Former Governor George Deukmejian Endorses Ramani For Assembly

Ramani for Assembly
CONTACT: John S. Thomas
Tel: (818) 396-6578
Email: [email protected]


Glendale, May 20-Today the 35th Governor of California, George
Deukmejian, endorsed Sunder Ramani’s candidacy to become the next
Assemblymember in the 43rd District. Deukmejian served as the first
Armenian American Governor and understands that Sunder Ramani would
best represent and work with the constituents of this district.

`Sunder Ramani is an American success story. He is a job creator and
problem solver. Sunder’s business experience and his common sense
approach will help fix the mess in Sacramento. He is simply the best
candidate to represent this district. We need more citizens like
Sunder in public office today,’ declared Governor Deukmejian.

In accepting the Governor’s support, Sunder Ramani said, `To have the
support and endorsement of former Governor George Deukmejian means a
tremendous amount to me and my campaign to become the next
Assemblymember of the 43rd District. Deukmejian’s leadership and
dedication to California is admirable. I am honored to have earned his

Ramani’s endorsement list of other prominent Armenian American leaders
includes: Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian, former Glendale Mayor Rafi
Manoukian, former Glendale Mayor Bob Yousefian, Presidential advisor
Ken Khachigian, Glendale School Board President Greg Krikorian, former
LA County DA Robert Philibosian, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig

Sunder Ramani is a small business owner and former chairman of the
Burbank Chamber of Commerce. He is a longtime community leader in
Burbank and Glendale and currently serves on the boards of the
Glendale Educational Foundation Advisory, Burbank Chamber of Commerce
Executive Board, Burbank Community Foundation, Burbank Healthcare
Foundation and Burbank Rotary. Sunder serves on the board of the
National Federation of Independent Business both in Washington
D.C. and Sacramento. He founded a consulting firm that focuses on
business development for small business enterprises.

IMF: Armenian Economy Is Gradually Reviving

Hasmik Dilanyan

19.05.2010 18:37

"Although the situation is hard, the Armenian economy is gradually
reviving," Head of IMF Mission in Armenia Mark Lewis told a press
conference today.

Armenia may receive $52mln from IMF for improvement of business
climate, he said. The Mission of the Fund has reached agreements
with authorities of Armenia on realizing a three-year program –
"Extended Fund Facility" (EFF) and "Extended Credit Facility" (ECF).

Based on the agreements, IMF Board of Directors will hold discussions
in late June and in case of approval, Armenia may receive additional
credit means at the volume of $52mln.

"The new EFF/ECF program will allow Armenia overcoming medium-term
challenges, and this will contribute to maintaining speeds of economic
revival, strengthening payment balance and will lead to progress in
reducing poverty", Mark Lewis stated.

He noted that the program provides for continuing reforms on improving
tax administration, directed at defending the rights of taxpayers
and improving the business climate. "Tax-budget policy will continue
assisting economic activity, however simultaneously with stabilization
of economy revival speeds, budget deficit will be gradually decreased,
aiming at preserving stability of the state debt," Mark Lewis stated,
expressing confidence that Armenia would manage to fully fulfill its
state debt.

He noted that maintenance of a low level of inflation will remain
one of the basic goals of Armenia’s monetary-credit policy, adding
that following the forecasts of IMF, inflation in Armenia this year
will be within the limit of 6%.

Mark Lewis also said the IMF predicts a 4% GDP growth in Armenia this.

32 Theatrical Groups Submitted Applications For Participating In "Se


MAY 18, 2010

YEREVAN, MAY 18, ARMENPRESS: Thirty-two theatrical groups have
submitted applications for participating in "Seed of Pomegranate"
("Nran Hatik") 10th child-youth theatrical festival. Hasmik Karapetyan,
chairwoman of the organizational committee of the festival, told
Armenpress that the participation of the theatrical groups of Javakhk
and Iran are expected.

BAKU: Azeri Leader, Turkish Premier On Karabakh Conflict


May 17 2010

Baku, 17 May: Armenia should give a response to the proposals of the
co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group which deals with the Karabakh
settlement, [Azerbaijani] President Ilham Aliyev said today at a
news conference following talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan

Either this response will be a positive one and "we will get closer
to a peaceful settlement" or the response will be a negative one and
the negotiating process will be broken, Aliyev continued.

If the response is positive and withdrawal of Armenian troops from
the occupied territories starts, Azerbaijan will open all borders and
communications with Armenia, and this will, on the whole, facilitate
establishment of stability and development in the region, Aliyev went
on to note. Erdogan, in turn, confirmed Ankara’s position that Turkey
would not open the borders with Armenia as long as progress was not
achieved in the Karabakh settlement.

Congressmen Urge Secretary Clinton To Assist Iraqi Armenian Christia


Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

WASHINGTON-Representatives Betty McCollum (MN-04), Frank Pallone
(NJ-06), Adam Schiff (CA-29), and Tim Walz (MN-01) spearheaded a letter
to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging action to ensure the
well-being of Iraqi Armenian Christian refugees in Jordan and Syria.

The letter, which 16 other Members of Congress have signed, urgently
requests U.S. assistance to help resettle Iraqi Armenian Christian
refugees to Armenia. Additional resources from the United States will
allow Armenia to reach more Iraqi Armenian Christians with essential
resources as well as the opportunity to begin a new life in a safe
and secure environment.

According to a recent press release from the U.N. High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR), Iraqi refugees, both inside and outside of
the country, are facing deteriorating conditions while international
concern is slowly declining. The attacks on Iraqi Christian refugees,
in particular, are a constant source of insecurity. UNHCR works to
protect and relocate refuges, while helping them restart their lives
in safer areas. Two years ago, UNHCR-Armenia helped several large
groups of refugees resettle in Armenia.

The Armenian government already made a generous commitment to UNHCR.

This includes the offer of all Iraqi Armenian refugees the opportunity
for citizenship, participation in UNHCR’s Iraqi resettlement program,
and resources to help refugees rebuild their lives. Armenia has
effectively delivered on these commitments over the past two years.

"It is in the interest of the U.S. that Iraqi Armenian Christian
refugees be provided the opportunity to start a new life in safety
and peace," said Representative McCollum, who traveled to Syria and
met with Iraqi refugees in 2006. "The Armenian government’s offer
to receive refugees is very generous, and I believe the U.S. should
provide the humanitarian support necessary to ensure their successful
relocation and integration into Armenian society."

"Life for these refugees is difficult and the assistance provided
by UNHCR provides relief that is critical to these families," said
Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06). "With the commitment of the
government of Armenia and the success that past funds have yielded in
settling refugees in Armenia it is important for us to continue and
increase the funds being allocated to Armenia. I urge our continued
financial support and continued involvement in this pursuit."

"Conditions for Iraqi Armenian Christian refugees are becoming
increasingly desperate at the same time that international support for
the vulnerable population is dwindling," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

"We urge the Obama Administration to commit additional funds to UNHCR
to sustain the momentum we have built to help these refugees resettle
and rebuild their lives in Armenia, providing a cost-effective and
regional solution for families who might otherwise seek resettlement
within our borders."

Below is the text of the letter:

May 14, 2010

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State U.S. Department
of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

We are writing to urge the Obama Administration to make a commitment of
funds to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to assist in
the resettlement of Iraqi Armenian Christian refugees from Syria and
Jordan to Armenia. It is our understanding that the State Department
is in the process of formulating the Administration’s response in
support of UNHCR’s 2010 Global Appeal for Iraq. We feel strongly that
it is essential that an initial and specific U.S.

commitment is made to meeting the needs of Iraqi Armenian Christian

According to a March 30, 2010 UNHCR press release, conditions for Iraqi
refugees both inside and outside of Iraq are becoming increasingly
desperate at the very time that international concern appears
to be fading. "The dwindling media interest in Iraqi refugees,"
the UNHCR says, "is not matched by a decline in the scale of the
problem." With a planned U.S. troop withdrawal by the end of 2011,
dwindling international support for Iraqi refugees, and the campaign
of violence against Iraqi Christians continuing unabated, the U.S. must
fulfill its obligation to this vulnerable population.

As you know, the State Department’s 2008 allocation of $1 million
to UNHCR-Armenia has enabled more than one thousand Iraqi refugees
to begin to rebuild their lives via resettlement in Armenia. It has
been a cost-effective and regional solution for a group that might
otherwise seek resettlement in the United States.

UNHCR’s "Regional Response Plan for Iraqi Refugees" released in
January 2010 identifies hundreds of Iraqi Armenian Christian refugees
registered with UNHCR in Jordan. The number of refugees in Syria,
the primary asylum destination for Armenian Christians fleeing Iraq,
is known to be significantly larger. Of the more than two million
refugees who have fled Iraq, only a small portion, less than 20
percent, have been registered by UNHCR thus far. Since hopes for
successful repatriation and reintegration in Iraq have failed to
materialize it is certain that the need for resettlement of Iraqi
Armenian refugees will persist for the foreseeable future.

It is our understanding that the Government of Armenia has made a
formal commitment to U.N. High Commissioner Antonio Guterres to:
offer all Iraqi Armenian refugees a track to citizenship; formally
participate in UNHCR’s Iraqi resettlement program; and make land and
facilities available for refugees from Iraq to rebuild their lives.

Armenia has, in fact, delivered on these promises substantially over
the last two years.

The U.S. commitment of additional funds to UNHCR will allow UNHCR in
Armenia to extend its assistance to Iraqi Armenian Christians while
allowing for an accelerated resettlement of additional refugees from
Syria and Jordan to Armenia.

Again, we urge the Obama Administration to sustain the momentum of
what UNHCR, the United States, and Armenia have already accomplished
on behalf of Iraqi Armenian Christian refugees.


Betty Mccollum Frank Pallone Adam Schiff Tim Walz Raúl M. Grijalva
Charles A. Gonzalez Michael E. Capuano Gary Ackerman John Conyers
James P. Mcgovern Daniel Lipinski Anna Eshoo Joe Baca Jackie Speier
Bruce Braley Janice Schakowsky Patrick Kennedy Collin Peterson Charles
B. Rangel Michael Honda.

Paros Foundation Newsletter, Spring 2010

Paros Foundation Newsletter, Spring 2010
The Paros Foundation, 918 Parker Street, Suite A14, Berkeley, CA
94710. Contact: Peter Abajian, Tel: 310-400-9061,
E-mail: [email protected]

Representatives Pallone & Speier

On March 30, U.S. Members of Congress Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and
Jackie Speier (D-CA) held a community forum organized by the
Paros Foundation and St. Vartan’s Armenian Church, in
cooperation with the Armenian Assembly’s Northern California
Regional Council. More than 160 people attended and asked a
range of questions on the U.S.-Armenia relationship, affirmation
of the Armenian Genocide and situation surrounding the peace
process and Artsakh.

Ghoghanj Children’s Center Celebrates New Location

On February 27th, Paros Foundation Chairman Roger Strauch, and
Executive Director Peter Abajian joined the teachers, staff,
children, family and friends of the Ghoghanj Children’s Center
to celebrate the opening of their new location.

The Center is well located in a newly renovated space, provided
to Ghoghanj rent-free by The Paros Foundation, at Moskovyan 38,
Apt. 2, in downtown Yerevan.

To watch a bit of the celebration, visit


The Paros Foundation and the Vanadzor Museum of Fine Art is
searching for donors to "Sponsor-A-Sign". Plans to promote the
Museum and encourage visitors through the placement of three
large and several small signs on the major roads in and out of
Vanadzor are approved. Individuals, organizations and businesses
can sponsor the sign project.

For more information contact [[email protected]].

Neighbors Film Project

The Manana Youth Center’s youth film studio’s new project,
Neighbors, won development funds and important recognition at an
event organized by the Golden Apricot International Film
Festival and Anadolu Kultur as part of the Armenia Turkey Cinema
Platform (ATCP).

Neighbors is a full-length documentary film launched with the
support of Royal Norwegian Embassy. The film discusses two
neighboring villages, which are divided by the barbed wire of
Armenian-Turkish Border.

The event was held in Istanbul on April 7-11. The film will be
shown at both the Istanbul International Film Festival and
Golden Apricot in 2011.

Paros Choir to Perform May 24th

The Paros Chamber Choir will perform together with the Symphonic
Orchestra of the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory on May 24th
at 7:00 p.m. at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall in Yerevan.
The group will perform Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi.

For tickets contact: tel. (+37410) 522170 or visit the Concert
Hall box-office.

Miss Beauty 2010

On April 7, in celebration of Women’s Month in Armenia, the
Unison NGO organized its 5th National Beauty Photo Contest of
Women with Disabilities under the slogan "Miss Beauty 2010."
This event is specifically designed to challenge the stereotypes
related to people with disabilities.

This year, 71 women with disabilities, representing all 10
regions of Armenia, as well as Akhalkalaki (Georgia) and Los
Angeles (USA) participated in the contest. The winner of this
year’s contest, Angela Avagyan Miss 2010, is 16 years old and
lives in Stepanavan.

Raffi Hovhannissian, Founder of Zharangutyun (Heritage) Party,
Member of Armenian Parliament commended Unison on this exciting

"These type of events, which became a reality due to your
tireless efforts, have a deep sense and meaning. This is the
best expression of challenging stereotypes and respecting the
principle of non-discrimination and equality."

To get involved and help make a difference, please donate now by
visiting !

About The Paros Foundation

The Paros Foundation works with six organizations in Armenia
involving the arts, children and people with disabilities. These
organizations are recognized as leaders in their respective
fields. Our support comes in the form of organizational
operating funds, office space and operational resources and

The mission is help these modest size projects manage their
growth and attract more financial, human, and physical resources
to their respective causes.

We have built a staff of travelling and in-country resources that
other individuals or organizations may choose to utilize to
implement their project and support their efforts to improve the
quality of life and culture in Armenia.

The Foundation welcomes the involvement of our friends around the
world. Donations to The Paros Foundation, a 501(c)3 private
foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Reckoning With Turkey’s Potential, The West Puts Obstacles In Its Wa

David Stepanyan

2010-05-17 16:44:00

Interview of Secretary of the parliamentary faction of Republican
party of Armenia Eduard Sharmazanov with ArmInfo News Agency

Mr. Sharmazanov, what is your party’s position regarding the future
of the Armenian-Turkish relations after suspension of the Protocol
ratification process by Armenia?

Republican party of Armenia thinks that establishment of relations
between Armenia and Turkey without preconditions has no alternative.

The world changes rapidly, and the open borders between the
neighbouring countries is a requirement of time. The ball is currently
on Turkey’s side of the field and it must be passed sooner or later,
however, Ankara still tries to avoid solution of problems in the
Armenian-Turkish relations. Moreover, Turks do not want to put up with
their own history and keep-on self-deceiving. However, I think that
we shall approach inevitable establishment of diplomatic relations
sooner or later or, at least, understanding of the process necessity by
Turkey. If Turkey actually considers the European values a priority,
it has no other way, and Ankara will turn out to be caught in a
dilemma whether to recognize the way to Europe it declares to be the
only true one or not. I think that Turkey has no alternative. However,
establishment of relations with Turkey at any cost is not a super-goal
for Armenia and RPA. We do not need a Pyrrhic victory, we need just
normal relations with Turkey without preconditions. I think that
those in Ankara must understand that having signed the Protocols one
should not demand from Armenia what these Protocols do not and will
never contain. Armenia’s stance in this issue is extremely clear and
we are ready to be liable for that.

Many authoritative political experts think that it is bad manners to
speak about Turkey’s European prospects, while RPA does not believe
it as before…

Turkey keeps on speaking about the European integration as its
priority. However, actually Ankara acts in a different way. The
latest steps by Ankara in the Armenian-Turkish process and have once
again demonstrated it. Erdogan-Gul-Davutoglu "triumvirate" keeps on
implementing the policy of neoosmanism which is called to turn Turkey
into a regional leader. Actually, Turks have never refused this policy,
even in early 1990s during Turgut Ozal’s times. Moreover, Turks started
making obvious attempts to strengthen their influence in the region
after the August war of 2008 when Erdogan suggested setting up of
the so-called Stability and Security Platform in the region.

After that, problems with Israel appeared, and then Turks suddenly
started protecting Iran. So, it becomes clear that Ankara is not going
to be limited just to the role of an eastern launching ground of the
West, being the greatest NATO country after the USA in a military
aspect. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu’s conception of
foreign policy "zero problems with neighbours" has already ended in
fiasco, as Turkey not only failed to solve the old problems but also
created new ones both for itself and for the regional neighbours by
its destructive actions.

What is the reason for the world superpowers’ desire to see the
Armenian-Turkish border opened?

This desire actually exists, and it is confirmed by the fact that
Turkey is oppressed from all sides. Otherwise it is impossible to
explain appearance of pro-Armenian resolutions in US Congress and
Swedish Riksdag. Some progress appeared even in Israel regarding
introduction of the Armenian Genocide resolution in one of the Knesset
commissions. The hysteria which happened in Ankara in this respect
indicates successfulness of these attempts by the West. It is no mere
chance that Turkey sent a representative delegation to Washington to
prevent achievement of historical truth. The West cannot but treat
Turkey seriously, as the last 300 years of this country’s history
speak volumes. Essentially, Turkey is as serious constituent of our
region as Russia and Iran. Therefore, reckoning with Turkey and its
potential, the West puts obstacles in its way towards achievement of
its goals in the vein of neoosmanism. In due time, the Ottoman Empire,
which used to be spread from Balkans to Africa, had already shown
its capacities to the world, so, the West’s concern is quite clear.

Lately, Turkey, Iran and Kazakhstan show interest in co-chairmanship
in the Minsk Group. How much expedient does RPA consider changing of
OSCE MG meditative format?

Our party thinks that being a country, presiding in OSCE, Kazakhstan
is quite able to contribute to achievement of peace in our region. At
the same time we think that the Minsk Group has not yet run its
course. Negotiations are going on and, consequently, there is no
need to somehow change its format. As for Iran, the Republican party
of Armenia shares the viewpoint of Armenian Foreign Minister Edward
Nalbandyan, according to which Armenia welcomes any assistance by Iran
towards achievement of comprehensive settlement attaching importance to
this country’s role. Moreover, the MP thinks that Iran, unlike Turkey,
has always shown a balanced approach to the Karabakh settlement,
which has been lately displayed by a statement made by this country’s
ambassador to Armenia, according to which Iran actually recognized
the NKR sovereignty. I think that a statement by the ambassador of
such a country like Iran could hardly be a slander.

Everything is simple in case of Turkey: this country’s attitude to the
Nagorno Karabakh conflict is biased, that is expressed in financial,
military and advisory support to Azerbaijan. So, it cannot mediate
in the conflict settlement. In this context, foreign minister of
Russia reflected the situation very clearly when he said that the
format of mediation can be changed just in case of agreement by all
the parties to the conflict. So, it is senseless to speak about it,
taking into account our refusal even to consider such a possibility.

President of Russia is carrying out a visit to Turkey. It is known
that the Karabakh issue will become one of the primary topics at
negotiations. Do you have any concerns or doubts in this regard?

Republican party of Armenia has no special fears and doubts in view of
discussion of the Karabakh problem during Russian president’s visit
to Turkey. On the contrary, Russia is Armenia’s strategic ally and
partner, and it is very clearly reflected in almost all the fields of
interaction of our countries. Moscow’s stances on both Karabakh and
Armenian-Turkish problems are very clear and acceptable for Armenia.

Russia rules out a military way of the Karabakh conflict settlement
and supports peaceful negotiations. As for the Armenian-Turkish
relations, Moscow’s stance was perfectly reflected in the statement by
Russia’s Prime Minister V. Putin, which he made in Erdogan’s presence,
according to which solution of the two problems in one package is
impossible. After that, Russian Ambassador to Turkey complemented
this idea and declared that Moscow is not going to exert pressure
on Armenia and demand withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno
Karabakh. I think there is nothing to add. These countries have many
other interrelated interests to be spoken about during negotiations
between the Russian and Turkish presidents.

Lately, a wave of discussions has suddenly raised in Armenia concerning
the status of Nakhijevan. What is RPA’s stance in this regard?

None of the three presidents of Armenia has made territorial claims
to Turkey yet. I do not rule out that this will not happen in future
either. RPA considers our Republic the motherland of Armenians,
but there is also the historical motherland of Armenians occupying a
territory of 300,000sq/m in the Armenian highland. This territory is a
historical motherland of Armenians like the mountains of Middle Asia
and Altay for the Turkish nomadic tribes. In addition, Nakhijevan,
Idgir, Erzrum and others are still our historical motherland where
the Armenian civilization originated.

Classified Credits Of Ameriabank Make 0.26% Of Its Total Credit Port


May 17, 2010 – 14:29 AMT 09:29 GMT

There are no hopeless credits in the credit portfolio of Ameriabank
CJSC, while its classified credits make 0.26% of the total credit
portfolio. Meanwhile, this index totals 5.6% in the Armenian banking

The press service of Ameriabank reported that the volume of classified
credits totals 0.76% in the joint balance with Cascade Bank. At the
same time, corporate credits and loans total 87% of Ameriabank’s
credit portfolio.

The bank’s credit portfolio totaled AMD 61bln as of March 31,
2010 that is 14% and 87% higher as compared with the beginning of
the year and same period of 2009 respectively. Besides, the bank’s
credit portfolio totaled AMD 63bln as of the end of April 2010, and
the bank’s assets totaled AMD 114bln that is 10% higher as compared
with the beginning of the year.

Armenian National Team Staff Known: Karamyans And Berezovsky Are Not


The Armenian national coachers staff headed by Vardan Minasyan made
the extended member staff of the Armenian football national team
that will play in the Armenia-Uzbekistan match to be held in May 25,
reports local Armenian sports news website.

The web source also mentions that Karamyan brothers and Roman
Berezovsky are not among them.

The match will take place at 8 pm in Hanrapetakan (Republican)
Stadium in Yerevan.

Azerbaijan refuses to recognize Kosovo

Interfax, Russia
May 14 2010

Azerbaijan refuses to recognize Kosovo

BAKU May 14

Azerbaijan will not recognize Kosovo’s independence, the Azeri
president said on Thursday.

"It was an illegal move to unilaterally declare Kosovo independent,"
Ilham Aliyev said, deploring the fact that some countries have
recognized Kosovo.

Aliyev was speaking to reporters after talks in Baku on Thursday with
Serbian President Boris Tadic.

"We have become members of international structures in order to
protect our sovereign rights via international rules and rights. We
also discussed today negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia in
seeking to resolve the [Nagorno-]Karabakh problem," Aliyev said.

"A solution to that conflict must be based on international rules and
the principles of immutability of borders and territorial integrity.

As for the principle of self-determination of nations, the Armenians
have already put that into practice and they have the state of

However, if one follows the logic of the Armenians, if they try to
exercise their right to self-determination wherever they live, several
Armenian states will be set up all over the world," he said.

Nagorno-Karabakh, which is under Armenian occupation today as there
are several Azeri districts bordering it, may be made an autonomous
region within Azerbaijan if Armenian forces leave it, Aliyev said.

"Azerbaijan is a tolerant country and there are equal conditions for
all ethnic groups and religious communities," he said.

Tadic expressed support for Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

"You may count on our help in defending international law in various
organizations. It is a matter of principle. We are completely against
separatists," he said.