Davutoglu: We believe in ties with Armenia

Davutoglu: We believe in ties with Armenia

12:09 22/05/2010 » Region

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu talked about Cyprus issue, Turkish ports
open to Greek ships and the normalization of Armenian-Turkish ties
during a conference on Turkey’s foreign policy in Istanbul, Turkish
Hurriyet reported.
`The ties between our states aren’t like they were 3 years, 2 years or
even 1 year ago. We still believe in the implementation of
normalization our bilateral ties,’ Turkish FM said.
Source: Panorama.am

The international day of biodiversity

Aysor, Armenia
May 22 2010

The international day of biodiversity

The United Nations proclaimed the year 2010 an International year for
Biological Diversity and May 22 `The International Day for Biological
Diversity’ (IDB).

Governments of many countries all over the world and public
organizations organize special events this year referring the
biodiversity in our lives. These events are aimed at increasing
understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

The Armenian Republic signed the Convention of Biological Diversity in
1993. The intention to implement the Convention of Biological
Diversity by Armenia is presented through the continuous improvements
of the Nature Protection legislation and harmony. One of the most
important directions is considered the working out of the mechanisms
of implementation of the international agreements.

During the last years Armenia could expand and develop the
international cooperation, particularly in the area of protecting the

However the pressures of the RA Nature Protection Ministry over the
natural resources in the South Caucasus are considerable. This
destroys the biodiversity, even though the main source of the income
in the rural communities is the biodiversity itself.

`The governments of the Armenian Republic and the Federal Republic of
Germany have launched a certain cooperation directed at preservation
of the Armenian biodiversity and stable usage of it,’ reads the
release of the RA Nature Protection Ministry.

The target groups of this cooperation project are the children from
9-14 who study at school or members of different eco-clubs. In 2010 on
May and April 120 teachers from different regions of Armenia partook
in the classes of concerning the biodiversity of the rivers and

IMF Announces Preliminary Agreement on Extended Support with Armenia

World Markets Research Centre
Global Insight
May 21 2010

IMF Announces Preliminary Agreement on Extended Support with Armenia

BYLINE: Venla Sipila

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level
agreement with Armenia over a three-year assistance programme,
supported by the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility and the Extended Credit
Facility. Financial support under the extended arrangements would
total 267 million Special Drawing Rights (US$392 million) over the
next three years. On approval, Armenia would immediately be able to
withdraw some US$52 million. On announcing the staff-level approval,
the international lender noted that although the economy is now
recovering, with external inflows picking up and public finances
strengthening, conditions remain difficult. Moreover, Armenia
continues to face major medium-term challenges, and it needs to boost
growth and reduce poverty, at the same time as reducing debt
accumulation and securing financial stability. Key macroeconomic
policy targets agreed under the new suggested programme foresee
gradually easing budget deficits, even if fiscal policy will still
need to buttress economic activity in order to secure solid recovery
of the economy. Low inflation will remain the key monetary-policy
objective. The programme also outlines measures to strengthen tax
administration and increase the efficacy of spending. The preliminary
agreement is still subject to approval by the IMF management and the
executive board, due to discuss the issue in late June.

Significance:Given Armenia’s recent fairly good progress with reforms
and satisfactory compliance to IMF conditionality, the programme is
likely to receive board approval. Armenia’s recent challenges led the
IMF to allow for some modification in performance criteria under
Armenia’s current stand-by programme with the Fund (seeArmenia: 31
March 2010:). Meanwhile, a positive outcome is very important for
Armenia, given its weak external position and vast reform needs. The
task of strengthening tax administration has for a long time already
featured at centre-stage in Armenia’s IMF programmes, and although
progress has been made, a lot still remains to be accomplished in this
sense. Another major task remaining is to increase financial
intermediation. Both of these reform needs are connected with the need
to reduce the degree of dollarisation.

UN Secretary-General Urges Turkey To Solve Problems With Armenia, Cy

By Selcan Hacaoglu (CP)

The Canadian Press
May 21 2010

ISTANBUL — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised
Turkey’s contributions to world peace but encouraged it to be more
active in solving its own conflicts with Armenia and Cyprus.

Turkey said Monday it would not ratify a deal to normalize ties with
Armenia until Armenian forces were withdrawn from the Nagorno-Karabakh
enclave in Azerbaijan. On Cyprus, it insists on the lifting of
what it calls an unofficial trade embargo on the breakaway Turkish
Cypriot state in return for opening Turkey’s ports to ships and planes
from Cyprus.

"Let us build on your new diplomatic relations with Armenia," Ban said
in an address at Istanbul’s prestigious Bogazici University. "And
let us seize the opportunity in Cyprus. Talks resume next week. A
convergence of views is taking shape. We should seize this critical

The division of Cyprus — between an internationally recognized
Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north — is
complicating Turkey’s own accession negotiation in the European
Union. The Mediterranean island split in 1974, when Turkey invaded
after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

"The leaders of the two communities should make a decision, people
have suffered too much, too long," Ban said. "I hope they will be
able to make a decision based on compromise and flexibility. This is
what international community really wants."

On Friday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara was
prepared to allow planes and ships from Cyprus to use its ports and
airspace if the embargo was lifted, allowing Turkish Cypriots to
trade through its ports of Kyrenia and Famagusta and through Ercan
airport in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia.

"The world will open three ports to the Turkish Cypriots, we in Turkey
will open all our ports to Greek Cypriots. It’s a promise," he said.

Ban arrived in Istanbul to attend an international conference focusing
on restoring order in Somalia — gripped by anarchy and political
turmoil. High level officials met Friday in a preliminary session to
lay the ground for Saturday’s conference, which will be attended by
Ban and Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.

Somalia has been mired in anarchy since 1991, allowing piracy to
flourish off its shores. Ahmed on Thursday reversed his decision to
fire the country’s prime minister amid divisions over how to combat
Islamic insurgents allegedly linked to al-Qaida, saying there is need
for unity.

The conference is co-hosted by the United Nations and Turkey, which
is keen to expand relations with African nations.

Ban welcomed Turkey’s hosting of the conference as well as its
participation in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Afghanistan.

He said Turkey’s mediation efforts in the nuclear standoff with Iran
and attempts to work out territorial disputes with Greece had opened
"channels of communication that might otherwise close."

Turkey and Brazil on Wednesday urged the U.N. Security Council
to refrain from more sanctions for Iran, saying a compromise they
brokered this week is the best way to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s
nuclear program.

"We hope that this and other initiatives may open the door to a
negotiated settlement," Ban said. "The International Atomic Energy
Agency will provide its own professional assessment, of course."

91st Anniversary Of Pontian Greek Genocide To Be Commemorated In NY


May 19, 2010 – 11:48 AMT 06:48 GMT

The 91st anniversary of the of Pontian Greek Genocide will be
commemorated in New York on Wednesday, May 19.

The event to be attended by representatives of the Greek, Armenian
and Assyrian communities of the U.S. will feature a speech "From the
Greek-Pontian genocide to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus" by Mrs
Fanoulla Argyrou, Greek-Cypriot researcher, journalist and author
coming from London.

The Pontian Greek Genocide (also known as the Hellenic Holocaust )
refers to the genocide on and deportation of ethnic Greeks by the
Young Turk government in 1914-1922. Before the first World War, an
estimated five million ethnic Greeks and Armenians lived throughout
the territories that constitute modern-day Turkey. By 1923, at least
2.5 million had been massacred, with the rest fleeing for their lives
to Greece and the then-USSR, or had been converted to Islam by force.

The Pontian Greek Genocide has been recognized by Greece, Cyprus and
recently Sweden. In the United States numerous states and cities,
including New York, have recognized the Genocide by resolutions or

My Dear Brother: Armenians In Turkey 100 Years Ago


An unusual exhibition opening at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, "My Dear
Brother: Armenians in Turkey 100 years ago", provides fascinating
insights into the life of the Armenians living in the borders of
modern Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century through a large
collection of postcards of daily life and scenery from across the
region. The exhibition of both enlarged images and original postcards
was conceived and put together by Osman Koker, based on his book by
the same name (Istanbul: Birzamanlar, 2005).

Portrayed are different aspects of life from beautiful buildings
and churches to inside factories, women working together, townscapes
and craftsmen. From scenes of urban Constantinople to small villages
in the east, the images show how widespread and integrated Armenian
communities were across the Ottoman territory and demonstrate their
roles in society. The exhibition also serves the purpose of showing
ways in which Armenians, Turks and other peoples of the Ottoman Empire
lived and worked together.

Added to the London showing of the exhibition will be maps, texts
and an oral history-based community exhibit, displaying objects from
the same era still found today in Armenians’ London homes. Rugs,
metal-work, pottery, clothing and other textiles will be among these
pieces. The historical uses of these items will be explained through
accompanying texts and videos, alongside photographic material.

The postcards are from the collection of Orlando Carlo Calumeno and
have been exhibited in Istanbul, Yerevan, Geneva, Paris, Munich,
Cologne and Frankfurt. The Armenian Institute, London, has organized
the exhibition and accompanying events programme which are both
sponsored by the St Sarkis Charity Trust and Diana and Panos Katsouris.


Sergey Shakhverdyan: Tourists Have Some Vigilance Towards NKR


May 18, 2010 – 20:11 AMT 15:11 GMT

Head of Tourism Department under the NKR government Sergey Shakhverdyan
said that tourists have some vigilance towards NKR, but the republic’s
leadership is trying to solve this problem.

Currently, truth about Artsakh is being presented through international
travelling structures, Shakhverdyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter
at a presentation of a guide on Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh in
Italian language.

Azerbaijan, as a defeated party, is doing its best to oppose to the
international recognition of NKR, as well as to the development of
tourism in NKR.

In 2009, 13% growth was recorded in tourism that is a good index for
Nagorno Karabakh, said Shakhverdyan.

Turkey Wants OSCE To Expedite Karabakh Peace


May 14th, 2010

Turkey is keen to see the OSCE, and Russia in particular, step-up
efforts to secure a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu took the opportunity to restate these
views at a press conference in Ankara yesterday with visiting Slovak
foreign minister, Miroslav Lajcak.

"We expect more active steps from the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve the
Karabakh conflict," said Davutoglu, adding that Ankara hoped Moscow
would be more active in finding a solution to the conflict.

"Several meetings were held last year between the presidents of
Azerbaijan and Armenia, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sarkisain as a result
of the initiatives of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev," he said,
adding that the issue was on the agenda of Medvedev’s visit to the
Turkish capital on Wednesday. "President Gul and Prime Minister
Erdogan discussed this issue with Medvedev in Ankara and this issue
was on our agenda. I have also discussed this issue with [Russian
Foreign Minister] Mr Lavrov."

The Turkish foreign minister said that the interests of Turkey and
Russia in the Caucasus region "coincided" and the establishment of
peace there would be favorable for Turkey and Russia as well as for
the international community.

"We want these frozen conflicts to be settled and mutual distrust to
be overcome," he added.

Karoun Dairies, Inc. Wins Three Medals At World Cheese Contest


Friday, May 14th, 2010

TURLOCK, Calif.-On April 22 California’s Karoun Dairies, Inc.,
makers of natural handmade Mediterranean cheeses will travel to
Madison, Wisconsin to collect their three awards from the 2010 World
Championship Cheese Contest. Karoun Dairies, Inc. won two gold medals
in this biennial event, one for the Mykonos Creamy Feta in the Feta
category and another for the Panela in the Quesos Frescos category.

The Basket Feta with Sundried Tomato & Thyme also took a bronze medal
in the Flavored Feta category. The 2010 World Championship Cheese
Contest is hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association and is
the largest international cheese and butter competition in the world.

Of the 77 gold medal cheeses from cow, goat and sheep milk classes at
the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest, Karoun’s awards account
for half of the gold medals awarded to California cheesemakers. This
year’s contest was the largest judging ever of its kind, with more
than 2,300 entries from 20 countries, and thirty states. Karoun itself
has an international story, as the Baghdassarian Family immigrated to
the United States from Lebanon in 1990 to pursue the American Dream
and a passion for the art and science of cheesemaking. From humble
beginnings to being recognized as one of America’s premier cheese
companies is a source of great pride.

"As a family business that is living the American Dream, all of us
at Karoun Dairies take great pride in creating and manufacturing the
most delicious, best quality natural cheeses on the market," said
Rostom Baghdassarian, company COO. "Serving the Mediterranean, Indian,
Middle Eastern, Hispanic and natural markets using old country methods
and family recipes, we are proud to share delicious new options for
a healthy and flavorful approach to cooking and eating."

As is evident by these latest awards, Karoun continues to set a new
standard for ethnic cheese and cultured dairy products in the United
States, with dairy products which are free of thickeners, stabilizers
and fillers, made strictly using only milk from cows that are free
from growth hormones, BGH/rBST, and Real California Milk certified.

Through their proprietary brands, Karoun Dairies services various
ethnic markets in the U.S. Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, European,
Hispanic, Indian, Greek, Russian, Armenian and mainstream American.

Karoun Dairies, Inc. was founded in 1990. Karoun is rooted in its
heritage as a family-run business started in search of fulfilling the
American dream through their history in dairy dating back fifty years.

The company has continued to grow from manufacturing hand braided
String Cheese for local mom-and-pop stores, to producing a wide variety
of Mediterranean specialty cheeses and cultured dairy products with
nationwide distribution. Please visit

For product samples, press materials, or further information, please
contact Jennifer Bryan at 805-962-1347, or [email protected].

Get a Delicious Start to Summer with Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheeses,
Add a Whole New Dimension to Healthy Al Fresco Dining

While summer doesn’t officially arrive until June 21st, now’s the
time to start thinking about outdoor grilling and healthy eating for
the entire family with Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheeses. Karoun’s
Yanni Grilling Cheeses (in original recipe and with mint) insure
a flavorful summer that you can feel good about is just around the
corner. All of Karoun Dairies cheeses are natural and handmade at
their state-of-the-art California facility, strictly using only milk
from cows that are free from growth hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real
California Milk certified.

Grilling Cheese (a Halloumi-style cheese) is a traditional semi-firm
Mediterranean cheese, with a distinctive layered texture, which
is mildly salty with a rich buttery taste. Karoun’s Yanni Grilling
Cheeses can withstand a tremendous amount of heat without melting,
and will develop a delicious golden crust when grilled. Whether it is
served right off the grill with fresh herbs and summer tomatoes from
the garden, in baking recipes, or as a protein for a vegetarian meal,
Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheeses will become a summertime favorite
with everyone!

Simply Delicious Grilling Cheese ½ lb. Karoun’s Yanni Grilling Cheese 2
Tbsp. freshly picked oregano leaves 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 grilled lemon,
juiced Pita Bread, Grilled

Directions: Brush the grilled cheese with olive oil and place onto a
medium hot grill for 2 minutes on each side, or until marked. Remove
and slice into ½ inch pieces. Sprinkle with oregano. Drizzle olive
oil on top and squeeze the lemon juice over the cheese. Serve with
grilled pita bread.

Double Potato and Grilling Cheese Bake 1 large sweet potato 1 large
red firm potato 1 red onion 1 yellow pepper 1 red pepper ½ head
garlic, cloves peeled 4 Tbsp. olive oil Freshly ground black pepper
4 ½ oz. grilling cheese, sliced as thinly as you can

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the sweet potato into 1 ½ inch cubes and the red potato slightly
smaller (1 inch cubes) as the sweet potato will cook more quickly.

Halve the red onion, and then cut each half into 6 segments, discarding
any tough outer skin. Seed the peppers and cut into 1 inch squares, and
separate the cloves of garlic. Put everything into a 2-quart casserole
dish and, using your hands, coat the vegetables with olive oil. Season
with black pepper, but no salt as the cheese will make it salty.

Bake for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and light
brown. Turn the oven up to maximum heat or light the broiler: place
the thinly sliced cheese on top of the bake, and put it back in the
very hot over or under the broiler until the cheese has melted and
turned slightly brown on top, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve straight
out of the casserole dish.

Award-winning family-owned Karoun Dairies, Inc. relies on over
50 years of cheese making experience to create its Mediterranean
Specialties line of natural recipe yogurts, Labne and cheeses which
are true gastronomic delights and distinctive in their fresh flavor
and wonderful aroma.

About Karoun Dairies, Inc.: Founded in 1990, Karoun is rooted in its
heritage as a family-run business started in search of fulfilling the
American dream through their history in dairy dating back fifty years.

The company has continued to grow from manufacturing hand braided
String Cheese for local mom-and-pop stores, to producing a wide
variety of Mediterranean specialty cheeses and cultured dairy products
with nationwide distribution. All Karoun cheeses are natural and
handmade using only milk from cows that are free from growth hormones,
BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified. All Karoun’s Cultured
products (yogurt, Labne, Kefir Cheese and Sour Cream) are OU Kosher
certified. Please visit

For product samples, press materials, or further information, please
contact Jennifer Bryan at 805-962-1347, or [email protected].


BAKU: US Azerbaijanis Should Unite To Compete With Armenian Diaspora


May 17 2010

Ali Nasibov News.Az interviews Ali Nasibov, chairman of the Association
of New York Azerbaijanis (ANA).

Do the Azerbaijani diaspora organizations maintain relations in the
United States and what is done to inform more people in this country
about Azerbaijan?

There are natural obstacles for a closer cooperation between our
diaspora organizations. This obstacle is the geographic distance
between us. Therefore, I have always proposed creation of a federation
or confederation of the diaspora organizations of Azerbaijanis
in Washington near the Azerbaijani embassy. The need for such a
federation has been caused by the need of our unification, as each
of the diaspora organizations is functioning in separate. Therefore,
this requires coordination and regulation of our diaspora organizations
in the United States to be of use to Azerbaijan. When each of these
organizations is working in separate, then there are no contacts
between us which impedes the implantation of the lobbyist activity. I
expect the State Committee for Diaspora to provide support to the
settlement of these issues. The State Committee should initiate
creation of a federation or association in order to unite the diaspora
organizations of Azerbaijanis in the United States. In this case,
the diaspora organizations of Azerbaijanis in the United States will
be able to get a single setting for the activity in Baku.

Why did some diaspora organizations of Azerbaijanis in the United
States refuse to unite in a single structure?

I think all our diaspora organizations in the United States want to
unite. As I have already mentioned, the distance between our hampers
our unification. For example, the time gap between New York and
California is 7-8 hours which makes our ties difficult. Therefore, a
single structure would unite our organization. For example, we organize
an action outside the Armenian office in UN on February 26 every year,
but our diaspora organizations in California are not aware of this
year because the time gap between us is that when it is morning here,
it is night there. Meanwhile, the single structure will help coordinate
our actions and ensure joint participation in the conducted events.

Do the Azerbaijani and Turkish diaspora organizations maintain

The organization I head is closely cooperating with the Turkish
diaspora organizations. There is a federation in New York which united
38 Turkish diaspora associations. We are taking an active part in
their annual Turkish marches. Along with this, our organizations
are taking a joint part in the annual actions against fictional
"Armenian genocide" they held every year in the center of New York
in Time square. These events show that the joint activity of the
organizations brings much effect.

Are the accusations of some Turkish mass media regarding Azerbaijanis
which say they are passive in discussions of the resolutions on
"Armenian genocide" in the US congress founded?

False information is spread in a number of cases in Turkey, because
we in New York are working together with the Turkish diaspora
organizations. These organizations have declared that the number of
Azerbaijanis partaking in the last year action against "genocide"
exceeded the number of those who come from Turkey. They said there
were 21 Azerbaijani and 17 Turkish flags in that action. However,
the reports about the absence of Azerbaijanis in that action spread
in Turkey.

How do Turks residing in the United States treat the possible opening
of the Turkish-Armenian border?

I would like to note that Turks residing in the United States agree
that the opening of borders must follow the liberation of occupied
Azerbaijani lands. Turks also agree that Turkey must provide every
assistance to Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict settlement which
is proven by discussions organized in the said topics on the internet
radio we have opened in the United States.

Do you think the activity of the Azerbaijani diaspora is satisfactory?

I would like to note that the Azerbaijani diaspora in the United States
has 20-year history, while the Armenian diaspora in the United States
has a history of over 200 years.

The history of the Azerbaijani diaspora in the United States should
not include the part that was organized from among those who left
from Germany to Turkey and then to New Jersey upon completion of
the World War Second. They have a small community in which they have
recently marked their 50th anniversary. I would like to repeat that
the coordinated activity demands participation of the Azerbaijani
state. I mean that the program of the united Azerbaijani organization
in case of its creation must be coordinated with Azerbaijan. Issues
envisioning united activity which will be useful for the Azerbaijani
state must also be coordinated with Baku.

Might Baku interference in the affairs of the Azerbaijani diaspora
in US cause a split?

Even members of a family have different views on some issues. This
may happen. Everything depends on the level and outlook of the people
represented in these organizations. For example, a Shusha native
wants to conduct the Day of Shusha, while another stresses the need
to raise the Karabakh problem. Therefore, the availability of the
single program will have a wider effect.

Which work do the Azerbaijani diaspora organizations hold to intensify
their activity in the sociopolitical life of the United States, for
the purpose of nominating candidates from among diaspora organizations
for elections or support to any candidate?

Under the US laws, every organization or a person can transfer funds
to the account of a candidate for the Congress members in period of
the election campaign. In this regard, our diaspora organizations
could ensure this support for the candidates to further have an
opportunity to ask them to support Azerbaijan. This is what Jews and
Armenians are doing. In conditions of unity among the Azerbaijani
diaspora organizations, it is possible to gain success in bringing
use to Azerbaijan. However, the small number of our organizations on
the one hand and the absence of unity among them, on the other hand,
hamper the achievement of greater results in Azerbaijan’s favor.

In addition, there have already been the examples of nomination of
Azerbaijani candidacies for elections. For example, Azerbaijani by
ethnic, business Paul Murad has nominated his candidacy for the
post of Nevada governor. By nominating his candidacy, he expects
our support. Our organization was among those who provided material
assistance to him. All these processes are just on the start. At the
same time, we should take into account that people who have recently
moved from Azerbaijan to the United States have language barriers
and problems of adaptation in a new society.

Meanwhile, there will naturally be the candidates for Congress and the
Senate from among those next generations who study in the United States
and are integrated in the society. In these conditions, the diaspora
organizations will have to provide their assistance. For example,
if there was unity among our diaspora organizations, they would have
united to support Paul Murad. In turn, in case elected, Murad could
have provided assistance to other Azerbaijanis. The creation of this
system is our aim to ensure representation of Azerbaijanis in the US
executive and legislative powers.

I would also like to note that Azerbaijan has recently been conducting
a very serious work in involving US Congressmen to the US-Azerbaijani
group. The number of congressmen represented in this group is growing
and they will further provide assistance to promote Azerbaijan’s

How active is the Armenian diaspora in the United States and what is
being done to resist their activity?

I cannot say that the Armenian diaspora is too strong. Certainly, it
is stronger than ours but weaker than the Jewish diaspora. There are
many wealthy people among the representatives of the Armenian diaspora
and they have an opportunity to hold a marathon to collect funds for
Karabakh separatists by means of the US TV channel within a day.

Certainly, people watching it will consider that the Armenian diaspora
is active, but in fact, they are not so strong.