Azerbaijan urges Armenian leadership not to repeat predecessors’ mistakes

Vestnik Kavkaza
Sept 20 2018
20 Sep in 19:00

Azerbaijan urges the Armenian leadership not to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov said at the 39th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The deputy FM mentioned that the fundamental rights and freedoms of Azerbaijani refugees from Armenia and IDPs from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan have been violated for 30 years, seriously challenging the UN and its human rights mechanisms.

In this regard, Azerbaijan calls on the Human Rights Council, as well as its special mechanisms and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to make effective efforts to restore the violated rights of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs as required by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly, he added.

"We, in turn, continue to work for improving life standards of refugees and IDPs. I would like to mention that, in general, over the past 25 years more than $8 billion have been allocated for the social protection of this vulnerable group of people. Some 150 houses, school buildings, a kindergarten, medical institutions and other social facilities have been built in Jojug Marjanli village of Jabrayil district, which was liberated from the Armenian occupation in April 2016," Khalafov said.

Armenia continues to ignore the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly, Khalafov added.

"Unfortunately, latest statements of Armenia's new leadership, in fact, undermine the peace negotiation process and they are aimed at consolidating the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, thereby putting the region face to face with new threats. We reiterate that all responsibility for disruption of the negotiation process and escalation of tensions in the region lies entirely on the Armenian leadership," the deputy minister added.

"We urge the Armenian leadership not to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors and take a constructive stance on the issue of resolving the conflict on the basis of unconditional liberation of all the occupied Azerbaijani territories. We call on them to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states," Khalafov said.

University of California to open a center of Armenian studies

Panorama, Armenia
Sept 20 2018

The University of California is going to open a center of Armenian studies in the near future, Dr. Eric Esrailian, famous American physician, co-manager of the Medical College after David Gefen at the University of California, said at a meeting with Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan.

To note, Esrailian, who is also the co-producer of The Promise film, which tells the story of the Armenian Genocide, was received by the PM along with the UCLA Chancellor, biologist, Academician Gene Block.

Welcoming the guests, the Premier hailed the development of cooperation between Armenian higher educational institutions and the University of California, Los Angeles, which in turn may contribute to the deepening of Armenian-American educational ties.

The Prime Minister stressed that education is one of the cornerstones of democratic development and economic progress, and considering Armenia’s huge innovational and IT potential, the Government of Armenia seeks to convert Armenia into a technological country.

Eric Esrailian and Gene Block wished the Government every success on the way to implementing its reform agenda, including the educational reform. They expressed readiness to support this process through the development of entrepreneurship, technology, engineering, exchange of experience and academic programs. 

Securing the Revolution – The Role of Civil Society and Reform Challenges in Armenia

European Endowment for Democracy
September 17 2018
Securing the Revolution – The Role of Civil Society and Reform Challenges in Armenia

On 10 September, the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) hosted a panel debate focusing on the civil society perspective of the post-revolutionary developments in Armenia. The event was co-organised with the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
“I firmly believe that this is a revolution and not a transition [of power], because I don't see just the change of people, but I see change of values, I see the change of the working culture and this is the most important for me,” said Sona Ghazaryan, an activist from No Pasaran / Reject Serzh movements. Haykuhi Harutyunyan of Protection without Borders, who elaborated on concrete benefits of the Armenian Velvet Revolution, pointed to the improved situation of human rights in prisons and increasing public trust towards police. She noted that people are not afraid of demanding changes and organising protests in front of public institutions. “It is basic, but very important,” noted Mrs. Harutyunyan.
Despite many reasons for optimism, the situation in post-revolutionary Armenia remains complex, since the new elite led by Nikol Pashinyan inherited the old institutions and policies serving interests of narrow group of oligarchs. This was confirmed by Boris Navasardian, head of the Yerevan Press Club, who spoke about resistance of the counter-revolutionary forces who are now trying to discredit and undermine the new authorities in effectively implementation of the necessary reforms. Critics often point out the general lack of experience and competence of the new authorities, who are still learning to manage the state. In this regard, the upcoming Yerevan City Council elections, slated for 23 September, will be crucial test for the new government and civil society alike.
In the meantime, civil society and the new government in Armenia face numerous challenges, among them early parliamentary elections, reforming the electoral code or potential alterations to constitutional set-up as well dealing with tensions between traditional civil society and the new activists.
The current discussion on transitional justice represents another major challenge for civil society and the government, both to explain the concept and to set up the necessary structures. In addition, Mr. Navasardian pointed to the ongoing tensions between environmental activists and government on the mining industry, which could undermine the trust of foreign investors. He concluded: “The nearest months will show how much the new government is ready to resolve all of these problems and to what extent the cooperation with the EU could be helpful for that and implementation of CEPA.” Panellists underlined that the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the EU requires a new set of priorities and general revision to better respond to Armenia’s current needs vis a vis the reform agenda.
These challenges are reflected in the country's media sphere, which is also going through turbulent changes. New media and social networks boomed during the Armenian Velvet Revolution and are actively used by the new authorities, including Pashinyan himself. As noted by the speakers, the new prime minister uses Facebook live streams to talk directly to the citizens following the logic of direct democracy. Despite obvious technical problems and geographic differences, Mr Navasardian emphasised that for now this is the only way to overcome stagnation and the institutional blockade in the parliament. Nevertheless, it is not possible to use the methods of direct democracy in the long run, he added.

Sports: Armenia wins 2 medals in Slovakia, Armenia
Sept 19 2018

The Armenian Greco-Roman wrestling team has won two silver medals so far at the 2018 Junior World Wrestling Championships being held in Trnava, Slovakia.

Tigran Minasyan (55kg) and Davit Ovasapyan (super heavyweight) have lost in the finals of their respective weight categories.

“Saryan and France” exhibition opening in Yerevan today

Panorama, Armenia
Sept 19 2018
Culture 13:16 19/09/2018 Armenia

An exhibition dedicated to the artworks of Martiros Saryan, one of the greatest Armenian painters of the 20th century, is launching today at Martiros Saryan House-Museum in the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

Titled “Saryan and France”, the exhibition is organized as part of La Francophonie events in the capital, the Ministry of Culture told  

Saryan’s Gazelles, a famous painting from Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery, will go on display at the event for the first time. The exhibition will also feature Rue d'une ville caucasienne, Tiflis (1927) (In the Caucasus, Tiflis) a canvas with a unique story. The latter is a great event, since the painting will be displayed in Armenia for the first time in 90 years.  

The exhibition runs through 14 November. 

Saryan’s Paris period (1926-1928) was extremely productive and greatly significant in terms of undertaking new creative challenges. The solo exhibition in 1928 in Galerie Charles-Auguste Girard, for which the artist was preparing for a year and a half, was to be a kind of summation of everything he had developed and achieved in Paris in a comparatively short time.   

The "Armenia!" Exhibition opens in the world-famous Metropolitan Museum in New York

Arminfo, Armenia
Sept 18 2018
The "Armenia!" Exhibition opens in the world-famous Metropolitan Museum in New York

Yerevan September 18

Alexander Avanesov. In the world-famous Metropolitan Museum in New York on September 22 an exhibition "Armenia!" Will open, where exhibits from the Museum of the History of Armenia, Matenadaran and Etchmiadzin will be presented.

The Minister of Culture Lilit Makunts, the director of the Museum of the History of Armenia Grigor Grigoryan, the director of the Matenadaran Vahan Ter-Ghevondyan and the director of the Museums and Archives of the Holy Echmiadzin Astghik Karapetyan stated this at the July 18 press conference. The exhibition is devoted to the artistic and cultural achievements of the Armenian people from the adoption of Christianity to the 17th century. The exhibition will feature 140 exhibits, including 34 exhibits from the Museum of the History of Armenia, 20 exhibits from Etchmiadzin and 28 manuscripts from Matenadaran. There will be exhibits, which will be exhibited for the first time.

Minister Makunts noted that the exhibits were also provided by the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, the fraternity of the St. Hakobyan Church, the Mkhitarist Congregation, the Galust Gulbenkian Museum and other museums. Makunts stressed that before the opening press conference will be held for the international press, there will also be interviews that will increase interest in this important event. The curator of the exhibition is the Byzantologist Helen Evans, who worked in Yerevan for many years. The charity companies donated money to the event. The exhibition will last until January 13, 2019.

The 2018 Oceania Street Armenian Festival

Western Queens Gazette, NY
Sept 19 2018

The 2018 Oceania Street Armenian Festival

On Saturday, September 15 the 2018 Oceania Street Armenian Festival was held in Bayside, at the corner of the Horace Harding Expressway and Oceania Street, in front of and surrounding The Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs. Visitors enjoyed live entertainment, delicious food and beverages, and a wide range of attractions, including a children’s arcade, many street vendors, multiple raffles and a fun-filled adventure for anyone visiting the festival. The live entertainment included dancing from many cultures. Armenian, Greek, Chinese and other ethnic dancers entertained the large audience throughout the day. — Tony Barsamian Photos Tony Barsamian

Rome Opera Theatre hosted a concert dedicated to 2800th anniversary of Yerevan

Panorama, Armenia
Sept 19 2018
Society 20:41 19/09/2018 World

Armenian Symphony Orchestra performed concert dedicated to 2800th anniversary of Yerevan in Italy

The Armenian State Symphony Orchestra led by artistic director and chief conductor Sergey Smbatyan performed a concert at Teatro dell’Opera in Rome. As leant from the Orchestra press service, the event was dedicated to 2800th anniversary of Yerevan and the 115th birthday anniversary of acclaimed Armenian composer and conductor Aram Khachatourian.

Works by Armenian composers Komitas, Aram Khachatourian, Edgar Hovhannisyan and others were performed during the event, that was attended by members of diplomatic corps, officials, representatives of art and culture sector. 

In the beginning of the concert Armenian Ambassador to Italy Viktoria Baghdasaryan addressed welcome remarks, highlighting the Armenian-Italian relations, and cultural ties.  

 According to the source, the Rome Opera House was impressed with the evening of Armenian music and conductor Smbatyan met a warm reception in the end, returning to the stage for several times on the public request to perform new works. 

Armenia notifies PACE monitoring committee on Azerbaijani cross-border shootings


Head of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Ms. Arpine Hovhannisyan has notified the monitoring committee of the institution on Azerbaijan’s cross-border gunfire at the Armenian village of Koti, the resulting civilian injury and the other shootings of several other Armenian civilian settlements.

“By taking advantage of the latest domestic events in Armenia the authorities of Azerbaijani are attempting to put the blame for possible failures of the NK conflict settlement on the Armenian side. I have said this numerously and I won’t avoid repeating myself: we are more than united in the Artsakh matter.

Regarding agenda issues, at the request of a relevant committee I briefed on the latest domestic political developments of Armenia. Considering the confidentiality procedure of the committee’s activities I will notify about the decisions and the committee’s stance when it will be [available for disclosure],” Hovhannisyan said.

Azerbaijani billionaire charged with 2004 attempted kidnapping of pop singer Avraam Russo


Russia-based Azerbaijani billionaire businessman Telman Ismailov has been charged with the 2004 attempted kidnapping of pop singer Avraam Russo. Ismailov’s cousin Zaur Mardanov is also charged, Meydan reports.

A criminal investigation has been launched against Ismailov and Mardanov.

The two allegedly attempted to kidnap Russo in 2004 to force him into signing contracts for joint concert collaboration. Ismailov and Mardanov deny the charges.

Until 2009, Ismailov owned Europe’s then-largest marketplace, Cherkizovsky Market, located in Moscow, Russia.

A court is expected to set a measure of restraint (pre-trial detention, bail….) for the defendants on September 18.