Great Valley to up Armenian cognac sales

Great Valley to up Armenian cognac sales

June 16 2004

Yerevan. (Interfax) – Armenian-Cypriot wine company Great Valley
plans to sell 5.3 million bottles of Armenian cognac in 2004, up 18%
from last year, the company told the press.

Great Valley sells 70% of its cognac in 0.5-liter bottles and the
rest in 0.7-liter bottles.

Great Valley sold 4.5 million bottles of Armenian cognac in 2003. The
company exports 98% of its output. Some 90% is sold in Russia,
and the rest is exported to the United States, Britain, Japan and
other countries.

Boxing: Abelyan ready to conquer Harrison


SkySports, UK
June 16 2004

William Abelyan insists he will be ready for action when he faces
Scott Harrison this Saturday, despite not fighting for over a year.
The Armenian – who is based in America – is finally fit to fight
after forcing the bout to be postponed from its’ original date due
to a shoulder injury.

Now the 25-year-old is raring to return to the ring and does not
believe his lack of action will cause him a problem as he looks to
gain the WBO featherweight crown from the Scot.

“I didn’t want to take the fight when I was injured but my shoulder
is feeling good now and I feel a lot stronger,” he said.

“It’s not a problem that I’ve been out for so long, I couldn’t get
a fight. Boxers didn’t want to fight me because I knock people out.

“I like Scott, he’s a decent fighter and I respect all fighters and
respect all world champions. But, I’d like to thank him for holding
on to the belt that we came here to get.”

Promoter Frank Maloney is also well aware of the danger opponent
Abelyan could pose Harrison this weekend and is predicting a classic
fight at the Braehead Arena.

“This will be one of the best fights the Scottish public will ever
see – I really believe that,” he stated.

“But I’m very concerned. It’s not a fight that I would have taken if
is had not been mandatory.

“Scott knows there are a lot of big names out there and big pay days
ahead but Abelyan hasn’t come over here just to pick up the pay cheque
– he fancies it big time.”

Maloney added: “Scott needs to rip the heart out of Abelyan like a
lion. He can’t take a backward step during the fight and he has to
wear him down.”

Scott Harrison:”Make no mistake there’s only ONE Harrison in British

Scott Harrison: “Make no mistake there’s only ONE Harrison in British boxing and that’s me”
June 16 2004

16.06.04 – WBO World Featherweight Champion SCOTT HARRISON has
promised boxing fans that they will know who the ‘Real Harrison’ is
on Saturday 19 June.

The tough Scotsman makes the second defence of his title, in his
second reign as World champion, against the dangerous mandatory
challenger from Armenia, WILLIAM ABELYAN, and will be roared on by
5,000 passionate fans at the Braehead Arena in Glasgow in what is a
real fight.

On the same night his namesake South of the border, heavyweight
Audley Harrison, takes on the latest handpicked opponent – Pole
Tomasz Bonin – at the Alexandra Palace defending his Mickey Mouse WBF

The similarity between the two ends at their name.

Whilst the Scottish hero has beaten four former World champions in
Tom Johnson, Tracy Harris Patterson, Steve Robinson and Wayne
McCullough and became the first Scot ever to regain a World title,
Fraudley has still yet to face a ‘live’ opponent after 16 fights and
over three years in the pro ranks.

The fiery 126lb fighter from Cambuslang stormed, “Make no mistake
there’s only ONE Harrison in British boxing and that’s me – The Real

He continued, “The fans aren’t stupid, they know a real fighter and
they know that I am value for money. The difference is I will fight
anyone who is put in front of me and I don’t handpick my opponents,”

Audinary even tried to gatecrash Glasgow in October 2001 with his
fight against hapless Pole Piotr Jurczyk in attempt to steal the
thunder from the Scottish hero but he couldn’t fool the fans.

“He tried to tread on my home turf but he didn’t get the crowd or the
reception he was expecting and has never come back,” added Harrison.

“Everytime I’ve fought in Glasgow the place has been rocking and it
will be the same this Saturday night against Abelyan. I’m expecting
to have a war where I will have to get in the trenches and grit my
teeth to come through the winner – something Audley will never have
to do if he continues facing the level of opponent he’s been facing.”
Finished Harrison.

Promoter Frank Warren said, “The only Harrison I’m focused on at the
moment is Scott who is involved in real World title fight which the
fans recognise. Scott’s only too happy to accept a pay cheque from

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

TBILISI: International Donors Conference Opens In Brussels

Georgia: International Donors Conference Opens In Brussels
By Ahto Lobjakas

RFE/RL Feature Article
June 16, 2004

Brussels, 16 June 2004 (RFE/RL) — An international donors conference
for Georgia opened this morning in Brussels.

Held under the aegis of the World Bank and hosted by the European
Union, the event brings together potential donors from dozens of
nations, among them EU member states, the United States, Japan,
and Russia.

The Georgian government has said it expects pledges to reach 485
million euros for the period 2004 to 2006.

Opening the event, the EU’s external relations commissioner, Chris
Patten, said the international community must seize the opportunity
to assist Georgia.

“We cannot afford to await the success of the reforms before offering
our support,” he said. “We should commit ourselves now to assisting
Georgia, since the next three years will be crucial in determining
the future course of the country.”

The European Commission has said it will pledge 125 million euros ($150
million), which officials say is likely to be the largest contribution.
It will also double the bloc’s previous assistance to the country.

However, Patten warned that the support will be conditional on
continued reforms. He also underlined the EU’s strengthening engagement
with regard to Georgia.

Referring to the two remaining South Caucasus countries, Armenia
and Azerbaijan, Patten said the EU will treat each country “on its
individual merits” within its European Neighborhood Policy.

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania promised his country will
consolidate the reform policies launched by President Mikheil
Saakashvili in the wake of the “Rose Revolution” seven months ago.

Addressing donors this morning, Zhvania said Georgia aims to become
self-sustainable and that it will make a clean break with the “donor
addiction” prevalent before.

“We want to change completely this philosophy. And the first thing
I want to convey as the main message from President Saakashvili,
from myself, from our cabinet, is that we want to use this degree of
your support to stop these practices and move towards a situation when
Georgia will not any longer be dependent on international assistance,”
Zhvania said.

Zhvania said his government wants donors to support projects aimed at
reforming Georgia’s administration, cutting law-enforcement personnel,
rehabilitating the country’s energy sector and infrastructure, and
funding social benefits.

He said Georgia also expects donors to prioritize the reintegration
of regions such as Adjara. The European Commission has said that —
in addition to today’s pledge — another grant for 12 million euros
will go for the rehabilitation of areas affected by the conflicts in
Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Calling on donors to contribute generously, the World Bank’s regional
vice president, Shigeo Katsu, said Georgia has all the preconditions
necessary for success.

“Georgia is blessed with abundant natural resources, geographical
advantage as a major transit route, and most importantly, a talented,
energetic and engaging population with a rich history and diverse
cultural heritage,” he said.

Katsu said that, in the light of the reforms undertaken by the
Georgian government, the World Bank is “optimistic about the outlook
for economic growth” in the country.

BAKU: Two journalists in Nakhichevan suffer systematic harassment

Two journalists in Nakhichevan suffer systematic harassment

Reporters without borders, France
June 16 2004

Reporters Without Borders has called on the chairman of the Supreme
Council (Mejlis) of the autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan, Vasif
Talibov, to act to protect journalists after two correspondents
complained of relentless harassment.

Malahat Nasibova, correspondent for the press agency TURAN and the US
station Radio Free Europe, along with Mohammed Rzayev, correspondent
for the opposition daily Azadlig in Nakhichevan said on 14 June 2004,
that they had suffered systematic harassment for two months.

Nakhichevan is an autonomous republic of Azerbaijan – an enclave
between Armenia and Iran.

The international press freedom organisation urged Talibov to guarantee
the safety of journalists and to ensure that they could work normally
free from official pressure.

Nasibova and Rzayev have said they have been threatened every time
they report on the harassment of the local opposition, whose members
are regularly physically attacked and arrested by police.

Each time they report the facts, police summon the journalists
or telephone to tell them to stop covering the harassment. The
journalists’ families have also received telephoned insults or
threats that they will lose their jobs. Nasibova said she got phone
calls and Internet messages that she risked “mourning family members”
unless she stopped criticising the authorities.

Kocharian flies to Kazakhstan for CSTO Council summit


June 16 2004

YEREVAN, JUNE 16, ARMENPRESS: Armenian president Robert Kocharian will
head a delegation that is flying tomorrow to Kazakhstan’s capital
of Astana for participation in a regular session of the Collective
Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) Council. Kocharian’s press
service said defense minister Serzh Sarkisian, other senior officials
and journalists will accompany the president.

The Council session will be preceded by three meetings of foreign
and defense ministers of the countries, members of the CSTO Council
and secretaries of national security councils. Heads of states are
expected to exchange their views in narrow circle concerning the
situation in the zone of responsibility of CSTO and its role and
importance in building a new international security system.

The heads of states will sign a range of documents, particularly
on CSTO priorities in 2004-2005, the concept on formation of and
application of peacemaking mechanisms. The leaders of states will
also brief journalists on the results of the meeting.

President Kocharian will also address the opening of an international
forum on Eurasian Integration-Trends of Contemporary Developments and
Globalization Challenges. The Armenian delegation will fly back home
on June 19.

Armenia remains on Tier 2 watch list


June 16 2004

YEREVAN, JUNE 16, ARMENPRESS: Armenia found itself in its last
year’s company in this year’s U.S. State Department report on human
trafficking. In the department’s fourth annual Trafficking in Persons
Report, released Monday, Armenia was among 42 nations listed on the
Tier 2 Watch List. Nations are classified into three categories,
with Tier 3 being the least favorable. Armenia moved from Tier 3 to
Tier 2 last year after it took steps to clean up its act. Nations on
the Tier 2 Watch List are considered in danger of falling into Tier 3.

Armenian foreign affairs ministry said Armenian ambassador to the
USA was invited, together with representatives of other diplomatic
missions to the report presentation. John Miller, head of the office
for fighting against trafficking in persons, spoke with Armenian
ambassador, saying that Armenia may move to Tier 1 in the event of
launching a large-scale crackdown on corruption and tracking down and
punishing people involved in trafficking in persons. An arrangement
was reached to convene a special meeting to that end.

The report says that Armenia is primarily a source and transit country
for women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation mainly to the
United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Turkey, as well as Russia, Greece,
and other European countries. Trafficking to Russia, Turkey and the
U.A.E. for the purposes of labor exploitation was an increasingly
significant problem. There were a few cases of trafficking in women
from Uzbekistan to Armenia for sexual exploitation. Advocates expressed
concerns about internal trafficking and trafficking of orphans,
but no confirmed cases were uncovered.

The Government of Armenia does not fully comply with the minimum
standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making
significant efforts to do so. Cooperation between police and NGOs
increased the number of investigations, and provided police a greater
understanding of international and domestic sources of trafficking.
The government should improve legal instruments to create more
effective tools for law enforcement and should improve the transparency
of its anti-corruption programs.

The Report also says that law enforcement improved its record of
victim identification and referrals to a service-providing NGO. In one
operation, police identified eight foreign prostitutes, suspected
they were victims and referred them to an NGO for assistance.
Armenian NGOs provided most victim assistance, but cooperated well
with police. In order to alleviate vulnerabilities of an at-risk group,
the government adopted a program to provide apartments to children who
graduated from orphanages, and provided assistance to poor families
with needy children.

Prevention activities increased during the reporting period, especially
through the use of mass media. The National Police were featured in
several training films and TV shows on trafficking, and the Ministry
of Education approved anti-trafficking educational lectures for
secondary and university students. In January of 2004, the government
approved an anti-trafficking national action plan for 2004-2006. The
government contributed the equivalent of $11,000 of its own funds
to support the work of the National Anti-Trafficking Commission,
and foreign donors provided the remaining funds. The government’s
Department for Migration and Refugees conducted extensive outreach on
migration issues, which prevented a significant number of individuals
from succumbing to trafficking, according to an independent survey.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

FM denies reports about tougher visa regime for Armenians visitingTu


June 16 2004

YEREVAN, JUNE 16, ARMENPRESS: Armenian foreign ministry denied today
media reports that Turkey has imposed stricter visa regulations for
Armenian citizens, wishing to visit Turkey, with which Armenia has no
diplomatic relations. A Yerevan-based daily Haykakan Zhamanak claimed
today, citing a statement by Turkish foreign affairs ministry that
from now on Armenians wishing to travel to Turkey will have to get
permissions from Turkish consulates in third countries. Until now
Armenians could get visas at Istanbul airport or at checkpoints at
Georgian-Turkish border.

The Armenian ministry said, citing the Turkish embassy in Russia
that no changes were made in visa regulations concerning Armenian
citizens visiting Turkey. The Armenian ministry said that under
the international practice countries are notified beforehand if
visa regimes are changed. The foreign ministry said it received no
notification from Turkish authorities.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Issues on protection & preservation of historical & cultural valuesd


June 16 2004

GYUMRI, JUNE 16, ARMENPRESS: “Protection of Gyumri-Kars Historical and
Cultural Values and Tourism Development” symposium held in Gyumri on
the initiative of Academy for Education Development (AED) discussed
today issues concerning the governance of cultural and historical
objects and development of tourism industry.

According to the head of tourism department of Armenian ministry for
trade and economic development Arthur Zakarian, in order to make the
process of monuments’ governance more effective it is necessary to
transfer them to the private sector of governance, determining the
issues of preservation and development, providing strict supervision
of the process of commitments’ fulfillment. He said that the sphere
of tourism is completely in the hands of the private sector and
develops dynamically.

Nina Hovnanian-Alexanian, the executive director of Armenian Agency
for Tourism Development, stated in her report that there many ways
of development of tourism in Armenia. The main constituent of this
strategy, in her words, is the creation of tourism development centers.

The chairman of the session, deputy director of “Arm project”
institute Sashur Kalashian, stressing that he is against transferring
the objects’ governance to the private sector, said that in order
to develop the intellectual tourism it is necessary to develop the
quality of tour-operators’ services, prepare skilful guides and engage
the local population in this process.

It must be also stated that the aim of the program, which is financed
by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is to
research the current condition of the historical and cultural values,
discuss the issues concerning the further protection and preservation
of these values and the prospects of development of regional tourism.

ANKARA: O.I.C. – Istanbul Declaration Issued

O.I.C. – Istanbul Declaration Issued

Anadolu Agency

ISTANBUL – Islam countries have decided to assist each other in
their progress and reforms and announced that they would take steps
in putting an end to the unjust isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

Istanbul Declaration was issued at the end of the 31st Session of
Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

The declaration said, “we, as the OIC members, will assist each other
in our progress and reform, which should come from within.”

Stating that OIC members were sovereign nations who worked for
political, economic, social and cultural progress, the declaration
noted that they valued their freedom and the equality of their
citizens. “We all aim to strengthen the representative character and
the democratic practices of our governments,” it stated.

“The OIC, as an institution, will also develop ways and means for
supporting progress in a collective framework. In this context, we
welcome the concept of Enlightened Moderation,” Istanbul Declaration

It stressed that Islam countries were all determined to provide
contemporary education to our new generation.


The declaration noted, “we commend the Turkish Cypriot people for
overwhelmingly endorsing the United Nations Settlement Plan, on the
unification of the island, based on a new bi-zonal partnership of
the two politically equal constituent states. We welcome and support
the report of the United Nations Secretary General, of May 28, 2004,
as well as the conclusions and recommendations contained therein. We
also support the good offices mission of the United Nations Secretary

“In view of the fundamentally changed circumstances in Cyprus following
the April 24, 2004 referenda, we decided to take steps in putting an
end to the unjust isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. In the same vein,
we look forward to similar action by the international community and
bodies,” it stated.

Meanwhile, it has been decided that the Second Meeting of the OIC-EU
Joint Forum would convene in Istanbul between October 4 and 5, 2004.


It stressed that OIC members were resolved to pursue the peaceful
settlement of all international issues and spend efforts to persuade
all parties concerned to act accordingly and noted, “we can on
all concerned to address the question of Palestine and the wider
Arab-Israeli conflict as a matter of urgent priority. The objective
is to achieve full statehood for Palestine living side by side with
Israel within secure and recognized boundaries.”

OIC members said that the settlement could only be the outcome of
direct negotiations between the two parties and noted that equally,
the Syrian and Lebanese tracks must be brought to their successful
conclusion on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

“We have thus decided to support and closely monitor efforts towards
comprehensive peace and to declare that the successful outcome of these
efforts will be fully embraced by the OIC,” the declaration noted.


OIC members said that they supported the steps towards ending the
occupation in Iraq and they equally supported the process in which
the Iraqis would assume their sovereignty and stated, “we state
that this assumption of authority must be full. Also the political
transition towards the formation of an elected government must be
totally inclusive and transparent.”

“We welcome in this respect the unanimous adoption of resolution 1546
by the United Nations Security Council which sets the framework for
this transition,” it stated.

OIC members condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to redouble
their efforts in fighting this international scourge.

“We will continue to support Afghanistan’s re-building process,”
it noted and said that the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir
should be fully respected and their will honored in accordance with
international legitimacy.

The declaration stated that OIC members likewise supported the
resolution of the Azeri-Armenian conflict within the territorial
integrity of Azerbaijan.