“Tourism & rest ArmITT-2004” exhibition held in Yerevan

ArmenPress
April 8 2004

“TOURISM AND REST ARMITT-2004” EXHIBITION HELD IN YEREVAN

YEREVAN, APRIL 8, ARMENPRESS: Armenian EXPO.com has initiated an
exhibition “Tourism and Rest ARMITT-2004” which is held at the Cinema
House in Yerevan on April 7-10. The exhibition aims to unveil the
potentials of Armenian tourism markets, emphasize the role of tourism
in the economic development of the country and contribute to a
growing interest to Armenia thus fostering investment and new
employment places.
Armenian deputy minister of trade and economic development Ara
Petrosian noted that these are the first steps and this exhibition is
going to become a tradition increasing in geography and supported by
the Armenian government. “Tourism is at an irreversible and dynamic
stage of its development in Armenia,” the deputy minister noted. The
statistics indicate that in the coming years it will keep on
developing as dynamically, he added. Some 30 per cent rise is
registered in this field as compared to the data of 2002. The deputy
minister expects similar growth in the coming year. Much should be
done in promotion activities and assistance programs while this event
serves particularly to those aims, the deputy minister said.
He also stressed the role of the private sector and stated that
“it is capable to record successes and attract tourists to Armenia in
the conditions of serious competition in the international market.”
A. Petrosian also expressed his gratitude to the diplomatic agencies
present at the meeting stressing that tourism has a great potential
in Armenia.
The deputy tourism minister of Lebanon Antoine Issa El Quirin
congratulated all the participants. He expressed his happiness for
this inaugural event and added that the historical backgrounds of
both Armenia and Lebanon allow to say that such events and tourism
will become a tradition.
Moscow office head of Armenian EXPO.com Hovhannes Khachatrian who
also supervises the current exhibition said that more than two dozens
Armenian and one Lebanese company participate in the event. For the
coming year, there are five applications received from Cyprus. An
international conference titled “Domestic Tourism: Problems and
Challenges,” another round table are also expected. At the end of the
event, the companies named as the best in 11 categories will receive
honor certificates.
The exhibition was officially supported by Armenian foreign
ministry, ministry of trade and economic development and
Interregional Internet-Commercial Net.

American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea

American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea

MODERN HISTORY AND POLITICS

The Middle East Journal (Washington)
Winter 2004
Vol. 58, Iss. 1
pg. 155

Book Review of “American Oil Diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea”
by Gawdat Bahgat. Gainesville, FL: xiii + 173 pages.
Gloss, to p. 178. Notes to p. 192. Bibl. to p. 206. Index to p. 213

By Paul M Mecray III.

American Oil Diplomacy by Professor Gawdat Bahgat of Indiana University
of Pennsylvania is a thorough and sophisticated analysis of geopolitical
events encompassing Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, and
Kazakhstan. This book is recommended reading for those desiring a
dispassionate history of the region’s oil industry without succumbing to
personal biases – quite an accomplishment for any writer familiar with
the ethnic, religious, and political rivalries in that part of the
world. Dr. Bahgat manages to fill 173 pages with vital statistics, but
still produces a readable, objective narrative. Diplomats, businessmen,
and analysts seeking an in-depth understanding of the
regional alliances and rivalries that will directly impact American
foreign policy, global oil production, and, as a result, both the future
of oil and inflation would do well to read this book.

Particularly helpful is Bahgat’s discussion of the long relationship
that France and Russia have had with Iraq, involved as both have been in
the oil sector and as arms suppliers over the years.

Any treatise on the Middle East becomes dated quickly, and this book is
no exception. Written shortly before the invasion of Iraq in April 2003,
the book discusses reasons for and against launching the war but not the
subsequent chaos. Yet, from a longer term viewpoint, Bahgat does a
superb job explaining regional tensions and rivalries – ranging from the
Arab-Israeli conflict to the continuing friction between Azerbaijan and
Armenia, from pre-war Iraq versus all of its neighbors, Iran’s
relationships with the United States and with Pakistan – and their
implications for the oil industry.

A particularly valuable element of Bahgat’s analysis is his use of
Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections of potential oil
reserves and productive capability for Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran.
These figures are seldom cited by authors, many of whom prefer to use
much lower “official” reserve estimates. Given the ever more
sophisticated oilfield technologies, even the EIA figures cited by
Bahgat may be low. In particular, his projections for Kazakhstan are
clearly too conservative, as new data on the Tengiz and Kashagan fields,
alone, suggest recoverable reserves should surpass 25 billion barrels,
three times the BP estimate cited in this book.

That Kazakhstan’s oil potential is indeed far greater than many experts
had estimated focuses one’s attention all the more on Bahgat’s excellent
discussion of pipeline diplomacy, where the politics of competing routes
from the Caspian via the Black Sea/Bosporus, Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan (BTC)
to the Mediterranean, and sales to Iran that free up oil for export
through the Persian Gulf, all illustrate the battle for control between
Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and the United States. He correctly notes that
Washington initially exaggerated the significance of Caspian oil
potential in order to promote the Baku-Tibilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and thus
greatly reduce Russia’s control of export routes. In this instance, the
United States has been fortunate, for subsequent massive oil discoveries
in Kazakhstan will consume all the Caspian Pipeline Consortium capacity
to Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossisk as well as that of the BTC
line to the Mediterranean. Both lines will now need to be expanded, and
pressures will grow to negotiate oil swaps with Iran, which heretofore
Washington has opposed.

In sum, Gawdat Bahgat has produced a superb account of the oil
-geopolitics nexus, and of the conduct of American diplomacy in
furthering US strategic interests in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea
region.

[Author Affiliation]
Paul M. Mecray, III, Senior Vice President and Partner, Wellington
Management Company, LLP, has served as a global energy industry analyst
for 36 years.

Copyright Middle East Institute

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Reprieve for mum

South Wales Echo
April 7, 2004, Wednesday

REPRIEVE FOR MUM

by BY ANNA HAMMOND

A couple refused asylum in this country have been given a last-minute
reprieve.

Aygun and Rauf Musayeva moved to Cardiff from Azerbaijan 15 months
ago after suffering physical violence and torment.

The couple claim mother of two Aygun, 29, was persecuted by locals
and the police because of her mixed ethnic origin.

But both were refused asylum and Mrs Musayeva, whose mother was
Armenian, was told she must return to Azerbaijan THIS week after an
appeal hearing ruled she had been ill-treated but not severely enough
to gain asylum.

Since then neighbours have rallied together hoping that the
authorities will let them and their sons – Mirjamil, six, and Farid,
four, stay.

The couple’s solicitor Michael Barnett, an asylum case worker with
Cardiff-based company Rees Wood Terry, said he had discussed the case
with the Immigration Service and the couple had been given more time.

He said that Mrs Musayeva had been granted permission to stay in the
country until her husband’s appeal.

He added: ‘The file has been sent to the appeal office but we have no
idea when the hearing will be.’

Rauf, 35, of Moorland Road, Splott, said: ‘I am very pleased that my
wife and children can stay with me until a decision is made on me.’

Neighbour Debbie Robinson, 39, said the family still had the support
of many people in the street.

‘It is good that they are not going, this is what we have been
working on,’ she said. ‘The next stage is making their stay permanent
because they have so much to offer the community.’

Skinheads prosecuted on rarely used charges

Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press
April 7, 2004

SKINHEADS PROSECUTED ON RARELY USED CHARGES. — Incitement of Ethnic
Enmity With the Use of Violence. Kommersant, March 9, 2004, p. 5.
Condensed text:

Editors’ Note. — The St. Petersburg City Prosecutor’s Office has
completed its investigation of the case against Dmitry Bobrov, leader
of a skinhead group known as Schultz-88, and six of his accomplices,
and has forwarded the materials to a court. . . . Andrei Tsyganov has
the details.

* * *

Detectives from the St. Petersburg Administration for Combating
Organized Crime [ACOC] came across Dmitry Bobrov’s group while
investigating one of the city’s increasingly frequent attacks on
people from the Caucasus. In late March 2003, a group of teenagers
with shaved heads brutally beat a native of Armenia in the lobby of
the Pushkin subway station. Two months later, ACOC detectives
detained Aleksei Madyunin, a 21-year-old lathe operator, and a
17-year-old skinhead on suspicion of involvement in the incident. At
first they were both charged with hooliganism. . . . However, during
the investigation the detectives concluded that a more serious crime
had occurred. During searches of the apartments of the detainees and
their friends, the detectives confiscated skinhead paraphernalia and
large amounts of extremist literature. . . . In the opinion of the
ACOC detectives, the authors of the magazine articles did their
utmost to belittle the national dignity of Jews, blacks and people
from the Caucasus, and openly called for violence against them.

In late October of last year, ACOC detectives detained 24-year-old
Dmitry Bobrov (Schultz), who had written many of the aforementioned
articles and, as it turned out, was the unofficial leader of a group
of the same name, Schultz-88. According to the detectives’
information, the Schultz-88 group had existed for about two years,
during which time it had become one of the most well-organized young
people’s groups in Petersburg. The group (Schultz himself called it a
“gang”) numbered between 30 and 40 people (aged 16-20), had its own
store on Liteiny Prospect (where skinhead literature and clothing
were sold), had established ties with unofficial groups in the
capital, and engaged in both “ideological” work and attention-getting
actions: beatings of foreigners. Detectives say the Schultz group was
responsible for at least 10 to 15 such beatings. Only a few of them
could be proved, however; many victims of skinhead attacks do not
file police reports.

After studying the materials assembled by the detectives, the St.
Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office decided to reclassify the actions of
suspects Bobrov, Madyunin and four other arrested Schultz members
from “hooliganism” to the rarely used Art. 282 of the Russian
Federation Criminal Code (“Incitement of Ethnic, Racial or Religious
Enmity”). Part 2 of this article (under which all the detained
Schultz members are being charged) provides for punishment in the
form of three to five years’ incarceration. In addition, Dmitry
Bobrov is being charged under Criminal Code Art. 282 (a) (“Organizing
an Extremist Association”; this is the first time this article has
been used), as well as Art. 280 (“Calling for the Violent Overthrow
of Russia’s Constitutional System”) and Art. 150 (“Involving a Minor
in the Commission of a Crime”). . . .

Russia, Armenia to hold several joint exercises in summer

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Russia, Armenia to hold several joint exercises in summer

MOSCOW

The Armed Forces of Russia and Armenia will hold several joint
exercises in summer this year, Colonel-General Mikhail Arutyunyan,
Armenia’s Chief of the General Staff and First Deputy Minister of
Defence, has announced in an interview published in the Krasnaya
Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper on Thursday.

Arutyunyan said, “Joint combat training activities are carried out
under the plan, signed by the defence ministers of our two countries,
for bilateral cooperation between the Defence Ministries in 2004 and
a plan for joint operational planning of the use of troops in the
interests of ensuring joint security.”

“A command-and-staff exercise in conjunction with the Combined Group
of Troops (CGT) and a joint tactical exercise with field firing are
planned for summer,” General Arutyunyan said. “Besides, it is planned
to hold a series of joint activities of air defence units and
aviation of the 102nd Russian military base and Armenia’s Armed
Forces that draw joint duty within the framework of the Joint Air
Defence System of CIS countries,” Arutyunyan emphasised.

“Joint command-and-staff training was conducted together with the CGT
early in February. At the end of that month, we held an operational
assembly of the Armed Forces’ commanding personnel with the
participation of the generals and officers of the Russian military
base located on Armenia’s territory,” Arutyunyan said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Attempt on RF commander’s life is provocation – Bordyuzha

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Attempt on RF commander’s life is provocation – Bordyuzha

By Tigran Liloyan

The attempt on Russian troops in Transcaucasia commander Alexander
Studenikin’s life in Tbilisi is a provocation, said Major-General
Nikolai Bordyuzha, secretary-general of the Collective Security
Treaty Organisation (CSTO).

Bordyuzha arrived in Yerevan for talks with Armenian leaders on
Thursday evening.

“This is a pure provocation to destabilise the situation in Georgia
and strain relations between Tbilisi and Moscow,” Bordyuzha told
Itar-Tass.

Bordyuzha arrives in Yerevan for talks on situation in region

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Bordyuzha arrives in Yerevan for talks on situation in region

By Tigran Liloyan

Secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation
(CSTO) Major-General Nikolai Bordyuzha arrived in Yerevan on Thursday
for talks with Armenian leaders on the situation in the region, key
security problems and prospects for the creation of a collective
security system.

“This is a planned trip to prepare a June session of the Collective
Security Treaty Organisation, including sessions of the councils of
foreign ministers, defence ministers and the committee of secretaries
of the security councils,” Bordyuzha told Itar-Tass upon arrival in
Yerevan.

Earlier, Bordyuzha visited Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The CSTO
secretary-general is also expected to visit Kazakhstan and Belarus.
He will meet Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and representatives
of power-yield structures.

He said, “Armenia is one of the most active and interested
participants in the work of the CSTO. Armenian leaders join efforts
to step up cooperation with the CSTO and make this organisation more
effective and competent.”

Karabakh crisis should be settled by compromise, dialogue – CE

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Karabakh crisis should be settled by compromise, dialogue – CE

By Sevindzh Abdullayeva and Viktor Shulman

BAKU

Council of Europe Secretary-General Walter Schwimmer said the
Karabakh conflict should be settled on the basis of compromise and
dialogue.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Schwimmer said the
Karabakh problem is a problem for all Europe and not only for
Azerbaijan,

Armenia and the region.

The CE secretary-general stressed that the conflict affected over one
million Europeans – Azerbaijani and Armenian refugees.

He noted that the Council of Europe was ready to help the OSCE Minsk
Group search for ways to settle the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. He
is convinced that it is possible to solve the problem on the
principles of humanism, through compromise and dialogue.

Schwimmer recognised that it was very difficult to reach a
compromise. At the same time, he pointed out that there was no
alternative to the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

The CE secretary-general called on the sides to refrain from mutual
accusations. This will not lead to peace, he said, adding that the
return of refugees was one of priority tasks.

Cultural exchanges in CIS space bring peoples closer

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Cultural exchanges in CIS space bring peoples closer

By Galina Gridneva, Valery Zhukov

DUSHANBE

The restoration of the tradition of cultural exchanges in the expanse
of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) promotes spiritual
enrichment and rapprochement of peoples, holds Mikhail Shvydkoi, the
chief of the Russian Culture and Cinematography Agency.

Russian culture days that began in Dushanbe on Thursday sum up the
results of the work over the past 12 years to preserve cultural unity
of ex-USSR republics, Shvydkoi told Tass in the Tajik capital on
Thursday.

“Russia has preserved normal working friendly relations with cultural
figures of virtually all Commonwealth countries,” Shvydkoi said. He
sited the examples of Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and a number of
other countries.

“A favourable cultural climate for us has been created in Azerbaijan
and Armenia,” he said. “Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili made a
request to Russian leaders for Russian culture days in Georgia,”
Shvydkoi said. “We plan to hold these days in the second half of the
year”.

Shvydkoi said Russia has retained high quality artistic school. “It
is not accidental that most leaders of culture of ex-USSR countries
had been educated in the best establishments in Moscow and other
Russian cities. We will continue the tradition for training
specialists in our higher educational establishments,” he said. There
are plans for the exchange of creative collectives and art
exhibitions.

Shvydkoi believes Russian pedagogues will be needed in Tajikistan
where a conservatory and a ballet school opened last year. Following
the talks with the leaders of Tajikistan’s Culture Ministry it is
planned to sign the agreement on cultural cooperation up to 2006,
Shvydkoi said.

Armenia govt has enough legal means to curb extremism

ITAR-TASS News Agency
TASS
April 8, 2004 Thursday

Armenia govt has enough legal means to curb extremism

By Tigran Liloyan

YEREVAN

The Armenian government has enough legal means to curb political
extremism in Armenia, President Robert Kocharyan said in an interview
to Armenian public television on Thursday.

“The opposition must be careful or else its actions can boomerang on
it,” the president warned. He believes people will not tolerate
provocations. Wisdom will help them make the right appraisal of the
situation.

Kocharyan understands “the indignation of those who elected him when
they constantly hear members of the opposition say that the backbone
of power must be broken, that blood must be spilt”.

He called on his supporters “to show restraint and ignore
provocations of the opposition”. “People have elected me, so I should
fulfil their expectations, not the vice versa”. “People have
authorised me to use levers of power to ensure law and order in the
country,” the president said. He believes opposing one part of the
people to the other would be “the worst scenario”.

The president “gets the impression” he “became the target for the
competing leaders of the opposition”. He said the situation would
ease as soon as the opposition, the “aggressive political minority”,
names its leader.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress