Russia hopes for peaceful resolution of the situation in Armenia

Chairwoman of the Russian Council of Federation Valentina Matvienko hopes the situation in Armenia will be resolved peacefully.

“We are closely following the developments and hope that the issue will be solved in a peaceful way through negotiations between the authorities and the protesters,” Matvienko told reporters today.

She voiced hope that the “Armenian authorities will handle the situation, which is an internal affair of Armenia.”

The Speaker stressed that Armenia is a friendly country of Russia, a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and “Russia cannot stay indifferent to the developments in Armenia.”

Armenia deeply concerned about ongoing clashes in Syria: FM Nalbandian says in Damascus

“We are deeply concerned about the ongoing clashes in Syria, the humanitarian crisis and the disasters resulting from the terrorists’ operations here,” Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said, speaking at a joint press conference in Damascus with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem.

He said Armenia has, since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, constantly raised the issue of prohibiting support to the terrorists and the need of finding an immediate solution to the situation in the Middle East, at various international forums.

“We will continue to keep these issues at the center of the international community’s concerns,” he added.

Nalbandian noted that his visit to Syria this year in particular bears a symbolic meaning, as a hundred years ago the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against a million and a half Armenians.

“The Syrian deserts became the last refuge for the hundreds of thousands of Genocide victims. The Syrian people extended a helping hand to our compatriots that escaped the Genocide. For them Syria became a refuge and a second Motherland,” Minister Nalbandian noted.

“Impunity results in new crimes, evidences of which are the cruel crimes terrorists commit today. We are witnessing new brutality and barbarism, which force millions of Syrians, including thousands of Armenians to become displaced again,” he said.

The Minister said that even the Armenian Genocide Martyrs’ Memorial Church in Deir Ez-Zor, which housed the remains of genocide victims, didn’t escape the barbaric crimes of extremists, forming a symbolic link between the crimes against humanity of the past and of the present.

Nalbandian asserted that the condition of civilians in Syria, including Armenians and other minorities, is an issue of great and constant concern for his country, thanking the Syrian authorities for the care they have shown for Armenians and their cultural heritage.

Minister Nalbandian said “we are confident it’s possible to overcome the crisis and establish peace by topping the violence and starting a constructive dialogue that will take into consideration the interests of all  parties, all Syrians.”

Dortmund want to keep Mkhitaryan, says Zorc

The Armenia international forward’s future has been the subject of speculation of recent weeks but the BVB sporting director has no intention of selling him, reports.

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc says that he wants to keep Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the club this summer

His future has been the subject of persistent speculation in recent months, with many reports stating that Dortmund will look to offload him, but Zorc is keen to see him stay put.

“He still has a contract until 2017,” he told Kicker.

“We’ve never said that we want to sell him.”

Former Turkish President and coup leader Kenan Evren dies

Former Turkish President Kenan Evren died on Saturday at the age of 97, the BBC reports.

On 12 September 1980 General Evren launched a coup that overthrew the government. He went on to serve as president until 1989.

He was put on trial in his nineties and was handed a life sentence for the coup in 2014.

Some 600,000 people were detained and 50 executed by hanging in the coup. All political parties were banned, with left-wing activists heavily targeted.

The former president died at a hospital in Ankara.

He had been in ill health since 2012 and was unable to appear in court when convicted.