OSCE officials record consequences of Azeri shelling of Armenian villages

The Office of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office held a regular monitoring of the state border between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the direction of the Aygepar village in Tavush region.

From the Armenian side the monitoring was conducted by Field Assistants of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Yevgeny Sharov (Ukraine) and Peter Svedberg (Sweden).

Before the monitoring the OSCE officials were briefed on the situation at the Tavush border and the statistics of ceasefire violations by the Azerbaijani side. The heads of Movses and Verin Karmiraghbyur communities voiced their concern over the shelling of civilians.

During the monitoring the parties established radio communication and provided security guarantees. No incidents were registered during the monitoring.

The OSCE officials were also accompanied to one of the villages that suffered as a result of the attack to register the consequences of the shelling on the ground and learn about the concerns of the local population.

The Field Assistants of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office made some notes, which they will include in future reports.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan attends charity event in Yerevan

Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan participated in a charity event at the Football Academy today.

Mkhitaryan signed balls, which were presented to 30 kids, beneficiaries of the Armenian Caritas, including 10 Syrian Armenians.

Mkhitaryan also signed 2 t-shirts and 20 balls, which will be auctioned in the future: all proceeds will be donated to Armenian orphanages.

Diaspora Armenian businessmen Tigran Tchablakian and Grigor Jaburyan from Tecbuy and Airpo-Tech companies gifted an “Erebouni Haverzh” unique golden pen to Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The player signed the balls with the pen.

President Sargsyan’s congratulatory message on Nagorno Karabakh Independence Day

Dear Compatriots!
I congratulate you on the occasion of the Independence Day of Nagorno Karabakh.

The Independence Day of Artsakh is a festivity for Armenians in all over the world, but first of all it is the festivity for the people from Artsakh. On this very historic day in 1991 due to the declaration of independence a suffering but at the same time heroic segment of Armenians was saved from the clutches of violence and totalitarian regime, national and religious discrimination, persecution and pogroms, lie, falsehood and anti-Armenian racist propaganda. And it was you who did it.

And our struggle was not over with that heroic deed; on the contrary, it entered a new stage of fight for the right to live in our own house with dignity, for the human and national rights. On the battlefield the Artskhian defended his and his children’s life, saved his and his children’s future.

In 2015 that marks the 100th anniversary of Meds Yeghern, when we commemorate the canonized martyrs, independent and proud-spirited Artsakh gains deeper significance and value for all of us.

Dear compatriots,

Day by the number of friends of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and its people is growing. Day by day the international reputation of Artsakh, steadily walking along the path of independence and democracy, is growing. It is the result of both your just and creative efforts and your achievements in the statehood- and army-building.

Once again I congratulate you on the occasion of this glorious day, recalling the longstanding and wise motto “Freedom does not have an alternative”.

Yerevan Mayor visits Armenian Church in Marseille

The delegation headed by Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan visited the Armenian Apostolic Church in Marseille.

The spiritual leader of the church Priest Aram Ghazaryan briefed the Mayor on the history of foundation of the church and its current activities.

Attaching particular importance to preserving the national culture and traditions and to the role and significance of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the Diaspora, Mayor Taron Margaryan thanked Priest Aram Ghazaryan for consistent work towards unity of the Armenian community of Marseille.

Fuller Center for Housing Armenia celebrates 400th home milestone

The Fuller Center for Housing Armenia team and the Global Builders volunteer team from the U.S., led by Cynthia Reimers Erickson, celebrated the 400th home milestone in Lejan village of Lori Region.

It’s the call of blood and the will of helping others that brings  Cynthia Erickson to Armenia already 10 years; and she comes not alone, but with teams of volunteers who do tremendous work in short time building homes for Armenian families in need of decent housing.

The day was of triple celebration; the 400th home milestone construction became more noteworthy with the 10th year celebration of the dedicated veteran team leader, Cynthia Reimers Erickson and a devoted, selfless volunteer Charles Takesian – 10 years with Fuller Center for Housing Armenia, 10 years of dedicated and selfless service to help the dream of having a decent home of the families in need come true.

”I am very happy to be working with the Fuller Center Armenia all these years. They have dedicated and extremely competent staff who have generous hearts and are devoted to helping their fellow Armenians be successful in Armenia. It is a pleasure for me to bring a team of Americans to Armenia to work with these selfless folks and contribute to the completion of a suitable home for a family.  Armenia is in my blood and, for me, this is the best way I can honor the memory of my grandparents and their family members who were deprived of their lives and their homeland – by helping others gain a home and strengthen their homeland,” said Cynthia Reimers Erickson.

Many families have felt the constructive force of Cynthia Erickson’s team. This time the Margaryans from Lejan Vilage of Lori Region were among the happy ones, who have been the eyewitness of the unreal seeming change of their house since June 15.

The Margaryans lost their house during the 1988 earthquake and since then they have been living in a temporary shelter (domik).

”Each time I see the Armenian families becoming homeowners  it fills me with special joy and sense of pride. Today it’s the 400th times I am the eyewitness of such happiness. I hope that we will still build many more homes with the help of our friend, Cynthia, who helped us in our mission throughout her 10 years of devotion, her team and many other volunteers who come to Armenia to help build homes,” said Fuller Center for Housing Armenia President Ashot Yeghiazaryan.

Artsakh President meets Armenia’s Defense Minister

On 17 June Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan received the Defense Minister of the Republic of Armenia Seyran Ohanyan and Deputy Head of the General Staff of the Republic of Armenia’s Armed Forces Movses Hakobyan.

A number of issues related to army building and cooperation between the two Armenian states in this sphere were discussed during the meeting.

NKR Defense Minister Levon Mnatsakanyan was present at the meeting.

Yerevan hosts conference on Armenia-NATO relations

 

 

 

An international conference on “NATO-Armenia relations in the context of new challenges” initiated by the Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) was held in Yerevan today.

According to ACGRC Head Stepan Grigoryan, Armenia’s cooperation with NATO is rather constructive, but it cannot go too deep because we are part of a different security system.

“There is no doubt that the cooperation with NATO comes to supplement our security. I think NATO has chosen the right way of cooperation with Armenia to the extent the latter wants, without any noise and ambitions,” Grigoryan said.

The cooperation with NATO has risen to a certain level in the field of peacekeeping operations, which has led to the improvement of Armenia’s international standing, Stepan Grigoryan said. He added that the “humanitarian and scientific programs are also on a high level.”

Gerlinde Niehus, Head of Communications at NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, said Armenia is a very important country for NATO. She hailed the cooperation in international peacekeeping and voiced hope that the collaboration would further succeed.

German Ambassador to Armenia Rayner Morel voiced his appreciation for the level of Armenia’s relations with NATO.

Amb. Morel noted that Armenia is a good member of the CSTO and added that there are other opportunities the country should use.

As for statements from Azerbaijan suggesting that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship should be extended to include Germany, the Ambassador said “Germany supports the OSCE Minsk Group, but has no wish to join it.”

Speaking about the Armenian Genocide Resolution pending at the Bundestag, Rayner Morel said he can make no predictions, but voiced confidence that discussions will take place. He reminded that the German President made it clear that the what happened in 1915 was genocide.

Asa Jennings: A failed Minister who saved 250,000 Christians during Armenian Genocide

Asa Jennings was a failed small-town Methodist minister from upstate New York working for the YMCA in Smyrna, Turkey, in 1922, when he saved a quarter of a million Christians from perishing in a brutal final chapter of the Armenian Genocide, according to

“A private individual, a guy without portfolio, who held a minor position in the YMCA, came forward and put together this astonishing rescue,” says Lou Ureneck, who spent four years researching and writing Jennings’ story. “One of the things I hope the book does is give America another hero. People ought to know about the work of Asa Jennings.”

The College of Communication journalism professor’s book, The Great Fire: One American’s Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide (Ecco, 2015) will debut at an event this week in Washington, D.C., amid commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the genocide’s beginning. The story’s staying power can be seen today in the continuing controversy over use of the word “genocide” and persecution of Christian minorities in other Muslim countries in the Middle East.

“I think the world has awakened to what happened in Asia Minor during those years,” Ureneck says. “When will Turkey stop denying it? I have no idea. But clearly there are a lot of people in Turkey who would like to know the truth, who are willing to admit the truth, who want to know the facts. So I think eventually Turkey will reconcile itself to its history. But it’s not an easy thing for any country to do, to admit it participated in a genocide.”

Erdogan declines Putin’s invitation to Moscow ceremony in fresh diplomatic snub

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declined an invitation from counterpart Vladimir Putin to attend the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Moscow’s victory in World War II, in an apparent diplomatic reprisal againstRussian leader’s decision to label the 1915 killings of Ottoman Armenians as genocide last month, the reports.
Russian diplomatic sources told daily Hürriyet on May 5 that Turkey would be represented by Ambassador Ümit Yardım at the May 9 Victory Day Parade in Moscow.
Upon a question from a Russian journalist, Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said during his visit to Moscow on April 15 that he “was sure that President [Erdogan] would try to come” to Moscow for the ceremony.
“April 24, 1915 is a melancholy date, related to one of the most horrendous and dramatic events in human history, the genocide of the Armenian people,” Putin said in a letter to the World Without Genocide commemorative event on April 23, the text of which was also posted on the Kremlin website. Furthermore, the Duma voted on April 24 to pass a resolution that described the 1915 events as genocide.
Putin and French President François Hollande were among the leaders to join the commemorations in Armenia’s capital Yerevan on April 24 to mark the 100th anniversary.
After the Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Putin and the Duma, President Erdogan personally dove into the issue.
“We wish that Mr. Putin and Mr. Hollande had not gone to Armenia [on April 24]. Two heads of states went there [in Yerevan]. Thank God, 20 heads of state came to us,” Erdogan said.
Diplomatic sources in Moscow told Hürriyet that Putin’s invitation was conveyed toAnkara in March, but Putin’s stance over 1915 prompted Turkey to decline it.

Russian arms exporter plans to expand deliveries to Turkey

Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport plans to expand deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Turkey, the company’s press service announced Tuesday, Sputnik reports.

“[W]e are actively working on expanding deliveries of Russian arms and military equipment to Turkey,” Rosoboronexport’s press service cited Anatoly Aksyonov, who is heading the company’s delegation at the IDEF-2015 international defense industry exhibition in Instanbul, as saying.

He added that Russian-Turkish technological cooperation would continue in joint projects to include short-range missile defense systems, tactical digital communications, orbital space systems, as well as various military and marine equipment and arms.

According to Aksyonov, as quoted on the Rosoboronexport website, Russia currently provides after-sales service for Mi-17 transport helicopters and supplies spare parts for Russian-made military equipment. The company is also expected to offer programs to upgrade Russian equipment supplied earlier.