Armenia’s Ararat, Russia’s Orenburg Regions Sign Collaboration Agree


May 21, 2010 – 15:15 AMT 10:15 GMT

Russia’s Orenburg region delegation led by governor Aleksey Chernishev
visited RA Ararat region May 21 to sign collaboration agreement in
Avshar Wine Factory.

Regional agreement stipulates for strengthening of business relations,
import and export of local production including wine, cognac, dried
fruit, stoneware, oil products, asbestos, etc.

Upon completion of signing ceremony, Aleksey Chernishev invited RA
Ararat region delegation to pay a return visit to Orenburg.

In 2009, Orenburg-Yerevan product turnover grossed USD 103 thousand,
with imports comprising USD 57,4 thousand, exports -USD 45,6 thousand.

8 Armenian enterprises are currently operating in Orenburg.

BAKU: Moscow To Continue Balancing In Karabakh Conflict Settlement

Leyla Tagiyeva News.Az
May 21 2010

Alexey Vlasov News.Az interviews Alexey Vlasov, director of Moscow
State University’s analytical centre on post-Soviet states.

How can you feature the established situation in the negotiation
process over the Karabakh conflict?

I would call this state a strategic pause. There are many
expectations but there are still no special conditions for their
soonest justification. There are too many subjective factors that
still influence the resolution process.

What do you expect from the upcoming meeting of the foreign ministers
of Azerbaijan and Armenia that must be held under mediation of the
Russian Foreign Ministry?

There are no special expectations but any meeting on this level is a
plus. The dialogue areas on which the negotiation process is supported
on the permanent basis are preserved. Such a format of a dialogue is
especially needed even if it does not bring quick effect.

How would you comment on Russia’s mediation potential for reaching
peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia considering the numerous efforts
that yielded no effect?

The mediation potential is still high but the keys to the final
resolution of the conflict are in Baku and Yerevan. I think Russia
is doing maximal efforts in the situation when it cannot support one
of the conflict parties directly. It means that the balancing will
further be preserved.

Turkey and Iran also tend to contribute as mediators in the Karabakh
settlement. Do they have chances for success in this direction,
considering the fact that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have not
yet reached any success throughout 18 years of their activity?

Any mediation efforts should be welcomed. On the other hand, we
should not expect any serious breakthrough in connection with the
involvement of Ankara or Tehran. Excessive expectations in this case
just hamper the process. But as the addition to Minsk’s Group efforts
Iran’s participation is quite timely as Iran has normal relations
with Armenia.

European Union Hails Political Dialogue With Armenia


May 19, 2010 – 18:20 AMT 13:20 GMT

There was good political dialogue with the Armenian government in
2009, according to the European Commission’s Progress Report Armenia
on implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy in 2009.

It says that "Armenia widely aligned itself with cooperation on foreign
and security policy (CFSP) declarations and is generally very active
in cooperating on CFSP-related issues."

Besides, a regular EU-Armenian Human Rights Dialogue was launched in
December 2009.

The report goes on saying that "Armenia took a major step in regional
cooperation and dialogue with Turkey, resulting in the historic
signature of the two protocols on the establishment and development
of bilateral relations."

"The Armenian authorities and civil society representatives
participated actively in the multilateral framework of the Eastern
Partnership, in particular through open dialogue and their contribution
to the working programs for the four thematic platforms."

The report also refers to Armenia’s steps "taken to address the
internal political crisis following the aftermath of the Presidential
elections in February 2008, including the Amnesty issued in June,
the amendments to the Criminal Code and the publication of the report
by the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Inquiry Committee."

However, the report goes on saying that "the monitoring of trials
related to the March 2008 events identified various shortcomings."

According to the report, "further reforms in the justice sector and
the area of the rule of law will be of key importance."

"Good progress was made regarding improving the legislative framework
in the area of anticorruption," the report reads, adding that "despite
good legislative progress, no reduction of perceived corruption was
reported by international surveys in 2009, demonstrating the need
for effective enforcement in this area."

As for EU-Armenia cooperation, the report says: "The EU and Armenia
agreed to move forward with deepening and broadening of the EU-Armenia
relations. In parallel and within the Eastern Partnership framework
the EU started preparations for upgrading contractual relations
with Armenia. Negotiating directives for an Association Agreement
were adopted by the EU in May 2010. In the framework of the future
Association Agreement, negotiations on a deep and comprehensive free
trade area (DCFTA) will start once the necessary conditions have
been met."

IMF: Pace Of Economic Growth To Be Lower In Developed Countries


May 19, 2010 – 18:41 AMT 13:41 GMT

Chief of the IMF Mission to Armenia, Mr. Mark Lewis said that
the rehabilitation of the world economy will proceed differently,
depending on the region.

"There is a possibility that the pace of economic growth will be
slower in developed countries, as compared with developing countries,"
Mr. Lewis told a press conference in Yerevan.

"As for the global financial sector, which has been deeply affected
by the crisis, the situation has improved here, but has not reached
the pre-crisis level," he said. "Crediting of the private sector has
decreased in various countries, it means that the financial sector
needs assistance."

Besides, Mr. Lewis voiced concern over sharp unemployment increase
in developed countries.

Armenians Of France Urge Senate To Adopt Bill Criminalizing Armenian


May 19, 2010 – 14:53 AMT 09:53 GMT

Around 600 Armenians gathered in front of the French Senate to urge
MPs and senators to approve the bill criminalizing denial of the
Armenian Genocide.

Ara Toranian, new co-chairman of the Coordinating Council of Armenian
Organizations of France (CCAF), and ARF Dashnaktsutyun member Mourad
Papazian called on the Armenian community to stand consolidated so
that France meets its commitments and halts the danger of the Turkish
policy of denial. They voiced hope that the bill will be adopted by the
yearend, freelance French journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN.Net

If passed, the bill envisages a year of imprisonment and a 45-thousand
euro fine.

L. Ananyan: The Project Of The Foreign Language Schools Is A Mine


May 18 2010

Today Levon Ananyan, the head of the Union of the Armenian Writers
expressed his concerns about the suggestion of the Government on
opening foreign language schools in Armenia.

According to him it has become a tradition for us to make noise time
by time, to create problems, then to try to solve them and this when
our country is deep in the problems.

L. Ananyan also informed that the presidency of the Union of the
Armenian Writers has issued a statement which says that "the Union of
the Armenian Writers is against the presented project, as it considers
it imprudent and unacceptable from the point of view of the national
interests and suggests not to present for discussions the document
in the Armenian National Assembly."

According to the speaker during the regular meeting of the young
writers in Tsakhkadzor too the young people were against the
establishment of the foreign language schools.

"The intellectuals refuse the suggested document," he stressed and
added, "This project is a slowly working mine, which is on the basis
of the Armenian education"

Levon Ananyan also reminded the 60-70s when "there was a kind of
war against the mother tongue" and the foreign language schools were
considered elite schools.

Erdoagn And Aliyev At Joint News Conference


Turkey’s PM Recep Tayip Erdogan had a meeting yesterday with
Azerbaijan’s Aliyev and as CNNTurk reported, Erdogan made a statement
after the meeting.

"Our meeting with Mister President targeted our decision to found a
council of Senior Military Cooperation."

Erdogan and Aliyev first had a narrow format meeting and then
the delegations joined them. Erdogan and Aliyev had a joint news
conference, where Turkey’s PM said that on June 7-8 Azerbaijan’s
President is supposed to be hosted in Ankara.

Regarding the Karabakh conflict, Turkey’s PM said he has been informed
Baku approved Minsk Group recommendation made at their previous
meeting, yet Official Yerevan hasn’t given any answer. Ilhaam Aliyev
wanted official Yerevan to approve MG recommendation.

"If Armenia approved the recommendation and takes its troops from
"Azerbaijani lands", Azerbaijan will open its borders with Armenia,
and activities for regional peace and stability would get under way,"
Azerbaijan’s President said.

BAKU: ‘Elections’ In Karabakh Have No Official Status

May 17 2010

Ali Hasanov Chief of the public policy department of the presidential
administration has spoken about the plans of separatists to hold the
so-called "elections".

‘The "elections" held by the separatist regime of Karabakh have no
official status and cannot be recognized on the official level,
said chief of the public policy department of the presidential
administration of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov, while voicing his attitude
to the plans of Nagorno Karabakh separatists to hold the so-called
"parliamentary elections’ on May 23.

‘The Foreign Ministry has already voiced an official protest in
this connection. We have been voicing our negative attitude to the
‘elections’ held there for already many years and we consider that
unless the status of Karabakh is defined and Azerbaijani refugees
return there, the elections held there cannot have any official status
or recognized on the official level’, he said.

According to him, the so-called "parliamentary elections" serve the
internal political interests of the separatist regime.

‘They also deepen the problem of the Azerbaijani state and complicate
the process of return of the Azerbaijani residents to Nagorno
Karabakh’, Hasanov said.

There’s something for everyone at Montebello’s Armenian fair

Whittier Daily News (California)
May 15, 2010 Saturday

There’s something for everyone at Montebello’s Armenian fair

MONTEBELLO – Celebrate and learn something new about the Armenian
heritage at the Third Annual Armenian Food Fair & Fest from noon to 10
p.m. Saturday, May 22 at the Holy Cross Cathedral, 900 W. Lincoln Ave.

Enjoy food, music, dance and other activities. The event will also
feature a variety of intriguing Armenian cultural artifacts and
history, including the Gampr dog, whose breed originated in ancient

There will also be a chance for those in attendance to participate in
group dance instruction, cooking demonstrations, a drum circle and the
backgammon tournament.

The family-friendly festival will also feature a kids’s zone with game
booths, a bouncer, velcro wall and dunk tank.

Many vendors will be on hand to offer festival-goers a unique shopping
experience at a Vernissage Bazaar.

Guests will have the unique opportunity to trace the ancestral
timeline of Montebello Armenian-Americans from the days of ancient
kings to the present.

Ancient history will be reflected through the help of a curator from
the Ararat Home, who will have Armenian antiquities on display from
noon to 6 p.m. at the cultural booth.

Highlights include tapestry, which once belonged to Armenian kings and
an antique belt made by people of Van.

Professor Emeritus Carroll Kearley of Loyola Marymount University,
from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., will autograph copies of his most recent book
of poems, "The Armenian Watchmaker."

The cultural booth will show time-worn video footage of those refugees
who founded the Montebello Armenian-American community.

Finally, there will be an Armenian-themed artwork exhibit created by
the current generation.

Families with children interested in contributing art for display in
the cultural booth should contact [email protected] .

Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

There is a free raffle with paid admission.

For information, schedule of performances, activities and sponsorship,
visit or call (323) 893-9053.

Iran: Brazil and Turkey make new nuclear proposal

Iran: Brazil and Turkey make new nuclear proposal

The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 11, 2010; 7:58 AM

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran said Tuesday that Brazil and Turkey have offered
a promising new proposal for a nuclear fuel deal as Tehran steps up a
diplomatic push to stave off new U.N. sanctions over its disputed
nuclear program.

Tehran has made a series of counteroffers after rejecting a
U.N.-backed plan that offered nuclear fuel rods for a reactor in
exchange for Iran’s stock of lower-level enriched uranium. But they
appear to fall short of Western demands aimed at ensuring Tehran is
unable to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said during a
weekly news briefing that the latest talks with Turkey and Brazil have
produced "a new formula that could pave the ground for understanding."

He didn’t elaborate but said Iran has not accepted any proposal for
sending its low-enriched uranium abroad yet.

The Brazilian and Turkish presidents will travel to Iran next week
following recent visits by their foreign ministers, Mehmanparast said.

Iran also will host a summit of developing countries known as the
Group of 15 next week, with at least eight presidents in attendance,
Mehmanparast said.

Top Iranian officials have been courting Brazil, Turkey and other
non-permanent Security Council members to pre-empt possible sanctions.
Only permanent Council members could veto proposed sanctions, but
strong opposition by non-permanent members could strengthen Iran’s

Brazil and Turkey had no immediate comment on Iran’s announcement, but
both countries have urged further diplomatic efforts to resolve the

Brazil has urged Western nations to negotiate a fair solution with
Iran over its nuclear program and called on Tehran to provide
guarantees that its nuclear program has no military ambitions.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said he would travel
to Iran later this month to "ensure peace in the world, to ensure that
there is a policy of nuclear disarmament in the world."

The call for sanctions stepped up after Iran last year rejected a
U.N.-backed plan that offered nuclear fuel rods to a Tehran reactor in
exchange for Iran’s stock of lower-level enriched uranium. The swap
would have curbed Iran’s capacity to make a nuclear bomb.

Under the U.N. proposal, Iran was to send 2,420 pounds (1,100
kilograms) of low-enriched uranium abroad, where it would be further
enriched to 20 percent and converted into fuel rods. The rods, which
are needed to power a research reactor, would then be returned to
Iran. Sending its low-enriched uranium abroad would leave Iran with
insufficient stocks to enrich further to weapons-grade level.

Iran, which denies any plan for making nuclear arms, has made several
alternate proposals to the West, including one to swap smaller batches
of Iran’s low-enriched uranium.

But the U.S. and its allies say the proposals obviate the goal of
rendering Iran unable to build a nuclear-powered warhead.