Feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 6 2019

Each year, on January 6, the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the commemoration of the Birth and Baptism of Jesus Christ. God was incarnated and appeared to the people.

Qahana.am reports that during the Baptism of Jesus God the Father said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17) and the Holy Spirit descended on Christ in the form of dove, so God appeared to the people for the second time. So, both Theophanies revealed by means of the Birth and Baptism of Jesus Christ are celebrated in the Armenian Church jointly on January 6. The feast starts on the eve, in the evening of January 5, and is continued after the midnight. On the eve a solemn Candlelight Divine Liturgy is celebrated and on January 6 a solemn Divine Liturgy is celebrated. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy Blessing of the Waters Service is conducted symbolizing the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan at the commencement of His ministry. By means of His Baptism Jesus blessed water.
Celebrant priest pours out the Holy Chrism drop by drop into water and blesses the water. According to the tradition people take some blessed water with them to use it as a medicinal remedy for the sick. After Blessing of the Waters Service the priests visit the houses of the faithful to proclaim the Christmastide Good News of the Birth of Jesus Christ and hence the tradition of Blessing of the Houses was formed.

The Birth of Jesus happened in this way. “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. … And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Lk 2:1-7) The Son of God was born in poverty, in a manger. The witnesses of His Birth were the shepherds living out in the fields nearby, whom the angels had appeared and brought the good news of the Birth of the Savior singing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Lk 2:18)

Soon afterwards some men who studied the stars came from the East and worshipped Baby Christ, presented him gifts and returned to their countries.

Ombudsman rejects reports about attacked LGBT person in Artsakh

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 6 2019

The Human Rights Defender of the Artsakh Republic Artak Beglaryan has rejected the reports about gay person attacked in Artsakh.

“Moments ago, an explicit fake page on Facebook published a post claiming that a gay person was severely beaten in Artsakh. The person in question was identified as a Diaspora Armenian named James Markosyan who had visited Artsakh for the Holiday Season from France. Regretfully, some media outlets republished the report without checking its veracity,” Beglaryan wrote on Facebook.

In his message the Ombudsman states that respective enquiries to the Artsakh Republic foreign ministry, ministry of healthcare and the police sent prove that no person with the indicated name has ever filed a complaint to the police., applied for a medical aid and ever received a visa to enter Artsakh.

Furthermore, Beglaryan points out that the photo accompanying the initial report on the Facebook page was taken from another source. The Ombudsman thus call on all outlets to refrain from publishing explicitly fake news.

The ARF World Congress: An Opportunity to Self Reflect

A scene from the ARF World Congress held in Armenia in 2011

BY HAIG KAYSERIAN

We have arrived at the eve of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–Dashnaksutyun World Congress, when the 128 year old political organisation’s global branches will send delegates to Armenia for a thorough review of the past four years of activity, as well as to pave a path forward for its next four years. And in order to properly gravel this forward road, it is critical that the ARF points the mirror directly at itself during this review.

It is important that the organisation judges how its own decision-making, packaging and messaging has impacted the ARF’s ability to lead the nation of people that created it out of necessity and hope in 1890. This would mean that the ARF resists any and all temptations to convert what is the organisation’s primary opportunity for self-reflection, to instead reflect on the activities of Armenia’s now-Acting Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan.

Pashinyan has understandably dominated Armenia’s political landscape since he led the country to long-awaited regime change – armed by popular support from the people – in what has been labelled the Velvet Revolution. In the ensuing election, the ARF was not able to pass the requisite threshold of 5% to serve in Armenia’s parliament, scoring only 3.9% of the public’s support in an election that was won in a landslide by Pashinyan’s My Step Alliance.

The fallout from this result has been mostly sub-standard political commentary of all the other players – including the ARF – where their decisions, packaging and messaging has been critiqued from only a single angle: Pashinyan.

For example, leaders of parties that oppose Pashinyan have consistently ignored their own shortcomings by shining a light on what Pashinyan did, what Pashinyan did not do, what Pashinyan said, what Pashinyan did not say and what Pashinyan will do and what Pashinyan will not do. “History will judge us to be correct,” they have said while ignoring the reality that election campaigns are competitions for the present; in this case a competition for the hearts and minds of Armenians today.

While valid commentary might be spun into such nothingness with effective use of the media, a political force with a history of service such as the ARF owes its World Congress the respect to stand tall above all of this and honestly reflect on itself.

Yes, this means resisting the temptation to turn this review into a referendum on Pashinyan, and resist focusing on the revolution’s resulting euphoria as the primary reason for any ARF failures, among a myriad of other reasons beyond the party’s immediate control.

This also means acknowledging that the ARF has plenty to discuss. Its activities in over 20 countries around the world will undoubtedly feature, as will its activities in Artsakh and Javakhk, however the focus of any honest review of the period between 2015 and 2018 must be the ARF’s activities in mainland Armenia, which culminated in the public rejecting the opportunity to re-elect the party into its National Assembly.

You see, history proves that the ARF has been dutifully building political capital in the Armenian world for over a century. The blood it spilled to achieve an improbable independence in 1918; the exemplary leadership of the First Armenian Republic under desolate conditions through to 1921; the establishment and maintenance of the Diaspora as the torchbearers for a future Republic during Armenia’s Soviet occupation; the heroism on the battlefields of Karabakh ahead of the Republic of Artsakh’s successful vote for self-determination; the legislative victories recognising the Armenian Genocide across most continents – these are all but examples of the capital that has been naturally built out of sincere obligation over 128 years.

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom during the past four years either. Deposits have been made towards this capital. The ARF’s leadership to achieve the Constitutional Reforms that brought Armenia to a parliamentary system of governance, replacing the old presidential model; the instinctive reaction of the ARF world to respond with frontline volunteers, resources and advocacy during the four-day Artsakh War in April 2016; the vision to achieve a united call for justice for the Armenian Genocide during the Centenary year of 2015; the activities to support the homeland, Artsakh and Syrian-Armenians by outstretching the global tentacles of the ARF – these are among examples of continued capital building.

So how does such political capital get spent, to the extent that an organisation with the aforementioned track record cannot even attract 5% support from its fellow citizens? This is the key question that needs to be honestly, selflessly and courageously pondered by the ARF World Congress when it convenes in January 2019.

Sure, the euphoric environment played a role. Sure, Pashinyan played a role. Sure, foreign interests might be flexing their muscles in Yerevan like they are known to do in countries with the geopolitical realities of an Armenia. Notwithstanding these points, my hope is that the ARF focuses on what it itself is directly able to control, which is none of the aforementioned.

For example, the ARF has been criticised for its delay in joining the revolution. Moreso, the ARF has been criticised for standing with its Coalition partner, the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and their nominee for Prime Minister – former President Serzh Sargsyan – while protests against Sargsyan’s perceived grab for a third term in power grew on the streets of Yerevan. The ARF has also been criticised for its controversial exit from the unity government formed by Pashinyan, after partnering with the RPA and the Prosperous Armenia Party in a vote that once again forced people to the streets in an encore in October 2018.

The ARF has since been criticised for not properly acknowledging its mistakes, assuming it did make some. Even before all of this, the ARF was criticised for favouring the path of making changes from within (even in Coalition with the RPA) instead of on the streets (in Coalition with the people), as well as for transitioning away from its progressive roots while involved in some of these partnerships.

The World Congress needs to break down these decisions, and hear the justifications from the incumbent leadership. Assuming it accepts their justifications, the World Congress needs to ask why 96.1% of the public did not accept these same justifications at the December 9 polls?

This is where packaging and messaging may need to be scrutinised. Before and after these elections, the ARF brought up some very valid concerns about the elected policy paths of Pashinyan and his team – I too am not comforted by his economic agenda and could be more at ease with his foreign policy standing with less spin-populism and his rhetoric of the potentially chaotic “governance by Republic Square” strategy. However, it is obvious that most people are not listening to the ARF’s concerns. Why not? What can the ARF do better to reverse this worrying trend?

It was U.S. President Harry S. Truman who famously had a sign on his desk with the following inscription: “The buck stops here!” – meaning that responsibility is not passed on beyond this point.

In the ARF world, the burden to determine where the buck-passing stops and to set frameworks for future corrections rests with the World Congress.

An honest self-reflection at this World Congress will ensure the ARF comes out of what is a historically critical meeting with decisions that will lead to a period of the correct policies; better packaged and efficiently delivered. This will ensure the path forward leads the ARF to clawing back some of the political capital it has lost.

There is no doubt that the ARF deserves its place at Armenia’s decision-making table. It has protected everything Armenia and Armenian for 128 years. A pinpoint, self-reflecting mirror at this World Congress is the opportunity to ensure the ARF continues its exemplary service for the next 128 years and beyond.

Haig Kayserian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia, with a Bachelors in Media & Cultural Studies (Macquarie University) and is currently completing his Masters in Politics & Policy (Deakin University). He is a Director at several technology companies based in the United States and Australia, and is an Advisory Board member at Armenia’s first technology venture capital firm.




National Association for Armenian Studies and Research names its new headquarters in Belmont

Wicked Local, MA
Jan 4 2019


National Association for Armenian Studies and Research names its new headquarters in Belmont

The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will name its new headquarters in Belmont, after Dr. Vartan Gregorian, President of the philanthropic foundation Carnegie Corporation of New York, fulfilling the request of the building’s principle benefactors, Edward and Pamela Avedisian of Lexington. The new building’s official name will be the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building.

“Vartan Gregorian embodies the values at the heart of NAASR’s mission. He has dedicated his entire life to educational advancement and the pursuit of knowledge, engaging in public service throughout his career, and working to better the human condition. We are grateful that we can acknowledge and memorialize his tremendous accomplishments by naming the institution’s new headquarters the NAASR Vartan Gregorian Building,” said Edward Avedisian.

“I am overwhelmed by this most generous and selfless offer and accept it with humility, and with gratitude,” said Gregorian. “I thank NAASR for bringing Armenian history, culture, and values to life through its programming and collections, now visible and accessible to anyone.”

“We are proud to recognize Gregorian’s distinguished life of service and dedication through our new global center,” said Yervant Chekijian, Chairman of the Board. “He is an inspiration for generations to come. We are also sincerely grateful to the Avedisians for their generosity and vision.”

Gregorian has had a distinguished career as an academic, scholar, historian, philanthropist, and visionary. Born in Tabriz, Iran, Gregorian received his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education at Collège Arménian in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1956, he entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honors in 1958. He was awarded a PhD in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964. Gregorian has taught European intellectual history and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin.

NAASR’s new headquarters, designed by a team from the architectural, design and engineering firm of Symmes, Maini and McKee, led by Ara Krafian, will be a three-story building with a soaring glass façade, allowing natural light to illuminate the interior. A variety of Armenian features are incorporated into the design, including a hand-carved wooden door, which a master artisan in Armenia is carving, and an Armenian Alphabet Wall.

The general contractor, Altair Construction, anticipates completion by the fall of 2019. “We invite everyone to attend our Grand Opening next year Nov. 1-3,” said Chekijian.

The building will have many welcoming spaces for the public to gather as well as a secure environment for NAASR’s rare book Mardigian Library, one of the top five Armenian libraries open to the public in the diaspora. It will soon total 40,000 books, with some dating back to the 1600s, and rare periodicals dating back to the 1800s, as well as the unique personal archives of prominent scholars, early Armenian-Americans, and religious leaders.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has given full support with a capital grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund and MassDevelopment of $225,000 awarded in 2017, for installation of an elevator, other accessibility features, and fire suppression.

The NAASR staff is working in temporary offices at the AGBU-New England headquarters on Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown and continuing its programming and bookstore on-site and online at www.naasr.org.

Founded in 1955, NAASR is one of the world’s leading resources for advancing Armenian Studies, connecting scholars of Armenian Studies and the public, and preserving and enriching Armenian culture, history, and identity for future generations.

To date, NAASR has financial commitments for more than $6 million of the $6.5 million needed to build the new center. The nonprofit invites the community to become a lasting part of this inspiring center, with opportunities to contribute at all levels. Please contact Sarah Ignatius, Executive Director, at [email protected] or 617-489-1610. Learn more about NAASR and its mission at www.naasr.org.

Armenia’s new parliament will convene for maiden session on January 14

ARKA, Armenia
Jan 5 2019

YEREVAN, January 5. /ARKA/. Armenia’s new parliament, elected in December 9 snap elections, will convene for its maiden session on January 14, Tigran Mukuchyan, chairman of the Central Election Commission, said Friday.

He said acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and another 17 candidates from the proportional list of his My Step bloc, notified the Central Electoral Commission that they refuse to take seats in the National Assembly. 

They are Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan, Acting Minister of Education and Science Araik Harutyunyan, Acting Minister of Territorial Administration and Development Suren Papikyan, Zaruhi Batoyan, Eduard Aghajanyan, Romanos Petrosyan, Head of the Control Service David Sanasaryan, Acting Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology Hakob Arshakyan, Acting Health Minister Arsen Torosyan, Garik Sargsyan, Acting Minister of Nature Protection Erik Grigoryan, Gnel Sanosyan, Trdat Sargsyan, Andrei Ghukasyan, Davit Gevorkyan, Narek Babayan and Acting Minister of Emergency Situations Felix Tsolakyan.

Also Krist Marukyan and Armen Baghdasaryan from the Bright Armenia Party said they will not take seats in the parliament. No elected MP from the Prosperous Armenia party filed a similar application, according to Mukuchyan.

In December 9 early elections the My Step won a sweeping victory with 884,864 or 70.42% of votes, Prosperous Armenia scored 103,801 votes or 8.26% and Bright Armenia 80,047 votes or 6.37%.

My Step will control 88 seats in the National Assembly, Prosperous Armenia will have 26 members and Bright Armenia 18. -0-

Montreal: At 21, this aerospace engineering student, former refugee has created her first invention

The Globe & Mail, Canada
Jan 4 2019
 
 
At 21, this aerospace engineering student, former refugee has created her first invention
 
LES PERREAUX
 
Shoushi Bakarian, an aerospace engineering student at Concordia University, poses for a photograph with a ventilation device that she redesigned for Cessna Aircraft, at Stratos Aviation in Montreal on Oct. 30, 2018. Bakarian arrived from Syria in 2016.
 
 
This is part of Stepping Up, a series introducing Canadians to their country’s new sources of inspiration and leadership.
 
The distance from Aleppo to the lab at Montreal’s Trudeau airport where a young engineer-in-training is perfecting her first invention is 8,580 kilometres, but Shoushi Bakarian’s trajectory might better be measured in light speed.
 
Three years ago, Ms. Bakarian was sitting in Lebanon, part of a family of four Syrian refugees facing an uncertain future with hope of making a new start in Canada. Fast-forward those 36 months: Ms. Bakarian is in her third year of aerospace engineering at Montreal’s Concordia University. She has learned her fourth language, French – in addition to English, Arabic and Armenian. She’s got two part-time jobs with promising prospects in her field: one in the parts department at Bombardier Aerospace and another at Stratos Aviation, a small aviation and flight simulation firm. There, she’s co-created her first invention in the lab she’s building. Oh, and she leads a Scout troop where she hopes to influence her young charges.
 
She’s 21. “I want to reach girls and tell them they don’t have to limit themselves to traditional jobs, like teachers. Especially for girls from my community, they have a very limited idea of what’s out there,” Ms. Bakarian says. “I want to become an example.”
 
On a recent late fall day, Ms. Bakarian tinkers with the tiny generator fan blades of her latest accomplishment: The Ventus, a 5-volt accessory charger for Cessna airplanes that runs off the aircraft’s air vents and as an added bonus cools the air by compressing it. The simple blue tube prototype seems likely to become a must-have accessory for pilots who rely on tablets and smartphones for aviation computation but fly aircraft that were mostly built long before the smartphone era.
 
“I like clean energy, solar power, wind power, so we developed it further to add on the charger idea,” she says. “I spent my summer designing, drawing and testing until it worked.”
 
Naor Cohen, the owner of Stratos Aviation, hired Ms. Bakarian within days of meeting her during an outreach program for women in aviation about a year ago. Ms. Bakarian started out as an instructor on the company’s flight simulators. One day he shared an idea he had to improve cooling small Cessna cabins by using a Venturi tube to compress and cool the air. He invited her to set up a lab with computers and 3-D printers and she ran with it.
 
“I guess she must sleep very little,” Mr. Cohen says. “We’ve never seen her as an employee, and more as a partner in the team. She’s free to come whenever stuff needs to be done. Right now, she’s concentrating mainly on the lab. We want to put that imagination and creativity to work more.”
 
Ms. Bakarian arrived in Canada on Christmas Eve, 2015, with her father, Antaranik, her mother, Ani, and her now-24-year-old sister, Meghri. The daughters had high school diplomas earned during the Syrian civil war with rockets flying overhead and bombs bursting not far from their Armenian school in Aleppo.
 
Small details come back to Ms. Bakarian as she remembers the time. “Our school was in the firing line, so we had to study in a kindergarten in these tiny little chairs,” she recalls. “I always make jokes about it, but it’s not funny.”
 
By 2015, the battle for Aleppo had settled into a stalemate and her family was stuck. “In Grade 10, the big bombs started, by Grade 11, we were without electricity or running water or internet. Some people started to leave but we didn’t know how to get out of Aleppo. We didn’t know who was on the road waiting to kidnap us. … Once the missiles started falling, we didn’t know where they were coming from or where they’d land.”
 
A turning point came when her mother needed surgery that had to be performed in Lebanon. The medical issue combined with mounting violence forced the family to make a move. They spent a year in Lebanon while she recovered. Her parents concluded the family would have limited education and work opportunities in that country. That’s when Canada opened the doors to Syrian refugees.
 
In those early Canadian winter days, the family enrolled in French classes while all four of them set about finding work. Ms. Bakarian got hired at McDonald’s, a job she kept as she enrolled at Concordia, which helped her family survive while her parents found work in the garment industry. It was a step down from her father’s previous job managing a tools warehouse. Meghri, meanwhile, is specializing in child studies at Concordia.
 
Ms. Bakarian is grateful for the sacrifices her parents made, but she made some, too. She was almost crushed by workload as a first-year university student who was working 30 hours a week at her fast food job. “I was physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted,” she says. “But now I’m making up for it. My family is okay now, and it’s easier.”
 
Arpi Hamalian, an education professor emerita at Concordia University, took the younger Bakarian women under her wing when they showed up at an orientation in early 2016. “They were looking a little lost,” Dr. Hamalian recalls now, but it didn’t take long for them to get on track. “Shoushi, well both girls really, know exactly who they are and where they are going. They are unbelievably talented, focused and team-oriented. There aren’t many like them.”
 

The story of the Three Kings comes from Armenia

Philippine Star
Jan 6 2019


The story of the Three Kings comes from Armenia

FROM A DISTANCE  Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) – January 6, 2019 – 12:00am

The feast of the Three Kings today ends the long Christmas season in the Philippines. Although it is much celebrated in Spain and Latin American countries it is not so in the Philippines. Although there is an obligatory mass and it is a public holiday it is anti-climactic. With thousands of overseas Filipinos working abroad it was chaos in the airports. It is the day Filipinos prepare to go back to work in different countries.

In a way, it is also a departure from the influence of colonial Spain. In other countries colonized by Spain like Mexico, celebrations of this feast are big.

As far as I can remember as a child we hang socks for Santa Claus but for Three Kings we put our shoes out when it is said they will put money in the shoes. That is not practiced anymore in most families.

Like Christmas itself the story of the Three Kings varies but the generally accepted version comes from the Christmas story of the gospel of Matthew 2:1-12.

“After Jesus was born, Wise Men came to look for Him, probably from an area which is now in either Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or the Yemen. Although they are often called the ‘Three Kings,’ the Bible does not say how many there were, or that they were kings. One theory is that they might have been Kings of the Yemen, as during this time the Kings of Yemen were Jews. Three is only a guess because they brought with them three gifts: but however many there were of them, they probably would have had many more servants with them.

They were certainly men of great learning. The word Magi comes from the greek word ‘magos’ (where the English word ‘magic’ comes from). Magos itself comes from the old Persian word ‘Magupati’. This was the title given to priests in a sect of the ancient Persian religions such as Zoroastrianism. Today we’d called them astrologers. Back then astronomy and astrology were part of the same overall studies (and ‘science’) and went hand in hand with each other. The magi would have followed the patterns of the stars religiously. They would have also probably been very rich and held in high esteem in their own society and by people who weren’t from their country or religion.

They had seen an unusual new star in the sky, and knew that it told of the birth of a special king in Israel. No one really knows what the new star in the sky was, and there are many theories including comets, supernovas, a conjunction of planets or something supernatural! Find out more about the star in the Star of Bethlehem page in the Christmas Customs section. The Magi would have known about the prophesies of a special Jewish Savior (also known as the Messiah) from when the Jews had been held captive in ancient Babylon several hundred years before.

Legends are told about them and they have been given names. This is how they are often described:

Gaspar (or Caspar), who has brown hair and a brown beard (or no beard!) and wears a green cloak and a gold crown with green jewels on it. He is the King of Sheba. Gaspar represents the Frankincense brought to Jesus. Melchior, who has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold cloak. He is the King of Arabia. Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus. Balthazar, who has black skin and a black beard (or no beard!) and wears a purple cloak. He is the King of Tarse and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh that was brought to Jesus.

Herod asked the Wise Men to find Jesus and tell him where he was, not so he could go and worship him as he said, but so he could kill him! He thought that Jesus sounded like a new King that could come and take his power away.

When the Wise Men found Jesus and Mary, they would have been living in a normal house, probably in Bethlehem or Jerusalem, because by this time Jesus would have been aged between one and two. Then they gave their gifts to him. The gifts seem quite strange to give to a baby, but Christians believe that they had the following meanings:

Gold: is associated with Kings and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of Kings.

Frankincense: is sometimes used in worship in churches and showed that people would worship Jesus.

Myrrh: is a perfume that is put on dead bodies to make them smell nice; Christian believe that it showed that Jesus would suffer and die.

The gifts are also all things that come from east of Israel in Arabia.

When the wise men were about to go to tell Herod where Jesus was, they were warned in a dream not to, so Herod could not carry out his horrible plan.”

Some scholars have written that the story of the Three Kings comes from Armenian tradition. It is from Armenian stories that the three men are identifies as Balthsar of Arabia, Melchor of Persia and Gaspar of India.

The identification of the three kings or three Magi gives a universal aspect for Christmas. It is believed that   they journeyed following the Star of Bethlehem which is now in either Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or the Yemen.


Verelq: «Գոնսալեսին»` Սերժ Սարգսյանի եղբորորդուն կարտահանձնեն ՀՀ-ին

  • 04.01.2019
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  • Հայաստան
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Հայաստանի երրորդ նախագահ Սերժ Սարգսյանի եղբորորդու՝ Նարեկ Սարգսյանի արտահանձնման համար անհրաժեշտ փաստաթղթերը Գլխավոր դատախազությունից ուղարկվել են Չեխիայի Հանրապետության իրավապահ մարմիններին:


«Դեկտեմբերի 28-ին հանձնման համար անհրաժեշտ փաստաթղթերը Գլխավոր դատախազությունից ուղարկվել են Չեխիայի Հանրապետության իրավապահ մարմիններին», - հայտնել են ՀՀ գլխավոր դատախազության հանրային կապերի բաժնից:

Azerbaijani press: President Aliyev: 2018 was a successful year for Azerbaijan

1 January 2019 00:26 (UTC+04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 1

Trend:

2018 was a successful year for Azerbaijan, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in his congratulation to the Azerbaijani people on the occasion of the Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis and New Year.

"Dear compatriots.

Year 2018 is nearing the end. It is possible to say with certainty that 2018 was a successful year for our country. Our country has developed successfully in all directions. Azerbaijan has asserted itself as a strong country in the world. Our international positions have consolidated further. This year I have made 16 foreign trips. Sixteen heads of state and government have visited our country, which shows how widespread our bilateral relations are. At the same time, Azerbaijan has been successfully operating within international organizations. We have managed to secure a worthy place in the international arena.

Our relations with neighboring countries have risen to an even higher level. This is very important for each country, including Azerbaijan. The work we are doing in the political, economic and other spheres together with our neighbors strengthens stability in the region. As for stability, I can say that tensions, risks and threats are rising in the world, but Azerbaijan is a place of stability. In 2018, our people lived in peace and stability. The main reason and source of this stability is the unity between the people and the government.

We have further strengthened our relations with the European Union. The Partnership Priorities document signed between the European Union and Azerbaijan this year is a manifestation of the high level of these relations. This document clearly states thoughts on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of our borders and shows again that the European Union adheres to the right position on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Our role in Islamic solidarity issues is growing. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation gives a high assessment to our policy in this area and we can say with full confidence that Azerbaijan has strengthened its strong role in the Muslim world. The attention, respect and sympathy we enjoy in the Muslim world shows that Azerbaijan has achieved great success in this area as well.

This year, the issue of the legal status of the Caspian Sea was also resolved. This is a historic achievement. As you know, this issue remained unresolved for years. However, it has now been resolved and Azerbaijan has made a valuable contribution to that.

We remain committed to our principled position on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Our position is fair. Our position is fully consistent with the norms and principles of international law. Nagorno-Karabakh is ancient Azerbaijani land. The whole world recognizes the territorial integrity of our country. The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved only within the territorial integrity of our country. The resolutions of the UN Security Council must be fully implemented and the occupying forces must unconditionally withdraw from our lands.

I can say that Azerbaijan made very serious steps to resolve this conflict in 2018. As you know, the regime of criminal and corrupt junta that which remained in power in Armenia for 20 years has collapsed and this represents a complete failure of Armenia's aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. I can also say that our thought-out, focused and principled policy against Armenia has yielded fruit. We have isolated Armenia from all regional and international projects, and our share in the collapse of the Armenian economy is quite large. I think there is a new situation for the settlement of the conflict today. I do hope that 2019 can be a breakthrough year in this area.

Along with this, of course, I think that our strong military potential is a key factor for the resolution of the conflict. In recent years, we have significantly enhanced our military power. Today, the Azerbaijani army is among the strongest armies in the world. This year's military parade in our country shows our strength, the great potential of strong army. The Azerbaijani army has the most modern weapons and equipment, a very high combat potential, and we proved this again this year. The Azerbaijani army has carried out a successful operation in the Nakhchivan direction of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and is now in control of 11,000 hectares of land. The takeover of strategic heights enables us to exercise full control over important communications and routes passing through Armenia.

We will continue to increase our military power. We want to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully, and our participation in the negotiations is a clear proof of that. However, everyone knows and should know that the military factor plays a special role for the solution of the conflict, and we will increase our military power further.

A great deal has been done for the IDPs this year. New homes and apartments for 5,800 IDP families were built and made available to them. This is a record figure in recent years. A total of 626 apartments were given to martyr families and those handicapped in the Karabakh war, and we will continue this policy next year.

Of course, all this requires a strong economy, which we do have. Today, Azerbaijan does not depend on anyone in terms of economic development. Azerbaijan's economy is independent and represents a factor that strengthens our independent policy. This year, the gross domestic product has grown, the non-oil sector has grown, industrial production has grown, and the non-oil sector has grown by more than 9 percent. Our exports grew by about 40 percent. $10 billion has been invested in the country's economy. The World Bank's latest "Doing Business" report ranks Azerbaijan 25th in the world. This shows that our reforms, transparency and major economic transformation are producing results, and the World Bank appreciates it.

We attach great importance to modern technologies. This year, our third satellite was launched into orbit. This is a great event. Azerbaijan is a member of a limited club of space-faring nations and we are strengthening our positions in this field.

This year, the Southern Gas Corridor was officially opened. In May, we celebrated this magnificent event. This is a great and historic achievement. At the same time, TANAP project was officially opened in June this year, and thus great opportunities were ushered for the completion of the Southern Gas Corridor. It is our historic achievement and the people of Azerbaijan will benefit from these projects for decades to come.

This year, we celebrated the opening of the Alat Trade Seaport. This is also a historic project. Azerbaijan is becoming a very important transport hub not only of the region but also of Eurasia. The North-South and East-West corridors pass through our territory. A very strong transport infrastructure will enable us to use our transit capabilities with great efficiency.

As you know, by my order earlier this year, year 2018 was declared a Year of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. We extensively celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic both in our country and in many foreign states. The present-day Azerbaijan is the successor of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. Azerbaijan has never been so strong and so independent in history. Azerbaijan has never been so liberal.

This year, the presidential election was held in our country. The Azerbaijani people once again showed confidence in me and gave a high assessment to my work. Over the past 15 years, I have been working as President and serving my people with dignity. I will try to do my utmost for the further development of Azerbaijan, for the strengthening of Azerbaijan and for the prosperity of the people. I have one mission: to build a strong Azerbaijani state and serve the people with dignity.

It is the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis today. Taking this opportunity, I extend my greetings to all Azerbaijanis, to all our compatriots living in the world, and wish them every success.

Dear fellow countrymen, dear sisters and brothers.

I sincerely wish you a Happy New Year and the Day of Solidarity of World Azerbaijanis.

Happy Holidays!" – said President Ilham Aliyev in his congratulatory address.


Azerbaijani press: President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan made very serious steps to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2018

1 January 2019 02:50 (UTC+04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 1

Trend:

Azerbaijan made very serious steps to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2018, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in his congratulation to the Azerbaijani people on the occasion of the Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis and New Year.

"We remain committed to our principled position on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Our position is fair. Our position is fully consistent with the norms and principles of international law. Nagorno-Karabakh is ancient Azerbaijani land. The whole world recognizes the territorial integrity of our country," said President Aliyev.

President Ilham Aliyev noted that the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved only within the territorial integrity of our country.

"The resolutions of the UN Security Council must be fully implemented and the occupying forces must unconditionally withdraw from our lands.

I can say that Azerbaijan made very serious steps to resolve this conflict in 2018. As you know, the regime of criminal and corrupt junta that which remained in power in Armenia for 20 years has collapsed and this represents a complete failure of Armenia's aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. I can also say that our thought-out, focused and principled policy against Armenia has yielded fruit. We have isolated Armenia from all regional and international projects, and our share in the collapse of the Armenian economy is quite large. I think there is a new situation for the settlement of the conflict today," President Aliyev said.

Azerbaijani President expressed hope that 2019 can be a breakthrough year in this area.

"Along with this, of course, I think that our strong military potential is a key factor for the resolution of the conflict. In recent years, we have significantly enhanced our military power. Today, the Azerbaijani army is among the strongest armies in the world. This year's military parade in our country shows our strength, the great potential of strong army. The Azerbaijani army has the most modern weapons and equipment, a very high combat potential, and we proved this again this year. The Azerbaijani army has carried out a successful operation in the Nakhchivan direction of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and is now in control of 11,000 hectares of land. The takeover of strategic heights enables us to exercise full control over important communications and routes passing through Armenia.

We will continue to increase our military power. We want to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully, and our participation in the negotiations is a clear proof of that. However, everyone knows and should know that the military factor plays a special role for the solution of the conflict, and we will increase our military power further," President Aliyev said.