Newspaper: Armenia MPs’ hold heated closed meeting with Europeans, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
Newspaper: Armenia MPs’ hold heated closed meeting with Europeans Newspaper: Armenia MPs’ hold heated closed meeting with Europeans

09:24, 02.11.2019

YEREVAN. – Zhoghovurd daily of Armenia writes: According to Zhoghovurd daily, yesterday the closed meeting of the members of the State and Legal and Protection of Human Rights [Standing] Committees of the National Assembly with the representatives of the Council of Europe was quite heated. The "Bright Armenia" faction boycotted the discussion.

According to Zhoghovurd daily, experts who have arrived from the Council of Europe have said that the stereotypes of the public regarding giving privileges – marriage, adopting children, etc. – to the LGBT community are not envisaged by the [Istanbul] Convention.

Naira Zohrabyan asked whether the RA Criminal Code and the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence do not solve the problems of violence; what is the absence of the law that obliges the adoption of the Istanbul Convention.

According to Zhoghovurd daily, Europeans have, in essence, not answered these questions.

Maria Karapetyan, present at the meeting from "My Step," who is a proponent of the adoption of the Istanbul Convention, has sat in silence. (…) while Ruben Rubinyan, who chaired the meeting, summed up: "Armenia is a sovereign state, and we will make our decision."

Armenia keen on boosting electricity coop. with Iran

Mehr News Agency, Iran
Nov 2 2019

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.

Iran company to build wind power plants in Armenia?, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
Iran company to build wind power plants in Armenia? Iran company to build wind power plants in Armenia?

13:43, 02.11.2019

YEREVAN. – On the margins of his working visit to Iran on November 1-3, Armenian Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan participated in the 19th International Exhibition of Iranian Electricity in Tehran, which was attended by companies from 13 countries.

Papikyan got acquainted with the latest news and production capacities of electric power products and equipment presented here by local and foreign companies, the ministry informed Armenian Also, he discussed with the representatives of a number of companies the possibilities of cooperation in product supply.

Within the framework of the exhibition, Suren Papikyan met with the advisor of the Minister of Energy of Iran Ali Farahnakian, and the head of MAPNA company, the largest producer of energy equipment in Iran.

In particular, during the conversation with the head of MAPNA, the minister highly appreciated the Iranian achievements in applying innovations and new technologies in power generation, and expressed hope that in the near future Armenia will also be able to participate in such exhibitions.

The Minister discussed with the head of MAPNA the possibility of involvement of the company in the construction of alternative power plants in Armenia, in particular the participation of the company in construction of wind power plants.

Within the framework of his working visit to Iran, Minister Suren Papikyan met also with Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian.

National Agenda party official: We do not accept Armenian-Turkish cooperation without preconditions, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
National Agenda party official: We do not accept Armenian-Turkish cooperation without preconditions National Agenda party official: We do not accept Armenian-Turkish cooperation without preconditions

14:01, 02.11.2019

YEREVAN. – Our strategic partnership with Russia must continue and develop in a mutually beneficial way, including beneficial for us. This was stated by Avetik Chalabyan, a member of the National Agenda party's founding committee at the party’s founding congress today in Yerevan.

“Because in the past this partnership has not always been mutually beneficial. There have been mutual grievances, there have been times when either Russia or we have considered that the other side is not behaving as a partner. In a sense, this is also a reflection of the ‘weight’ differences between the two countries. The more we [Armenia] gain ‘weight,’ we will have a greater opportunity to carry out effective policy,” Chalabyan said.

He also stressed that Armenia should develop mutually beneficial relations with other power centers – US, EU, as well as Iran and India.

As for relations with Turkey, Chalabyan said that Armenians should be able to achieve sensible, substantial compensation for the genocide and homeland dispossession that must be accepted by the entire Armenian people. "It must be tangible. We must realize that this compensation opens the door for peaceful coexistence. Until that compensation is made, we should not make any one-sided concessions. We do not accept the former authorities’ approach that one can pursue Armenian-Turkish cooperation without preconditions. That precondition exists to us: it is the compensation our people will receive."

National Agenda party of Armenia: We are national center-right force, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
National Agenda party of Armenia: We are national center-right force National Agenda party of Armenia: We are national center-right force

14:36, 02.11.2019

YEREVAN. – We enter the political arena because we understand that there is an environment around our country that contains both dangers and opportunities. Our mission is to ensure the security of Armenia and do everything for the state to move upward. This was stated by Avetik Chalabyan, a member of the National Agenda party's founding committee at the party’s founding congress today in Yerevan.

"We must make Armenia a center of excellence, it must shine and at least it should be the best country in the region where people will strive to come. We must also become a link between the North and the South. The next important issue is security. We live in the East and West in a pinch, we have to get out of it, expanding our habitat both real and virtual,” Chalabyan said, adding that their party's program has an about 20-year prospect.

“We are a national center-right force based on several principles. The first is the virtue that we tell the truth, and we do not try to sell our conscience, our name, our reputation, out of political conjuncture. Second, the Armenian people have succeeded in creation; this is our genotype. We have not succeeded by conquering, but creating, crafting.

From this comes the third principle: Creation is impossible without freedom. In Armenia one should be free. (…). The next principle is justice because our country and people have suffered greatly from injustice. We must cure the disease of injustice in our society and become a just society," Chalabyan emphasized.

He added that the other important principle of their party is security. "We can remove the ‘sword of Damocles’ hanging over our heads only if we create the most powerful security system, the best army, the best security agencies; but aside from that, we have to be able to also withstand the hybrid war. Now war is waged at us not only with weapons, but also by demoralizing us. We must be able to counteract it also with words, knowledge, values.

The last principle is the cultural transformation of our party. We are not revolutionaries. We have welcomed the rebellion of our people last year, but we believe that revolutions have serious dangers in themselves. Our goal is not the abrupt ‘slaughter,’ but an evolutionary transformation," Chalabyan said.

Artsakh president congratulates Catholicos of All Armenians on the 20th anniversary of enthronement.

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 2 2019

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!"

Bashar al-Assad refers to the Armenian community as an example of Syrian diversity

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 2 2019

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. 

Armenian genocide and the theater of US politics

The Spectator USA
Nov 1 2019
Melissa Chen

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.

Junior Eurovision: The video of Armenian song at Junior Eurovision released

Panorama, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
Culture 16:58 02/11/2019 Armenia

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.

There was no decree to dismiss Ararat Mirzoyan from post of Armenia deputy PM, Armenia
Nov 2 2019
There was no decree to dismiss Ararat Mirzoyan from post of Armenia deputy PM There was no decree to dismiss Ararat Mirzoyan from post of Armenia deputy PM

17:15, 02.11.2019

YEREVAN. – Armenian National Assembly (NA) President Ararat Mirzoyan received a deputy mandate, and then was elected NA President without being dismissed from the position of First Deputy Prime Minister. There is no document on the termination of his powers as such. The Office of President Armen Sarkissian has informed this in response to a respective query by Pastinfo.

Pastinfo had written to the President's Office asking to inform when Mirzoyan was dismissed from the post of First Deputy Prime Minister—which no longer exists.

The decree on appointing Ararat Mirzoyan as First Deputy PM was signed on May 11, 2018, and as a result of the snap parliamentary elections that took place in December, he was elected an MP and then speaker of the NA.

"The Armenian president did not receive a proposal from the government to dismiss Ararat Mirzoyan from the post of First Deputy Prime Minister, and, consequently, the corresponding decree of the President was not adopted," the response from the presidential office reads.

In fact, Ararat Mirzoyan had held two incompatible positions – the First Deputy Prime Minister and the President of the National Assembly – at the same time, according to Pastinfo.