Wang Guangtao: RA- PRC Interparliamentary Cooperation Can Serve As F


May 20, 2010 – 18:51 AMT 13:51 GMT

On May 20, RA parliamentary speaker Hovik Abrahamyan met the Chairman
of China’s NPC Environmental and Resources Protection Committee
Wang Guangtao.

The parties emphasized importance of strengthening bilateral relations,
based on mutual respect and friendship.

As Hovik Abrahamyan and Wang Guangtao agreed, interparliamentary
cooperation can serve as a firm basis for intergovernmental one.

In conclusion, Hovik Abrahamyan invited Chairman of the Standing
Committee of the National People’s Congress Wu Bangguo to visit
Armenia, parliamentary press service reported.

Protest Action: Human Rights Activist Demand Maximum Punishment For


19.05.1 0

"No to violence", "The country is tolerating pedophilia", "Capital
punishment" read the posters of human right activists.

On May 19 the Women Resource Center NGO organized protest action at the
Jurisdiction Court of Nubarashen and Erebuni Administrative Districts
to demand a verdict with maximum punishment for the defendant Levon
Avagyan, teacher of the Nubarashen bordering school (for children
with special needs) charged with sexual harassment committed against
students of the same school.

The Women Resource Center says the 18-month term Avagyan faces
(imposed due to his confession of guilt and plea for a "fast trial")
is too lenient for crimes he admitted against the youth.

"We want to remind that Armenia has signed and ratified the UN
International Convention on Children’s Rights Defense. However,
with our indifference towards sexual harassment and violence against
our children, as well as with such a mild verdict, we show that our
country tolerates pedophilia and sexual violence."

The Guardian: Azerbaijan Has A Lot To Lose If It Resumes War With Ar


Referring to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, The Guardian writes:

"Would the Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev, go to war for
Karabakh? It is a big question. The defence minister, Safar Abiyev,
spoke in February of the growing likelihood of a "great war" with

Though, according to The Guardian, due to its energy resources,
Azerbaijan has a lot to lose if it does so.

"The military build-up and aggressive rhetoric is a pressure tactic
of presenting a credible threat, if Armenia does not move. It is
effective in projecting a fear that the war, fresh in the memory,
can restart, but ineffective in forcing a will for concessions. The
public attitude is that because so much has been sacrificed to gain
these lands, giving them back would be a betrayal of the memory of
heroes who died for them," The Guardian writes.

Focusing on Russia’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, ` The
Guardian says there is a fashionable belief that Moscow holds the key
to a Karabakh settlement, but a scenario in which Vladimir Putin calls
the Armenian president, Serzh Sargsyan, and orders him to withdraw
from Karabakh seems truly fantastic.

"In the current stalemate, Russia cannot do more than the US and
France, the other Minsk group co-chairs," the paper says recalling that
Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation,
which, like Nato, operates on the collective defence principle:
an attack against one member is regarded as an attack on all members.

According to the paper, there are few signs that a political culture of
compromise is emerging, since voices of the Azerbaijani intelligentsia
standing against the war are unpopular, as peacebuilding is equated
in public wisdom with surrendering Karabakh to the Armenians. "Those
who advocate peace need to see a readiness from the Armenian side to
make steps towards compromise," The Guardian says.

"It is a paper, not a law"


04:45 pm | May 19, 2010 | Politics

Tomorrow morning Armenia’s parliament will start first reading of a
bill on making amendments to the RA Law on Television and Radio.

Armenian parliamentarians today held a heated debate over the
controversial bill.

"Yesterday Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan blamed us for
criticizing bills and said this one was a simple paper. He is right as
the bill does not meet the word and spirits of a law," said Heritage
MP Anahit Bakhshyan.

Her teammate Armen Martirosyan criticized his colleagues for their
unserious attitude towards the Armenian parliament saying all issues
in Armenia are described as technical rather than political ones.

ARF-Dashnaktsutyun MP Artsvik Minasyan suggested that the National
Commission on Television and Radio should be debarred from granting

"There are not serious guarantees to protect the sphere from
monopolies," said Mr. Minasyan.

Republican and OYK MPs praised the bill saying it implied not political
context and suggested only technical solutions.

The most striking was NA Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan’s speech who voiced
concern over serous provisions of the bill.

"The bill does not address vital issues connected with digitalization.

The roles of the Regulatory Body, National Commission on Television
and Radio and Ministry of Economy are still to be specified. It is
important to know what powers these bodies have," said Mr. Abrahamyan.

"However, I suggest that the bill should be adopted in the first
reading for subsequent hearings in the relevant committee," said

According to preliminary information, OYK and Republican will vote for
the bill whileHeritage and ARF-Dashnaktsutyun against the amendments.

Prosperous Armenia Party will determine its stance after holding
consultations with party leader Gagik Tsarukyan.

The bill envisages organization of a tender for licensing of 18
frequencies, starting July 1, 2010.

Throw Your Draft Law In The Garbage


"The 2012 elections have launched," announced today independent
deputy Victor Dallakyan during a discussion on the draft law for
making changes in the RA law on "Television and Radio".

Victor Dallakyan has understood the essence of the draft law. "The
government is taking the most powerful lever for propaganda under
its control." According to the deputy, the key to this draft law is
to divide television stations into thematic directions which sets
limits on people’s right to receiving information.

Apparently, this draft law facilitates control over television stations
with a general direction and the government is taking this step by
taking into account that Yerevan is Armenia’s most politicized and
active city and the mode set in Yerevan can set the mode in the
entire country.

Deputies of the oppositional "Heritage" faction also made similar
speeches. Armen Martirosyan said the broadening of digital
broadcasters would not be by chance after 2013. "That is exactly
when the parliamentary and presidential elections end and until then,
the government is telling television companies to not hope for airtime.

They need television companies that will shed light as told from the
presidential residence."

"Why are you prohibiting me from considering "A1+" and "Noyan Tapan"
as a source of information?" he continued.

BHK (Prosperous Armenia) member Naira Zohrabyan and "Heritage" faction
leader Stepan Safaryan were concerned about the environment in which
the discussion was held. It was held in an almost empty hall as a
mandatory draft law that needed to be discussed without being discussed
by the superior committee, a conclusion and under a 24-hour regime.

"What is the rush? Why is the government rushing?" asked Stepan
Safaryan. He asks why the government had to come up with 60 articles
when it could have composed its main goal in one article. "As a deputy,
I have the right and demand throwing this draft law in the garbage,"
said Stepan Safaryan.

Participating in the discussions were deputies of "Heritage" and the
ARF, as well as Naira Zohrabyan and Victor Dallakyan. The majority of
deputies did not express their positions on the issue. The discussion
will continue tomorrow.

TBILISI: Russia Will Not Accept Turkish Leadership


The Messenger
May 17 2010

Armenian political analyst Gagik Arutunian thinks that Russia will
never allow Turkey to play the leading role in the Caucasus region. He
says President Medvedev’s visit to Turkey is simply about deepening
trade and economic relations between the two countries and there
is nothing new or unusual in Medvedev’s recent statements about the
Karabakh conflict. Arutunian thinks that Russia will not give Turkey
the chance to take the lead in resolving this problem.

Arutunian thinks that Armenia should not be overly sensitive to the
close relations between Russia and Turkey. He says that Russia pursues
a multi-vectored policy but has always defended Armenia’s interests
in the international arena, as Armenia is Russia’s strategic partner.

Arutunian expresses his confidence that Moscow will not give extra
benefits to Ankara and thinks that Iran’s initiative to actively
participate in resolving the Karabakh conflict is a diplomatic step.

He also suggests that Iran on one side and the US on the other
resolving the conflict is unrealistic. Iran has initiated convening
a meeting in Tehran on Karabakh issues involving Iran, Armenia and
Azerbaijan but according to Arutunian this is unlikely to yield any
significant results.

ANKARA: Referendum Postpones Service At Armenian Church


Today’s Zaman
May 17 2010

A religious service scheduled to be held at the Akdamar Church
in Lake Van on Sept. 12 has been postponed until Sept. 19, as the
originally scheduled date coincides with a referendum on Parliament’s
constitutional amendment package.

According to a statement issued by the Van Governor’s Office, Van
Governor Munir Karaoglu called Armenian Orthodox Archbishop Aram
AteÅ~_yan to offer to change the date of the religious service at
the church to Sept. 19.

Noting that the Armenian community reacted positively to the
suggestion, the statement read, "Recalling that the referendum will
take place on Sept. 12 and the votes of Turkish-Armenian citizens would
be jeopardized [in the event the service was held on the scheduled
date], Karaoglu conveyed his suggestion that the service to be held
the following week, on Sept. 19. While noting that re-scheduling the
service would not cause any problems, AteÅ~_yan said Sept. 19 would
be suitable for them." The statement also noted that Governor Karaoglu
thanked AteÅ~_yan for his positive response.

BAKU: OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs cannot deal with Armenia?

Today, Azerbaijan
May 15 2010

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs cannot deal with Armenia?

15 May 2010 [10:42] – Today.Az

They say that when Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan was shown Wi-Fi
for the first time, he was very happy because he thought it was
invented in Armenia. When he was shown how the word is spelled (Wi-Fi,
not Wai-Fai), he got a little sad. But he still sticks to the thought
that Wi-Fi was first invented in Armenia.

It has always been hard to seriously negotiate with these kinds of
people. It is a living hell to have a conflict with such a person. And
we know this from experience. Azerbaijan would not have been so
patient had it not been for the so-called OSCE Minsk Group

The co-chairs have really stepped up their efforts in recent years.
They have come up with solutions and projects to resolve the conflict.
When they put forward the Madrid principles, it seemed the end was
near. But something was wrong with these principles. The co-chairs
updated the principles and submitted them to the parties. Azerbaijan
accepted them and announced its willingness to negotiate on their

However, Yerevan announced that it wanted two weeks to think a little.
But Armenia has delayed its answer for several months without saying
"yes" or "no." The reasons for this indecision are unclear. One can
only assume that Yerevan would gladly say "yes," but is afraid to
anger the diaspora. It would be terrible to give a firm "no." Sargsyan
fears Baku’s patience will run out one day.

We are accustomed to indecisions and prevarications by the Armenian
side during negotiations. They are used to sending the president to
the restroom to exclude him from vital negotiations. They are used to
eating dolmas at the Turkish prime minister’s house, participating in
football diplomacy and disrupting the process of normalizing ties with
Ankara upon returning to Yerevan. So, the absence of a response from
Yerevan to the principles is understandable.

However, the behavior of the OSCE Minsk Group is not understandable at
all. No matter whether they are negotiators or mediators, they are
professional diplomats above all else and therefore people with common

So, common sense should have it that if one of the sides accepted the
updated principles and the other side did not, then the group should
work with the latter.

Why then did they invite Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar
Mammadyarov to the next meeting with his Armenian counterpart already
present? What would they discuss? The attitude of the Azerbaijani side
is already clear.

Maybe they want to meet for the sake of meetings? But we do not need
this in the least. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported that the
minister will not attend a meeting with the co-chairs due to his busy
schedule. On the other hand, it is clear that if the meeting had at
least some sense, the schedule could be changed. In addition, the
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry makes it clear that Azerbaijan has
announced its attitude toward the Madrid principles and `the co-chairs
should do more work with the Armenian side."

It might be difficult for the mediators to deal with the Armenian side
and they want Azerbaijan to persuade Nalbandian and his bosses to
soberly review the updated Madrid principles. In this case, why do we
need you?

Leave us alone with the aggressor, and you will see how quickly we
will stop their occupation of our lands. Moreover, it is unlikely that
we will have to use force. As soon as Armenia realizes that it has to
face Azerbaijan without any intermediaries, it will immediately
liberate all the occupied territories to the last centimeter.

So, maybe the OSCE Minsk Group should be abolished or at least the
sides should renounce their services? If the three co-chairs, who hail
from respected powers, cannot cope with Armenia, then maybe it is
better if they just step aside.

H. Hamidov


Davis Cup: Armenian Tennis Players Defeated By Moldova


May 14, 2010 – 12:18 AMT 07:18 GMT

Armenian tennis players suffered a 0:3 defeat by Moldova in Davis Cup
Europe/Africa Zone Group III, the games ending: Khachatur Khachatryan
vs. Radu Albot 0:6, 0:6; Ashot Gevorgyan vs. Roman Borvanov 2:6, 2:6;
Khachatryan-Gevorgyan vs. Borvanov-Albot 3:6, 1:6.

As of today, Armenia won one game and lost two in the Europe/Africa
Zone Group III.

RA National Assembly Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan Receives The PACE Pres

May 14 2010

On May 13 RA National Assembly Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan received the
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
(PACE) Mevlut CavuÅ~_oglu. Welcoming the guest the RA National
Assembly Speaker congratulated him on being elected PACE President
and expressed hope that his visit would promote the strengthening of
the dialogue between the Republic of Armenia and the Council of Europe.

The RA National Assembly Speaker said that Armenia wanted to comply
the ongoing reforms with the European standards, and as Speaker of the
National Assembly he would do his best for their implementation. He
highly assessed the considerable support being shown by the Council
of Europe in that direction.

Mevlut CavuÅ~_oglu noted with satisfaction that the parliament was
performing its role through the standing and ad-hoc committees, at
the same time considering important to continue making the reforms
and expressed willingness in the name of PACE to assist and support
the National Assembly.

Hovik Abrahamyan noted that Armenia was ready to fulfill the agreements
and was a responsible counterpart.

Talking about creating a sub-committee on NK issue in PACE Mevlut
CavuÅ~_oglu said that it was not his initiative, and that issue was
before him on the agenda. Nevertheless, if even that sub-committee
is created it cannot duplicate the role of the OSCE Minsk Group,
it has not such a mandate.

Reaffirming the NK problem within the framework of the OSCE Minsk
Group the RA National Assembly Speaker noted that any mediation would
impede the process. In Hovik Abrahamyan’s words, the issues of the
status of the Nagorno Karabakh and security of the NK people are very
important for Armenia. Noting that Armenia wishes to live with its
neigbours in peace and solve all the problems through peaceful way,
the RA National Assembly Speaker said that the diplomatic relations
between Armenia and Turkey should be established and the borders be
opened without preconditions.

Mevlut CavuÅ~_oglu said that there was political will to regulate the
relations, but we should also admit the existence of the difficulties.

He expressed conviction that both sides would wish to overcome those

The RA National Assembly Speaker noted that the normalization of
the relations between Armenia and Turkey is rather complicated and
sensitive process, and though it is suspended now, Armenia is ready
to touch upon the process, if Turkey takes practical steps, and the
protocols are ratified there.

In the course of the meeting other issues of bilateral interest were
also discussed.