Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors Meeting Open

Federal Information and News Dispatch, Inc.
State Department
July 20, 2004

Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors Meeting Open

TEXT: Secretary Colin L. Powell

Harry S Truman Building Room 1107

July 20, 2004

(10:00 a.m. EDT)

SECRETARY POWELL:Good morning, everyone. It’s my great pleasure to
call the meeting to order and to welcome all of you to this regular
meeting of the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge
Corporation. I see that we have a quorum of directors present so we
can begin our business.

Let me begin by welcoming our two newest members, and the first two
outside members of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board,
Christine Todd Whitman and Kenneth Hackett. Both of them were
nominated by the President in June and confirmed by the Senate just
last week and sworn in by me seven and a half minutes ago.
(Laughter.) So we are very pleased to have them both here. And as
most of you know, Christie Whitman previously served as Administrator
of the Environmental Protection Agency and as Governor of the State
of New Jersey. Ken Hackett currently serves as President of Catholic
Relief Services, where he oversees important relief and development
operations around the world. And we are very fortunate to have two
such respected and gifted individuals on the board and we certainly
look forward to their contributions.

And so, on behalf of President Bush and all of the members of the
Millennium Challenge Corporation team, I’d like to welcome them both
to the Board of Directors.

Before we get started on Board business, I wanted to note that due to
the limited time available for a public session today and to give
interested members of the public an opportunity to ask some questions
of the Millennium Challenge Corporation management, MCC will be
holding a public outreach session at GSA on Tuesday, July 27th, next
week, at 10:30 a.m.

At that session members of the MCC management team would like to
update you on their trips to the 16 MCA-eligible countries and other
recent developments and then take your questions. I understand, by
the way, that the country trips were very positive and productive.
The reports that I have received back from Paul and our embassies
certainly give me reason for optimism, so I would encourage you to
attend the outreach session next week.

Let’s now move along to the first item of business, the approval of
the minutes of the Open Session of the May 6th Board Meeting. All of
us have had a chance to review the minutes of the Open Session of the
May 6th Board Meeting, which are included in your Board books. At Tab
1 is a resolution to approve these minutes and certify that they
accurately reflect the proceedings at that portion of the meeting.

If there are no questions or comments, do I have a motion to adopt
the resolution at Tab 1?


SECRETARY POWELL: A second, please?



(Chorus of ayes.)

SECRETARY POWELL: The resolution is adopted. We will now move on to
the next item of business, a report on MCC operations by Chief
Executive Officer Paul Applegarth. Paul.

MR. APPLEGARTH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon. I’m pleased
to provide the Board an update on the work of the Corporation since
our last Board meeting. Because of limited time today, my report will
be a summary, with the idea that we will report in greater detail and
answer questions at next week’s public Board meeting.

For those of you who didn’t write down all the details of where the
meeting will be, they will be available on the MCC website shortly.

Also I want to, despite the best of planning efforts over a couple
months to keep calendars free, both Secretary Snow and Administrator
Natsios had to be out of town today unavoidably. Accordingly, I want
to recognize, in addition to our two new board members, Deputy
Secretary of the Treasury Bodman and Deputy Administrator of AID Fred
Schieck, who are here today.

At its basic Board meeting, the Board did two significant things. One
was to select the first 16 countries as eligible for MCC assistance
and to improve the establishment of a threshold program. Implementing
programs and policies related to those decisions has been the focus
of much of MCC’s operational activities for the last two and a half

Immediately after the Board meeting, eligible countries were informed
of their status by each U.S. Ambassador to each — in their country
and we had a meeting for the ambassadors of the selected countries.
In addition, President Bush held a ceremony in the East Room of the
White House to recognize and congratulate the representatives of the
MCC-eligible countries. This event was attended by members of the
Board, Congress, senior White House officials and a number of NGOs
and members of the public who have been instrumental in helping to
create the MCA.

Following an intense period of preparation, MCC then sent five teams
to visit all the 16 countries at the end of May and early June,
departing within ten days of the last Board meeting. There were five
purposes for these trips: first was to congratulate the countries for
being selected; two, to invite the submission of a proposal; three,
review the three core tests that MCC will use in evaluating
proposals, i.e., will the countries’ proposed program lead to poverty
reduction, to sustained economic growth, were the countries’
priorities determined through a consultative process, and what
additional policy commitments will the selected countries make to
continue the policy reform process; the fourth purpose of the trips
was to communicate MCC’s message broadly in the country through
meetings with government officials, members of parliament, political
leaders, NGOs, the private sector, other donors and civil society
leaders; and finally, to conduct an aggressive grassroots
communication and public diplomacy strategy, including press
conferences and radio and TV interviews to alert the people in
selected countries of the country’s selection as an MCC country,
highlight the United States involvement and encourage them to
participate in the consultative process to develop their country’s

Before going, we also spent a lot of time with our U.S. key partners
at USAID, State and Treasury, and I want to thank the Board members
for the administration for making their staffs available to assist
with our trips. They did provide an enormous amount of assistance
that was critical to our preparation, as did staff at the World Bank,
the IMF and elsewhere in the U.S. Government.

You will hear more next week, but I will say there are a number of
common experiences among the teams that visited countries. First, we
were received at the highest levels in every country, the president
and prime minister in virtually every case. Secondly, the countries
were uniformly proud of being recognized for their achievements.
Third, they were very enthusiastic about the concept of country
ownership, particularly after they understood the flexibility being
offered to them to set the strategic directions of their proposal.

I’ll give you a couple of examples of the impact that we had. A
senior official in Armenia stated that Armenia’s inclusion in the
program had made the country much more focused on matters of
governing, governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
Another official said that because of the consultative process
officials better understood the urgency of problems in rural areas
and that their proposals had been affected by these consultations.
That’s exactly what we’re aiming for through the consultative
process. The State Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
Mongolia said Mongolia’s selection as an MCC-eligible country had
paved the way for a new form of relations between Mongolia and the
United States. And the Prime Minister of Cape Verde stated that the
selection of Cape Verde for the MCA was the third most significant
achievement for the country, behind its independence from Portugal in
1975 and the democratic transition in 1991. That’s fairly — in terms
of priority, what can I say? He said it all.

We are clearly now moving into a new phase of MCC operations. The
timing of initial proposal submission for each country will be
different because the specifics of proposal development are unique to
each country. To predict a timeline going forward is difficult at
this time in terms of when we’ll complete the first compacts. It is
clear as we’ve encouraged countries to take time to get their
proposals right — actually, there’s no question that our visits
probably slowed down the submission process, but for good reasons.
First, I think these countries recognize their flexibility under the
program. They wanted to stop, take stock and rethink about how they
could really use this new resource. And secondly, the consultative

Other activities we’ve been quite involved in have been the compact
evaluation process, preparing it and getting ready for receipt of the
first compact proposals; secondly, detailed planning for the
implementation of the threshold program, working together with AID;
and then preparing for really the agenda of this Board meeting, which
is the candidate — beginning the candidate country selection process
for 2005.

We’ve also spent a lot of time on outreach. In terms of outreach,
we’ve spent a considerable amount of time on Capitol Hill meeting
with the members and their staff in an effort to keep interested
members up to date on MCC activities. I have testified before the
HIRC and House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee in
preparation for their deliberations. As you know, the House did pass
an appropriation bill that included $1.25 billion for ’05. We are
working to get it back — the amount up to the President’s original
request of $2.5 billion, but we do appreciate the leadership and
support of Chairman Kolbe and the bipartisan support that MCC enjoys.

We continue actively to participate in a number of outreach efforts
with NGOs and business groups and to seek opportunities for these
discussions. Developing awareness of MCC with international donors
has also been a priority. We should mention Andrew Natsios invited me
to participate in a meeting of development ministers that he was
hosting following the G-8. This meeting provided an excellent
opportunity for us to meet with the leadership of the donor community
and to introduce them to MCC and what MCC is trying to do. And I do
appreciate Andrew’s efforts to include MCC in this important meeting.

And as I mentioned previously, we are holding another public outreach
meeting next week.

In the midst of all this, it’s sometimes difficult to forget we’re
still a startup. If we can find the time, we will celebrate our
six-month birthday at the end of this week. And from an
administrative perspective, we continue to build the infrastructure
to support the implementation of MCC, including things like phones,
security systems, temporary office construction and ultimately
finding a permanent headquarters.

In terms of staffing, we’ve gone from a team of roughly eight people
at the end of January to a little over 40 today, and we continue to
build out the team. We have also continued to put in place financial
and administrative procedures. The administrative staff visited
Denver to further develop financial management and budgeting systems
with our vendor, the National Business Center at the Department of
the Interior. And, actually, we were joined on this trip by a
representative of the Inspector Generals Office.

As I mention the Inspector General, I should say in terms of
oversight, we have had extensive discussions with Hill staff, the GAO
and the Inspector General staff. We recognize the need for this
transparency and see as important strategically in terms of building
confidence of what we are about. As a startup particularly and
without demonstrable results in terms of results of our compacts for
a couple years, it’s very important that everyone have full
confidence in what we are doing and how we are doing it.

In short, I would like to say it’s been a quite busy two and a half
months since our last meeting. We’ve made considerable progress and
still have a lot to do. We look forward to receiving the proposals
from MCC countries, working to the selection of the ’05 countries and
ultimately moving closer to our goal of reducing poverty through
growth in some of the poorest countries of the world.

Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Paul, and my congratulations
to you and the members of the MCC staff for the great work that you
have been doing in recent months. I always have to remind audiences
that I speak to about the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the
Account, that this has gone from a line in the President’s State of
the Union Address in January of last year in less than 18 months —
quite a few weeks less than 18 months — to a complete program, the
chartering of a corporation, the development of a board, the creation
of a staff, pushing the appropriation through the Congress, all that
is required to set up a new and rather unique organization that is
out of government but also connected to the government and enjoying
one of the President’s highest priorities. And by governmental
standards, this is a pretty rapid rate of progress and reflects a lot
of hard work on the part of Paul, Al Larson before Paul, and so many
others, and I appreciate that work.

I might just add one other word about the Millennium Challenge
Corporation. The 16 nations that were selected have all been very,
very pleased with their selection and I received all kinds of nice
letters and phone calls and visitors. And they come in and they give
me all their promises of what they’re going to do, and I said that’s
fine because we’re entering into a compact, a contract, and if you
want this funding and if you want it to continue, and you want it to
be multiyear, if you want us to stick with you, you’ve got to get
better every year with respect to these basic tests of democracy and
openness and economic freedom and end of corruption and the rule of
law. You’ve got to get better.

Of greater interest, however, are the delegations and letters and
phone calls I received from the countries that were not selected but
who are potential candidates. And those calls are of a slightly
different nature, or when they sit in my office and they look across
at me and they say, “What did we do wrong or what is it we have to do
right to get into this game?” And it’s very simple and we lay it out
for them. And they say if you do these things, then you will enhance
your prospects of being selected. And we’re going to get more money
in ’05 and we’re going to get even more money in ’06. So this is the
most significant development program since the Marshall Plan, and you
can be a recipient, you can work out a compact with us, but you’ve
got to do the right things.

The other point I would make is that this is all being done not at
the expense of our normal development assistance programs; in fact,
if you look at the record of the Administration over the last three
and a half years, there has been growth in AID spending and other
kinds of development assistance spending, and on top of that you have
this unique Millennium Challenge approach to development assistance.
And not development assistance for the purpose of keeping people on
the dole forever, but for the purpose of creating conditions in those
countries so they will start to attract investment and trade —
non-aid. It’s not for the purpose of giving them aid forever. This is
the purpose of putting them on a solid footing so that they will
attract investment and trade and get off aid, and we can use the
Millennium Challenge Account money in future years for other
countries that have met the test.

We will be talking about threshold funding. There are a number of
countries that were getting closer and they may need a little walking
around — no, I won’t call it that. (Laughter.) They need a little
help. And that’s what the threshold program is for, to give them a
little help and bring them along, make sure they understand what’s
going to be required of them, make sure they understand the demanding
nature of the tests that they will be asked to take and pass.

So I must say that, at least from my personal perspective as Chairman
of this Corporation, as well as Secretary of State, I can say that
I’m very pleased and I know the President is very pleased at the
progress that we have seen so far, but it is nothing compared to the
progress that we hope to see in the future.

With that, I would now like to move to close the open portion of the
meeting, not to cut off dialogue and debate because you’ll have that
opportunity with Paul and the staff next week, but we have to discuss
a few matters such as the ’05 country selection process, which has to
be closed because of the confidential nature of discussions and use
of classified information, and we also have to discuss some internal
personnel matters.

Members of the Board, in your Board books at Tab 2 is a resolution to
approve the closing of the meeting at this time. If there are no
questions or comments about the resolution, do I have a motion to
adopt the resolution at Tab 2?


SECRETARY POWELL: Second, please?



(Chorus of ayes.)

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much. The resolution is adopted and
the open session of the meeting is adjourned. Please join me all
upstairs, members

Turkish PM to meet Chirac on lobbying visit for EU entry talks

Associated Press Worldstream
July 20, 2004 Tuesday 1:56 PM Eastern Time

Turkish Prime Minister to meet Chirac on lobbying visit for EU entry

by PAMELA SAMPSON; Associated Press Writer

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pressed ahead Tuesday
with an official visit to France aimed at prying open the European
Union’s doors to his overwhelmingly Muslim country.

But his quest was a hard sell in France, where leaders have failed to
enthusiastically embrace Turkey’s bid and polls show most French want
Turkey to stay out of the 25-member union.

Erdogan, after meeting with French President Jacques Chirac, said he
tried to convey the message that Turkey is making the changes
required to meet the so-called Copenhagen criteria for membership and
is counting on France not to withdraw its support.

But he said Turkey should not be held to a higher standard than the
other EU members or the two nations hoping to join in 2007, Romania
and Bulgaria.

“Turkey doesn’t ask to join at any price,” Erdogan said at a press
conference. “Joining the EU is not a must for Turkey.”

But France has its doubters. One of the most prominent voices to
oppose Turkey membership has been former French President Valery
Giscard d’Estaing, who bluntly said that Turkey isn’t European and
its entry would mean “the end” of the EU.

The ruling Union for the Popular Majority party, which has an
overwhelming majority in the French parliament, also is hostile to
Turkey’s membership. Erdogan met with former party head Alain Juppe
and others later Tuesday to try to win over hearts and minds.

The French public also needs to be convinced. In a poll of 1,511
people last month, 61 percent of French who responded said they
opposed Turkey membership in the EU, and only 31 percent said they
approved. Eight percent did not have an opinion.

Turkey is hoping for a positive report on its candidacy from the
European Commission this fall. Turkey hopes to get a start date for
entry negotiations at the EU summit in December, but some European
countries have seemed reluctant to include Turkey – a country of some
70 million, mostly Muslim inhabitants.

Membership of Turkey, located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia,
would stretch the EU’s borders to Syria and Iraq – a fact that
opponents say moves Europe too close to the unstable Middle East.

Chirac has said that he believes Ankara was not likely to be able to
meet the bloc’s conditions for another 10-15 years.

Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said in a radio interview Tuesday
that “Turkey should not expect to enter the European Union tomorrow
morning” even if it improves its human rights record and reforms its
justice system, two key requirements.

“Turkey still has a ways to go toward becoming a social and
democratic model along the lines of the European model,” Barnier told
Europe-1 radio.

Turkey also has passed sweeping democratic reforms to meet the EU’s
membership criteria, abolishing the death penalty and granting
greater cultural rights to long-oppressed Kurds.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Monday after talks
with Erdogan that France was awaiting the European Commission report.

“We will study the Commission’s report this fall with the greatest
attention,” Raffarin said.

Whatever the outcome of Turkey’s application, it likely will maintain
its strong commercial contacts with France. Turkey’s Anatolia news
agency said that Erdogan and Chirac on Tuesday agreed in principle on
the purchases of 36 Airbus planes by Turkish Airlines at a cost of
around US$1.5 billion.

In Paris, members of the Revolutionary Armenian Federation held a
demonstration against Erdogan’s visit and said Turkey should not be
allowed into the EU until it recognizes the Armenian genocide.

Armenians accuse Turks of a genocide of up to 1.5 million Armenians
between 1915 and 1923. Turks claim the number of deaths is inflated
and say the victims were killed in civil unrest.

“We are here to convince the French government, specifically Chirac,
to say absolutely ‘No’ to Turkey’s entry into the European Union,”
said Marie Ghazarossian, a housewife of Armenian descent who has
lived in France for 15 years. “Turkey is not a part of Europe, not
the Europe that we know.”

Erdogan remercie Chirac pour soutien a la candidature turque a l’UE

Xinhua News Agency – French
July 20, 2004 Tuesday

Erdogan remercie Chirac pour son soutien a la candidature turque a


Le Premier ministre turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a remercie mardi le
president francais Jacques Chirac pour “l’approche constructive” et
“l’attitude tout a fait positive de la France” en ce qui concerne la
candidature turque a l’Union Europeenne.

A l’issue de son entretien a l’Elysee avec le chef de l’Etat
francais, le premier ministre turc a indique a la presse que le
conseil europeen du 17 decembre ne ferait qu'”approuver le debut d’un
processus de negociation”. “Nous ne savons pas combien va durer ce
processus, c’est une periode qui nous permettra de combler toutes nos
lacunes”, a-t-il insiste.

Pour M. Erdogan, la reconnaissance par la Turquie d’un
genocidearmenien ne figurait pas pami les criteres d’adhesion a l’UE
et ila renvoye cette question “aux historiens”.

Les criteres de Copenhague d’adhesion a l’Union Europeenne
“n’impliquent pas de reconnaissance d’un genocide armenien”, a
declare M. Erdogan au cours d’une conference de presse tenue a Paris
ou il effectue une visite officielle.

“Un tel evenement qui s’est passe dans le passe, savoir quelle partie
a fait telle chose, laissons cela aux mains des historiens”,a-t-il

La Commission europeenne doit en octobre recommander ou non
l’ouverture de negociations d’adhesion sur laquelle les
dirigeantseuropeens se prononceront lors de leur sommet du 17
decembre a Bruxelles.

Le president Chirac, qui a recu M. Erdogan mardi au deuxieme jour de
la visite de ce dernier, a confirme son soutien a la candidature
turque. M. Chirac s’est declare a de nombreuses reprises en faveur
d’une adhesion mais son propre parti, l’UMP, y est oppose ainsi
qu’une grande partie de l’opinion francaise.

M. Erdogan, qui a rencontre le president sortant de l’UMP AlainJuppe,
a indique que son parti, issu de la mouvance islamiste, l’AKP,
pourrait “demain devenir membre du PPE” (Parti populaire europeen
dont fait partie l’UMP) et qu’en “etant dans la meme maison ce sera
plus facile”.

De nombreux hommes politiques reclament en France, ou vit une
communaute d’origine armenienne nombreuse (450 000 personnes), quela
Turquie reconnaisse le genocide armenien de 1915 du temps de l’empire

Puerta del Sur construira nueva terminal de pasajeros por US$ 30

El Pais (Uruguay)
July 20, 2004

Puerta del Sur construira nueva terminal de pasajeros por US$ 30
Manana presentan diseno del nuevo edificio del aeropuerto

El consorcio Puerta del Sur, concesionario del Aeropuerto de
Carrasco, presentara manana su proyecto de construccion de la nueva
terminal de pasajeros, la que estara a cargo de Rafael Vinoly,
arquitecto uruguayo radicado en Nueva York responsable del diseno de
la obra que insumira una inversion de unos U$S 30 millones.

Si bien el propio pliego de la licitacion, celebrada en noviembre de
2003, por la que se concedio la operacion del aeropuerto establecia
la construccion de la nueva terminal, los detalles de la misma se
conoceran recien manana.

Fuentes cercanas al emprendimiento dijeron a El Pais que el
empresario armenio-argentino Eduardo Eurnekian, principal accionista
de Puerta del Sur y tambien del grupo que opera todos los aeropuertos
argentinos, dio luz verde a la presentacion de la obra despues de
reunirse con Tabare Vazquez en Buenos Aires, y que este le asegurase
que en caso que el Frente Amplio sea gobierno respetara las
privatizaciones aprobadas por sus predecesores.

Eurnekian y Vazquez se encontraron en la capital argentina a
principios de junio cuando el lider de la izquierda se presento ante
la clase empresarial local.

Hoy Vazquez se adelantara a la presentacion oficial y la anunciara a
un grupo de empresarios locales con los que se reunira.

El presidenciable ya hablo del asunto durante su gira por Estados
Unidos, oportunidad en la que se reunio con Vinoly quien le mostro la
maqueta de la obra que en Uruguay se conocera manana.

El pliego de condiciones de la concesion del Aeropuerto de Carrasco
establece que Puerta del Sur debera encargarse de la “puesta a punto”
de la termi- nal aerea y el tema se presenta como la primera
controversia que surja entre el Estado y los pri- vados.

La concesion del aeropuerto a Puerta del Sur indica que la empresa
debera construir una nueva terminal aerea antes del 2008, la que
estara ubicada a unos mil metros de la actual en la zona en la que
hoy se unica el radar del aeropuerto.

Fuentes consultadas de la empresa y tecnicos del aeropuerto indicaron
a El Pais que el edificio actual tiene un deterioro edilicio
importante y destacaron que su refaccion costara entre U$S 4 y U$S 5

ARKA News Agency – 07/20/2004

ARKA News Agency
July 20 2004

RA President and Ambassador of Finland discuss opportunities of
expanding of Armenian-Finnish relations

RA Prime Minister receives German Ambassador to RA on the occasion of
completion of his diplomatic mission

Newly Appointed Ambassador of Philippines to Armenia hands
credentials to RA President

A delegation of the Representatives house of Thailand Parliament to
arrive in Armenia on July 21-27



YEREVAN, July 20. /ARKA/. RA President Robert Kocharian and the
Ambassador of Finland to Armenia Timo Lahelma discussed opportunities
of expanding of Armenian-Finnish relations, President’s press office
told ARKA. Kocharian noted the importance of creation of
corresponding legal-agreement field for activation of business links
between the countries. Press release noted that Lahelma finishes his
diplomatic mission in Armenia. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, July 20. /ARKA/. RA Prime Minister Andranik Margarian
received German Ambassador to RA Hans Wolf Bartels on the occasion of
completion of his diplomatic mission, RA Government press office told
ARKA. During the meeting Margarian highly estimated the activity of
Bartels in Armenia and his contribution in development of
Armenian-German political and economic relations. He noted the
necessity of future deepening of cooperation between Armenia and
Bartels in his turn noted with satisfaction fruitful visit of
Margarian in Germany for participation in Armenian-Germany conference
on economic cooperation in June 2004 and expressed hope that it will
become an additional stimulus in development of economic links
between the countries. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, July 20. /ARKA/. Newly Appointed Ambassador of Philippines
to Armenia Ernesto Villiarica Lliamas (residence in Moscow) handed
credentials to RA President Robert Kocharian, President’s press
office told ARKA. During the meeting the parties discussed
perspectives of development of bilateral cooperation. At this they
noted that cooperation between the countries has big potential, which
is not used effectively yet. The parties expressed readiness to take
necessary steps for realization of mutually beneficial programs in
the sphere of economy. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, July 20. /ARKA/. A delegation of friendship group of
Thailand-Armenia House of Representatives of the Parliament of
Thailand will visit Armenia on July 21-27 headed by the Senator Sanit
Kulcharoen. As ARKA was informed in the RA NA Public Relations
Department, the representatives of the delegation will meet the RA NA
Speaker Arthur Baghdasaryan, the members of Armenia-Thailand
Parliamentary Friendship Group of RA NA, the RA Ministers of Foreign
Affairs, and Trade and Economic Development Vartan Oskanian and Karen
Chshmarityan, and the Mayor of Yerevan Yervand Zakharyan.
As it is mentioned in the press release, on July 22 in
Tsitsernakaberd the delegation from Thailand will place wreaths on
the memorial of victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. A.A.-0 –

Leave Economics to the People

Leave Economics to the People
The Daily Bruin
Monday, July 19, 2004
Garin Hovannisian

[email protected]

TSAGHKADZOR, Armenia — I have come on a whim to the Valley of
Flowers, a vast expanse of forestry 40 miles outside Yerevan,
Armenia’s capital city. For the past week, 150 high school economics
students have stayed at a campsite here, both as reward for academic
achievement and as an incentive for further involvement in the shaping
of Armenia’s economic landscape.

The students – whose stay is sponsored by Junior Achievement of
Armenia, an organization that heads the teaching of economics and
civics in public schools – are divided into 13 groups that compete
with each other in various activities.

In one day’s time these students have exposed me to the world of
economics in a way that no textbook or economist could.

On today’s agenda was the picnic. Each group was given approximately
12,000 drams ($24). With that money the group was required to set a
table with food, judged on factors of health, taste, creativity,
quality and quantity.

When I arrived at Tsaghkadzor at 3 p.m. the 13 tables already were set
on the midsize patch of greenery surrounding the campsite. The tables
abounded with drinks, kabobs, salads, cheeses and pastries – all of
which quickly reminded me why one cannot maintain a diet in Armenia.

As part of the administration’s jury team I walked from table to table
to sample the foods, assess groups’ creativity, and determine their
overall score. I immediately discovered that the seemingly supreme
layout of one table was quickly overshadowed by the pristine variety
of the foods on the next.

The winning table was simply spectacular. This group had gone to the
limit with its money. Its members had carved a watermelon to resemble
Armenia’s geographic shape and assembled cucumbers and tomatoes to
look like large mushrooms. Even the losing teams begrudgingly accepted
the outcome as music began to play and the festivities peaked.

Soon cards and backgammon were brought out for play, and, in Armenia’s
true cultural flavor, conversations flourished.

Razmik, a short and confident 16-year-old who wore a Chicago Bulls
hat, told me in secret, “I hate to say it, but (the winning group’s)
table was much better than ours.”

The tone and subject of the talks later became more serious. “What
would you do if you were president of Armenia?” I asked Razmik. He
chuckled and said, “I wouldn’t do anything. Economics is all about
individuals competing with one another. Government is not involved.” I
smiled at the simple clarity of that answer.

I made my way to the winning table, where I chatted lightly with a
15-year-old girl named Hamest, which, ironically, means “modest” in
Armenian. “We won,” she said. “We are the best.”

I asked her if that was not a bit selfish. “I guess you could call it
that,” she said, her face now sour. “But it really isn’t. We didn’t
hurt any of the other teams in the process. Our goal was not to harm
them, and we did not harm them. From the beginning we were interested
in our own product – how we could be better. And we won. But that
doesn’t mean the others lost.”

I asked Hamest what the government’s role in economics should
be. “Aside from protecting its citizens from harm,” she told me,
“absolutely nothing. Look at our table. Do you think (Armenian
President) Robert Kocharian could have spent the $25 as we did and set
up a table as beautiful as ours?” The obvious answer was no. But why?

“Because he wouldn’t be setting it up for himself,” said a voice from
the other side of the table. “Well, he probably would be,” said
another joking on a somewhat unrelated topic.

“Was this economics?” I thought to myself. It surely had to be more
complex, a little less simplistic.

But it wasn’t. These students had spent what they had to best suit
their own needs and desires and in the process, without intervention,
had created 13 stunning tables for everyone to see and enjoy.

Economics, I was informed, is best left to those who are affected by
it – the people. Their money and life must be earned, managed, and
spent by them.

This concept and the camp in which I found it are not at all
political. The students come from different social and political
backgrounds, and the organization is entirely nonpartisan.

Without thinking ideologically the students had come to the same
conclusion: Free-thinking, creative individuals who are free from
governmental coercion and free to pursue their own prosperity and
happiness will end up bettering themselves and the society around
them. This means, as I later figured out – though the students never
labeled it – laissez-faire capitalism.

George Bush, John Kerry and the lot of American and world
intellectuals have much to learn from these students – students who
probably will never own a major corporation or manage an international
company but who see the simple key to life’s complex problems.

Hovannisian is a second-year history and philosophy student. E-mail
him at [email protected] Send general comments to
[email protected]

Russians Helped Kill Kadyrov – Zakayev

July 20 2004

Russians Helped Kill Kadyrov – Zakayev
Created: 20.07.2004 14:56 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 14:58 MSK, 2 hours 5
minutes ago

Yelena Rudneva, London


In an interview to Gazeta.Ru Akhmed Zakayev, a former envoy for
Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, shares his ideas as to who
was behind the murder of the pro-Moscow president of Chechnya Akhmad
Kadyrov and what the motives were.

Zakayev also implicitly confirms earlier statements by Chechen
warlord Shamil Basyaev, who spoke of a list of certain state-owned
installations and compounds likely to be the target of terrorist
attacks in near future. At the same time, according to Zakayev,
Chechen rebels plan no more attacks on civilian installations.

Do you communicate with Maskhadov often? Do you know where he is now?

He is in Chechnya. We communicate about twice a month, when
necessary. I just have to report on certain work that we have been
doing here. If need be he has the capability to get in touch as well.
If there were no Maskhadov, there would not be any Basayev, or anyone

Do you mean they keep in touch? They were said to have serious

Of course, they do. They coordinate all the military operations which
are being planned. As for the individual actions that take place
every now and then, they are beyond any control absolutely. Such
terrorist acts claim the lives of innocent people. I hope that people
will no longer die at concerts, on trains, in the metro, in the

In the wake of the rebel raid on Ingushetia Shamil Basayev said he
had a list of state-owned installations, which he plans to attack.
The list includes the State Duma, the Federation Council, and other
governmental buildings. Does such a list really exist?

I think that for those waging war against a certain adversary such a
list must exist. I am convinced that such a list must exist.

How do you view the situation in present-day Chechnya, in the run-up
to the new presidential elections?

Judging by the recent developments in Chechnya and Ingushetia, it is
evident that the true state of affairs is different from the official
propaganda that the Kremlin is trying to convince the public of.
There is a war going on there. You can call it a guerilla war, a
separatist war. That makes no difference. For mothers who lose their
sons, it makes no difference what that war is called. The result is
the same: victims, ruins and no light at the end of the tunnel.

>From 1994 up to now over a trillion dollars have been spent on the
Chechen war. Can you imagine that? And there is no end to it. Ask an
ordinary Russian citizen if he really needs that? It doesn’t solve
any of the problems. If we continue waging that war for another ten
years, just as much money will be wasted.

What was your opinion of Akhmad Kadyrov?

Our roads never crossed, I cannot say anything personal. But when he
took the pro-Russian stand, he became just another simple Russian
Ivan Petrovich who arrived in Chechnya to kill, and for me he ceased
to exist. I do not believe it is correct to speak of him as of a
political figure. He was only implementing the policy imposed by the
Kremlin. Incidentally, he himself admitted that he was at war all the

Judging by the Kremlin’s action Kadyrov was the central link in the
system of checks and balances in Chechnya. Is that true? After all,
it is hardly a coincidence that following Kadyrov’s death many
anticipated a new wave of hostilities as various groups clashed in
the fight for power.

I can assure you, there will be no fight for that post.

Do you mean, because people rarely survive in that post?

Yes, and also because regardless of who is assigned to it by the
Kremlin, nothing will change absolutely. Kadyrov played no
independent role. The election is just a screen for the West, for
Europe. After all, you all know already who will be the next

Did you know Alu Alkhanov personally. What can you say about him?

Nothing, absolutely nothing other than that he headed a police
station during the storming of Grozny in August 1996. It was the
second or the third day when we surrounded the city; I was contacted
on a walkie-talkie and told that Chechen policemen inside the train
station would not talk to anyone but me. The talks were conducted by
Adayev, the same man who is running together with Alkhanov today.

Do you have any idea as to who could have killed Akhmad Kadyrov?

I tend to believe that Kadyrov was not killed by Basayev, but by a
unit of the Russian special services. Moreover, I am convinced of
that. I know what the VIP guard service is like; I personally headed
the guards between the two wars.

In my time I also took part in the restoration of the Dinamo stadium
[where Kadyrov was killed on 9 May this year] and I know that nothing
can be planted there without the guards being informed. This is
especially so, as Kadyrov had presidential guards assigned to him by
Moscow. That is why it is impossible to imagine that some ordinary
tractor driver or bricklayer could plant a bomb there. Although, of
course, maybe it was not a joint operation but it was impossible to
eliminate Kadyrov without the special services’ involvement.

Rumor has it that he was killed because he intended to hold talks
with Maskhadov. Is that true?

Maskhadov will never hold talks with people appointed by the Kremlin.
To sow enmity between the Chechens is something all Russian leaders
dream about.

They tried to do that during Yeltsin’s rule when he attended the
talks between Zavgayev and Yandarbiyev. But we will never agree to
that, since everything that is going on in Chechnya today is seen as
a crime against humanity by the world community and European law.

That is why even if Kadyrov did seek talks with Maskhadov, Maskhadov
would never speak with Kadyrov. That would mean turning the war into
a conflict between the Chechens and in doing so to write off all the
victims. The war is between the Chechens and the Russian state, not
between the Russians and the Chechens.

You claim that the election organized by the federal authorities in
Chechnya cannot be honest by definition. Who should conduct them

There is a war going on there. But if we stop that war, only then
will it be possible to hold democratic elections and only then will
it be possible to discuss the presence of peacekeepers, or somebody
else there.

Elections must be held under the protectorate of the world community.
That may be the OSCE, the UN, the European Union. Any international
power institution, tasked to hold elections in such circumstances.
They are not to be organized by the Kremlin, Maskhadov, or Zakayev.
There is nothing like in Nagorny Karabakh, or in Ossetia. There they
are trying to negotiate. For some reason Chechnya is an exception.
Although I do understand Putin, it is his war, as it was the
beginning of his political career.

You’ve been living in London for quite a while. What is you status

I have a passport with which I am free to travel across the globe,
except Russia.

Do you ask for security guarantees when you go somewhere outside

As long as we are at war no one can feel safe. If I did ask for such
guarantees nobody would agreed to grant them to me. Which country
needs that? Besides, today Europe and the West are on the whole
satisfied with what is going on in Russia. Russia is too preoccupied
with the war in Chechnya to claim its role in the ongoing
redistribution of spheres of power and influence.

Municipal election campaign starts in Nagorno Karabakh Republic

Municipal election campaign starts in Karabakh

Arminfo, Yerevan
20 Jul 04


The electioneering of candidates for municipality heads started in the
Nagornyy Karabakh Republic [NKR] on 20 July. Eight people are
contending for the post of the NKR capital’s mayor.

[Passage omitted: a mayoral candidate regrets that there is no law on
the status of the capital]

The electioneering will last until 7 August.

Chirac: =?UNKNOWN?Q?Int=E9gration_de_la?= Turquie est=?UNKNOWN?Q?=AB

Edicom, Suisse
20 juillet 2004

Chirac: l’intégration de la Turquie est «souhaitable dès qu’elle sera

par Christine Ollivier

PARIS (AP) – Jacques Chirac fait profil bas sur le dossier turc.
Recevant le Premier ministre Recep Tayyip Erdogan, le président
français s’est contenté mardi de rappeler que l’intégration de la
Turquie dans l’Union européenne était «souhaitable dès qu’elle serait
possible», selon l’Elysée.
»La Turquie a fait des progrès considérables. Elle doit poursuivre et
intensifier la mise en oeuvre des réformes démocratiques et
économiques», a estimé le chef de l’Etat.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan a entamé lundi une visite officielle de trois
jours destinée à convaincre une opinion publique française réticente
du bien-fondé d’une éventuelle intégration de son pays dans l’Union
européenne. L’UMP, l’UDF et une majorité de Français, à en croire les
sondages, y sont pour l’heure hostiles.
Or, le calendrier s’accélère : la Commission européenne doit rendre
début octobre un rapport évaluant les progrès accomplis par la
Turquie dans le domaine des droits de l’homme et des libertés
publiques. Sur cette base, les 25 Etats membres doivent décider en
décembre de fixer ou non une date pour entamer des négociations
d’adhésion, qui pourraient durer plusieurs années.
Dans ce contexte, le Premier ministre turc a eu un entretien en
tête-à-tête de trois quarts d’heure avec Jacques Chirac à l’Elysée,
avant un déjeuner de travail qui a permis de faire un tour d’horizon
de la situation régionale (Iran, Proche-Orient, Irak, lutte contre le
M. Erdogan est ressorti visiblement satisfait de ces discussions.
»Nous avons eu un entretien très positif», s’est-il félicité dans la
cour de l’Elysée. «Le soutien de la France à notre pays se poursuit
depuis le sommet d’Helsinki», qui avait promu la Turquie candidate à
l’adhésion en 1999, a-t-il souligné.
Il a «espéré» que les «décisions politiques» qui devront être prises
au sommet européen de décembre le soient «en fonction du rapport» de
la Commission, en insistant sur les «réformes» que son pays a déjà
menées à bien ces dernières années pour se conformer aux critères de
Copenhague. Par ailleurs, la «décision que prendra le Conseil
européen le 17 décembre ne sera pas une décision d’adhésion de la
Turquie à l’Union européenne», mais «simplement une décision de
commencer les négociations d’adhésion», a-t-il rappelé.
De son côté, Jacques Chirac s’est contenté, en public, du service
minimum en rappelant qu’il jugeait «souhaitable» cette intégration
»dès qu’elle serait possible».
»Ce n’est pas demain matin que la Turquie va entrer dans l’Union
européenne», même si Ankara fait «des progrès» dans ce sens,
soulignait pour sa part quelques heures auparavant le ministre
français des Affaires étrangères Michel Barnier. «Le chemin est
encore long mais elle est sur ce chemin».
Officiellement, la France attend donc le rapport de la Commission
pour se prononcer. Lors du sommet de l’OTAN à Istanbul fin juin,
Jacques Chirac était toutefois allé jusqu’à juger «irréversible» le
processus d’adhésion de la Turquie, même s’il prendra selon lui au
moins dix ou quinze ans.
M. Erdogan semblait en tout cas convaincu mardi que l’opinion de
Jacques Chirac était déjà faite sur ce sujet: «Nous sommes tout à
fait persuadés que lors du sommet, c’est la France qui va nous
apporter le plus grand soutien», a-t-il affirmé lors d’une rencontre
avec des chefs d’entreprise français au Medef (Mouvement des
entreprises de France) mardi matin.
Poursuivant sa campagne de séduction, le Premier ministre turc devait
encore rencontrer l’ancien président de l’UMP Alain Juppé, puis les
députés de la Commission des affaires étrangères de l’Assemblée
nationale, avant un dîner offert mardi soir par la président du
Sénat, Christian Poncelet. Pour sa dernière journée en France,
mercredi, il doit s’entretenir avec le Premier secrétaire du Parti
socialiste, François Hollande, avec le président de l’UDF, François
Bayrou, et avec le président de l’Assemblée nationale, Jean-Louis
Sur le plan commercial, cette visite devrait par ailleurs faire
avancer les négociations sur l’achat d’Airbus par la Turquie, qui
sont encore «en cours de finalisation» selon l’Elysée. La compagnie
Turkish Airlines, qui souhaite acquérir une cinquantaine d’appareils,
a ouvert des négociations avec Airbus et Boeing.
Par ailleurs, des organisations arméniennes appelaient à manifester
mardi soir au Trocadéro en faveur de la reconnaissance du génocide
arménien de 1915 par Ankara. AP

Chirac confirme son soutien =?UNKNOWN?Q?=E0_l=27entr=E9e_de_la?=Turq

Le Monde
20 juillet 2004

Jacques Chirac confirme son soutien à l’entrée de la Turquie dans

L’UMP ainsi qu’une grande partie de l’opinion française sont opposées
à l’adhésion de la Turquie.
Au deuxième jour de sa visite officielle en France, mardi 20 juillet,
le premier ministre turc, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, espérait trouver à
l’Elysée le soutien de Paris à l’adhésion de la Turquie à l’Union
européenne. Cela a été le cas.

Le président français, Jacques Chirac, “a rappelé que l’intégration
de la Turquie dans l’Union européenne était souhaitable dès qu’elle
serait possible”, a rapporté l’Elysée à l’issue d’un tête-à-tête
entre les deux dirigeants suivi d’un déjeuner. Le président français
a souligné que “la Turquie avait fait des progrès considérables, et
qu’elle doit poursuivre et intensifier la mise en `uvre des réformes
démocratiques et économiques”.

Peu avant, devant des journalistes, M. Erdogan avait jugé
“impensable” que la Turquie et la France soient en désaccord
politique, étant donné la vigueur de leurs liens historiques et
économiques. “La France a constamment soutenu la Turquie” depuis le
sommet d’Helsinki, en 1999, où la Turquie a obtenu le statut de pays
candidat, avait-il noté.

M. Chirac s’est déclaré à de nombreuses reprises et sans ambiguïté en
faveur d’une adhésion alors que son propre parti, l’UMP (Union pour
un mouvement populaire) y est opposé ainsi qu’une grande partie de
l’opinion française. Lors du sommet de l’OTAN à Istanbul le 29 juin,
M. Chirac avait qualifié ce processus d'”irréversible”.

Au deuxième jour de son séjour à Paris, M. Erdogan a donc obtenu un
appui de poids dans sa campagne pour promouvoir la candidature
d’Ankara dans une France très réticente et divisée sur cette

Interrogé sur la radio privée Europe 1, le ministre des affaires
étrangères, Michel Barnier, a cependant estimé, mardi, que “le chemin
était encore long” avant l’adhésion mais que ce pays était sur la
bonne voie.


M. Erdogan a, pour sa part, regretté la persistance de doutes, de
réserves ou de débats sur l’adhésion : “Le fait que ces débats
continuent à exister malgré le paquet de réformes qui a été accompli,
cela nous attriste”, a-t-il dit aux journalistes.

L’opposition de gauche française est, pour sa part, favorable à
l’adhésion mais le Parti socialiste exige en préalable la
reconnaissance du génocide arménien de 1915. La communauté arménienne
de France (450 000 personnes) est la plus importante après celle des
Etats-Unis. Elle a appelé à manifester à Paris pour que M. Erdogan
“engage son pays dans le processus de reconnaissance du génocide

Parallèlement, Paris et Ankara ont fait avancer un autre dossier
important, celui de l’achat éventuel d’avions Airbus par la compagnie
nationale turque Turkish Airlines pour le renouvellement de sa
flotte. Ces discussions “sont en cours de finalisation”, a indiqué la
présidence française à l’issue de l’entretien Chirac-Erdogan. Ce
contrat avait été notamment discuté lundi soir par M. Erdogan avec le
premier ministre, Jean-Pierre Raffarin. Le consortium aéronautique
européen Airbus et l’américain Boeing devraient en principe se
partager ce contrat de deux milliards de dollars (1,6 milliard

M. Erdogan a appelé les milieux d’affaires français, qu’il a
rencontrés mardi au siège du Medef (patronat français), à l’épauler
et à investir dans son pays. La France est le deuxième partenaire
commercial de la Turquie et son quatrième fournisseur.

M. Erdogan sera reçu mercredi par le président de l’Assemblée
nationale, Jean-Louis Debré, et s’entretiendra avec le chef du Parti
socialiste, François Hollande, ainsi qu’avec le président de l’UDF
(centre droit), François Bayrou.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress