EU drugs agency, National Security Council of Armenia step up cooperation

The European Union and Armenia will cooperate more actively on monitoring the drug phenomenon in future, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed today in Yerevan between the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) and the National Security Council of Armenia (NSC). The agreement was signed by EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz and NSC Chief of staff, Aram Tananyan.

Armenia — a country of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) area — submitted a formal request for cooperation with the EMCDDA in 2013 (1). This led to a green light from the EMCDDA Management Board in July that year for the agency to negotiate the MoU with the NSC.

Today’s accord — signed for an initial period of five years and sealing cooperation between the two partners — will be implemented through a joint work programme to be updated every three years. This programme will include steps to enhance the partners’ monitoring and knowledge base on the drug situation and responses to it, particularly through harmonising key indicators in areas of both supply and demand.

Special attention will be given to the regular exchange of information on the appearance on the drug market and use of new psychotropic substances, as well as the technologies employed in their production.

The agreement provides for an exchange of technical expertise and knowledge between the two bodies, the co-sponsoring of technical meetings and the pooling of human and financial resources to launch joint programmes. The NSC will endeavour to present to the EMCDDA an annual report on the drug situation in Armenia. The EMCDDA, for its part, will facilitate training as well as the exchange of experts and scientific research findings on issues of mutual interest.

Both organisations recognise that information on the drugs phenomenon is an essential and indispensable instrument for drafting and implementing drug policies and for assessing the impact of actions to reduce the problems originating from drug use and trafficking.

This cooperation takes place within the EMCDDA’s mandate for cooperation with third (non-EU) countries in consultation with its Management Board and the European Commission


Minsk Group format irreplaceable: French Ambassador




The OSCE Minsk Group remains irreplaceable as a mediator in the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, and the three co-chairing countries continue to work harmoniously with each other, French Ambassador to Armenia Jean-François Charpentier told a press conference today.

The Ambassador said the Minsk Group Co-Chairs are expected to visit the region next week.

As for the possibility of a Blitzkrieg, the Ambassador said such predictions are more of a speculation.

Jean-François Charpentier is optimistic about Armenia’s European agenda. He sees no inconsistency between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. As a proof, he reminded about the discussions at Riga Summit on the possibility of a new agreement between Armenia and the EU.

France also has new programs of cooperation with Armenia, the Ambassador said. This fall Yerevan will host a large Armenian-French business forum and a meeting of Ministers of Francophonie countries.

Trailer for first Turkish film on Armenian Genocide released

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The trailer for “Lost Birds,” the first film made in Turkey about the Armenian Genocide, was released on June 30.

“Lost Birds” tells the story of a brother and a sister who are left behind during the ‘1915 Armenian exile,’ Today’s Zaman reports.

Written and directed by Armenian director Aren Perdeci and Turkish director Ela Alyamac, “Lost Birds” is a turning point for cinema in Turkey.

“Lost Birds,” a heartfelt film with themes of love and family directed by Armenian director Aren Perdeci and Turkish director Ela Alyamac is the first movie to depict the tragedy in a film shot in Turkey on its 100th anniversary.

The film is led by young actors Dila Uluca and Heros Agopyan, as well as an ensemble cast of Armenian actors living in Turkey.

Armenians hack 47 Azeri websites

Armenian hackers have attacked dozens of Azerbaijani websites overnight.

The Monte Melkonian Cyber Army ( MMCA) says it hacked 47 website, posted data from passports and ID cards of  5,700 Azerbaijanis.

The group says it wa sa response for the recent attack of Azerbaijani hackers.

“Let them know we are awake and ready for an attack. Our response will always be more painful,” the Monte Melkonian Cyber Army said in a Facebook Post. It also provided the.

NKR President congratulates President Sargsyan on birthday

On 30 June Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan sent a congratulatory letter to President Serzh Sargsyan of the Republic of Armenia in connection with his birthday.

The letter runs as follows:

“Your excellency, Mr. President,

I cordially congratulate You on Your birthday anniversary.

Having a substantial contribution in the formation of the two Armenian states and the Armenian army, You continue to serve devotedly to safeguarding the security and raising the welfare level of the people, solving nationwide issues and realizing our historic goals.

I am confident that all Your patriotic projects aimed at reinforcing and ensuring the prosperity of Mother Armenia and Artsakh will be further on crowned with success and our people will gain new victories.

I once again congratulate You on Your birthday anniversary and wish peace, robust health and all the best”.

Who attacked who? Turkish Consul claims Armenians attacked the Turkish stand in Lyon

Turkish diplomats claim that the Armenian Nor Seround Association attacked the Turkish stand in Lyon Consul’s Feast in France and call on the French

“We call on French authorities to investigate the event and give the necessary penalty to those responsible,” Consul General of Turkey in Lyon Hilmi Ege Turemen told Anadolu Agency

The consul general said that the group came to the Turkish stand, threw flyers attacking Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and harassed Turkish citizens and consular employees for about 30 minutes.

reported earlier that on June 13, 2015 young Armenian activists of Nor Seround mobilized for a peaceful sit-in in front of the Turkish Consulate General in Lyon to remember and demand from the Turkish State to recognize and take responsibility for the Armenian Genocide.

The employees of the Turkish consulate attacked the activists, hit one who was recording and stole his phone. Later the Consul General himself showed up and attacked and cursed the young Armenian Activists.

House appropriators cite need for continued assistance to Syrian refugees

U.S. House Appropriators prioritized aid for Syrian relief, but remained largely silent on specific Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) aid levels for the Caucasus, underscoring the pivotal role that pending Senate consideration of this measure will play in addressing Armenian American concerns, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The full House Appropriations Committee ‘marked up’ and voted on their version of the FY 2016 foreign aid bill, after considering a short list of amendments offered by members of the panel, all but one of which were rejected on party-line votes.  In the draft report submitted alongside the measure, appropriators cited continued funding to assist Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis, then went on to note, more broadly:

“The Committee remains concerned about the plight of refugees from Syria and the burden they face as well as the strain on host communities. The Committee urges the Department of State to continue to do the following: (1) help host countries expand their national systems to accommodate refugee needs; (2) assist host country capacity to deliver basic services to their own citizens; (3) strengthen the ability of local governments to respond to the refugee influx; and (4) ensure that refugees have freedom of movement and meaningful access to economic opportunity.”

The measure did not make specific reference to U.S. economic aid priorities in Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, or Georgia, though $20 million was allotted in military assistance to Georgia.   The resolution also maintained “Section 907” restrictions on US assistance to Azerbaijan, based on the 1992 law which condemned that country’s aggression and blockade against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

The Senate’s consideration of its version of this bill is set to start in early July with a mark-up by the Appropriations Subcommittee of State-Foreign Operations.  Armenian Americans can continue contacting their legislators through the ANCA advocacy portal by visiting: 

In the months leading up to the House and Senate FY2016 foreign aid process, the ANCA has led a grassroots initiative to secure:

1) At least $5 million in U.S. developmental aid to Nagorno Karabakh.

2) Zero-out U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan until it agrees with OSCE Minsk Group calls to pull back its snipers, ceases its aggression, renounces violence, and commits to a purely peaceful resolution of regional conflicts.

3) At least $40 million in U.S. economic assistance to Armenia.

4) A special focus on addressing the difficulties in providing humanitarian and resettlement aid to Armenian, Assyrian and other at-risk minorities in Syria, as well as targeted aid to help Armenia settle thousands fleeing from Syria.

5) At least 10% of U.S. assistance to Georgia to be used for job creation programs in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of that country.

6) Language strengthening Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan.

Earlier this year, the ANCA’s Kate Nahapetian testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee, outlining the Armenian American community’s foreign aid priorities.

In February, the Obama-Biden Administration released its FY2016 budget which called for yet another reduction in U.S. economic assistance to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, while maintaining parity in appropriated military aid to these two countries.

The President’s proposal of $18,360,000 in Economic Support Funds for Armenia in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 would, if approved by Congress, represent a record low in such aid since Armenia’s independence. The White House’s proposal for Armenia is over $2 million less than FY 2014’s actual economic aid allocation, and less than half of the $40 million requested in a Congressional Armenian Caucus letter and ANCA Congressional testimony submitted last year.

The ANCA has, amid declining aid levels, prioritized an aid-to-trade transition for Armenia.  The recent adoption of a U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement represents one of the most recent results of the ANCA’s work in this direction.

Armenia wins Golden Lion at 56th Venice Biennale for best national participation

On Saturday, its opening day, the jury of the 56th Venice Biennale announced the winners of the international art festival. Armenia was awarded the Golden Lion for its pavilion presenting works by the Armenian diaspora on the 100th anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

According to the official website of the Venice Biennale, the Golden Lion for the national pavilion goes to Republic of Armenia for forming a pavilion based on a people in diaspora, each artist engaging their specific locality as well as their heritage. The pavilion took the form of a palimpsest, with contemporary positions inserted into a site of historic preservation. In a year that witnesses a significant milestone for the Armenian people, this pavilion marks the resilience of trans-cultural confluence and exchanges.
Other winners included:
Golden Lion for best artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Adrian Piper. A pioneering artist, Piper has reformed conceptual practice to include personal subjectivity—of herself, her audience and the publics in general. Her presentations invite us to engage in a life-long performance of personal responsibility and calls out attention to ephemeral and transitional character of value systems.
Silver Lion for a promising young artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Im Heung-Soon for a moving video work that probes the nature of precarity in relation to the conditions of labor for women across Asia. Factory Complex takes the form of a documentary but with a direct, lightly mediated, encounter with his subjects and their working conditions.
A special mention for artists of the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Harun Farocki, a seminal figure in post-war cinema. This presentation makes his entire body of highly influential work accessible to a larger public.
Another special mention goes to the incredibly brave Abounaddara collective for documenting the current political strife and human struggle for survival in Syria, without taking sides.
A Special mentions goes to Massinissa Selmani for working in a modest medium which has the capacity to act beyond its scale.