A New Plan? Turkish PM May Have Briefed Baku On New Karabakh Plan


168 Zham
May 18 2010

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan left for Baku on 17 May,
where he according to Turkish press reports, he presented a new plan
of the Karabakh settlement to the Azerbaijani authorities.

In particular, according to the Turkish Hurriyet paper, Erdogan
introduced to [Azerbaijani President] Ilham Aliyev a plan, whereby
Armenia will vacate two out of the seven liberated districts,
Kalbacar and Fuzuli, and in exchange Azerbaijan will open its border
with Armenias. According to Turkish sources, this plan was developed
at Erdogans’s meetings with the Armenian and the US presidents in
Washington and with the Russian president in Ankara.

Whether Erdogan did introduce this plan to Aliyev or not – no official
statement was made on this as of 17 May. After the meeting with
Aliyev it was only said that "satisfaction was voiced in connection
with successful development of friendly and brotherly ties between
Azerbaijan and Turkey".

It is obvious that the word is about "3+2+2" or "2+3+2" options of
return of librated territories. That is – it turns out that Armenia
consented to return of at least two districts, and Erdogan went to
Baku to convince Aliyev of that. It is interesting that Armenia did not
anyhow officially deny this report and the fact of existence of such a
plan. Meanwhile, its existence is demonstrated also by the fact that
as early as last week [10-17 May] Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev
announced that Russia will continue to "push forward" the process of
settlement of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict and will be consulting
with Turkey on the matter from now on. That is, it is possible that
the plan which Erdogan took to Baku is a result of such a consultation.

ANCA Commemorates Pontian Greek Genocide


May 20, 2010 – 16:57 AMT 11:57 GMT

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) joined with Pontian
Greeks – and all Hellenes, Assyrians, Syriacs, and other communities
representing the victims of Turkey’s genocidal campaign against its
Christian minorities – in commemorating May 19th, the international
day of remembrance for the genocide initiated by the Ottoman Empire
and continued by Kemalist Turkey against the historic Greek population
of Pontus along the southeastern coast of the Black Sea.

"We join with all our brothers and sisters – in the Hellenic, Assyrian,
Chaldean, Syriac, and other Christian communities subjected to genocide
under Ottoman and Turkish rule – in solemnly marking the anniversary
of the Pontian Genocide – a genocide that remains unrecognized by its
perpetrator and unpunished by the international community," said Aram
Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "In commemorating this
date, we reaffirm our determination to work in concert with all the
victims of Turkey’s genocidal campaigns to secure full recognition
and justice for these crimes."

The Ottoman Empire, under the cover of World War I, undertook a
systematic and deliberate effort to eliminate its minority Christian
populations. This genocidal campaign resulted in the death and
deportation of well over 2,000,000 Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans,
Syriacs, and Greeks.

The Pontian Genocide has been formally acknowledged by Greece and
Cyprus and, within the United States, by the states of New York,
New Jersey, Florida, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania,
and Illinois, among others.

The Medical Insurance Within 30%


May 20 2010

"The medical insurance is very important in any developed country; it
is stated by the legislation and is very necessary for the population,"
today on the meeting with the journalists said Vilen Hakobyan
Academician-secretary of the division of Natural sciences of NAS RA.

Welcoming the voluntarily insuring medical concept the speaker
said if the whole nation would be involved in that system it will
be significant.

V. Hakobyan, mentioned that it is possible that the medical insurance
will help those who have work and are not the same as the 70% of
the population.

And the medical insurance will be used by the 30% of the population.

The speaker mentioned with pain that for Armenia which doesn’t have
too much finances it is impossible to implement medical insurance.

The speaker considers the voluntary principle correct, as according
to Vilen Hakobyan in Armenia there can not be an obligatory medical

8% Drop Recorded In Software Piracy In Armenia Over Four Years


May 20, 2010 – 16:58 AMT 11:58 GMT

Director of Microsoft Armenia Grigor Barseghyan said that the share
of pirated software has decreased from 96-98% to 90%, as a result of
four-year operation of the corporation’s office in Yerevan.

The Armenian office does not possess any official or unofficial
data about the level of piracy in the country, while the provided
statistics is based on international researches, Mr. Barseghyan told
a press conference in Yerevan.

"Microsoft Company believes that it is necessary to inform Armenia’s
population about importance of using a licensed package, as pirated
software is dangerous," he said, adding that time is required to
change the mentality of the Armenian people.

According to Mr. Barseghyan, the government’s example is important in
the struggle against piracy, as any country’s government is the biggest
user of copyright in any field. "The issue of piracy is important for
country’s image and security. Despite such level of piracy, around
$5mln was paid to the Armenian budget due to Microsoft products sale
over four years," said Barseghyan.

Saudi Sheikh Granted Land In "Eminent Domain" Deal

Kristine Aghalaryan

2010/05/17 | 15:16

Feature Stories economy

Sheikh Muhammed Musallami Wants to Bottle Water and Build Hotels
in Armenia

Villagers of Artavaz in the Kotayk Marz have been promised $4,200 for
each hectare of the 96 hectares delineated by the Armenian government
as public domain lands. This works out to 160 AMD per square meter.

Former Artavaz mayor Yervand Naltakyan said that the lands would be
taken from the residents a few days later, even though most don’t
find the terms acceptable.

Artavazr esidents have launched a petition drive and 99% of the land
owners affected have signed. They are now preparing to take their
claims to the courts to appeal the government’s decision.

However, current Artavaz Mayor Rem Hovhannisyan has rejected the
villagers’ claims about the appraisal.

"The villagers are lying", he told us. He said that due to the recent
heavy rains, the appraisers weren’t able to complete their survey
and that no final evaluation was made. This would have to wait for
better weather.

Mayor Hovhannisyan said that one appraiser named Hrach had visited
the village but that nothing final was done.

When he asked if the villagers wanted to turn over their lands, the
mayor replied, "Some do and some don’t. Some want $10 per square meter,
others want $30 and some just $3."

1.5 hectares of this land in the "prevailing public interest" is
owned by former MP Sasun Mikayelyan, Commander of the Sasun Unit who
was sentenced to eight years in the March 1st "Trial of Seven".

It was back when Andranik Margaryan was prime minister that the
government decided to re-zone 1.5 hectares of Artavaz communal
agricultural land for energy and communications usage in order to
construct a hydro-electric unit and supplemental facilities.

(Government Decision 1610-N, November 9, 2006)

Mr. Mikayelyan’s land is registered as a production facility and he was
planning to construct a hydro-electric station there but it didn’t work
out. At the cabinet meeting on February 25 of this year ( and we have
the transcripts), Economics Minister Nerses Yeritsyan said that the
issue had been discussed at the Ministry for Territorial Administration
and that talks had been conducted with local community representatives.

"There is an overall consensus by the regional and local leaders,"
said Minister Yeritsyan, who added that the project had been presented
to the government as agreed upon.

An Arab Sheikh and a Swiss company

On February 25, the government decided to allocate 85.1 hectares of
land of the Artavaz community in Kotayk Marz containing fresh water
and mineral water springs of the Ulashik River basin to the company
"A&M Rare, Ltd." for the purpose of building a water bottling plant.

"A&M Rare" was founded by "A&M Investment", a company registered
in Luxembourg. The executive director of A&M Rare, Ltd. is Aram
Abrahamyan; the son of Republican Party MP Gagik Abrahamyan, who,
in turn, is the brother of Ara Abrahamyan, president of the Union of
Armenians in Russia and a wealthy entrepreneur to boot.

Hetq sent a letter to the government, requesting the investment
proposal made by the company to build a water bottling plant. We
received a reply from Minister Nerses Yeritsyan.

It turns out that the investment plan was presented to the government
by "Swiss Rare S.A.", a Swiss firm whose president is Saudi Arabian
Sheikh Muhammed Musallami.

He is also a stockholder of the company. Till now, we have been able
to identify only one other Armenian official who owns shares in the
company; MP Gagik Abrahamyan.

The "Swiss Rare" investment company is registered in Geneva and
engages in industrial, agricultural and hotel construction.

According to the minister’s reply, during a visit to Armenia by the
company’s representatives, an interest was expressed in constructing
a bottling plant for fresh and mineral water.

Several sweet and mineral water springs were selected during the
visit and samples were tested by the Swiss laboratory "GEOTEST".

Is Sheikh Musallami building a water bottling plant or a hospital?

In the Sheikh’s notes made during his visit to Armenia, he mentions
an interest in entering the hotel business in the country. Sheikh
Musallami visited Armenia during July of last year.

During his meeting with Economic Monister Yeritsyan, the Sheikh said
that there were several Saudi businessmen who wanted to invest in
Armenia, especially in the hotel and agricultural sectors.

The minister gave an overview of the hotel business in Armenia and
noted that the idea of building world-class hotels in Yerevan and
hotel complexes in the regions was most welcome.

On the same day, Sheikh Musallami weas received by RA Prime Minister
Tigran Sargsyan. MP Gagik Abrahamyan was also present at the meeting.

PM Sargsyan commented that Armenia was keen to improve its commercial
ties with Saudi Arabia and to implement investment projects of mutual

Sheikh Musallami, in turn, told PM Sargsyan that he was interested
in building a hotel complex in Armenia.

We can infer another reason for the Sheikh’s visit from the minutes of
the October 29, 2009 meeting that took place between him and Minister
Yeritsyan, which resulted in a "Letter of Intent" signed by both.

There was no mention of a hotel but rather a plant to be built
in Artavaz.

Prior to this, in September 2009, the firm "Swiss Rare S.A." presented
an proposal to build the plant to the Ministry of Economics in the
hope of receiving government assistance and backing. The proposal
was debated by the appropriate government agencies and was given the
green light to proceed.

"Swiss Rare" had preliminary delineated about 1,400 hectares of land in
the vicinity of the Ulashik River basin in the north-western section
of the Artavaz community district. Only forty of the hectares had
been envisaged for necessary infrastructure and the plant itself.

The large expanse of te remaining area is explained by the need to
form a buffer zone according to international standards to ensure
the quality of the waters. This are includes state, municipal as
well as private lands zoned for agricultural use, according to the
ministry reply.

What investment project is Sheikh Musallami proposing?

According to the "Letter of Intent", the Ministry of Economics assumed
the responsibility on the part of the RA government to assist in the
implementation of the investment project.

"Swiss Rare", for its part, assumed the obligation of realizing the
project in Armenia to buil;d a modern technology plant that would
bottle high quality water to the highest international standards,
that would employ local labor and retrain workers, that would build
adequate facilities for the workers, and that the plant would bottle
40 million liters of water per year.

The target market for the water would be Russia, the European Union
countries and later on, Iran and the Gulf states. The product would
carry the "Rare Water" Armenia brand.

During the government session, Minister Yeritsyan noted that according
to laboratory testing, the water could be bottled without filtration,
using modern technological processes.

The proposal calls for up to $50 million in investment and 50-100
jobs at the plant itself. Minister Yeritsyan hinted that the number
of new jobs created could be much higher.

Minister Yeritsyan also mentioned the possibility of producing bottled
water infused with the fragrance of various botanicals and that this
would create more jobs.

The government attempts to clarify

We will remind readers that "A&M Rare" received state registration
on the very same day that the government passed the "public domain"
decision to allocate the land to the company.

When we asked how it was possible for "A&M Rare" to receive
registration on the same day, Minister Yerisyan replied that by taking
into account the fact that work on the plant had begun back in 2009
and that the company name "A&M Rare" had been registered on February
19, 2010, the government considered it appropriate to recognize "A&M
Rare" as the beneficiary in the decision, since it had, in effect,
already received state registration.

As to the question how the 85.1 hectares specified at the government
session turned into 96 hectares, Minister Yeritsyan replied that
modifications to the original decision had been presented and that
as a result of a review carried out with the participation of the
Kotayk Regional Governor, the RA Real Estate Cadastre and Artavaz
municipal officials, amendments were made resulting in an increase of
certain private holdings to be declared "public domain". The re-edited
decision was then presented to the government for final approval.

It would appear from this reply that the interested parties sat down at
the table and resolved all outstanding issues in a matter of minutes.

>>From the transcripts of the meeting, it becomes clear that the
specific amount of land was 85.1 hectares, but that an issue arose
regarding certain lands belonging to private individuals.

Deputy Prime Minister Armen Gevorgyan, who is also the Minister for
Territorial Administration, proposed that these issues be resolved
and that the proposal be resubmitted to the government so that the
process not be halted.

In this case, the decision of Prime Minister Sargsyan should have
been dated not as February 25, the day of the session, but days later,
when the changes had been made.

The entire issued will only be clarified when we know the identities
of the Sheikh’s other Armenian partners.


Armenian Peacekeepers Awarded Medals And Certificates


18.05.2010 12:51

Twenty servicemen of the Armenian peacekeeping unit participating
in the activities of the International Security Assistance Force in
Afghanistan were awarded with medals and certificates by the German
command of the RC North in Afghanistan.

The award ceremony took place near the Kunduz airfield in front of
the Armenian chapel built by Armenian peacekeepers, Information and
Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Defense reports.

Czech Prime Minister Is Surprised At Diligence Of Armenian Women


May 17, 2010 – 18:04 AMT 13:04 GMT

Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer is on a working visit to Armenia,
at the invitation of his Armenian counterpart Tigran Sargsyan.

Despite difficult times, the Czech Republic has great potential
for export, and the country may import great number of goods from
Armenia, Mr. Fischer said during the May 17 joint press conference
with Tigran Sargsyan. According to him, the countries have cooperation
opportunities in the fields of IT, tourism, transport, etc.

Besides, the Czech Prime Minister noted that he is glad to be on a
visit to this wonderful country, which has so many working women.

Armenia’s export to the Czech Republic totaled $1.5mln and $103,000
in 2009 and first quarter of 2010 respectively. Meanwhile, Armenia’s
import from this country amounted to $15.1mln and $11mln in 2009 and
first quarter of 2010 respectively.

Armenia’s export to the Czech Republic includes molybdenum concentrate,
ferromolybdenum, wood and clay items, handmade carpets, rough diamonds,
etc. Meanwhile, Armenia is importing sweets, beer, foodstuff,
medicines, medical equipment, plastic articles, paper and hosiery.

An Armenian-Czech business forum is held in Yerevan in the framework
of the Czech Prime Minister’s two-day visit that will provide the
two countries’ entrepreneurs with the opportunity to establish closer
trade and economic ties.

ISTANBUL: New project offers the music of architecture

Today’s Zaman, Turkey
May 16 2010

New project offers the music of architecture

Does architecture have a sound? Or literally, does a space have its
own music? If the limits of comprehension can be pushed and the power
of the imagination can be used, yes.

Every space has its own voice, and it reflects the echoes of its music
only to those who are open to hearing it.
This idea is now being brought to life with a project named `Ä°stanbul
Mimarisinin MüziÄ?i’ (The Music of Ä°stanbul’s Architecture) implemented
with the cooperation of the Ä°stanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture
Agency’s classical Turkish music director and the Turkish Music
Foundation. The project is more than a series of concerts: It aims to
attract interest to the fact that both architecture and music, as two
different branches of art, are parts of the same historical entity.
The project includes nine concerts spanning the whole year, the first
three of which have already been performed. The first concert was at
the Radio İstanbul building in Harbiye, the second at Dolmabahçe
Palace and the third at the historic Feshane Administrative Building.

All music reflects its period

`The core idea was first developed by the Turkish Music Foundation,’
says Mehmet Güntekin in an interview with Sunday’s Zaman. He is the
Ä°stanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture Agency’s classical Turkish
music director and was also the director of the Ä°stanbul State Choir
of Classical Turkish Music, which also collaborated on the project.

`I have already known the choir very well for more than 25 years, and
I was aware of the solemnity of the Turkish Music Foundation,’ notes
Güntekin. `What was really significant was the idea itself. The music
of the architecture of Ä°stanbul. ¦ When we say this, a question comes
to mind immediately: Can an architectural structure have music? But
every period reflects all the elements inherent in itself to all
branches of art equally. Nevertheless, architecture is something
concrete and music is abstract. How are we going to comprehend the
music which is unique to a space?’ Güntekin gives the example of the
Süleymaniye Mosque. `Listen or imagine in your head the music of Hacı
Arif Bey with the mosque, there’s something that doesn’t fit. When you
listen to Itri while you look at the Süleymaniye Mosque, you realize
some things coincide.’

What Güntekin tries to express is not only a coincidental harmony
between the music and the space. Neither space or the architectural
structure nor music or any other branch of art are exempt from the
influences of a certain period. And all of them are influenced at the
same time, maybe in similar ways which are reflected in the products
of art. `The first concert was at the Radio Ä°stanbul building,’ says
Güntekin. `This building is one of the symbols of the republican
period of architecture. And we performed pieces by the composers who
worked, who passed through the corridors of this building. The second
concert at the Dolmabahçe Palace included the works of Hacı Arif Bey.
Hacı Arif Bey lived at the palace. What an architect designs in the
interior ornamentation, a composer makes in his compositions.’

`All these elements are the parts of an entity,’ says Fatih Salgar,
chief of the Ä°stanbul State Choir of Classical Turkish Music. `You can
find all the reflections of a certain century in the music. This is a
crucial part of our culture as much as our language because in the
past music and literature were the common point among all the
enlightened people.’

Nine themes, nine concerts

`We’ve been giving thousands of concerts for many years,’ explains
Salgar of the interest they receive. `We have a choir that performs
music at a certain level, and those who love this music are also aware
of the importance of our choir. But there’s an immense interest in the
project. One of the reasons for this is because we may never give such
a concert at these places again.’

The project merits this level of interest after all. It also includes
various elements of the different cultures that have been a part of
Ä°stanbul for centuries. While the project continues with the next
concert on June 2 at the Topkapı Palace with the compositions of Selim
III, another concert on June 15 in the garden of the Archaeology
Museum will bring different cultures together. `We will play on a
different concept with Ensemble Amarcord, a European choir,’ says
Güntekin. `İstanbul is the city for which the most compositions are
made. In this respect, we wanted Ensemble Amarcord to compile the
compositions made for all the capitals of culture selected up to now.
If any of these cities doesn’t have a unique composition, then they
will compile the works of a composer who has lived in this city. They
will perform these compositions in the first part of the concert,
while in the second part, we are going to perform the compositions
made for Ä°stanbul. In the final part, we will perform songs for
Ä°stanbul all together.’

The project continues with a concert of Tanbur Cemil Bey’s music at
Yıldız Palace on June 19; the Itri concert will be at Süleymaniye
Mosque on Sept. 21 and that of Dede Efendi at Yenikapı on Oct. 2.

Another concert that reflects the diversity of the cultural heritage
of Ä°stanbul will take place on Dec. 7 at the St. Jean Chrisostomus
Armenian Catholic Church in Taksim, where the compositions of Armenian
composers will be performed. `Musicians from minority communities
contribute a very important part to our music: the Armenian, Greek and
Jewish composers. Among these minorities, it is the Armenian composers
who have produced the most compositions,’ he said.

16 May 2010, Sunday

BAKU: V Hashimov fails to beat Vlad Akopyan in Astrakhan Grand Prix

news.az, Azerbaijan
May 15 2010

Vugar Hashimov fails to beat Vladimir Akopyan in Grand Prix in Astrakhan
Sat 15 May 2010 | 07:32 GMT Text size:

The fifth round of the Grand Prix chess contest in Astrakhan has not
brought victory to Azerbaijani grandmasters.

According to News.Az, Vugar Hashimov, Teymur Rajabov and Shahriyar
Mammadyarov played a draw with their opponents with white figures.
Hashimov played Armenian Vladimir Akopyan, Rajabov met Hungarian Peter
Leko and Mammadyarov had to face Russian Peter Swidler.

After five rounds Vugar Hashimov shares the 2-5 places with 3 points.
Teymur Rajabov is 6-8th with 2.5 points and Shahriyar Mammadyarov is
9-14th with 2 points. Ukrainian Pavel Elyanov is leading with 3.5

Elmir Aliyev

Prof Michael Stone awarded certificate of honor by Min. of Diaspora

Professor Michael Stone was awarded the certificate of honor by the RA
Ministry of Diaspora for great contribution to development of Armenian
studies in Israel

YEREVAN, 15 MAY, NOYAN TAPAN: On May 13, RA Minister of Diaspora
Hranush Hakobyan received Professor at the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem Michael Stone. Minister Hakobyan expressed high appreciation
of the professor’s great contribution to the development of Armenian
studies in Israel and awarded him the Ministry’s certificate of honor
for his notable contribution to presentation of Armenian culture and
strengthening of friendly relations between Armenia and Israel. As the
Department of Media and Public Relations of the RA Ministry of
Diaspora told "NT", Stone is an author of numerous works on Armenian
studies. He and Nira Stone have printed a work entitled "The Armenian
Church" in the press. Stone is currently preparing the three-volume
book entitled "Adam and Eve in the Armenian tradition" in Dublin.
Expressing gratitude to the Minister for true appreciation of his
contribution to the sphere of Armenian Studies, the Jewish professor
mentioned that he has always admired Armenian culture his entire life
and has cordial ties with the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Getting acquainted with the Ministry’s official website, the "Hayern
Aysor" online daily, as well as the books published by the order of
the Ministry, Mr. Stone stressed that the Ministry has completed a
tremendous amount of work and expressed the desire to have several
books on Armenian Studies. Minister Hakobyan donated the books and
expressed hope that they would truly help the professor in conducting
further studies.