Orange in talks to sell Armenia mobile unit to Ucom

Orange Business Services, a global telecommunications operator, announced that it has entered into exclusive discussions with Ucom, an Armenian internet service provider, to sell 100% of its mobile subsidiary Orange Armenia. Negotiations to involve international financial institutions are already underway.

In view of worldwide telecom market trends, in 2013 Ucom acquired 4G connectivity service license and planned to launch premium quality services through its LTE networks beginning in 2016, the Company said in a statement.

Orange Armenia entered the Armenian telecom market in 2009, and has since become a beloved and trusted telecommunication brand amongst hundreds of thousands customers.

Ucom said “The positive outcome of the negotiations between Orange and Ucom will provide with the prospect to sustain and leverage the potential of more than 500 professional staff members of Orange Armenia, as well as its innovative technical power.  As a result, customers will receive modern and qualitatively different convergent solutions, as well as the added convenience of combining various offers and using the wide spectrum of telecommunication services from the same trusted provider: an opportunity that the Armenian market has never had before.”

Poroshenko fires Ukrainian Ambassador to Armenia

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has fired Ivan Kukhta from the position of Ukrainian ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of Armenia with the decree signed Monday, Interfax reports, quoting the President’s press service.

“To dismiss Ivan Petrovych Kukhta from the position of Ukrainian ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Republic of Armenia,” reads the decree.

Protests in Yerevan against electricity price hike

Protesters in Yerevan are holding a sit-in on Baghramyan Street, demanding to cancel the decision on the electricity price hike.

The activists turned down President Serzh Sargsyan’s offer to meet with a group of five.

The Public Service Regulatory Commission last week approved a 6.93 AMD rise in electricity prices. The decision comes into force from August 1, 2015.

Roundtable discussion on Armenian genocide at the French National Assembly

As part of the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Committee for the Defense of the Armenian Cause (CDCA) has organized a roundtable discussion at the National Assembly of France, Nouvelles d’Armenie reports.

The discussion titled “Justice and Reparation for the Armenian people” features His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Geat House of Cilicia, Bruno Le Roux, President of the Socialist Group in the National Assembly, a number of prominent public and political figures.

Britain’s Princess Charlotte to be christened next month

Princess Charlotte, the baby daughter of Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, will be christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury next month, her father’s office announced on Friday, REuters reports.

The ceremony for Charlotte, who was born last month, will take place on July 5 at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham where William and Kate, known officially as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have a country home on Queen Elizabeth’s estate in eastern England.

It will be conducted by Archbishop Justin Welby, the spiritual head of the Anglican Church, who also oversaw the christening of her elder brother Prince George, who will celebrate his second birthday next month.

The newest member of the British royal family, whose full name is Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, in a nod to her late grandmother Princess Diana and her great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth, has not been seen in public since she left hospital with her parents on May 2.

Islamic State seizes Syria’s ancient Palmyra

Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria have seized the ancient city of Palmyra and have entered the site containing prized ruins, reports say, the BBC reports.

The Syrian Observatory monitoring group says there are no reports yet of any destruction of artefacts.

It says IS also controls the nearby air base, prison and intelligence HQ. Syria has admitted it has pulled pro-government troops out of the city.

IS has previously demolished ancient sites in Iraq that pre-date Islam.

Azerbaijan unhappy with Karabakh President’s visit to France

French ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Meunier has been summoned to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on Wednesday in connection with the visit of Nagorno Karabakh President Bako Sahakyan to France on 17-19 May 2015, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told APA.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov handed a note of protest to the French ambassador, he said.

According to the source, Khalaf Khalafov noted that the visit, as well as a number of French MPs’ participation in the parliamentary elections held in Nagorno Karabakh on 3 May 2015 as observers run contrary to the spirit of growing friendly and cooperative relations between France and Azerbaijan.

The ambassador said he has informed his country about the note handed to him by Azerbaijani authorities.

President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan is visiting France. Within the framework of the visit he has had meetings with French MPs and the Mayors of a number of French cities.

Today’s Turkey continues the Armenian Genocide with the massacres of Deir ez-Zor and Kessab

“The world has just commemorated the centenary of the genocide of Turkish non-Muslims. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, this crime began with the Hamidian massacres of 1894-95, which were ordered by Sultan Abdülhamid II, and continued on a huge scale with the massacres perpetrated between 1915 and 1923, planned by the young Turks. They continue today with the massacres of Deir ez-Zor and Kessab, organized by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. For 120 years, the Turkish power elite have been successively massacring non-Muslimns – to general indifference – in order to build a homogenous nation,” Thierry Meyssan writes in an article published by

According to the author, “the centenary of the genocide of Turkish non-Muslims prepared the stage for festival of hypocrisy.” “While certain states celebrated the memory of the victims in Yerevan, others showed themselves to be shameless.”

“President Erdoğan had the opportunity to confess to this very old story, of which he is in no way responsible. Had he done so, he could have made his country a normal state. But no! Instead he hung onto his lies, denying History and affirming that there had been “only”100,000 dead, and that they had been executed for their participation in terrorist activities,” the article reads.

“By draping itself in this absurdity, today’s Turkey is not only manifesting its support for the Hamidian massacres of Sultan Abdülhamid II (1894-95) – which caused between 80,000 and 300,000 victims – but especially for the crimes committed by the “Special Organization” of the Union and Progress Committee (UPC), starting from 1915 until the election of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as President of the Republic (1923), which caused between 1,200,000 and 1,500,000 deaths – and its ideological continuity with the ancient régime. And this is what we all noted with horror when, last year in 2014, we watched the Turkish army accompany the al-Nusra Front (in other words al-Qaïda in Syria) to Kessab for the purpose of chasing away the Armenian population. Or again, when the same Turkish army helped ISISto dynamite the Deir ez-Zor Memorial, which commemorated the 1916 extermination of more than 200,000 Armeniens in the camp that the Turks had built for them,” the author writes.

“Pan-Islamism, the project of Sultan Abdülhamid II and the Young Turks early in the 20th century, like the AKP today, aims to become the leader of the sunnite world, and in order to achieve this aim, it intends to create a homogenous sunnite state. This project required the extermination of the Christians (Armenians, Pontic Greeks, and Assyro-Chaldeans) and the Yezidis. They all died, exactly as ISIS is exterminating Christians and Yezidis today,” Thierry Meyssan continues.

According to him, the intervention of the Turkish army into Syrian territory, at Kessab and Deir ez-Zor, is coherent with this project, since Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hopes to annex Northern Syria once NATO has overthrown President Bachar el-Assad.

Thierry Meyssan is a French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference.

Cameron’s Conservatives win big in UK election

The Conservative Party swept to power Friday in Britain’s parliamentary elections, winning an unexpected majority that returns Prime Minister David Cameron to 10 Downing Street in a stronger position than before, AP reports.

After meeting with Queen Elizabeth II on Friday afternoon, Cameron returned to his office to announce he would form a majority Conservative government.

In remarks outside, he signaled a conciliatory tone, congratulating his former coalition partner, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, and opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. Both resigned as leaders Friday after disappointing election results for their parties.