BAKU: If peace talks don’t yield results, Azerb. free to choose war

APA, Azerbaijan
May 22 2010

Polad Bulbuloglu: If the peace talks don’t yield results, Azerbaijan
will be free in selecting of conflict resolution

[ 22 May 2010 17:50 ]

Moscow. Roman Agayev ` APA. Azerbaijan has one serious problem `
Conflict with Armenia about Nagorny Garabagh, Azerbaijani ambassador
in Russia Polad Bulbuloglu told in the 2nd conference of Russia’s
Azerbaijan Youth Organization in Moscow.

According to him, every nation is obliged to defend its sovereignty,
citizens and territorial integrity. We consider that, if the peace
talks don’t yield results, Azerbaijan will be free in selecting of
conflict resolution.

Henceforth Cash Register Receipts To Be Given For Payments By Plasti


20 MAY, 2010

YEREVAN, MAY 20, NOYAN TAPAN. The RA National Assembly on May 20
passed the bill on additions to the Law on the Use of Cash Registers.

The bill was passed in the second reading and completely.

The bill envisages providing cash register receipts not only for
cash payments as envisaged by the current law, but also in case of
payments by plastic cards. The government said that the aim of the
addition is to prevent a decline in purchases by plastic cards.

The bill on amendments and additions to the Law on Fixed Payments
was passed in the second reading and completely. Under the bill,
the activities of gas stations will be again taxed by the system of
fixed payments, and not the general taxation system.

The parliament passed (in the first reading) the package of the bills
on additions to the Land Code and the Law on Local Self-Government.

The bill aims to promote the implementation of investment projects. In
particular, the bill stipulates that by the decision of the
government, lands considered as state property can be provided gratis
for the implementation of social and charity projects, while lands
considered as property of a community can be provided gratis for the
implementation of such projects at the suggestion of the government.

NKR Leader Considers Argentine Observers’ Participation In Parliamen


May 21, 2010 – 18:30 AMT 13:30 GMT

On May 21, NKR President Bako Sahakyan received Argentine National
Congress Chamber of Deputies and Argentine member Jose Ameghino Arbo
and public and political figure Sergio Nahabedyan who arrived in
Artsakh as an observer to parliamentary elections.

NKR leader emphasized the importance of Argentine observers’
participation in parliamentary elections noting that Argentine had
always displayed impartial stance towards the events taking place
Karabakh as well as Caucasus region.

Issues related to bilateral relations as well as domestic and
foreign policy were discussed during the meeting, Central Information
Department at NKR President’s Office emphasized.

Khachiyan, Altunyan Win 7th Round Games Of U.S. Chess Championship


May 21, 2010 – 13:29 AMT 08:29 GMT

Armenian grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan and international master Levon
Altunyan defeated Joel Benjamin and Samuel Shankland respectively in
the 7th round of the U.S. Chess Championship in Saint Louis on May 20.

Meanwhile, grandmaster Varuzhan Hakobyan lost a game vs. Robert Hess.

After 7 rounds, Hakobyan is the 6th with 3.5 points, while Khachiyan
and Altunyan are the 17th and 21st respectively.

No matches are scheduled for May 21.

BAKU: USA Does Not Recognize So-Called ‘Elections’ In Karabakh

May 21 2010

No country in the world, including the US, recognizes the fictional
Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the upcoming parliamentary ‘elections’
on May 23.

The official position of the United States has been voiced by the
official representative of the State Department, according to AzerTaj.

The United States supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group
aimed at search of ways of peaceful settlement. As one of the Minsk
Group co-chairs, the United States is working with the conflicting
Armenia and Azerbaijan attaining the conflict solution on the basis
of principles of the Helsinki final act-rejection of violence, right
for self-determination and preservation of territorial integrity.

State Department warns US citizens against travels to Azerbaijan’s
occupied regions

‘In the result of continued conflict, the US travelers should avoid
travels to Karabakh and adjacent regions, as well as the regions along
the front line of Azerbaijani and Armenian positions’, according to
the information posted on the website of the US Department of State.

The information also notes that currently the consulate services in
Karabakh are also not available for Americans.

TransContainer Developed Supply Chain To Deliver Cargo To Armenia


RIA Oreanda
May 20 2010

Moscow. OREANDA-NEWS . May 20, 2010. TransContainer and Apaven
(the agent in the Republic of Armenia) have developed a multi-modal
logistics chain to move cargoes between Russia and the Republic
of Armenia via Verhni Lars-Kazbegi, the border crossing on the
Russian-Georgian border, the press service of the container operator

The first two 20-foot containers came to Yerevan from Omsk on May
20th. They were moved by the rail in Russia and were reloaded to the
trucks at the Transcontainers terminal in Vladikavkaz. Then these
cargoes were sent further to the destination point via the Upper Lars.

The containers were moved by the Georgian roads at a height of 2,000
kilometres above the sea.

It took 19 days to deliver the containers from Omsk to Yerevan via
Vladikavkaz, which is 3 weeks less than through the ports of Southern

Anatoly Kolobkov, the Director of the North-Caucasian railway branch
said that container transportation via Verkhni Lars has a high economic
and political importance for the partnership ties between Russia and
Armenia. The preliminary estimations are that the container traffic
there may be about 200 TEU per month at the first stage, and it is
expected to grow. It is a new achievement in multimodal transport
service, and its success will enable Transcontainer to develop new
alternative routes to deliver cargoes in the Middle East, including
Iran, and to provide the full range of freight forwarding services,
including delivery to the client’s warehouses.

Activists Protest Planned Wilson Center Award To Turkish FM

Emil Sanamyan

5-20-activists-protest-planned-wilson-center-award -to-turkish-fm
Thursday May 20, 2010

Washington – Plans by a Washington think tank to award Turkey’s foreign
minister have generated protests by Armenian American activists.

According to Turkish media reports, Woodrow Wilson Center for
International Scholars, a congressionally-funded institution, selected
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as a recipient of its public service
award to be presented in Turkey on June 17.

Massachusetts activist David Boyajian initiated the campaign publishing
a commentary about Wilson Center’s plans on May 8. Boyajian has
since been joined by others writing letters of protest to the center
and Congress.

Protest letters have noted President Wilson’s leadership in American
efforts to condemn the Armenian Genocide and assist its victims.

Activists have argued that an award to a senior official in the
government that continues to deny the Genocide contradict President
Wilson’s legacy and also views of Congress, which funds the Wilson

On May 19, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) issued an
action alert urging Armenian American and other anti-genocide activists
to ask members of Congress to look into the Center’s decision.

"This award dishonors President Wilson’s vision of justice for the
Armenian nation," the ANCA-prepared letter argued.

"Mr. Davutoglu represents a government that, in its aggressive denial
of the Armenian Genocide and ongoing obstruction of justice for the
Armenian nation, makes a mockery of the Wilson Center and its founding
commitment to fostering scholarship commemorating ‘the ideals and
concerns of Woodrow Wilson.’"

Wilson Center’s outgoing president is Lee Hamilton, a former chair
and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had a
mixed record on recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

In Congress until 1999 Rep. Hamilton (D-Ind.) repeatedly issued
statements in support of and occasionally co-sponsored recognition
legislation. But in his statements for the record he curiously avoided
using the term genocide and consistently likened circumstances of
Armenian deaths to a "civil war."

Having A Hall With International Standards Is An Encouraging Idea


May 18 2010

For Galust Sahakyan who is the head of the NA Republican party the
session creates a field of nice memories.

Since yesterday the four day NA sitting is being passed in the
Governmental Hall, as in the hall of sitting of the parliament
reconstruction works are being realized.

"It has a kind of symbolic meaning; the Supreme Council of the Republic
of Armenia which had newly gained its independence was baptized here
and it is very exciting to work here with that psychology," explained
G. Sahakyan in the conversation with

Regardless the fact that in the working in the hall of the Government
has caused some inconveniences for the deputies, "In the new hall
with old conditions they will feel themselves more comfortable,"
the head of the head of the party.

"The expectation that we as well will have a hall corresponding to
the international standards should encourage us all," stressed G.


Armenian Delegation Leaving For Oslo For Eurovision 2010 Song Contes

17.05.2010 13:21

The Armenian delegation is leaving for Oslo today to participate in
Eurovision 2010 Song Contest. Tomorrow Armenia’s entrant Eve Rivas
will hold the first rehearsal in Telenor Arena tomorrow.

Duduk player Jivan Gasparyan has also joined the Armenian delegation,
Special Projects Adviser to the Executive Director of the Public
Television of Armenia Diana Mnatsaanyan informed.

Eurovision Song Contest 2010, featuring representatives from 39
countries, will take place in Oslo May 25-29. Eve Rivas will perform
second in the second semi-final on May 27.

Armenia Looks To Tourism As Way Forward


Gulf News
May 17 2010

Former soviet republic is focusing on upgrading infrastructure and
marketing itself internationally

By Jumana Al Tamimi, Associate Editor Published: 00:00 May 17, 2010

Yerevan: It has it all. Yet, much needs to be done.

Spectacular green landscapes and mountains covered by tall trees
outside the city stretch as far as the horizon, while the decades-old
Soviet-style utilitarian public buildings are among the main landmarks
inside the Armenian capital.

The main streets named after prominent figures in the nearly
2,600-year-old city are now embracing new shops selling international
brands. A few metres away, in the "old streets", there are shops
selling local products and handicrafts.

Armenia, which got its independence only 19 years ago, is a promising
tourist destination. It is also emerging as a place with great
potential for tourism-related investment.

Nearly 575,000 tourists visited Armenia in 2009 compared to 45,000
in 2000.

Half of the steadily increasing number of tourists arriving in
the former Soviet Union republic are Armenians living abroad. A
considerable part of the remainder includes mainly those who have a
"hunger for culture".

However, in order to attract more and more different types of tourists,
including families and students, Armenian authorities are focusing
on upgrading the infrastructure in the country — still influenced
by the former Soviet era. For example, signs and names of different
places are written in Russian, next to Armenian.

The young country also needs to market itself as a tourist destination

"What we are doing now is our homework to increase our standards,"
Armenian Deputy Minister of Economy and Minister of Tourism, Ara
Bedrosyan, said.

"We understand that we still have to invest in infrastructure and in
human resources because they both raise the tourism levels and create
more demand on Armenia in the international markets," he told a group
of visiting journalists from the UAE.

‘Huge achievements’

While the current tourism levels match "Armenia’s capabilities",
Bedrosyan explained, the country has had "huge achievements" between
the early nineties and today.

In 1990, there were only three hotels involved in international
tourism. Today, the number has jumped to 60.

While the airport was receiving mainly domestic flights, now up to
13 international airlines land at the newly-built port. (Construction
has not yet been completed at Yerevan Airport.)

Officials added that there is a need, as well, to improve the
road infrastructure in the country and raise them to international

More investment to further upgrade restaurants and hotels are also
needed, officials noted.

At present, tourism constitutes six per cent of the Gross Domestic
Product (GDP). But the target is to increase it to 13 per cent by 2030.

The plan of action is a series of steps at different levels.

Some steps have already been implemented.

Commodities and accommodation prices were reduced as part of a general
trend to lower costs. The cost of the entry visa was reduced from
nearly $60 (Dh220) to $8.

Measures, furthermore, were introduced to ease the entry of people
through the airport, the northern and southern borders — both
eastern and western boundaries are closed due to border disputes with
Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Negative impact

"Both the government and the private sector worked together on better
marketing [of] the country as a tourist destination, and overcome
the negative impact of the international financial crisis," added
the minister, who was speaking through an interpreter.

Therefore, media, considered by Armenian officials as among the most
important means of overcoming the impact of the international crisis
which led to a decrease in tourism worldwide, was also utilised.

A 52-minute film on Armenia and its attractions was produced to high
professional standards. Part of it was aired on international media.

Currently, many tourists travelling to Armenia include Iranians
and Westerners. However, nearly "50 per cent of arriving tourists
are Armenians living abroad, and they are coming to their country",
Bedrosyan said.

This category of tourists, "usually bring their families with them
in order to show them their original county and explain to them about
their culture".

The other part of arriving tourists comprises "the type that is not
coming to sit on the beaches. They arrive for cultural reasons",
Bedrosyan said.

"They visit Armenia to satisfy their intellectual demands. They are
categorised under historical and intellectual tourism."

Many of these tourists are "between 50 and 60 years old and they
are doing well financially", the official said. Already there are
churches listed under the World Heritage list: The cathedral and
Churches of Echmiatsin and the archaeological site of Zvartnots,
monasteries at Haghpat, Sanahin and Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley.

Yerevan also boasts opera houses and theatres.

The city prides itself on several streets named after prominent people
past and present — Armenian artists, painters, musicians and writers.

The national library in Armenia, established some 60 years ago,
has more than 17,000 manuscripts and 2,230 books in many languages,
primarily Armenian.

Mount Ararat, traditionally thought to be the landing place of Noah’s
Ark, is located along the border with Turkey, and can be seen from
almost anywhere in the country of nearly 3 million people.

Tourists have different options, such as skiing in winter and hiking
and picnicking at other times of the year. There are also attempts
to promote and invest in the hot water spas in the country.

For instance, a Swiss company has shown interest in investing in
Jermuk, an area famous for its nearly 500 hot springs, officials
pointed out. The area, which is 175km from Yerevan, is surrounded
by mountains and was famous during the Soviet era among thousands of
tourists seeking cures for certain illnesses.

In order to encourage winter skiing, a new 200-room hotel was built
in Kegharkunik, a northern governorate. Furnished hotel apartments
are also in the area.

Kegharkunik, north of Yerevan, is located near Lake Sevan, the world’s
largest mountain lake.

Developing infrastructure

Several projects between Armenia and Western countries, including
Germany, France, Australia, Canada and the US are under way to develop
the infrastructure in the area, including building a teleferic (cable
car) and hotels in the very cold area.

Other countries have shown interest in investing in mining gold ore
in the region, as well as basalt stones famous in the area.

"There are huge amounts of basalt stones, but there are no buyers,"
Never Boghosian, Kegharkunik’s mayor said.

"Even if we want to export, transportation will be a problem," he
added, referring to the closed eastern and western borders.

Since air and land freight could be costly and unprofitable, shipping
by train seems to be the only available means.

The governorate, which is 2,000 metres above sea level and has a
population of nearly a quarter of a million, is also known for its
honey, dairy products, cherries and apricots.

"Also, every year we have a problem with our production of potatoes,"
Boghosian said.

The production far exceeds domestic need. As a result, the extra
produce is sold at cost price in view of the difficulties in exporting
due to closed borders with both Turkey and Azerbaijan.

"In order to establish a potato chips factory, we need investment,"
Boghosian said.

Nearly half of Armenia’s potato supply comes from Kegharkunik, which
produces nearly 300,000 tonnes yearly, as well as nearly 110,000 to
115,000 tonnes of wheat a year.

"Armenia’s investment regulations are very flexible, and the taxes are
very appropriate" the mayor said, trying to encourage more investors
to go to the area.

In terms of tourism, many Armenians say that their country is not even
"fully discovered".

"The most important thing they can do here is picnicking in the
forest. There are also hot springs," said Armen Santrosyan, mayor
of Dilijan, a city in the heart of an awesome green area squeezed
between high mountains.

Most of the 17,000 population of the city work in tourism.

Cultural city

During the Soviet era, the city was of some importance, officials said,

That time, there were nearly five hotels run only by Moscow, and
"they would send anybody who needed recreation and treatment to one
of these hotels", Santrosyan recalled.

Today, there are nearly 20 hotels, resorts and furnished apartments
in Dilijan, known as the "cultural city" for the different schools
it has, including an international school for children, two music
schools and two sports centres.

Some of the places in the city, located about 90km northeast of Yerevan
and 50km west of Azerbaijan, give Armenian tourists from inside the
country or the diaspora, priority over non-Armenian tourists during
the extremely busy but pleasant summer months.

Many non-Armenian tourists come from European countries and the US,
and the peak is usually the period between May and October. In the
summer season, all the 1,300 beds available are fully occupied. In
late April, only up to 20 per cent occupancy is usually recorded.

"We understand that being a landlocked country and a small country, our
success comes from being part of a regional product," Bedrosyan said.

"What we are doing is very successful with Iran and neighbouring
Georgia within this project of the Great Silk Road, the caravan trade
routes that linked Eastern and Western civilisation in ancient and
middle ages."

Tourism along the route of the Great Silk Road, which was first
operated as a route between China and the capital of the Roman Empire
in the 2nd century BC, is gaining momentum with the attention of the
World Tourism Organisation (WTO)."

The WTO is implementing a long-term tourist project aimed at promoting
tourism in the region.