Malaysia Airlines plane makes Melbourne emergency landing

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane has made an emergency landing in Melbourne, Australia after reporting a possible engine fire, the BBC reports.

Flight MH148 had just taken off from Melbourne for the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Plane tracking sites showed the Airbus 330 circling Melbourne airport several times before turning back.

Fire engines were on site but airport officials said it landed safely at 15:00 local time (05:00 GMT).

A spokeswoman for Airservices Australia, the government’s aviation safety body, said the plane had reported an “engine fire” alert in the cabin.

“The plane proceeded to dump the fuel and returned to land and it landed safely at the aviation rescue sites,” she told Reuters news agency. Officials said this was standard procedure for an emergency landing.

Three Armneians elected to Turkish Parliament

Turkey’s Christian minority will be represented in the Turkish parliament in greater number after a long absence as four members of the community will become deputies after the June 7 elections, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The results of the parliamentary election, one of the most critical and closely fought in years, ended the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) 13-year one-party rule, while also propelling four members of the Christian minority to the legislature.

Markar Esayan, an Armenian-Turkish journalist for the pro-AKP daily Yeni Şafak, entered the parliament on an AKP ticket as the 12th candidate from Istanbul’s second election area.

Selina Doğan, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), was elected as the first deputy candidate from the second election area of the CHP’s Istanbul list. Doğan, who is of Armenian origin, practices law as an attorney.

CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said while introducing Doğan as a candidate that her candidacy was an important message for the world.

“We do not want division in this society. We want to grow and develop together,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in early April.

Two Christians will also enter parliament from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) ticket, one from Istanbul and the other from the southeastern province of Mardin.

Garo Paylan, who ran for parliament as the second nominee from the HDP’s third election area in Istanbul, holds Armenian roots and is listed as a trainer on the Supreme Election Board (YSK) candidate list.

Erol Dora, who is a member of Turkey’s Syriac community and a lawyer, was the HDP’s third deputy candidate from Mardin and an incumbent in the legislature.

In addition to the four Christians, two members of Turkey’s small Yazidi community were also elected for the HDP – Feleknas Uca from Diyarbakır and Ali Atalan from Batman.

Armenian Genocide Resolution adopted by the Parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

On the occasion of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, the parliament of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, on Tuesday adopted a joint resolution condemning the genocide, 

In the Rhineland-Palatinate capital city of Mainz, all parliament factions used the term “genocide” to describe what occurred in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Our common goal must be to contribute to reconciliation, understanding and awareness,” the speakers said.

“This is not solely about remembering the victims, but the need to look ahead. Our joint objective is to achieve reconciliation, mutual understanding, and recognition. That is why we support the development of Armenian-Turkish relations.”

Factions call on the Rhineland-Palatinate state government to promote initiatives and projects to address the events of 1915-16 and the German co-responsibility.

The resolution calls to remember the Armenian Genocide that occurred 100 years ago. The [Rhineland-Palatinate] parliament factions condemn the Ottoman Empire’s actions that led to the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians.


ANCA welcomes signing of US-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

Following years of Armenian American advocacy and U.S.-Armenia diplomacy,  Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Assistant US Trade Representative Daniel Mullaney today signed the U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA),  a bilateral accord long sought by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), the American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia, and Armenia-based U.S. businesses to expand economic relations between the two countries.
This agreement establishes a United States-Armenia Council on Trade and Investment to discuss bilateral trade and investment and related issues and examine ways to strengthen the trade and investment relationship between the two countries.
Following the official signing of the agreement, Mullaney told reporters “Today’s agreement provides a vehicle for deepening and broadening U.S.-Armenia trade and investment relations.  I look forward to the United States-Armenia Council on Trade and Investment helping to unlock opportunities for workers, farmers, service providers, manufacturers and consumers in our two countries.”
During a meeting with Mullaney immediately after the signing of the accord, Armenian President Serzh Sargisyan noted that he was confident that the impending $250 million investment by Contour Global in Armenia’s energy sector would be the largest U.S. investment in Armenia to date, and will set an example for broader trade opportunities in the future.
ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian welcomed the accord, noting “Today’s signing of the TIFA represents a major step forward in U.S.-Armenia economic relations – the creation of jobs, the fostering of hope, the creation of opportunities in both countries.  At a broader level, it is a stepping stone to even greater cooperation.  We would like to see, for example, the U.S. and Armenia begin negotiating a Tax Treaty.  Double taxation on U.S. and Armenia firms is a hindrance to the growth of economic relations, a deterrent to potential investors from either side, and needs to be removed.”