Under auspices of NATO, Armenian servicemen developed mountain trainings in Georgia

ARMINFO
Armenia –

ArmInfo. Military personnel from Armenia take part  in the courses of the Sachkhere School of Mountain Training named  after Colonel Besik Kutateladze after a four-year break.

The course is held within the framework of the NATO Partnership for  Peace program. In addition to the military personnel of Armenia,  Georgian, American, Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian military personnel  took part in it.

According to the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, the summer basic  mountain training course under the NATO Partnership for Peace program  will last three weeks.

The last time the Armenian side took part in such courses was in  January 2018. 

Turkish press: Turkish, Armenian special representatives to hold 4th meeting on July 1

Merve Aydogan   |28.06.2022


ANKARA 

The fourth meeting of envoys from Türkiye and Armenia for normalization of ties is set for July 1, the foreign ministries of both countries confirmed Tuesday.

"The fourth meeting of the Special Representatives for the normalization process between Türkiye and Armenia, Ambassador Serdar Kilic and Deputy Speaker Ruben Rubinyan will take place in Vienna on July 1, 2022," the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.

A spokesperson for Armenia's Foreign Ministry also confirmed the development in a tweet.

Kilic was named as Türkiye's special envoy to discuss steps toward normalization with neighboring Armenia on Dec. 15, 2021. Three days later, Armenia appointed its own special representative Rubinyan.

The first round of talks was held in Moscow on Jan. 14, where both parties agreed to continue negotiations without any preconditions, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Turkish and Armenian envoys met for the second time in Vienna on Feb. 24.

Also, a historic bilateral meeting took place between the foreign ministers of Türkiye and Armenia on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum on March 12.


As part of the efforts, Türkiye and Armenia have also resumed commercial flights as of Feb. 2 after a two-year hiatus.

The two countries have been divided on a range of issues, including Armenia's occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, and 1915 events during the Ottoman Empire era, and the border between the two neighboring countries has been closed since 1993.

Ruben Rubinyan, Deputy FM of Poland discuss issues related to normalization of Armenia- Turkey relations

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 18:09,

YEREVAN, JUNE 27, ARMENPRESS. The Vice President of the National Assembly of Armenia Ruben Rubinyan met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland Marcin Przydacz and the delegation led by him on June 28.

As ARMENPRESS was informed from the press service of the National Assembly, the Head of the Armenia-Poland Parliamentary Friendship Group Arusyak Julhakyan and the Chair of the Standing Committee on European Integration Arman Yeghoyan were present at the meeting.

Welcoming the guests, Ruben Rubinyan emphasized the high level of relations between Armenia and Poland, highlighted the effective cooperation.

The sides attached importance to the effective work of friendship groups in the development of cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries.

Issues related to the normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations were discussed.

Ruben Rubinyan presented the current situation in the region after the 44-day war and the unresolved issues.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland Marcin Przydacz highlighted the deepening of bilateral ties, the development of cooperation in the economic sphere. According to the Polish diplomat, Armenia is a valuable partner for Poland. The guest appreciated the continuous process of democratic reforms in Armenia.

The first policy dialogue of "GREEN Armenia" joint platform took place

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 18:12,

YEREVAN, JUNE 27, ARMENPRESS. The Government of Armenia, in cooperation with the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations Development Program, today launched the "Growth and Recovery for the Strengthening, Upgrading and Prosperity of Armenia" platform in support of Armenia's promising sustainable development, green recovery and growth, ARMENPRESS was informed from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Hambardzum Matevosyan.

The discussion chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Hambardzum Matevosyan was attended by World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus Sebastian Molineus, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to Armenia Patrik Svensson, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Natia Natsvlishvili, Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan, and representatives of other concerned structures.

The goal of the GREEN Armenia platform is to combine and optimize policies and investment initiatives for the sake of Armenia's transition to green economy.
Today's event was the first in a series of thematic dialogues jointly organized by beneficiaries to come up with innovative ideas and to learn about global knowledge, which is key to building resilience to climate change.

Deputy Prime Minister Hambardzum Matevosyan welcomed the participants of the discussion, emphasizing that the Armenian Government highly appreciates such initiatives in terms of summarizing the work done, learning lessons and outlining the next steps. “This is best expressed in the Government’s Action Plan 2021-2026, by which we have planned a number of measures, from increasing the share of green energy to the promotion of alternative vehicles, the introduction of related infrastructure, afforestation, and other necessary works”, the Deputy Prime Minister said, adding that on the way to building a modern low-carbon economy, Armenia attaches importance to ensuring an inclusive, participatory process with the active participation of international partners, the private sector, civil society, and academia.

According to Sebastian Molineus, WB Regional Director for the South Caucasus, the GREEN Armenia platform will assist Armenia in its efforts to transition to a sustainable economy. "The green transition may be a stimulus for Armenia's economy, but it will be necessary to set priorities in cooperation with the private sector and international development partners and implement low- carbon, resource efficient policies and programs, in line with environmental goals," the WB representative said.

According to EU Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, the green agenda, which is considered one of the leading among the priorities set by the EU for Europe and the planet, implies much more than the reduction of emissions. "It implies systemic changes in economies, societies and industries. In the case of Armenia, this opportunity is clear. A greener economy will not only improve the quality of life of the Armenian people, but will also stimulate sustainable growth and new jobs," the EU Ambassador said, hoping that the GREEN Armenia platform will contribute to an open and transparent transition to a green economy.

According to UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Natia Natsvlishvili, making Armenia's economy greener is the right policy in these difficult times, it can serve as a national strategic framework to ensure an equitable and inclusive transition to sustainable, zero-emission, climate-friendly economy while minimizing potential challenges that can be faced by the affected population and communities. She reaffirmed the UNDP's readiness to combine efforts with the EU, the WB and other partners to assist the Government of Armenia in the fact-based, equitable and strategic policy of green transition, contributing to economic growth, human development and the unique natural capital of the country.

During the discussions, the Government presented its vision for the transition to a green economy in Armenia and its policy on climate and environment, which will help strengthen Armenia's resilience. The representatives of the scientific-educational community, the public sector and international organizations presented their experience and position on the challenges and opportunities on the way to the transition to a green and resilient economy.

Deputy Prime Minister Matevosyan praised the efforts and readiness of all partners and stakeholders to combine their knowledge, experience and resources for the sustainable growth of the country through the GREEN Armenia platform.

Armenpress: According to the Prime Minister, the bio-laboratories operating in Armenia pose no threat to Russia

According to the Prime Minister, the bio-laboratories operating in Armenia pose no threat to Russia

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 23:21,

YEREVAN, JUNE 27, ARMENPRESS. The bio-laboratories operating in Armenia are 100% owned by the Republic of Armenia, ARMENPRESS reports PM Pashinyan said in a Facebook live. The journalist noted that the Russian side has repeatedly stated that there are biolaboratories in Armenia, within the framework of which there is cooperation between the United States and Armenia, including in the direction of military departments. In addition, the Russian Embassy in Armenia stated that there are structures in Armenia that have participated in biological projects in Ukraine.

"It is true that it was created with the support of the United States, but they are owned by the Republic of Armenia. This topic was raised in 2018, our Russian partners expressed concern, we invited them, we said, come and show what the concern is. There have been visits and discussions, but no concerns were raised as a result of those discussions," said the Prime Minister.

Pashinyan noted that a document on cooperation in the field of biosafety was signed between Armenia and Russia, there is close cooperation between the two countries in that field, cooperation will continue.

"But this does not mean that we will not cooperate with other countries in the field of developing science and infrastructure. It’s another issue that we have to see whether this cooperation poses a threat to the Russian Federation or not. We guarantee that during our cooperation we have not and will not create threats for our allies. Although we hear concerns, we try to understand if we may have missed something. If it turns out that we have missed something, we create a threat, although that’s impossible, we are open to those discussions. I have expressed concerns about those public statements, but so far I have not received any specific information about it," Pashinyan concluded.

David Hotson & Fiandre Architectural surfaces reinterpret Armenian church

June 20 2022

 

New meets old as award-winning New York architect David Hotson reinterprets 1,400 year-old armenian prototype for the Saint Sarkis Church in Carrollton, Texas. The 2022 addition looks forward as well as backward, marrying ancient architectural and artistic traditions with contemporary digitally-driven design and fabricating technologies, evident more profoundly on the western side. In collaboration with Italian Architectural Surfaces manufacturer Fiandre, part of Iris Ceramica Group, a striking façade dissolves 1.5 million unique pixels each representing the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Architect David Hotson collaborates with Fiandre part of Iris Ceramica Group to memorialize the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Working with long-time collaborator Stepan Terzyan, Hotson modeled the design on the ancient church of Saint Hripsime (618 AD), which still stands near Armenia’s modern capital of Yerevan. Saint Sarkis was laid exactly fourteen centuries later in 2018, and its connection to the ancient prototype provides a link to Armenia’s legacy as the world’s first Christian nation.


 

It goes without saying that the most striking of these contemporary innovations is the west façade of the church, composed of interwoven botanical motifs drawn from Armenian art. As a visitor approaches, 1.5 million tiny pixels begin to dissolve. All were generated by a computer script that makes each one unique accurately representing the individuals who perished in the country’s genocide in 1915, including family members of the Saint Sarkis congregation as well. The individual icons spreading across the entire surface provides a visceral encounter with the scale of the historical atrocity, essentially serving as a subtle but powerful memorial.   

 

To implement the façade, David Hotson partnered closely with Fiandre. The manufacturing brand’s Design Your Slabs system allows exterior grade, UV-resistant custom printing at extremely fine resolution on large-format porcelain rain screen panel materials. The Italian-fabricated façade is the first use of this exterior grade high-resolution digital printing technology to optically engage the viewer in a series of visual scales nested inside each other. Graniti Vicentia Façades installed and utilized the proprietary ventilated system of Granitech – the division of Iris Ceramica Group dedicated to Ventilated Façade Systems. 

In addition to the memorial façade, Fiandre supplied the full range of porcelain interior and exterior floor, wall and soffit finishes used throughout the Saint Sarkis Campus. The solid gray mass of the church exterior, rendered in modern materials, references the monolithic sculptural character of ancient Armenian churches which were constructed entirely of stone. The juxtaposition of the monochrome architecture against the rich multicolored vegetation, envisioned and implemented by landscape designer Zepur Ohanian, recreates the powerful relationship between monolithic architecture and verdant landscape that is typical of the ancient churches and monastery complexes that still survive throughout the Armenian homeland.

project info:

 

name: Saint Sarkis Armenian Church

ceramics: Fiandre Architectural Surfaces + DYS (Iris Ceramica Group)/@fiandre_surfaces

architect: David Hotson /@davidhotson_architect

ventilated façade: Granitech /@granitech_official

installation: Graniti Vicentia Façade

location: Carrollton, Texas, USA

See photos at 

Irvine mayor’s efforts to repair relations with Armenian community could lead to memorial, school curriculum

Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan hosts a group of local mayors outside City Hall on Monday, November 15, 2021 for a press conference about how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will have a positive impact on communities. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

PUBLISHED:  at 11:54 a.m. | UPDATED:  at 11:55 a.m.

When a video surfaced in March of Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan joking and laughing during a meeting in 2020 with representatives of local Turkish groups, it sparked a furor among some community members who noted among the party a man who has been outspoken in denying the Armenian Genocide.

Residents penned letters and turned up at City Council meetings to voice their outrage. An Armenian group denounced the county Democratic Party for its early endorsement in Khan’s 2022 mayoral race.

In demand letters penned to the public and Khan, an immediate apology from the mayor was requested, along with a pledge to distance herself from anyone who has denied the genocide and for her support for teaching public school students about the history of the carnage.

Khan and Armenian community members have since met and it could mean an Armenian Genocide memorial is constructed in Irvine – Khan said she will support finding a place in the city. She’s also agreed to approach the Irvine Unified school board about coordinating training for educators on teaching about the genocide. And, at an April City Council meeting, she said she donated $1,500 to the Genocide Education Project.

Khan was quick to post recorded statements to social media apologizing, but has also said the video wasn’t an accurate representation of what was discussed during that meeting – she’s having a company look into its editing.

The video’s captions had an “incorrect translation” of the conversation between her and Turkish community members, she said, suspecting its out-of-context release now was “politically intended,” timed for two weeks before the Democratic Party of Orange County planned to announced its early endorsements.

The mayor remains steadfast that discussions at the meeting, which she said was one of many held with community members after her 2020 mayoral win, did not touch on the Armenian Genocide, as some have said.

She promised to cut ties with anyone critical that the genocide occurred.

“I think it’s a little disheartening,” Khan said of the response to the video. “I think I’ve been in the middle of conflicts before – from India and Pakistan, from Palestine and Israel – and I’ve never had the community react this way to me. I have never had this type of experience. It’s always been like, ‘We’re upset, let’s have a meeting. Let’s talk. Let’s have an understanding.’”

In the released video, Khan is accepting congratulations for her mayoral win, she said. When she is presented a box of Turkish Delights, captions appear depicting the conversation between Khan and a community member identified later as Ergun Kirlikovali. They read that he says on “Armenians’ occasions,” Khan could eat the candies and they would “disappear.”  Khan responds, “I’ll make sure I eat it in front of them.”

Some said they believe Khan and Kirlikovali were referring to Armenians disappearing. But the mayor said there was “no mention of Armenian Genocide.”

“As a person of faith, as a person who has worked in interfaith for so many years, has 17 years of community building behind me, I would never make fun of anybody,” Khan said in an interview. “That’s not who I am. That’s not what I would do.”

She said she has a company looking into the authenticity of the video with captions, and “preliminary findings from them is that this is a chopped up, kind-of sliced up video. It’s not what I said. It’s not what I was discussing at the time.”

Khan said the company, which she declined to name or provide further details on, is preparing a final report on its review, which she will present publicly when it’s completed.

“I’m really hoping for that professional report to come out to kind of put to rest the idea that people are calling me a racist and that I’m denying the genocide or saying that Armenians should disappear,” Khan said.

Violet Bulujian, chair of the Orange County chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America, said seeing the video was a gut-punch.

“To say that we were outraged is an understatement,” said Bulujian, who added that she represents the area’s Armenian community.

“If you imagine the Democratic mayor attending a meeting that was hosted by Holocaust deniers, and that mayor says, ‘I pledged to stand with you no matter what,’ and then laughs along with them, that would not be tolerated, under no circumstances,” Bulujian said.

As many as 1.2 million Armenians died during the genocide that began in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. While most historians agree the deaths and massacres that occurred constitute genocide, the Turkish government has resisted calling it such, saying that while tragedies took place during World War I, no coordinated genocide happened.

Khan ultimately was given the Democratic Party of Orange County’s early endorsement at a meeting in March.

In response to a request for a recording of discussions during that meeting, Executive Director Ajay Mohan provided an emailed statement from Party Chair Ada Briceño, who said the group’s “Central Committee voted overwhelmingly, by a vote of more than 2/3, to endorse Mayor Farrah Khan for re-election. We look forward to supporting Mayor Khan in 2022.”

A couple weeks later, members of the Southern California Armenian Democrats began circulating a petition calling on the party to rescind the endorsement.

Led by UCI professor of Physics and Astronomy Kev Abazajian, the group wrote that Khan’s response to the community “has been as reprehensible as the original hate speech,” and the endorsement should be taken back “until which point she properly acknowledges the extent of the harm of her actions and takes concrete steps to reconcile with the Armenian community.”

The Democrats of Greater Irvine, a group also chaired by Abazajian, a 2018 City Council contender who lost out to Khan and Councilman Anthony Kuo, voted to censure the mayor at a meeting in April for “her participation in hate speech, supporting and promoting Armenian Genocide denialists and continued denial of the years-long relationship with Armenian Genocide denialists.”

There is an existing rift among Democrats in Irvine, Khan said, between those who support her and those who side with Councilman Larry Agran. A longtime figure in Irvine politics, Agran has held a seat on the City Council for the better part of three decades. He was first elected in 1978 and has served off and on, including times as mayor, to today.

The Democrats of Greater Irvine on March 20 – prior to the video surfacing – had already voted 37-11 to oppose giving Khan their early endorsement for mayor. In their letter to the Central Committee, the Democrats of Greater Irvine listed a number of reasons for opposing Khan, including her resistance to moving to district-based elections, her failure to second more than a dozen agenda items proposed by Agran and her promotion of Republicans in Irvine, among other issues.

The group urged the Central Committee to “support our local Democratic club members’ positions as they are the ones who will be organizing and volunteering, on the ground, when it comes election time.”

Khan contends that group isn’t representative of the broader base of Democratic voters in the city. She also said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if Abazajian was behind the public release of the video to disparage her politically leading up to the endorsement vote.

“I don’t know what the truth is behind it, but I can only assume that it is to help Larry Agran,” Khan said.

Abazajian balked at the notion that he had anything to do with the video or that the outrage over its release was about political infighting, saying the response from the community had “nothing to do with other members of the council.”

“This has to do with her supporting genocidal regimes for years. And associating with genocide deniers for years,” he said.

Abazajian said the issue is “way bigger than Irvine,” recalling that he and others were outraged in 2021 when Khan lauded the country of Azerbaijan as a “secular democracy” during an Azerbaijani Consulate event celebrating its Republic Day. The ANCA Western Region, which represents all of California, in a letter to the Central Committee asking the group not to award Khan its annual “Truth Award,” calling Azerbaijan “one of the most authoritarian regimes on earth, ranking amongst the worst offenders when it comes to democratic rights, press freedom and fundamental human rights.”

Khan said at the time she “did not realize there is a conflict going on,” between Azerbaijan and Armenia and she later sat down with the ANCA group to apologize, but she felt singled out because the criticism came as she was being considered for the Central Committee award. Other elected officials who were part of that Azerbaijani event didn’t receive the same pushback, she said.

Bulujian’s organization, the ANCA, has also noted that Kirlikovali was among a group that Khan announced in 2021 as her mayoral advisory committee. Khan said the residents weren’t appointed as part of an official committee, instead the group was formed out of an “open call to community members that I should be interacting with, to come on and share with me what they’d like to see more of in the city,” she said.

Agran called it “just ludicrous” to imply that he or his supporters were involved in this controversy, saying that Khan shouldn’t be focused on a resident or local politics. “Her problem is with the Armenian community, and as I understand it throughout Southern California and maybe even nationally,” Agran said.

Kirlikovali also said the conversation during the meeting with Khan in 2020 was about Turkish desserts and not about Armenians disappearing.

After sitting down with Bulujian and other community members in May, Khan said she hoped for an opportunity to move forward and “build a relationship with the community, especially here in Irvine, and go forward from there.”

Bulujian isn’t quite ready to call it a relationship mended. She said Khan agreed to what community members are asking of her, including the memorial and initiating training of district teachers on the Genocide Education Project.

“I don’t know about saying reconciliation. I wouldn’t call it that,” Bulujian said. But her hope as a result of the community’s response is for the mayor “to be more aware of who her constituents are and who she’s representing.”