Antelias: HH Aram I Wants Christian Identity of Jerusalem Preserved

PRESS RELEASE
Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]
Web:

PO Box 70 317
Antelias-Lebanon

Armenian version:

“THE CHRISTIAN IDENTITY OF JERUSALEM MUST BE PRESERVED”
DECLARED HIS HOLINESS ARAM I

ANTELIAS, LEBANON – After an intensive discussion with His Beatitude
Patriarch Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem at the Armenian
Catholicosate of Cilicia in Antelias, Lebanon, His Holiness Catholicos Aram
I made the following statement to the press:

“We follow closely and with profound concern the prevailing situation in the
occupied Palestinian territories as well as in Jerusalem. Unfortunately the
ongoing violence, destruction and killing keep the prospect of permanent
peace with justice far away. His Beatitude shared with us the tremendous
difficulties and daily problems facing the Palestinian population. He also
expressed his deep concern regarding the diminishing Christian presence in
Jerusalem.

In fact, for centuries the churches have had an organized and impact making
presence in Jerusalem. Therefore, one cannot remain indifferent vis-à-vis
the actual situation in Jerusalem where the numerical size of Christian
communities has been significantly reduced, many Christians are leaving
Jerusalem and the activities of Christian churches are becoming increasingly
confined to certain areas of Christian life. These developments are due to
the intolerant and oppressive policy of Israel. We never accept that the
Christian identity of the Holy City be eligibly ignored and systematically
changed. We never accept that the Christian presence and witness become more
and more weakened in the birthplace of Christianity. We never accept the
policy of the Government of Israel aimed at the total judaization of
Jerusalem.

Where are our western Christian brothers and sisters in view of this dangero
us developments taking place in Jerusalem? In fact, Jerusalem cannot be
simply considered a place where a western Christian finds the remnants of
Christian history. The Christian communities have been integral part of the
history of Jerusalem. They are living and witnessing realities in the Holy
City and they should remain so. Therefore it is expected from the Churches
outside the Middle East to express their solidarity and their attachment to
Jerusalem more tangibly and actively by exerting pressure on their
respective governments to stop the judaization of Jerusalem. We firmly
believe in co-existence of religions. This is integral to the history of the
Middle East. Jerusalem has been a model of co-existence and it should remain
so. I believe that the World Council of Churches, the Vatican and the Middle
East Council of Churches will continue to assist the churches of Jerusalem
more efficiently as they face new challenges and tremendous difficulties”.

##

The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the Ecumenical
activities of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

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Armenian opposition calls for new president

Armenian opposition calls for new president

Haykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
13 Mar 04

“The time will soon come when all of us will turn to the people and
stay [in street demonstrations] until the administration leaves,” the
leader of the Anrapetutyun [Republic] Party, Albert Bazeyan, said
yesterday during a meeting in the cultural centre for the deaf,
organized by the intelligentsia. By the way, in saying “all of us”
Bazeyan meant two opposition political forces: the Justice bloc and
the National Unity Party. But it is worth noting that this time, as
well as well-known opposition members, there were also some
politicians, who may not be considered unreservedly members of the
opposition. Specifically, the leader of the Christian Democratic
Union, Khosrov Arutyunyan, the president of the ALM TV channel, Tigran
Karapetyan (as a leader of the People’s Party) and the former deputy
of the National Assembly, Ovanes Ovanesyan, who recently set up his
Liberal Progressive Party, took part in the meeting. Anyway, according
to Bazeyan, the sooner there is a change of power in our republic, the
better for the country. He is also sure that, if there is a nationwide
powerful wave, today’s administrative group will have no option but to
leave.

But what are they going to do, if they manage to get [Armenian
President] Robert Kocharyan’s resignation? Bazeyan replied: “We shall
form an alternative power centre: all of us should take one
responsibility – to organize democratic, free and fair elections in
Armenia.” He said that the political forces in the [governing]
coalition will also be invited to be involved “in the alternative
power centre”. Bazeyan said that the president of the country should
be a man elected by the republic and it is not ruled out that the
opposition will put forward several candidates for president in
extraordinary presidential elections.

[Passage omitted: musician Ogan Duryan says in his speech that the
people do not like Robert Kocharyan]

All the opposition politicians emphasized in their speeches that
Armenia needs a change of power and in this way should create the
opportunity for the formation of legitimate authorities, really
elected by the people. Only Tigran Karapetyan had a different view:
“Really, there is a crisis in the country. I think that if the
authorities do not do anything, then one should not continue to live
in this way, and they should give up their place to those who will be
soft-hearted.”

Hayastan All Armen. Fund Inaugurated Residential House in Quake Zone

PRESS RELEASE
Executive Board, Hayastan All Armenian Fund
Contact: Arman Saghatelyan, Head of Public Relations Department
Government Building #3
Yerevan, Armenia 375010
Phone: +374 1-52-0940, +374 1-52-6474
Fax: +374 1-52-3795
E-mail: [email protected]
Website:

March 13.03.2004.

HAYASTAN ALL ARMENIAN FUND INAUGURATED A RESIDENTIAL HOUSE IN THE EARTHQUAKE
ZONE

Today the ceremony of inauguration of newly constructed residential
building took place in Spitak town of Armenia in the presence of
Marzpet of Lori Marz, Mr. H. Kochinyan, Mayor of Spitak,
Mr. V. Asatryan and Hayastan All Armenian Fund Executive Director,
Mrs. N. Melkoumian.

The building #4 of the Spitak ” Erankiuni ” (Triangle) district is the
sixth one out of twelve buildings planned for construction by Hayastan
All Armenian Fund within its global programme of earthquake zone
rehabilitation.

The ” Erankiuni ” (Triangle) district construction project was
initiated by the Fund in 1999 and aimed at providing permanent shelter
to 78 families left homeless as a result of 1988 Spitak Earthquake. 30
families have already received the apartments since the beginning of
the project, and 6 more households will be sheltered by the newly
constructed house.

The construction was funded by the Great Britain Armenian Community in
person of benefactor Pargev Kassardjian – Sis. The donor has
contributed 132 thousands US dollars for the building construction.

Since the beginning of its operations in the earthquake zone Hayastan
All Armenian Fund has either built or renovated 95 residential
buildings and houses in the earthquake zone for more than 1,000
families, built 35 educational and cultural facilities, as well as
health institutions.

Currently the construction works are continued at the “Erankiuni”. Two
more buildings are soon to open their doors to the beneficiaries of
the project.

www.himnadram.org

US court frees Armenian MP

US court frees Armenian MP

Arminfo, Yerevan
12 Mar 04

A US court has released Armenian MP Tatul Manaseryan, clearing him of
all charges. Manaseryan was detained in the USA on 15 January over a
child custody dispute with his former wife.

BAKU: Azeris surprised at Kazakh FM letter on Armenian off. killing

Azeris surprised at Kazakh minister’s letter on Armenian officer’s killing

ANS TV, Baku
13 Mar 04

Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev has sent a letter of
support to his Armenian counterpart, Vardan Oskanyan. Tokayev assured
Oskanyan in his letter that Kazakhstan had taken the tragic news about
the murder of an Armenian officer [at a NATO course in Hungary] with
concern and pain. We condemn this inhumane and savage incident and
believe that such actions cannot be justified.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is at least surprised at Astana’s
lopsided position on this dubious case which is being investigated.
This position is rather cold-blooded with regard to Armenian
atrocities on Azerbaijani territory and the Xocali genocide [massacre
of Azeris in Karabakh].

As for the Kazakh embassy in Azerbaijan, it has no details of Mr
Tokayev’s letter.

BAKU: Azeris picket Armenian embassy in Moscow

Azeris picket Armenian embassy in Moscow

ANS TV, Baku
13 Mar 04

[Presenter Leyla Hasanova] Representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora
living in the Russian capital today picketed the Armenian embassy in
Russia. The pickets demanded an end to Armenia’s aggressive policy and
the urgent withdrawal of its armed groups from the occupied
Azerbaijani territories. ANS Moscow bureau correspondent Vuqar Sukurov
has the details.

[Sukurov on the phone] Armenia has to pull out of Azerbaijan’s
occupied lands and end its aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. These
demands were voiced during a protest action outside the Armenian
embassy in Moscow today. This action was organized by the Movement for
Azerbaijan. Nearly 40 Azerbaijani intellectuals and businessmen living
in Russia took part in it. Addressing the pickets, the chairman of the
Movement for Azerbaijan, Ilqar Qasimov, read out a letter to Armenian
President Robert Kocharyan. The letter demands the fulfilment of UN
Security Council resolutions No 822, 850, 874 and 884, unconditional
withdrawal from the occupied territories, the recognition of
Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and the payment of financial
compensation for damage inflicted on Azerbaijan. The text of the
letter was submitted to the Armenian embassy. No confrontation was
registered during the hourlong action.

Vuqar Sukurov for ANS, Moscow.

Radioactive material seized on Georgian-Armenian border

Radioactive material seized on Georgian-Armenian border

Kavkasia-Press news agency
13 Mar 04

TBILISI

[Georgian] border guards have detained a citizen of Armenia at
Sadakhlo checkpoint on the Georgian-Armenian border as he tried to
smuggle radioactive material into the country.

Kavkasia-Press was told by the border agency’s press office head,
Shalva Londaridze, that according to preliminary information, a
citizen of Armenia had been detained. The border agency has launched
an investigation into the matter, Londaridze said. [Passage omitted]

BAKU: Azeri leader, US general discuss stability in Caucasus

Azeri leader, US general discuss stability in Caucasus

Space TV, Baku
13 Mar 04

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by the
deputy commander of the US European Command, Gen Charles Wald, a short
while ago.

Welcoming the guests, Aliyev said that bilateral US-Azerbaijani
cooperation has been successfully developing in all fields. Aliyev
regretted that there was instability in the Caucasus as a result of
the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani lands and other regional
conflicts. These conflicts have resulted in the eviction of a large
number of refugees from their native lands.

Aliyev expressed his confidence that it would be possible to urgently
settle the conflicts and achieve stability in the region as a result
of the international community’s efforts.

In turn, Wald said that Aliyev’s leadership and efficient policy would
bring about positive changes in the settlement of the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

BAKU: Mil. aid to Azerbaijan to guarantee Caspian security – US

Military aid to Azerbaijan to guarantee Caspian security – US official

Trend news agency
13 Mar 04

BAKU

Trend correspondent S. Agayeva: As a co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk
Group for the Nagornyy Karabakh settlement, the USA cannot take
anyone’s side in the conflict, and it is impossible to use US military
aid in the conflict, Trend news agency has quoted US Assistant
Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Elizabeth Jones
as saying.

Jones said that US military aid to Azerbaijan is to guarantee the
security of the Caspian Sea. “There is a danger today that the Caspian
Sea may turn into a transit area for terrorists, a route for the
transportation of materials to produce weapons of mass destruction and
other transnational threats. We have to increase the possibilities of
Azerbaijani marine border guards to carry out a struggle against these
threats,” she said.

According to Jones, the modernization of an Azerbaijani air base,
which is used by US aircraft for flights to Afghanistan, is another
purpose of military aid. All this is to help the USA’s fight against
terrorism, she added.

Jones believes that Armenia should not protest against military aid to
Azerbaijan. “Neither Armenia, Russia nor any other regional state
wants the Caucasus to be used for helping terrorists,” she said.

The US Department of State proposes to the Congress to allocate 8m
dollars to Azerbaijan and 2m dollars to Armenia as military aid in the
fiscal year 2004.