TEHRAN, Nov. 02 (MNA) – Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia expressed Fri. his country’s willingness to increase the level of cooperation with Iran in the power sector.
During a visit to the 19th Iran International Electricity Exhibition in Tehran, Suren Papikyan said Armenia has maintained good ties with Iranian companies in the electricity field and is keen on boosting the relations in a broader aspect.
The Armenian official, who is scheduled to hold meetings with Iranian power officials on Saturday, expressed hope the talks would result in signing good agreements on boosting cooperation.
He added that Armenian companies welcome participating in the 20th Iran International Electricity Exhibition.
Iran and Armenia have been cooperating for years in gas and electricity swap, and two-way economic and political ties have grown in tandem with an increase in trade.
Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan sent a congratulatory letter on Saturday to the Supreme Patriarch Catholicos of All Armenians His Holiness Garegin II, press department at the President’s Office reported.
The letter runs as follows:
"On behalf of the Artsakh people, authorities and myself personally I extend my heartfelt congratulations to You on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Your enthronement.
You carry out a patriotic mission aimed at selflessly serving the native people, making the Mother Church more prosperous and powerful, strengthening the Christian faith.
During all these years we have always felt Your caring and special attitude towards Artsakh, Your assistance and support in solving its problems, for which we are grateful to you.
I once again congratulate You, Your Holiness, on this memorable jubilee and wish peace, robust health and longevity. May God protect You and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin for the well-being and prosperity of our Motherland!"
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad insists national and religious minorities in Syria enjoy full rights which is part of Syrian diversity and that the country has no adverse view on that. Bashar al-Assad’s remarks came during an interview given to Damascus-based Al-Sourea and al-Ikhbariya TV on Thursday. At a question about the Kurds living in Syria, the President exemplified the Armenian minority as an example of Syrian diversity.
“The Armenians have been a patriotic group par excellence. This was proven without a shadow of doubt during the war. At the same time, this group has its own societies, its own churches and more sensitively, it has its own schools. And if you attend any Armenian celebration, a wedding, or any other event — they sing their traditional songs but afterwards they sing national, politically-inclined songs,” said Assad.
In the president’s words, the Syrian Armenians are the least, among other Armenians of the world, dissolved in society. “They have integrated, but not dissolved into Syrian society. They have maintained all their characteristics. Why should we be open here and unopen with others?” Assad questioned.
In his words, the reason is that there are separatist propositions and it is their right to defend the territorial integrity and to be wary of separatist propositions.
The House of Representatives passed two important bills this week amid deteriorating US-Turkey relations, one imposing sanctions on Turkish military and government officials over Ankara’s incursions against the Kurds in northeast Syria, the other officially recognizing the Armenian genocide. The latter is largely symbolic, finally acknowledging what scholars have long reached an overwhelming consensus on: that during World War One, amid the fading embers of the Ottoman Empire, 1.5 million Armenians were systematically exterminated. Turkey’s longstanding denial of this atrocity stands in stark contrast with how Germany has handled the moral stain of the Holocaust and continues to rob the Armenian people of dignity and closure.
More than two dozen countries and 49 US states have avowed the fact of the Armenian genocide. Even in the House, there was the precedent of acknowledgement in 1975 and 1984, but as a key NATO ally and regional security partner, Turkey had been successful in pressuring Washington to stop short of adopting the ‘G-word.’
This time, there was a bipartisan effort to rebuke Turkey and the bill recognizing the genocide passed overwhelmingly, 405-11. Republicans backed the resolution 178 to 11, and Democrats backed it 226 to 0, with two present votes. The 11 Republicans who voted against the bill were fortunate that most of the public condemnation focused on the Democrat who voted present, Ilhan Omar. In a statement explaining her decision, the Minnesota congresswoman wrote:
‘I also believe accountability for human rights violations — especially ethnic cleansing and genocide — is paramount. But accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics. A true acknowledgment of historical crimes against humanity must include both the heinous genocides of the 20th century, along with earlier mass slaughters like the transatlantic slave trade and Native American genocide, which took the lives of hundreds of millions of indigenous people in this country. For this reason, I voted “present” on final passage of H.Res. 296, the resolution Affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide.’
Where do we even begin to pick this farcical statement apart? For starters, she seems to have ‘All Lives Mattered’ the Armenian genocide by implying that only when we take stock of other historical transgressions can we acknowledge the injustice of the systematic decimation of the Armenian population that began in late April 1915. While some American officials such as Gavin Newsom have used the word ‘genocide’ in reference to the mass slaughter of Native Americans, both the treatment of indigenous peoples and the Atlantic slave trade are widely considered grave moral perversions whose evil shadows continue to taint America’s legacy, a perspective with which hardly anyone disagrees outside white supremacist circles. Compare this with what would happen if Turkish citizens openly discussed the crimes of their government or the Armenian genocide under draconian speech laws (see Article 301) that prohibit denigration of the Turkish nation.
Putting aside the ‘hundreds of millions’ figure that Omar casually throws out (the 1870 census shows the US population at just under 40 million) and any moral qualms she might have about, say, the East-African slave trade over the Indian Ocean (perpetrated by Arabs), her explanation proves that she is a faux champion of minorities who only cares about victims of oppression when they don’t interfere with her rigid anti-West views.
Omar’s point about not using the genocide bill as a political cudgel is a subtler argument that finds her partly aligned with the House Republicans who opposed the bill. Oklahoma’s Tom Cole and North Carolina’s Mark Meadows see both bills as punitive measures against Turkey that would drive the NATO nation further into the arms of Russia’s Vladimir Putin without providing tangible benefits for the United States. Other Republicans, such as Greg Pence, brother of the vice president, voted against both bills to signal his support of the Trump administration’s pivot toward friendlier policies and actions toward Turkey, including the US troop withdrawal that enabled Ankara’s offensive into northeast Syria to ‘secure’ territory previously occupied by Kurdish allies.
While the cynics among us are right that House lawmakers were acting opportunistically in passing the Armenian genocide bill now, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the right thing to do. Serj Tankian, the Armenian-American vocalist of rock band System of a Down, said in response to the news, ‘Genocide should never be used for political expediency or to sell a despot more helicopters.’ Indeed, for too long, the US government has tried to walk a fine line between nurturing its alliance and appeasing an increasingly belligerent, autocratic leader with Islamist sympathies, at the expense of many things, including rightfully recognizing one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century. Erdogan has only grown more powerful and the Turkish state more repressive, once again showing how empowering and appeasing authoritarian leaders often backfires. Elizabeth Chouldjian of the Armenian National Committee of America says the House bill is an important development. ‘Its passage will signal Ankara that Washington won’t be bullied, US policy can’t be hijacked, and American principles are not for sale. No nation — certainly not one as anti-American as Erdogan’s Turkey — deserves a veto over US policy on genocide.’
The Armenian community in Los Angeles County represents a major voting bloc for Adam Schiff, one of the genocide bill’s co-sponsors. He delivered a tearful statement on the floor of the House that was the perfect response to Omar’s views: ‘We cannot pick and choose which crimes against humanity are convenient to speak about. We cannot cloak our support for human rights in euphemisms. We cannot be cowed into silence by a foreign power.’
The Armenian people finally get recognition of one of the darkest chapters of their history, albeit less out of principle than political expediency. Politics was the reason the Armenian genocide bill was overlooked before. Now the political winds have shifted, and we might soon see a day in which the Armenian genocide will no longer be a pawn in a geopolitical chess game.
Armenia’s representative of Junior Eurovision Song 2019 Karina Ignatyan released the video of the “Colours Of Your Dream” that will be performed at the annual song contest this year. “Colours Of Your Dream” is written by Avet Barseghyan, Margarita Doroshevich and composed by Demchuk Taras.
Karina is 13 years old and was born and raised in Kaluga. She is currently enrolled at the 24th Gymnasium. Karina has participated in numerous international music competitions and festivals, including The Voice Kids Russia, New Wave Junior, Pokolenie Next, Miss Ethno 2019.
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will take place on 24 November 2019 in Gliwice, Poland.
Armenia is one of the most successful countries in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The country has never finished outside the top ten and has finished in the top three on seven occasions. Armenia first participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2007. Vladimir Arzumanyan won the contest in 2010 with the song Mama.