Armenia’s Garik Karapetyan wins gold at IWF World Junior Championships

 09:57, 23 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 23, ARMENPRESS. Armenia’s Garik Karapetyan has won gold in the men’s 102kg category at the IWF World Junior Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Karapetyan lifted 175kg in snatch and 203kg in clean and jerk, earning him a small gold and small silver respectively. He was named champion with a total result of 378kg.

The Armenian team's Gor Sahakyan and Alexandra Grigoryan also won gold earlier in the championship.

Armenian PM meets with UK Minister for Europe Leo Docherty


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 20, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has met with UK Minister for Europe Leo Docherty.

In a readout, the Prime Minister’s Office said that PM Pashinyan mentioned the active nature of the relations between Armenia and the UK. He attached importance to the recently held first session of the Armenia-UK Strategic Dialogue. Prime Minister Pashinyan expressed certainty that the Armenia-UK cooperation has great potential and that mutual high-level visits will contribute to the full utilization of it.

UK Minister for Europe Leo Docherty highlighted the Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan’s recent official visit to the UK, which has intensified the expansion and deepening of bilateral ties. Docherty stressed the UK’s interest to deepen partnership with Armenia.

Issues pertaining to the Armenia-Azerbaijan normalization of relations were also discussed. The importance of continuing the peace process based on the principles that were agreed upon during the trilateral meetings held in Brussels on May 14 and July 15 of 2023 was emphasized. The humanitarian issues of over 100,000 forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh resulting from Azerbaijan’s policy of ethnic cleansing, and the Armenian government’s measures to overcome these issues were discussed. In this context, humanitarian support by the international community to the NK population was highlighted.

Views were exchanged around regional peace and stability, as well as other issues of mutual interest.

BTA. Foreign Minister Gabriel Thanks Germany for Its Strong Support for Bulgaria’s Schengen Accession


SOFIA, NOVEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS/BTA. Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel thanked Germany for its strong support for Bulgaria’s prompt Schengen accession during a joint press conference with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Berlin on Thursday.

“This means a lot for Bulgaria and for the Bulgarian people. Germany is our trusted ally and long-standing partner and its support for Schengen at this crucial moment is essential,” Gabriel stressed.

Baerbock said that Bulgaria and Romania have worked hard in this direction and now it is the turn of the Schengen countries to keep their word and accept them.

Gabriel also thanked Germany for its support for Bulgaria's candidacy for membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEC). She expressed confidence that the two countries cан work together in the sphere of investments, new technologies, cooperation in education and culture.

The enlargement of the EU, the fight against illegal migration and the situation in the Middle East вере also topics of the talks between the two foreign ministers.

The fight against illegal migration remains a key priority for Bulgaria, given that it is an external border of the EU, Gabriel said. She added that the country supports efforts to establish an effective fair and well-functioning migration and asylum system within the EU.

“It is crucial that support for Ukraine continues in the face of ongoing Russian aggression. We will continue to work for the sanctions regime against Russia. Bulgaria also provides political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian assistance and is home to thousands of Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war,” the Bulgarian Foreign Minister pointed out.

Бербок похвали оказваната подкрепа за Украйна от страна на България. "Радвам се да отбележа, че солидарност не е просто дума за България и че страната оказва помощ на Украйна", подчерта германската министърка. 

Тя изтъкна, че България е сред страните, които продължават да поддържат функциониращ коридора за износ на украинско зърно заедно с Гърция и Румъния. 

По отношение на конфликта в Близкия изток, който започна на 7 октомври, след като радикалната групировка "Хамас" нападна Израел, германската министърка заяви, че на място е видяла ситуацията по време на посещението си в региона. 

Baerbock praised the support provided to Ukraine by Bulgaria. "I am glad to note that solidarity is not just a word for Bulgaria," the German Minister underlined. 

She pointed out that Bulgaria is among the countries that continue to maintain a functioning Ukrainian grain export corridor together with Greece and Romania. 

Regarding the conflict in the Middle East, which started on October 7 after the radical group Hamas attacked Israel, Baerbock said she had seen the situation on the ground during her visit to the region.

"Clearly, there is no easy answer to this issue," she noted and added that opening a humanitarian corridor is necessary to allow people in need, especially children.

She called for the release of the hostages captured by Hamas in the attack and said Israel had the right to defend itself, but Israel must take into account the civilians in the Gaza Strip during its military operations.

"For there to be peace and security in the region, there must be two independent states," Baerbock stressed.

"Bulgaria strongly condemns the brutal terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel… We express our full support for Israel's right to self-defence, in accordance with the norms of international law," Gabriel said.

(This information is being published according to an agreement between Armenpress and BTA.)

The uniform of the Armenian Armed Forces will undergo both color and content changes, says Defense Minister


YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS. This year, the Ministry of Defense has initiated a change in the uniform of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan said during a question-and-answer session with members of the government in the National Assembly.

"I want to draw your attention to the fact that this initiative is not only about changing the color of the uniform; it also implies a content change. Military clothing must be of very high quality, comfortable and comply with current international standards in all its components. This applies to all types of uniforms. To achieve this, we have announced an open competition with the goal of involving all specialists in Armenia who can present their ideas regarding the new uniform," said Armenian Defense Minister, adding that the Ministry of Defense is actively collaborating with international partners in this direction.

PM Pashinyan emphasized the importance of resolutions adopted by PACE regarding the rights of Armenians in Karabakh

 18:33, 7 November 2023

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 7, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received Kimmo Kiljunen and Boriana Åberg, Co-Rapporteurs on Armenia of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Prime Minister's Office said in a readout.

The Prime Minister welcomed the visit of the co-rapporteurs to Armenia and emphasized the close cooperation of the Armenian government and the Council of Europe, particularly in the effective promotion of democratic reforms and other directions. Nikol Pashinyan emphasized that the development of democracy and the reforms agenda is the strategy of the Armenian government and that consistent work in that direction will be continuous. The Prime Minister presented the steps implemented and planned by the government within the framework of the anti-corruption policy. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the reforms have also contributed to the formation of a level playing field in the economy and the economic growth in our country.

Nikol Pashinyan referred to the forced deportation of more than 100,000 of our compatriots from Nagorno-Karabakh as a result of Azerbaijan's ethnic cleansing policy and the resulting humanitarian situation, as well as the steps taken by the Armenian government to overcome it. The assistance of the international community in solving the existing problems was emphasized. The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of the resolutions adopted by PACE regarding the rights of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Valley Children’s Healthcare signs historic partnership agreement with Armenian hospital

Your Central Valley
Nov 3 2023

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Valley Children’s Healthcare is now in an official partnership with Wigmore Women’s & Children’s Hospital in Yerevan, Armenia.  

A plan to elevate the healthcare of children on a global level.

“I think we are together in each other’s great company as we focus on healing and easing the pain and suffering of children even if we’re a half a world away,” said Valley Children’s Healthcare’s President and CEO Todd Suntrapak at the signing ceremony.

The connection between the two hospitals began months ago. Three pediatricians from Wigmore spent two weeks at Valley Children’s to learn from local pediatric specialists. Now, the two healthcare networks are taking the relationship to another level.

“To the extent that we are able to work with our new partner to share the knowledge we have,  but also to learn from them; I can’t think of a better partnership,” Suntrapak said.

Wigmore Hospital is Yerevan’s newest provider of pediatric care. Its CEO Dr. Zaven Koloyan here for the signing ceremony pledging to make the facility among Armenia’s premier hospitals while transforming the country’s standard of healthcare.

“Despite the distance between us, and even being on different hemispheres, together we share the same vision and values to make a lasting impact on the lives of our young patients,” Dr. Koloyan said.

The historic partnership– a first for Valley Children’s Healthcare– will promote learning and professional development for Wigmore staff. More visits to Valley Children’s Hospital from Armenia are planned, and some Children’s staff may travel to Armenia to continue their education there.

Armenpress: Foreign Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan held phone talk

 21:59, 24 October 2023

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 24, ARMENPRESS. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov had a telephone conversation on October 24.

The foreign ministers confirmed the need to increase efforts to normalize relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia on the basis of the tripartite agreements signed at the highest level in 2020-2022.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation informs that during the phone talk, the FMs also discussed current issues related to bilateral relations.

They highly appreciated the results of the Consultative Regional Platform "3+3" at the level of foreign ministers held on October 23 in Tehran and agreed to continue active work to promote that format.

Armenpress: Israel is not interested in widening the war, says Defense Minister


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 26, ARMENPRESS.  Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that Israel is focused on operations around the Gaza Strip and is not interested in the escalation of tensions on the border with Lebanon, but the army is ready for any scenario.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced this during a press conference on October 26.

According to Gallant, Israel is waging a war in the southern region against Hamas, but is ready for any developments in the north.

''Israel is not interested in widening the war, but will deal with it if necessary,” said Israeli Defense Minister.

Armenian government launches additional financial support program for forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh


YEREVAN, OCTOBER 23, ARMENPRESS. The Government of Armenia is launching a new financial assistance program for the forcibly displaced persons of Nagorno-Karabakh, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced Monday.

In a statement on social media, PM Pashinyan said that the forcibly displaced persons will receive an extra 50,000 drams each in November and December in addition to the previously announced housing and utility support payments. 

“We are launching a new financial assistance program for essential expenses for our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters of Nagorno-Karabakh. In addition to the money envisaged for accommodation and utility bills during the months of November and December, each will receive 50,000 drams from the state budget,” the Prime Minister said.

Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Khachatryan will present details on the new project later on Monday, he added.

“In the coming days we will start discussions about the long-term assistance issues for accommodation of our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters of Nagorno-Karabakh, which will be maximally matched with similar programs envisaged for citizens of Armenia. I hope that our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters of Nagorno-Karabakh who are capable to work will find employment in Armenia in the coming two months. Of course the government will provide support in this issue by all possible means,” Pashinyan said.

The Armenian government has already launched two financial support programs. Each forcibly displaced person of Nagorno-Karabakh has received a lump sum 100,000-dram support. The forcibly displaced persons will also receive 50,000 drams each per month for 6 months for accommodation and utility expenses.

France May Have Forced America’s Hand (In a Good Way) in the South Caucasus

Oct 13 2023

French co-operation with Armenia in its conflict with Azerbaijan is a welcome step towards ending Russian domination in the region

The South Caucasus region is a geographic landmass plagued with perpetual conflicts throughout history. With one of the oldest cultures on Earth, Armenia has historically been sandwiched between various conflicting empires.

Armenia faces a humanitarian and cultural catastrophe, which has drawn the ire of the international community at Azerbaijan’s actions. France has taken a stand the most and is currently preparing a defense cooperation agreement with Armenia and building a new consulate in Syunik province. With Paris growing their relationship with Yerevan, it could lead to a domino effect of drawing Washington into the fold—something that is needed to stop the new potential conflicts and ethnic cleansing that could take place if new wars were to commence.

During the commencement of the United Nations General Assembly, Azerbaijan, to much dismay, conducted a military offensive in Karabakh between September 19th and 20th to destroy the remaining Armenian militias in the region. The Azerbaijani military, supplemented by renewed weapons shipments from Turkey and Israel, quickly capitulated the Artsakh Defense Forces. In the ensuing chaos, over 100,000 Armenians fled the region. In less than a week, most Armenians in Karabakh fled for fear of their safety.

Though Azerbaijan claims it was not ethnic cleansing and had no intentions of it, statements made by the European Union and the United States told a different story, with calls for sanctions and reviewing the Western partnership with Baku.

During the 2020 war and 2022 border invasion of Armenia, Azerbaijan committed many war crimes, such as beheadings of Armenian civilians and sexual assaults of female Armenian POWs—a gross violation of the Geneva Conventions.

War crimes were purposely uploaded to telegram channels, as the autocrat of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, rewards such actions. Ramil Safarov was pardoned and named a national hero to much international condemnation for hacking an Armenian officer to death in his sleep with an axe in Hungary.

Fearing they could suffer the same fate of previous appalling actions of the Azerbaijani military and the lack of enforcement or care by Russian peacekeepers, the Armenian community hastily fled—leaving a refugee crisis to much of the world’s dismay and lack of diplomacy.

The lack of response by the international community to Azerbaijan’s sudden military operation raised the eyes of the bureaucratic practices when dealing with autocrats. The European Union is an example of this as the ongoing gas deal with Aliyev to digress from Putin saw the bloc trade one tyrant with numerous human rights abuses for another.

While most of the West has stayed silent, France has become the country that has stepped up the most to Armenia’s aid. Paris has grown its relationship with Yerevan, one of the few countries to condemn and warn of Baku’s actions in the aftermath of the 2020 war.

Russia, which has enacted information warfare against France in their former colonies, has also used similar hybrid warfare methods against Armenia—as Yerevan’s and Moscow’s relationship has drifted over the past several years. With a historical relation with the plight of Armenians stemming back to the rescues during the Armenian Genocide at Musa Dagh, France also sees an opportunity to reciprocate help for them against Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The French foreign minister and senate recently approved a military aid package and plan to create a consulate in Syunik as Azerbaijan and Turkey have stepped up warlike rhetoric against the Armenian province over the ‘Zangezur Corridor.’ France and Lithuania were also the most vocal in condemning Azerbaijan’s military aggression, as Baku promised “integration,” but used fear and intimidation against the Karabakh Armenians.

France’s drift to Armenia is opportunistic for both nations. Armenia is currently searching for a path of Western integration after multiple false promises and failures by Russia. At the same time, France looks to be the first NATO member to have an actual presence in a region that has been under the forceful eye of the Kremlin for hundreds of years.

Adomino effect of growing French cooperation with Armenia is that the partnership can bring America into the fold. In the aftermath of World War Two, US foreign policy has continuously intertwined with France’s geopolitical ambitions.

Initially supporting decolonization efforts, the United States condemned the tripartite French-British-Israeli invasion of Egypt, known as the Suez Canal Crisis. America would also come to the aid of the Lebanese government during the 1958 Civil War, as France could not provide military assistance due to their war in Algeria.

During the height of tensions between France and Vietnam, the US took the French side over the pro-American Ho Chi Minh, which led to the brutal Indochina Wars.

France is one of the three NATO members, along with Turkey and the US, with a force projection after most of the alliance went through decades of slow demilitarization. As Turkey and the US have geopolitically drifted, Washington has considered Paris their top NATO force projection partner.

American and French forces work in tandem in anti-terror operations in the Sahel. Washington supplemented Paris in the diplomatic and military field as France had lost vast influence in their former colonies.

The United States has grown closer to Armenia, particularly after the 2022 clashes mended by an American ceasefire. Joint military exercises in Syunik province for the first time in early September helped solidify a growing partnership.

Though Armenia would never be admitted into NATO if it left CSTO due to Turkey and Hungary, the country could serve as a major non-NATO ally akin to South Korea, Japan, Israel, and Ukraine.

France’s growing relations with Armenia can serve as a conduit for increasing American diplomatic and military aid for the next several years, as the actions of Turkey and Azerbaijan have put the US military support for these nations under question. Armenia’s PM Nikol Pashinyan has rescinded all territorial claims against his neighbour. At the same time, Ilham Aliyev refused the Western-backed reconciliation, and the ball is now in the latter’s court to stop provocative actions.

Putin has quietly grown towards Azerbaijan, whose gas offers a digression to evade Western sanctions, whereas Armenia has drifted West, with French diplomacy being a prime engagement factor.

With Russian influence waning as the Kremlin’s irrational actions alienated their own ‘allies,’ the West can finally integrate a region abandoned after the USSR fell compared to Eastern Europe, which significantly benefits from the Western partnership.