BAKU: Liberation of lands top priority for army – Azeri DM

Trend news agency, Baku, in Russian
9 Mar 04

Liberation of lands top priority for army – Azeri defence chief


“The priority task for the Azerbaijani armed forces today is the
liberation of our lands occupied by the Armenian invaders,”
Azerbaijani Defence Minister Safar Abiyev said today during a meeting
with a delegation of a US air force college.

“There is no alternative to that. It would be good to resolve this
conflict peacefully, on the basis of international law and the
principle of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. If this does not
happen, we will liberate our lands from the enemy using our
potential,” Trend quoted Safar Abiyev as saying during the meeting.

The minister informed the US military of the structure of the
Azerbaijani armed forces, their material and technical logistics and
educational institutions.

Chechnya: Armenia foothold for Russian air raids on Chechnya

Chechenpress web site, Tbilisi, in Russian
9 Mar 04

Armenia foothold for Russian air raids on Chechnya – web site

7 March: Against the backdrop of sluggish talks on the pull-out of
Russian military bases from Georgia, the Kremlin is constantly
reinforcing its military-technical presence in Armenia. This trend
has existed since the time of Gorbachev and Yeltsin and is gaining
momentum under Putin.

Nowadays, the Kremlin’s strongest military-technical grouping in the
South Caucasus is concentrated in Armenia.

The 426th air force unit and the 520th air force commandant’s office
have comfortably settled in Yerevan (Erebuni). It is the same air
force structure that regularly raids Chechnya and easily returns to
the base, remaining out of the sight of international observers. It
is time for observers to pay close attention to this, for raids on
Chechnya from a neighbouring country run counter to all international

Apart from this, the 127th motorized infantry division, the 124th and
128th motorized infantry regiments, the 992nd artillery regiment, the
116th tank battalion, a separate logistics battalion, the 628th
communications battalion and the 772nd reconnaissance battalion are
deployed in Gyumri (Leninakan).

Even a person who is ignorant of military issues realizes that this
is a powerful force capable of dictating its conditions to the whole
of the South Caucasus.

The aforesaid reconnaissance battalion, which has a wide range of
responsibilities – from collecting information all over the South
Caucasus to planning and carrying out various kinds of provocation,
including inciting interethnic strife – particularly has to be taken
into account. The leader of the Georgian People’s Front Party, Prof
Nodar Natadze, has said unequivocally in this connection that almost
all the Russian military bases are stuffed with special forces for
carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks. Judging by the recent
events in the South Caucasus, the special forces are quite busy. The
Armenia-based 772nd reconnaissance battalion is just the visible part
of sabotage activities conducted by the military bases and
representative offices of Russian colonizers in the South Caucasus.

If on top of it we put the enormous military-technical “assistance”
under Yeltsin, it will be clear that today Armenia is the major
imperial outpost of the Kremlin in the South Caucasus. In addition,
Armenia has been and remains the foothold for the Russian colonizers’
air strikes on Chechnya.

Paradoxical as it may sound, having evicted all the ethnic Russians
from Armenia, the Armenian authorities have granted the Russian
military pilots the right to shell Chechnya and easily return to
their bases in Armenia.

In this ugly alliance of Armenia and Russia, there is one important
point: by betraying the interests of the Caucasus, the Yerevan
government betrays the interests of Armenia, for it backs the
interests of the enemies of the Caucasus – the Russian colonizers. By
reinforcing the Russian military presence at home, Armenia is risking
to become an outcast in the Caucasus.

ASBAREZ Online [03-11-2004]


1) Uruguay Parliament Recognizes Armenian Genocide
2) Tuncboyaciyan’s Armenian Navy Band Performs in Yerevan
3) Iraq Interim Constitution Guarantees Armenian Instruction
4) Rwanda Invites Aram I to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of its Genocide
5) MKR Parliament Turns Down State Property Privatization Program
6) Sako, Joseph Krikorian to Perform at Hye Hopes Event for Ghapan
7) Assemblymember Carol Liu and ANC Pasadena Chapter Announce Human Rights
Teacher Training Workshop for Pasadena Public Schools

1) Uruguay Parliament Recognizes Armenian Genocide

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–The lower chamber of Uruguay’s parliament approved a bill on
March 10, which indirectly recognizes the Armenian Genocide. The bill calls
April 24 to be “the commemoration day of Armenians martyred in 1915,” and
obligates the state owned media to “cover those events” on that day.
There is no reference to “genocide” in the wording of the bill, though
parliament speeches in favor of the bill did not avoid calling the
genocide, a
“genocide.” The resolution will become a law with the president’s signature.
In 2000, Uruguay’s Senate unanimously passed a resolution marking “April 24 a
national day of remembrance for the Armenian Genocide.”
In 1965, the Armenian National Committee of Uruguay advanced the passage
of an
Armenian Genocide resolution in Uruguay’s parliament–to mark the first time a
country officially recognized the genocide of Armenians.
At the time, the author of that resolution Senator Dr. Alberto Sid, said that
the bill aimed to register Uruguay’s official position on the Armenian
as a crime against humanity.
Interestingly, the world’s first April 24 demonstration also took place in
Uruguay, in 1964.

2) Tuncboyaciyan’s Armenian Navy Band Performs in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The Armenian Navy Band, founded by the
percussionist and vocalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan, is in Armenia to perform at the
March 13 opening of Avant-garde Folk Music Club, and to present their latest
CD, The Voice of Our Life.
The Armenian Navy Band’s compositions are all original and written by
Tuncboyaciyan, who insists the pieces “have the sound of my life.” This music
is founded on Armenian and Anatolian musical traditions and infused with jazz
and contemporary culture. Arto’s compositions embrace sounds from generations
past as well as present; he calls it “avant-garde folk.” As such, the Armenian
Navy Band represents the synthesis of Arto’s musical journey and life
experiences. “When people accept me as who I am, I feel like the World is my
country,” says Tuncboyaciyan.
Born to an Armenian family, Arto’s life began in Turkey, where at a very
age he became a well-known studio musician. He was the youngest in his family
which lived near Istanbul, and was exposed to diverse cultures from an early
age. Growing up as a member of Turkey’s beleaguered Armenian community meant
that Arto and others like him were unable to explore their own cultural
heritage. Although Arto’s father was a shoemaker, his brother, Onno, became a
bass player and composer, and Arto soon followed in his footsteps.
He immigrated to the United States in 1981, and has since performed and
recorded with an array of outstanding jazz and world music artists, including
popular Greek artists such as Eleftheria Arvanitaki, as well as the Spanish
guitarist Gerardo Nuñez, and Joe Zawinul, Al Di Meola, Oregon, Joe Lovano,
Wayne Shorter, Don Cherry, Arthur Blythe, Omar Faruk Tekbliek, Naná
and many others. The sudden loss of Arto’s brother Onno in a plane accident in
1996 gave birth to two albums created by Arto with Ara Dinkjian, recorded in
Greece. Arto has also recorded with Dinkjian as a member of Night Ark.
The Armenian Navy Band is composed of twelve of Armenia’s finest contemporary
musicians, ranging in age from 20 to 45. The instruments include the
traditionalduduk, zurna, kemanche, kanunand the contemporarytrombone, alto
tenor, soprano sax, trumpet, bass, drums, keyboard, and piano. Together with
the unique vocals and percussion and sazabo of Arto, the band’s sound is a
of aural journey from the past to the future. Arto himself says: “The project
was born in 1998 after the meeting in Yerevan with young Armenian musicians
coming from different music experiences (ethnic and contemporary Armenian
The band’s first European tour in February/March 2000 was successfully
received in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Spain. Their next tour, later that
year, included Sardinia, France, Brussels, and Holland, ending with a stop in
Istanbul for the recording of the album “New Apricot” under the Turkish label
“Imaj Muzik,” followed by another brief tour in March 2001 and an extended
European Summer/Fall tour through to November 2001.

3) Iraq Interim Constitution Guarantees Armenian Instruction


Article 9
Official Languages

The Arabic language and the Kurdish language are the two official
languages of
Iraq. The right of Iraqis to educate their children in their mother tongue,
such as Turcoman, Syriac, or Armenian, in government educational institutions
in accordance with educational guidelines, or in any other language in private
educational institutions, shall be guaranteed. The scope of the term “official
language” and the means of applying the provisions of this Article shall be
defined by law and shall include:
1. Publication of the official gazette, in the two languages;
2. Speech and expression in official settings, such as the National Assembly,
the Council of Ministers, courts, and official conferences, in either of the
two languages;
3. Recognition and publication of official documents and correspondence in
two languages;
4. Opening schools that teach in the two languages, in accordance with
educational guidelines;
5. Use of both languages in any other settings enjoined by the principle of
equality (such as bank notes, passports, and stamps);
6. Use of both languages in the federal institutions and agencies in the
Kurdistan region.

4) Rwanda Invites Aram I to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of its Genocide

ANTELIAS–The government of Rwanda has invited His Holiness Catholicos Aram I
to participate in the 10th anniversary commemoration of the Rwandan genocide.
The event, which will take place in the capital city Kigali, will be held
In a letter inviting Catholicos Aram I, foreign minister of Rwanda Dr.
Murigande writes, “You stood by the people of Rwanda as they struggled to deal
with the terrible consequences of genocide. Join us to reflect on how to
prevent and banish genocide for ever through active universal solidarity.”
Catholicos Aram I will address an international conference on “Genocides in
the 20th century and lessons to humanity,” as well as an ecumenical worship to
be held at the Kigali stadium, and will meet the president of Rwanda and
According to the Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia, His Holiness will
present the issue of genocide, referring to the Armenian Genocide as the first
Genocide of the 20th century, and the Rwandan genocide as the last.
A high ranking delegation will accompany the Armenian Catholicos, including
the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Dr. Sam Kobia,
director of the Department on Africa affairs Dr. Andre Karamagali, the General
Secretary of All Africa Council of Churches Bishop Dandala, WCC Church
Relations Director Teny Pirri-Simoniana, and the Director of the
Catholicosate’s Information and communication Department Rev. Krikor
His Holiness will also travel to Nairobi, Kenya to present a public
lecture on
“The challenges facing the ecumenical movement and Africa,” and to meet with
the president and church leaders, visit the headquarters of all Africa Council
of Churches, and present an ecumenical workshop.

5) MKR Parliament Turns Down State Property Privatization Program

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–The parliament of Mountainous Karabagh Republic rejected a
proposed national privatization program, despite the backing of parliament’s
majority Democratic Liberal Party.
It was stricken down when parliament’s Armenian Revolutionary Federation
faction member Artur Mosiyan demanded a detailed report be submitted on the
implementation of the current privatization program during the past years,
including data on the number of new jobs created as a result of the
program, as
well as information on reprimands of officials not fulfilling their
obligations. Another ARF faction member Levon Hayriyan, said that Stepanakert
residents–unlike all others from former Soviet countries–have not received
any benefits from the privatization.
Since the proposed program was rejected, the law already in place adopted a
few years ago, will continue to be in force.

6) Sako, Joseph Krikorian to Perform at Hye Hopes Event for Ghapan

GLENDALEGlendale public high schools’ Armenian students have organized an
evening of music and dance to support Glendale’s sister city of Ghapan in
Armenia. The event, “Hye Hopes,” will take place on Friday evening, March 12,
at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, and will feature entertainment by popular
artists Sako, Joseph Krikorian, and DJ Alfred Nazarian. Appetizers and
refreshments will be served.
Becoming aware of the dire needs of the schools in Ghapan, and because
Glendale and Ghapan recently became sister cities, the Glendale students
decided to host a fundraising event to provide much needed funds to fellow
When members of an official Glendale city delegation returned from Ghapan in
October 2003, the students heard first hand accounts about the difficulties of
Ghapan students, and the debilitated state of their learning environments.
Following the event, the students will work with the Glendale Ghapan Sister
City Association (GGSCA), a “Hye Hopes” sponsor, to determine a specific
improvement project to fund.
The Glendale Ghapan Sister City Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization, was created to foster a mutually beneficial sister city
relationship between Glendale and Ghapan. GGSCA works closely with the city of
Glendale to collect equipment and resources that would benefit the city of
Ghapan and to create opportunities that would benefit the city of Glendale.
organization also raises money from private contributors in order to fund
improvement projects in Ghapan’s k-12 schools, post-graduate schools, parks,
hospitals, community centers, and other public infrastructure.
“Hye Hopes” will be held from 7 pm to 11 pm at 1401 North Verdugo Road in
Glendale. Tickets ($10) may be purchased at Paradise Pastry, Pizza Man, and at
the door. For further information about “Hye Hopes,” visit
<; For further information about the
Glendale Ghapan Sister City Association, email [email protected].

7) Assemblymember Carol Liu and ANC Pasadena Chapter Announce Human Rights
Teacher Training Workshop for Pasadena Public Schools

Pasadena–The first Teacher Training Workshop on the State’s approved Human
Rights and Genocide Curriculum will be held Friday, March 12, at the Pasadena
Tournament of Roses House. Sponsored by Assemblymember Carol Liu (D-La Cañada
Flintridge), and the Pasadena Armenian National Committee (ANC), the workshop
will provide history teachers with lesson plans and materials concerning human
and civil rights violations. Teachers will also receive training on how to
incorporate these lessons into the classroom curricula.
“In this era of increasing violence and intolerance, young people need to
understand what atrocities arise from hate and prejudice,” Liu said.
Participants will be invited to join an informal seminar to discuss and
analyze the California State Department of Education’s model curriculum for
teaching about human rights and genocide, including the Armenian Genocide.
State law requires schools to provide a learning framework that includes
material concerning civil rights, human rights violations, genocide, slavery,
and the Holocaust.
“Despite the severe budget cuts our schools are facing, this project is
evidence that we can provide our students with quality education through a
collaborative effort between the community and Pasadena Unified School
District”, said Shahan Stepanian, Chairman of the Pasadena Chapter of the
“We appreciate Assemblymember Liu’s leadership and support in this joint
The workshop will cover topics including the histories of the Native
Americans, European Jews, Cambodians, Rwandan Tutsis, and Bosnian Muslims. In
addition, participants will hear about the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the
Famine of the Ukraine, the Rape of Nanking, and the Chinese agricultural
disaster that occurred under Mao Tse-Tung’s “Cultural Revolution.”
Keynote speaker Dr. Richard Hovannisian, Armenian Education Foundation
Chairholder in Modern Armenian History at UCLA, will provide the historical
context of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Other participants include Facing
History and Ourselves, a non-profit organization that works with teachers and
students to understand the past and recognize the need for participation and
responsible decision making. Samuel Kadorian, a Genocide survivor born in
will share his experience and thoughts. In addition, the workshop will include
the Exhibit of Armenian Genocide Survivor Portraits and their Stories by The
Genocide Project. Portraits will be placed throughout the room for
to view.
“I would also like to recognize The Southern California Gas Company, and
Southern Bell Communications, who has graciously agreed to serve as the main
corporate sponsor for the workshop,” said Assemblymember Liu.
The workshop begins at 8:30 am and will run until 3:30 pm. People interested
in learning more about the Teacher Training Workshop or in supporting the
should contact Diana Mangioglu at Assemblymember Liu’s District

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Georgia poaches foreign minister

Sydney Morning Herald
March 12 2004

Georgia poaches foreign minister

President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia has chosen France’s
ambassador in Tbilisi to be his foreign minister, saying he had
cleared the appointment with the French President, Jacques Chirac.

Mr Saakashvili said Salome Zurabishvili, a descendant of a
19th-century Georgian writer, Niko Nikoladze, was a diplomat of
international standing whose family had migrated to France early in
the 20th century.

He told a news conference on Thursday that he believed the
appointment was “unprecedented in the history of diplomacy”.
Diplomats are normally expected to remain loyal to their own country
and not take up jobs in foreign governments.

He said he would grant Ms Zurabishvili, 51, Georgian citizenship in
addition to her French passport, a dual status the constitution
allowed in special circumstances.

Ms Zurabishvili has worked in the US, the European Union and NATO and
headed the international department of France’s national security
general secretariat until taking up her post in Georgia.

After the fall of communism many people whose families had migrated
to Western Europe and the US returned to their eastern European
roots. An American lawyer, for instance, served for a short time as
foreign minister in Armenia in the 1990s.

Mr Saakashvili, 36, is a US-trained lawyer who led a bloodless coup
in November that brought down the veteran leader Eduard Shevardnadze,
a former Soviet foreign minister.

Mr Saakashvili won a landslide election victory in January and
promised to integrate the republic into NATO, the EU and the European

Almost everybody who went to the polls voted for him, after he had
led what he called the Rose Revolution – the peaceful removal of Mr
Shevardnadze from the presidency after 12 years.

The young new president can answer questions in rapid-fire English,
Russian and French as well as Georgian.

Armenia can help Georgia’s relations with Russia

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 12 2004


YEREVAN, March 12, 2004 (RIA Novosti) – Georgia is trying to improve
its relations with Russia today, and Armenia can promote this process
because it has close and friendly relations with Russia, Georgian
President Mikhail Saakashvili said in an interview with the Second
Channel of the Armenian television and the Azg newspaper before his
departure for Armenia.

“We have long-standing ties and a common historical background with
Armenia. Besides, Armenia is the most acknowledged country of the
region. Armenia has maintained friendship with the West and Russia
for many years. All this should serve the interests of the entire
region,” the Georgian president said.

At the same time, Mr. Saakashvili stressed that Georgia was ready to
take an active part in the establishment of effective relations
between Armenia and Turkey.

In his opinion, Turkey is well aware that relations with Armenia
should be developed for the sake of peace in the region.

“I think not only Armenia can promote relations between Georgia and
Russia, but Georgia as well can assist Armenian-Turkish ties,” said
Mr. Saakashvili.

The Georgian president will visit Armenia on March 12-13.