Karabakh foreign minister pessimistic about future of Karabakh talks

Karabakh foreign minister pessimistic about future of Karabakh talks

Interfax news agency, Moscow
4 Apr 04


The authorities of the self-proclaimed republic of Nagornyy Karabakh
are not expecting any progress in the peace process.

“Negotiations now have more obscure prospects, and are more
unpredictable,” Nagornyy Karabakh’s foreign minister Ashot Gulyan has
told Interfax.

“The Karabakh problem is not so important today for Azerbaijan’s
current authorities. This is clear from statements of [President]
Ilham Aliyev, who has suggested starting the negotiations from
scratch, effectively rejecting even what was achieved by his father,”
Gulyan said.

“The Azerbaijani authorities are not serious about the mediating role
of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is confirmed by Baku’s recent refusal
to attend a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers,
which was supposed to take place in Prague on 29 March,” he said.

“I think that they simply had nothing to say either to the mediators
or partners in the peace process,” Gulyan said.

BAKU: Meeting at the cabinet of ministers

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 29 2004

[March 29, 2004, 23:05:44]

Primer Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizadeh received Chairman of
the Russian State Duma Boris Gryzlov and members of the Russian

Welcoming the guests, the Prime Minister expressed confidence that
the visit would become one more impetus for expanding Azerbaijan
-Russian relationship. After election of Vladimir Putin as Head of
the Russian State, he said, the bilateral relations between out two
countries have been brought up to a qualitatively new level. Mr.
Artur Rasizadeh pointed out rapidly developing economic cooperation
is, and growing commodity turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia.
Speaking of the economic reforms being carried out in the country and
progress achieved in this sphere, the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan
noted that the unsolved Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over
Nagorno-Karabakh remains as the main problem of the country. He
showed on the map the regions occupied by the Armenian armed forces.

Afterwards, the parties have exchanged views on the issues related
development of relations between the two countries, and combat
against separatism.

Present at the meeting were Deputy Vice-Premier Abbas Abbasov,
Vice-Speaker Ziyafat Alasgarov and Ambassador of Russia to Azerbaijan
Nikolay Ryabov.

Comprehensive social services center opens in Vanadzor

March 29 2004


VANADZOR, MARCH 29, ARMENPRESS: UN Coordinator and UNDP Resident
Representative, Lise Grande, USAID Armenia Mission Director, Keith
Simmons, labor and social affairs minister Aghvan Vardanian, Lori
governor Henrik Kochinian, other officials and dignitaries attended
today the inauguration of the first Social Services Center Under One
Roof in Vanadzor, the capital of Lori. Addressing the present,
minister Vardanian expressed hope that after a successful test such
centers will be established in other Armenian regions as well.
The Center that hosts offices of five various social services- the
regional and territorial social security offices, the government-run
social security Fund, territorial employment centers, a medical
examination commission as well as a representation of 31
non-governmental local organizations, became possible thanks to
collaborated efforts of the UNDP and PADCO organization.
From now on the residents of Vanadzor will have not to travel from
one agency to another to seek solutions to their diverse social
problems. The Center, run by a trained staff is equipped with modern
computers and other devices to facilitate the process of paper
processing apart from a variety of booklets and guidebooks to help
applicants seek the required information.
Another peculiarity is application of modern software allowing
speedy online information exchange among offices, housed by the
High-ranking officials visited also a local charity canteen and
departed then to the village of Dsekh that is going to have what is
known as Family Doctor.

Baghdasarian gets ready for travel to Italy

March 23 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 23, ARMENPRESS: Armenian parliament chairman,
Arthur Baghdasarian, met today with Italy’s ambassador to Yerevan,
Marco Clemente, to discuss the details of his upcoming visit to
Italy. Mr. Clemente was quoted by parliament press office as saying
that a great deal of preparation work has been done to welcome
Baghdasarian and that a parliamentary Italy-Armenia friendship group
is being formed at the initiative of its lower chamber’s chairman.
Baghdasarian is scheduled to have a series of meetings with senior
Italian officials t discuss the entire scope of bilateral relations.
The Armenian delegation will visit, as part of its itinerary, Toscana
and Friuli Julia Venezia provinces.

Azeri, Armenian FMs to meet with Minsk group on March 29

March 23 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 23, ARMENPRESS: Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign
ministers, Vartan Oskanian and Vilayat Quliyev will meet on March 29
in Prague with the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs from USA, France and
Though the agenda of the meeting is not specified, but according
to an Armenian foreign ministry spokesman, Hamlet Gasparian, “the
Minsk group is supposed to convene the meeting to specify some issues
between the ministers and co-chairs.” He said the frames of to be
discussed questions will be clear only after the meeting.

Antelias: Mid-Lent

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Mid-Lent ceremony at Sourp Neshan
Mother church in Beirut, Lebanon

Antelias, Lebanon – On the occasion of mid-Lent (Michink), His Holiness
Aram I, invited by the primate of the Armenian Diocese of Lebanon Bishop
Kegham Khacherian, presided over a Sunrise ceremony (Arevakal) in Sourp
Neshan Mother church in Beirut, Lebanon, 17 March 2004, with the presence of
Seminary students, who performed Armenian Church hymns.

Mid-Lent coincides with the 20th day of Lent, a 40-day period of penitence
and fasting observed from Ash Wednesday to Easter by many churches.

Present for the Sunrise service were members of the Cilician Brotherhood,
prelates of the Canadian, Eastern, and Western Prelacies, and also
representatives of their Lay Councils, and faithful.

Following the church service and the welcoming remarks of the Primate of
Lebanon, His Holiness delivered a speech. His Holiness said: “The Light of
our Christian faith must be reflected in the life of every Armenian
faithful”, taking his theme from one of the hymns of the Sunrise service
which praises Christ, the source of Light with the words “Let your rational
Light dawn within us”. His Holiness went on to say, that “this rational
Light must shine forth within the Armenian Church, within the Armenian
family and within our Armenian fatherland”.

Following the church service, the Board of Trustees and the Ladies’
Auxiliary hosted a traditional luncheon in honor of His Holiness Aram I.


View printable pictures here:

The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and
the mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.


ASBAREZ Online [03-18-2004]


1) Kocharian Asks for Resoluteness, Appoints New Prosecutor-General
2) Javakhk Armenians Concur with CE Secretary General, Request Meeting
3) Ajaria Blockade Ends, Stability Restored
4) Armenia At Last Formally Protests British Envoy’s Genocide Denial

1)  Kocharian Asks for Resoluteness, Appoints New Prosecutor-General

YEREVAN (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–President Robert Kocharian expressed on Thursday
his dissatisfaction with the performance of Armenia’s Office of Prosecutor as
he introduced the country’s newly appointed Prosecutor-General.
Kocharian said the role of the law-enforcement agency has diminished somewhat
under the previous Prosecutor-General Aram Tamazian who was relieved of his
post on Wednesday. “Compared to other law-enforcement bodies, the prosecutor’s
office has experienced a certain decline in terms of its place and
significance,” he was quoted by his press office as telling senior
Calling on prosecutors to be more active and resolute in combating crime and
government corruption, he asked them to keep in mind the interests of the
nation, and spare no efforts to preserve investment activity in Armenia, that
has already produced solid economic results.
In introducing the new Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian, Kocharian
him as “professional, firm, and principled.”
Hovsepian, who served as prosecutor-general from 1998-99, was forced to resign
along with the ministers of interior and national security in the wake of the
October 1999 killings in the Armenian parliament.
Kocharian explained that Hovsepian had been forced to resign for purely
political reasons. “I think that [his appointment] is also a restoration of
justice,” he said.
In conclusion, the President emphasized that the Prosecutor’s Office is a body
approved by the Constitution and should assume its responsibilities
thoroughly.  “I expect more decisive work from the newly appointed Prosecutor
and you,” the leader of the country underscored. “There is a [anti-corruption]
program approved by the government, that features a quite important role to
office. We expect more resolute work from the new prosecutor.”

2) Javakhk Armenians Concur with CE Secretary General, Request Meeting

AKHALKALAKI–Representatives of Javakhk Armenian Non-Governmental
(NGO), have expressed full agreement with Council of Europe (CE) Secretary
General Walter Schwimmer’s calls for a decentralized structure in Georgia, and
increased authority to regional and local authorities.
“In recent months, we have appealed to the highest authorities of Georgia,
fully supporting certain constitutional reforms that ensure Georgia’s
sovereignty and integrity, while establishing a confederate structure,” the
NGOs stated in a March 11 letter to the Secretary General, which was presented
to the CE Information Office in Tbilisi on Wednesday.
During his most recent formal talks with President Saakashvili and other
Georgian authorities in late February, Schwimmer advocating a decentralized
structure for Georgia, said. “Of course, this means that Council of Europe
standards with respect to the rule of law, human rights and pluralist
have to be implemented at all levels.”
Javakhk’s NGOs, pointing to violations of the Georgia’s constitution, said
the region has been deprived of fundamental human and ethnic minority rights
that are not only guaranteed by the Constitution and affirmed by international
standards, but also necessary for establishing a democratic and civil society.
“In fact, the process of fulfilling the country’s commitments to the
Council of
Europe has failed. Rejection of the constitutionally-guaranteed principle of
self-governance has left many regions of the country to their fate, resulting
in current dangerous developments,” the NGOs stressed.
In closing, the NGOs request a meeting with Schwimmer, and state that only a
“civilized resolution” to the deep crisis will clarify the region’s
administrative borders, and grant autonomy by way of the constitution.

3) Ajaria Blockade Ends, Stability Restored

BATUMI (Eurasianet)–Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili on March 18
the lifting of an economic blockade against the renegade region of Ajaria. The
announcement followed direct talks between the president and Ajarian leader
that resolved “all the questions” that had prompted an armed standoff over the
past four days, according to Saakashvili.
Saakashvili’s face-to-face meeting with Abashidze in Batumi lasted over three
hours. Saakashvili seemed to be in a buoyant mood following the
discussions. “I
believe we have achieved full mutual understanding,” he said. A terse
Abashidze, meanwhile, concurred that “all the disputable issues have been
Georgia imposed measures that sought to economically isolate Ajaria following
an incident March 14, in which Ajarian border guards prevented Saakashvili’s
motorcade from entering the region. Georgian security forces retaliated by
sealing the port at the Ajarian capital of Batumi. In addition, Tbilisi had
brought a halt to all banking activity in the region.
Saakashvili’s chief demands for ending the blockade were: unimpeded access by
central government officials to the territory, central government oversight
over tax and customs revenue collection in the region, and a guarantee of a
free and fair parliamentary campaign and election on March 28.
Ajarian leader Aslan Abashidze has doggedly tried to preserve broad autonomous
powers, specifically control over locally generated revenue. Abashidze has
likewise attempted to maintain tight control over Ajaria’s political
environment, fearful that free elections would break his tight grip on power.
In recent weeks, opposition political activists have endured physical attacks
and other forms of harassment at the hands of Abashidze loyalists.
According to a Rustavi-2 television report, in return for the lifting of the
economic blockade, Abashidze acknowledged the central government’s right to
“impose control over customs, the port and all strategic offices.” The Ajarian
leader also pledged to allow competitive elections and “provide freedom of
speech on the territory of the Ajarian autonomous republic.” In addition,
Abashidze is to be held personally responsible for disarming armed bands of
Ajarian citizens that had been mobilized in recent days.
While clearly happy with the results, Saakashvili cautioned that Abashidze
would be judged on the implementation of the points of agreement. Initial
indicators showed that the March 28 parliamentary could prove a source of
ongoing tension. After his meeting with Abashidze, Saakashvili went to the
headquarters of a major regional opposition movement, Our Ajaria. Abashidze
supporters reportedly restricted access to the meeting, preventing some
opposition activists from attending, Rustavi-2 reported. In addition, regional
television, which is controlled by Abashidze, did not report on the meeting.
Pressure on Abashidze to hold a fair election is not coming solely from
Tbilisi. Prior to the announced ending of the economic blockade, Georgian
officials revealed that Council of Europe Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer
had telephoned Abashidze, urging the Ajarian leader to provide for an open
campaign environment.
For the moment, Saakashvili seemed sufficiently satisfied that the Ajaria
crisis has been defused that he left the country, flying directly from Batumi
to Slovakia to attend an international conference on European Union
One of the main goals of Saakashvili’s presidency is the reestablishment of
Tbilisi’s authority over all of Georgia’s territory. Indeed, prior to his
arrival in Batumi for the talks with Abashidze, Saakashvili stated that his
“responsibility before the history of Georgia means that I must unify
The apparent outcome of the Ajaria crisis marks a quantum leap by
administration towards fulfillment of the unity goal. Of course, the two most
difficult stumbling blocks to reestablishing the territorial integrity of
Georgia–political settlements to the Abkhazia and South Ossetia
likely to prove far more difficult to resolve than did the Ajaria question.

4) Armenia At Last Formally Protests British Envoy’s Genocide Denial

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia has sent a diplomatic note to Britain protesting its
ambassador to Armenia’s inflammatory remark that the 1915 slaughter of more
than one million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey was not a genocide, a spokesman
said on Thursday.
Ambassador Thorda Abbott-Watt’s explicit denial of the genocide, voiced at a
meeting with students last month and reiterated afterwards, has caused an
uproar in Armenia and especially the Diaspora. She has been bombarded with
angry letters over the past two weeks, condemning her and demanding an
Abbott-Watt argues that her comments reflect the position of the British
government which does not recognize the mass killings as genocide. “I am sorry
that my Government’s position on how we refer to the events of 1915-16 causes
you personal distress,” she replied to an Armenian-American critic by e-mail
last week.
There have also been calls for the Armenian government to seek the envoy’s
expulsion from Armenia. But both President Robert Kocharian and the Foreign
Ministry have ruled out that option. The ministry spokesman Hamlet Gasparian,
said Yerevan can only “regret such a position.”
“Such issues are better dealt with through diplomatic channels, not publicly,”
Gasparian said in a statement. “As in the past, this time, too, the
expressed their position to the UK government with a diplomatic note.”
“Of course each country has its position on this matter, based on its own
strategic interests. However, the ambassadors of those countries to Armenia
should approach such a sensitive issue with great caution and sensitivity.”
In February 2002, the Foreign Ministry protested to Israel over its Ambassador
Rivka Kohen’s similar denial of the genocide. Kohen had told reporters in
Yerevan earlier that what happened to the Armenians was just a “tragedy” that
should not be compared to the Jewish Holocaust. Yerevan’s reaction was more
strongly-worded at the time.
It is not the first time that the current British government’s handling of the
sensitive issue comes into question. Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet faced
domestic protests in January 2001 when it attempted to exclude Armenians from
official ceremonies marking Britain’s Holocaust Memorial Day. It caved in
pressure from prominent public figures and media.
“The Daily Telegraph,” the UK’s best-selling broadsheet newspaper, referred to
the events of 1915 as “the first genocide of the modern era.” “Britain stands
firm among a dwindling band of nations that fail to acknowledge the massacres
were genocide,” another leading London daily, “The Guardian,” wrote in a
lengthy article on the subject.
Ironically, the British statesmen’s First World War-era accounts have been a
major source of reference for the Armenians in their campaign for
recognition of the genocide. The Armenian Genocide Museum in Yerevan, for
example, has a plaque dedicated to Lord James Bryce, whose 700-page Blue Book,
a collection of evidence of the massacres, was published by the British
Office in 1916.

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ARKA News Agency – 03/16/2004

ARKA News Agency
March 16 2004

Forum dedicated to international Women Month to take place on March
19 in Yerevan

ArmenTel tries to evict largest provider of Armenia Arminco Company
from the market

RA Deputy Foreign Minister receives the Ambassador of Ghana to

Armenian PM releases Martun Matevosyan from position of Yerevan Vice



YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. Forum dedicated to International Women
Month will take place on March 19 in Yerevan, US Embassy to Armenia
told ARKA. The forum will discuss the role of women in such spheres
as international relations, politics, business, mass media and
legislation. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. Armentel tries to evict largest provider
of Armenia – Arminco Company -from the market, Director General of
Arminco Global Telecommunications Andranik Alexanian stated today. He
said that Armentel does not create conditions for development of IT
sector and prevents the one who wants to do it. Alexanian stressed
that Armentel sent official letter to Arminco stating that the
infrastructures created by the provider are illegal. `If Armentel
does it deliberately it means that the company damages us on
purpose’, he said. He added that Arminco plans to build its own cable
through Mehri to Georgia to avoid communication with Armentel.
Joint Russian-Armenian Company Arminco Global Telecommunications was
founded in 1991. 80% of the shares belongs to Armenian party.
The Armenian Government took decision on 8 September 2003 to deprive
ArmenTel company of its monopoly license on mobile services and
The Greek telecommunication company OTE obtained through an
international tendering 90% of shares of the telecommunication
company ArmenTel for USD 142.42 mln in the end of 1997. The rest 10%
of shares belong to the Armenian Government. According to the
agreement terms signed by the Armenian Government, ArmenTel was
awarded monopoly rights in the telecommunications sphere for the
period of 15 years. According to the agreement, OTE has undertaken a
commitment to invest in the Armenian telecommunication network USD
200 mln during the first five years. L.D. -0 –



YEREVAN, March 16. /ARKA/. RA Deputy Foreign Minister Tatul Margarian
received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ghana to
Armenia Francis Yahaya Mahama (residence in Moscow), RA NA told ARKA.
The parties noted the necessity of stimulation of links and
development of cooperation between Armenia and African countries and
the role of Ghana in this issue. Margarian expressed hope that the
relations of the countries will receive new stimuli during diplomatic
activity of newly appointed Ambassador.
Yahaya Mahama in his turn stressed the interest of his country in
establishment of multilateral relations with Armenia. He noted the
importance of direct contacts between the businessmen of the two
countries. L.D. –0 –



YEREVAN. March 16. /ARKA/. The decree by the Armenian PM Andranik
Margarian released Martun Matevosyan from the position of Yerevan’s
Vice Mayor, as ARKA News Agency was told in the Armenian Government
Apparatus Public Relations and Press Department. T.M. -0–

Two arrested in alleged sale of body parts at UCLA

Two arrested in alleged sale of body parts at UCLA

The Associated Press
March 8, 2004, Monday, BC cycle


Two people, including the man who oversees the cadaver program at the
University of California, Los Angeles, have been arrested in
connection with the alleged theft of body parts from the school.

Henry Reid, director of the UCLA program that makes donated bodies
available for medical education and research, was arrested Saturday
for investigation of grand theft for allegedly selling corpses and
body parts for profit.

Reid, 54, who was hired in 1997 to improve the school’s record keeping
of the donated cadavers, was released on $20,000 bail. He has declined
to comment.

On Sunday, Ernest Nelson was arrested for investigation of receiving
stolen property, according to a university statement. The school said
Nelson was not a UCLA employee. Nelson, 46, was jailed on $30,000

Authorities would say little about the case, but Nelson told the Los
Angeles Times that for six years he acted as a “middle man” who would
retrieve body parts from the UCLA Medical School’s freezer and sell
them to large research companies. He said he did so with the knowledge
of UCLA employees, including Reid.

“I call one of the most prestigious universities in the world, their
director gives me the protocol, I follow that protocol and they charge
me with receiving stolen body parts?” the Times quoted Nelson as

UCLA attorney Louis Marlin denied that other school officials were
involved. He said Nelson paid for the body parts he took with
cashier’s checks made out to Reid.

The university planned a news conference on Monday.

UCLA planned to seek felony charges against Reid, said Nancy
Greenstein of the university police department.

Former Gov. George Deukmejian agreed Friday to oversee a reform of the
program, which was one of the first in the nation when it was
established in 1950.

The cadaver program receives about 175 bodies each year for medical
research and education. The program first came under scrutiny in 1993
when hazardous medical waste was discovered inside boxes of cremated
human remains.

White House Personnel Announcement

Whitehouse.gov Press release
March 11 2004

Personnel Announcement

President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate
seven individuals to serve in his administration:

The President intends to nominate Romolo A. Bernardi, of New York, to
be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Bernardi
currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and
Development for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Previously, he served as Mayor of the city of Syracuse, New York. Mr.
Bernardi earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of the
Americas and his master’s degree from Syracuse University.

The President intends to nominate Thomas Hill Moore, of Florida, to
be a Member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for the
remainder of a seven-year term expiring October 2, 2009. Mr. Moore
has served as a member of the Commission since 1995. Earlier in his
career, he served as Legislative Counsel to Senator John Breaux.
Previously, Mr. Moore served as an executive vice president at the
National Medical Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree from
Jacksonville University and his Juris Doctors from the University of

The President intends to nominate Edwin D. Williamson, of South
Carolina, to be Director of the Office of Government Ethics for a
five-year term. Mr. Williamson currently serves as a partner with the
law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. He previously served as Legal
Advisor to the State Department. He earned his bachelor’s degree from
the University of the South and his Juris Doctors from New York
University School of Law.

The President intends to nominate Lewis W. Lucke, of Texas, to be
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of
America to the Kingdom of Swaziland. Mr. Lucke currently serves as
Mission Director and Reconstruction Coordinator for the United States
Agency for International Development, under the supervision of the
Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. He previously
served as the Vice President for Global Communications for the CARANA
Corporation. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lucke served as Mission
Director for the United States Agency for International Development
in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Amman, Jordan. He earned his bachelor’s
degree from the University of North Carolina and his master’s degree
from the American Graduate School of International Management.

The President intends to nominate Earle I. Mack, of New York, to be
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of
America to the Republic of Finland. Mr. Mack has worked for The Mack
Company in Fort Lee, New Jersey for forty years and currently serves
as the company’s senior partner. He earned his bachelor’s degree from
Drexel University.

The President intends to nominate Jackson McDonald, of Florida, to be
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of
America to the Republic of Guinea. A career member of the Senior
Foreign Service, Mr. McDonald currently serves as the United States
Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia. Previously, he served as
Deputy Chief of Mission in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Mr. McDonald
earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

The President intends to nominate John M. Ordway, of California, to
be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States
of American to the Republic of Kazakhstan. A career member of the
Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Ordway currently serves as United States
Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia. Prior to this position, he
served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in
Moscow, Russia. Mr. Ordway earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford
University and his Juris Doctors from the Hastings College of Law.