid footing by nominating a new Ambassador to Yerevan.  The ANCA looks forward to working closely with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to ensure a competent nominee reflecting U.S. values is confirmed without delay.

ANCA Performance Rating for U.S. Ambassador Lynne Tracy

FINAL GRADE: F

Ambassador Tracy’s Performance On Bilateral Issues
— Support for development of U.S.-Armenia strategic relations: F
— Support for expanded U.S. Trade and Investment in Armenia: F
— Support for growth of bilateral U.S.-Armenia military relations: F
— Support for U.S. Millennium Challenge grant for Armenia: F
— Support for U.S.-Armenia Double Taxation Treaty: F
— Support for U.S.-Armenia Social Security Agreement: F
— Support for Congressional delegations to Armenia and Artsakh: D
— Support for Senior U.S. Executive Branch visits to Armenia: F
— Selective support for Armenian civil society groups: D

Ambassador Tracy’s Performance On Regional Issues
Response to Azerbaijan’s attack on Armenia and Artsakh: F
Humanitarian aid for victims of Azerbaijani aggression: D
Re-programmed U.S. assistance for COVID-19 pandemic: D
Humanitarian assistance for HALO Trust Artsakh demining: F

Ambassador Tracy’s Performance On Diaspora Issues
Engagement with the Armenian American community: F
Cooperation with Diaspora humanitarian relief efforts: D
Support for the century-long U.S.-Armenian friendship: F

17 coronavirus cases confirmed in Armenia in one week

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 12:54,

YEREVAN, MAY 16, ARMENPRESS. 17 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Armenia in the period from May 11 to 16, the ministry of healthcare said.

The total number of confirmed cases has reached 422,917.

8934 COVID-19 tests were conducted in one week.

Over the past week, the number of recovered patients rose by 21 (412,071 total).

No death case has been registered during the past week. The death toll stands at 8623.

Russian aviation agency extends restrictions on flights to eleven airports until May 19

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 11:38, 12 May, 2022

YEREVAN, MAY 12, ARMENPRESS. The Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport has extended restrictions on flights to 11 airports in the southern and central part of the country until 3:45 am Moscow time May 19, 2022, TASS reports citing the agency’s statement.

The restrictions concern the airports of Anapa, Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Gelendzhik, Krasnodar, Kursk, Lipetsk, Rostov-on-Don, Simferopol, and Elista.

“Russian airlines are recommended to carry passengers by alternative routes using the airports of Sochi, Volgograd, Mineralnye Vody, Stavropol, and Moscow. The remaining airports of the Russian Federation operate as normal”, the agency added.

Russia closed part of its airspace in the country’s south for civil aircraft on February 24 amid the special military operation in Ukraine.

Mirzoyan presents Armenia’s position on NK conflict settlement to CIS Foreign Ministers

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 13:58,

YEREVAN, MAY 13, ARMENPRESS. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan participated in the session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the CIS participating states in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe, the ministry said in a news release.

During the extended-format session the CIS foreign ministers exchanged views about the issues of mutual interest relating to regional and international agenda, touched upon the opportunities of strengthening the mutual partnership within the CIS. The further activity directions of the organization were also discussed.

During the session the Armenian FM also touched upon his meeting with the Russian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers on May 12, expressing hope that it will be a step towards establishment of peace and stability in the region. Mirzoyan reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to the implementation of the agreements reached by the 2020 November 9, 2021 January 11 and November 26 statements.

FM Mirzoyan also presented the position of the Armenian side over the comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and in this respect highlighted promoting the peace process under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship.

The CIS Foreign Ministers observed the report on the 2021 multi-level consultation plan between the CIS foreign ministries. The decision on granting “Silk Road” International University of Tourism a status of a base organization of the CIS participating states in tourism sector and other documents were agreed upon. A decision was also made about the CIS Youth Capital international project which aims at boosting the cooperation of the CIS states towards creating conditions for promoting youth potential.

Court rejects request to arrest police officer involved in deadly car crash in Yerevan

Panorama
Armenia –

The Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction has rejected a motion to arrest a police officer whose car struck and killed a young pregnant woman while escorting Nikol Pashinyan’s motorcade in Yerevan.

The 29-year-old woman, Sona Mnatsakanyan, was hit by a police SUV while crossing a street in central Yerevan on April 26. Its driver, Aram Navasardyan, did not stop after the accident to help the victim.

Raffi Aslanyan, a lawyer representing the victim’s family, could not provide any information on the court decision, saying they had learned of it from media reports.

He found it difficult to say on what grounds the court had rejected the motion for arrest. "However, the failure to arrest the man from the beginning and charge him for fleeing the scene as well as taking action only after 15 days most probably led to such a decision,” he told Panorama.am.

Raffi Aslanyan reiterates that the aggrieved party will consistently strive to ensure that the criminal case goes to trial.

Armenian community meets with Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan

Artin Melkomian, Levon Kazarian, Ani Kocharyan and Manuel Sardaryan – UC Irvine ASA; ANCA-OC chair Violet Bulujian; Charlie and Annie Vas – Daughters of Vartan; Nishan Dulgarian – Knights of Vartan; AYF OC “Ashod Yergat” Chapter member Karine Codilian; Ani Sarkissian and Sogher Wartan, Ari Guiragos Armenian School students.

IRVINE, Calif. – Members of the Armenian American community of Orange County met with Mayor Farrah Khan and the City Manager on May 9th following a widely circulated video of Mayor Khan with well-known genocide deniers. In response, many constituents sent letters and emails, called the City of Irvine and attended a City Council meeting on April 12th.

Mayor Khan confirmed that all genocide deniers, including both Ergun Kirlikovali and Erkan Demiragci, have been removed from her advisory committee, and none are on any city council commission or committee. She also said that she no longer associates with genocide deniers.  

Following much discussion about the genocide education program, Mayor Khan stated that she will reach out to Cyril Yu, trustee of the Irvine Unified School Board, to lead the effort to coordinate and support the training of Irvine Unified School District educators by The Genocide Education Project.

Mayor Khan affirmed that a permanent Armenian Genocide Memorial can be erected in the city of Irvine and agreed to work with the community to achieve this. During its April 12th City Council meeting, the city of Irvine proclaimed April 24 of every year to be a day of remembrance for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Armenian National Committee of America-Orange County (ANCA-OC) welcomed the mayor’s eagerness and intent to work with the Armenian community and plans to follow up on her promises. In addition, ANCA-OC intends to make sure that the city of Irvine writes to President Biden in support of humanitarian aid to Armenians of Artsakh along with enforcing section 907 to stop military aid to Azerbaijan. Advocates also want a second letter be sent to the Azeri Consul General demanding the release of the Armenian POWs still being held following the 44-day war of 2020.

ANCA Orange County is a grassroots organization advocating for social, cultural and political interests of Armenia and the Armenian-American community.


Secy. Blinken Signs Memorandum On Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation With Armenian Foreign Minister

May 3 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan signed a memorandum of understanding on strategic civil nuclear cooperation.

Blinken welcomed Ararat Mirzoyan to the State Department Monday, where he said the memorandum opens new paths for cooperation and may strengthen bilateral ties. The two also spoke about improving defense ties and fighting corruption in Armenia among other issues.

Blinken noted, Armenia is going through “challenging times,” but said the nation has a true friend and partner in the US. He went on to praise the country’s government.

“I just want to take this opportunity as we’re sitting here to, in the first instance, praise the leadership of the prime minister and his government, the democratic reforms that they’ve been pursuing, the the progress that continues to be made,” he stated. “But also to very much welcome the dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Armenia’s foreign minister thanked Blinken for the nation’s support for Armenia’s nuclear energy sector and noted this year mark’s 30-years of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

https://www.oann.com/secy-blinken-signs-memorandum-on-strategic-civil-nuclear-cooperation-with-armenian-foreign-minister/