Azerbaijan to integrate into world and European structures

Azerbaijan to integrate into world and European structures

ITAR-TASS, Russia
May 28 2004

BAKU, May 27 (Itar-Tass) — Azerbaijan sees its future in integrating
into the world and European structures, Azeri President Ilkham Aliyev
said in Baku on Thursday evening at the reception devoted to the
Republic’s Day observed in Azarbaijan on May 28.

“This is our strategic choice and we adhere to it”, the Azeri president
said. He noted that the processes taking place in Azerbaijan evoke
a positive response in the world. This strengthens Azerbaijan’s
positions in the international arena, the president said.

The Azeri leader expressed satisfaction with the fact that
international organizations had increased attention to the settlement
of the Karabakh conflict of late. “We are sure that it is only with
active participation of the world public that the conflict can be
resolved”, Ilkham Alilyev said.

He said he is glad the negotiationg process resumed after a long
intermission and expressed the hope that it will be possible to
achieve a peace treaty on the Karabakh problem through talks. “This
agreement must be based on international law and the restoration of
Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity”, the president said.

He also noted he hopes for an early settlement of the conflict with
the participation of the Minsk Group of the OSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh
acting as a mediator, and of other international structures.

Ilkham Aliyev also said Azergbaijan implements successfully measures
to reinforce the army. Much attention is given to this area, he said.
“It is a duty of every citizen to help the army and to support lt”,
he said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

ASBAREZ ONLINE [05-27-2004]

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05/27/2004
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1) Norwegian City Honors Unsung Hero, Relief Worker during Armenian Genocide
2) ‘National Heroes’ Aznavour and Kerkorian
3) Yerkir Media Set to Hit Armenia’s Airwaves
4) HORIZON TV SPECIAL BROADCASTS
5) What Now? A Present and Future Plugged in With the Past
6) Don’t Be a Menace to Society by Making Promises You Can’t Keep

EDITOR’S NOTE: In observance of Armenia’s Independence Day and Memorial Day,
Asbarez offices will close on May 28th and 31st;  the next issue of Asbarez
Online will appear on Tuesday, June 1st.

1) Norwegian City Honors Unsung Hero, Relief Worker during Armenian Genocide

BRUSSELS (EAFJD)–On the initiative of the Armenian community of Aleppo,
Syria,
the Norwegian city of Kragero (11,000 inhabitants) has erected a statue
honoring Bodil Catharina Bi√łrn, who spent 30 years of her life providing
relief
to the Armenians of Turkey before, during, and after the Armenian Genocide.
The
statue will be unveiled on Saturday, May 29.
After studying nursing in Germany, Bodil Bi√łrn, the daughter of a wealthy ship
owner, left her native Krager√ł in 1905 to go to Turkey. There, as part of
benevolent evangelical missions, she provided aid to the Christian
populations,
and especially to the Armenians, who endured oppression under the Ottomans and
were regularly victims of extortion.
Stationed in various regions of the Ottoman Empire (Van, Cilicia), she was in
Mush in 1915 when the Genocide began. She poured her energy into providing
assistance to survivors there and later in Armenia, during the First Republic
(1918-1920).
After the Sovietization of Armenia, she continued her philanthropic work in
the
Armenian orphanages of Syria and Lebanon, where she adopted an orphan she
named
Fridjof. She finally left the region to return to her country in 1936.
“It is a moral duty for Armenians to pay homage to the many honorable, just
people–often women–often Scandinavians, who provided relief to the
victims of
the barbarity committed by the Young Turks. With this commemoration, Bodil
Bi√łrn finally emerges from anonymity and takes her place beside Maria
Jacobsen,
Karen Jeppe, Alma Johansson, or Amalia Lange, her sisters in compassion,”
declared European Armenian Federation executive director Laurent Leylekian.
“In these times of questioning Europe’s borders, we are here to testify that
Europe is foremost a matter of values and identity. In this regard, Norway,
which is not a member of the Union is undeniably part of our European family.
This is not the case of Turkey, however, which has a long and enduring record
of fascism,” concluded Leylekian.

2) ‘National Heroes’ Aznavour and Kerkorian

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–US billionaire Kirk Kerkorian and French singer Charles
Aznavour, two of the world’s most famous Armenians, were granted Armenia’s
highest state award in recognition of their long-standing support for
Armenia.
President Robert Kocharian bestowed the titles of “national hero” on the two
men on Thursday in separate decrees signed ahead of Friday’s official holiday
marking the 86th anniversary of the first independent Republic of Armenia. A
statement by Kocharian’s office paid tribute to Krikorian’s “exceptional
services,” and Aznavour’s role in “presenting Armenia to the world.”
The decrees were made possible by recent amendments to an Armenian law which
made foreign citizens eligible for the top state honor.
Kerkorian, 86, has by far been Armenia’s largest Diaspora benefactor since
independence, having donated about $180 million through his charity the Lincy
Foundation. The bulk of the money has been allocated and spent since 2001 on
various infrastructure projects. Those include the repair of 420 kilometers of
major highways and the construction of 3,700 new apartments in the country’s
northwestern regions hit hard by the 1988 catastrophic earthquake.
Lincy chairman, Jim Aljian, and his deputy Harut Sassounian were awarded
Armenian Anania Shirakatsi medals for their role in the projects.
Kerkorian is the owner of the Nevada-based Tracinda Corporation. Among its
biggest holdings are the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer entertainment group and the
MGM-Mirage casino and operator. Kerkorian is also a major shareholder in the
US-German Daimler-Chrysler auto giant.
Aznavour was also at the forefront of Diaspora efforts to help victims of the
Armenian earthquake and has developed a close personal relationship with
Kocharian in recent years. Kocharian was in Paris earlier this month to attend
the crooner’s concert devoted his 80th birth anniversary.

3) Yerkir Media Set to Hit Armenia’s Airwaves

YEREVAN–The new TV station Yerkir Media will be launched in Armenia with test
broadcasts on May 28. The station plans full-fledged programming by the end of
June.
“We will provide objective, truthful, and serious information,” its director,
Rubina Ghazarian, told reporters. “We will have programs that will interest
people of various ages and social backgrounds.”

4) HORIZON TV SPECIAL BROADCASTS

A special broadcast dedicated to Armenian Independence Day will air on Friday,
May 28 (6-9:30 PM PST & Saturday 7-10 PM PST).

In Honor of General Dro’s 120th birthday anniversary, a special 2 hour
broadcast will air 7-9 PM PST. Heartfelt congratulations to Mrs. Gayane
Kanayan
on her 104th birthday!

5) What Now? A Present and Future Plugged in With the Past

BY VAHE HABESHIAN

[Editor’s note: The following is based on a speech delivered in Armenian, on
April 24, in Washington, during the local community’s commemoration of the
89th
anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.]

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye,
but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3

When I was thinking what it is that I could possibly say tonight, something
that hasn’t been repeated for decades already‚ĶI became dispirited. Was there
anything new to say?
So I decided to listen to some music for some inspiration, and from the
pile of
CDs I chose the one called “Unplugged” by singer-songwriter and physicist
Armen
Movsisian. “Interesting‚Ķan unplugged physicist,” I thought to myself. The
first
song to come on was called‚Ķ”My Muse.” And I thought, “So far, so good.” But
the
full name, I realized, was “My Muse, or Uncertainty.” I thought, “Figures‚Ķjust
my Armenian luck.”
While I scratched my head, Armen waxed poetic about uncertainty, about the
woman he loved and the dance (staged by nature) that she didn’t attend; he
sang
a lullaby to his child and a dirge to his poet self; he conjured up the
imaginary starship of his childhood and his grandfather from Moush; he
recalled
the soliloquies of drunken men and silent memories of sleepless nights; he
dreamt about the mountains of Western Armenia and summoned the peasant
songs of
the plains; he sang about boys killed in Karabagh and those who migrated from
Armenia; and he sang the ancient song of the plow in a new way… its essence
intact.
Although I had not yet written my speech, I had understood what ought to be
said. And whether I will be able to say what should be said, I’m not
certain. I
will make the attempt. Forgive me if its style is reminiscent of English; I
can
assure you, however, that at its core it is Armenian.
What took place 89 years ago? We all know the answer, of course, first from
the
immediate, personal, and emotional viewpoint of our grandparents:

Your little brother came barefoot over our mountain,
Your little sisters drank tears from our sea,
The soldier burned our land–remember it well, child.
The soldier extinguished our hearth–remember that time, child.

We also know the answer in the form of historical fact, seen from the
distances
of space and time: at least half the indigenous population of the Armenian
Plateau was eradicated; an entire culture was annihilated (with, among other
aspects, hundreds of its dialects–a horrifying loss for humanity, let alone
for a small nation). An entire nation was plucked from its cradle, and as a
result what had for millennia been called the Armenian Plateau became
Anatolia.
Very well, we know what happened, and we also know who did it and why. Then
what? What now? For a moment let’s put aside the “what” that others, great or
small, would suggest we do now. What answers do we, Armenians, have to give?
Some, with an extreme emotionality, say that we must take revenge from the
Turkan eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. And others, with an extreme
rationality, say that the past must remain in the past, that the time has come
to put the past aside and think about the future. Many are unsure about which
is the correct answer. (Uncertainty, or my muse…) And some among them,
rejecting the false logic of choosing one or the other, see a certain
amount of
meaningand even wisdomin both extremes. At the same time.
At one time, I didn’t understand what some people, who judged themselves
intelligent and rational, meant when they referred to a “victim or slave
mentality” from which some Armenians–those who assigned too much
importance to
the Armenocide as a factor in current reality–supposedly suffered. I didn’t
understand, because, after all, I hadn’t noticed a victim mentality in me; I
didn’t feel like a victim, had never seen and still didn’t see a reason to
moan
and groan; and the people closest to me, my family members and friends, didn’t
exhibit such a mentality either….
Therefore, at one time, when I was young, I thought: “Maybe we’re different.
Maybe those Armenians who are not from Musa Dagh or are not Dashnaks or
Dashnak
sympathizers and therefore have not in the same defiant way fought against the
Turk–maybe they in fact do suffer from a victim mentality.”
There is, probably, a small amount of truth in that approach, but I think that
the real issue is this: In psychology, there is the concept of “projection”;
that is, an individual projects his/her thoughts, motivations, desires, and
feelings–including psychological shortcomings and complexes–onto another
person; and it is there, in the other person, that he/she perceives those
motivations, shortcomings, etc.
In other words, those who preach leaving the past in the past…those Armenians
who consider themselves more realistic, more rational, and more judicious than
their countrymen, they are the ones who suffer from a slavish, victim
mentality. But, through projection, they instead perceive that mentality in
their fellow Armenians while they themselves identify with those more
powerful–let’s say with the Americans or the Russians. In other words, the
victim wishes to be like the master. And when the master counsels that the
Armenians not be emotional, that they be conciliatory, sensible, realistic…
some Armenians take upon themselves the responsibility to educate their more
emotional countrymen–and, why not, to also lead them.
All of us, as individuals, yearn to be accepted and recognized–to belong and
be considered worthy. The question is… to belong to or be worthy of what or
whom? To those more powerful, who are representative of erstwhile ruling
nations? Or to one’s own people and nation and homeland? Meanwhile, in some of
us, that yearning to become acceptable to those more powerful presents itself
as an insatiable desire‚Ķ and is the expression of their victim mentality–in
short, of their inferiority complex.
Those fellow Armenians who suffer from that complex are correct when they say
that the consequences of the Genocide are with us still. But they are wrong
when they behold the manifestation of those consequences–a victim
mentality–where there is, instead, an insistence on justice, a demand for the
restoration of national rights, where there is a spirit of struggle and
nonconformity.
On the contrary, our countrymen should seek the beam of a self-hating
conformist mentality in their own eyes: for example, in the likes of the
so-called Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission, where there are
Armenians
more American than Armenian, more Russian than Armenian, and more cosmopolitan
than citizen of Armeniawho, as the puppets of their powerful masters, have
pretensions of leading our nation and homeland toward a future severed from
its
past and history.
The syndrome of being the lackey of the powerful Other is nothing new for a
nation like the Armenians who have been subjected to foreign rule for
centuries; it has been an unfortunate reality for millennia. However, what
matter most is that we recognize it, be able to diagnose it by recognizing its
symptoms, so that recovery can become possible. We must be able to see how
those symptoms find expression today in our reality, so that we may minimize
their negative influence.
For example, let’s consider the symptom of suppressing emotion and taking
reason to an extreme. Of course, not only Armenians suffer from this disorder.
But when the children of a small nation that has been suppressed for
centuries,
though now independent, begin to equate emotion, conscience, and morality with
weakness, and equate cool, calculating reason with strength… the result for
such a nation can be tragic.
Our countrymen who have deified reason have, unfortunately, not understood
that
although reason is a splendid servant, it is a cruel and merciless master,
which, if it gains supremacy, suppresses and crushes emotion and the creator
that is in us–in a word, our soul.
“So what if sated? They have long been empty”–that is how the singer
describes
such people: their bodies full of sustenance and their minds full of
knowledge,
but their souls vacant; new, for the sake of novelty; merely form, without
substance. And when a man’s spirit is hollow and his mind is enslaved by
reason, he turns into a computer, a little man led by petty calculations…
whose
calculations often go awry–he is human, after all, no matter how
pretentiously
he believes that his views are based on learning, logic, and science and so
concludes that he must be right. We all witnessed, for example, the fate of
scientific socialism.
And we must admit that today our psyches bear the mark not only of the
Genocide
and the Ottoman Empire but also of Soviet rule, and the two often reveal
themselves in very similar ways.
When, for example, certain Western historians, having in mind the model of the
European nation-state, consider the concept of nation a mere artificial
construct built on subjective foundations…and some ethnic Armenian historians
simply imitate their colleagues’ approach–relevant to Western states in
existence for a few hundred years–and attempt to apply their ideas to the
millennia-old Armenian nation…they often reach absurd conclusions, without
seeing that they are glaringly hollow. After all, they have arrived at those
conclusions through rigorous historiographical logic. And should we be
surprised when a historian president (even though a Musa Daghtsi, but also the
son of a Bolshevik) terms nation-based policies “spurious?”
Should we be surprised, when so many of our newly independent country’s
politicians consider themselves (as Eastern Armenians) immune to the
consequences of the mentality arising from the Genocide and the Ottoman
rule–without understanding that the present-day Armenia they lead is a mere
fragment, with all the attendant vulnerabilities of that fragmented-ness,
largely as a result of the same historical and political processes that
resulted in the Genocide and in Sovietization.
In other words, do they understand that our present, both theirs and ours,
with
its arrangement of circumstances and its objective realities, is the extension
of the same historical trajectory? I don’t think so.
Instead, both government and opposition, two faces of the same coin, are
interested mainly in their reign over the people and in petty business
calculations–feudal lords and princely houses have been transformed into
present–day kleptocrats and “business” clans. The ones who suffer are the
same: the people. This or that wing of the ruling elite genuflects toward the
East or West or North, repeats like a puppet what it is expected of it, and
exploits its own people for the sake of economic or political calculations.
Again, it is the slave mentality that expresses itself when the current elite
rules–with the previous master’s arrogance–over its own people. And the idea
of serving the people… is literally foreign to it. On the contrary, like the
foreign rulers whose behavior they repeat, our present-day rulers expect the
people of an independent Armenia to be satisfied with the crumbs–both of
bread
and democracy–permitted them. In the name of fairness, it must be noted that
the Diaspora, too, has tasted, and too often still tastes, the bitter pill of
the disease that is that leadership style.
Too often we are satisfied with too little. We do not pursue that which
deserve
both as individuals and as a nation. The reason is the same: we suffer from an
inferiority complex and do not consider ourselves worthy of something better.
The latest example is the inadequate settlement between New York Life and the
heirs of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire who had purchased life insurance from
the company. The fear of losing what we have, however minimal it may be, often
results in our not receiving much more: what is rightly ours. I recall, 10-15
years ago, some people argued, with weighty analysis and reasoning, that we
not
demand Karabaghbecause in the process we could lose Armenia. Some say the same
today about Javakhk, and Nakhichevan, and Western Armenia. After all, we would
be labeled pariah and expansionist! But why are not Georgia, Azerbaijan, and
Turkey–which occupy Armenian lands–not pariahs or expansionists?
If we want to keep what we have, we must continue to demand, shed sweat, and
struggle. There has been, and still is, no other way. And if we understand the
logic of that simple fact, victories will come our way. Yesterday the Boston
Globe, then the New York Times, and now Canada’s Parliament‚Ķfinally acquiesced
to our demands–and yielded to justice. We were able to gain those victories
after the decades-long, stubborn efforts of a small, defiant segment of our
nation. Imagine what we could accomplish if as a people and a country we
jointly rid ourselves of the chains of our slavish victim mentality that would
have us abandon our rights.
All that we need is faith, in our own strength and potential; hope, that come
what may truth and justice will be victorious; and love, toward each other and
the Armenian people; and also, why not, both hardnosed calculation and a
political vision, at the same time. In other words, wisdom.
And extending that message of faith, hope, and love, it’s appropriate that I
end my talk with a prayer‚Ķthat is, with a fragment of the singer’s song titled
“Prayer”:
No divine intervention can save you. Puppet and master, console each other;
vice-saviors, climb onto the throne; walk, mobs of serfs; sing, devil genius.
What difference who is deceiving whom: the king his serfs, the whore the
male…The defiant songs did not bring spring, they did not bring spring; but as
God is witness, the messengers of resurrection will come. No divine
intervention can save you. Puppet and master, console each other;
vice-saviors,
climb onto the throne. Whereas I, I will pray for our soul.

6)¬† Don’t Be a Menace to Society by Making Promises You Can’t Keep

BY SKEPTIK SINKIKIAN

The famous Greek comic and dramatist of the 5th century BC, Aristophanes, once
observed that “Under every stone lurks a politician.”¬† I’ve read
volumes–essay
after essay, article upon article–all on politicians and politics, and have
yet to come across anyone who has been able to describe politicians as
accurately as good ol’ Aristophanes.¬†
Why did I remember this quote, you ask? Well, it seems as though a politician
that had crawled back under his rock 4 years ago has decided to reemerge
having
shed his old skin for one more slippery. The political serpent I want to draw
your attention to is one Dennis Hastert currently serving as Speaker of the US
House of Representatives. In August of 2000, Dennis “the Menace” Hastert met
with Armenian community leaders in Glendale and pledged to bring the Armenian
Genocide resolution (H.Res. 398 at the time) to the House floor for a vote. 
I was hesitant to take Hastert at his word considering the only reason he was
even meeting with Armenians was because his protégé, Congressman James Rogan,
who will be best remembered for his role as a prosecuting manager in the House
Impeachment hearings against President Clinton, was up for reelection and in
the race of his life. Every eye in the nation was on the Armenians to see who
they would support. Hastert’s visit was politically motivated but he did
“promise” he’d bring the bill up for a vote, I thought.¬† Even I got caught up
with the moment, thinking that finally our Congress had the guts to flex its
muscles against Turkey and put this bully of a nation in its place. Two months
later, Armenians were abandoned and left hanging in the wind. 
Before we recall how the bill died, I want you to read the statement by
Hastert
at this meeting that I found on the Armenian National Committee’s website.
“We have paved the way. It is our intent to carry it to the floor,” said
Hastert. “I voted for this resolution in the 100th Congress‚ĶWe are working to
move this legislation forward now,” he continued.
Here’s an excerpt from another press release from the ANC two months later.¬†
“Citing Clinton Administration claims that its consideration would threaten
American lives, Speaker Hastert withdraws measure only moments before adoption
by the House of Representatives.” Devious serpent, Hastert be thy name!¬†
Citing Clinton claims? What’s that supposed to mean? This was the same guy
that
wouldn’t believe the President on whether he had sex or oral sex or whatever
else kind of sex. He criticized every single Clinton policy under the sun. And
now he was taking Clinton’s advice?¬† So, Dennis, let me get this straight. You
and President Clinton disagree on everything from what the definition of “is”
is to whether men have to be straight in order to shoot straight in the US
army, but when it comes to the issue of the Armenian Genocide and its
recognition, somehow, you two kids seem to get along just fine? 
Ok, Ok, calm down, Skeptik. You know that when you get like this, your blood
pressure goes up and you can’t finish your column with something cute or
clever. Count backwards from 10.  Das, eeneh, oot…
Folks, I’m writing this article to give credit to the Fresno Armenians for
doing something that nobody else is doing. They are planning to protest
Speaker
Dennis Hastert’s visit to Fresno at a fundraiser for a local Republican
Congressional Candidate.  I read it in an email that a friend sent to me and
even though I won’t be there in person, I want to encourage everyone who will
not be in Fresno, to call Speaker Hastert’s office and leave so many messages
that the machine shuts down. We need to let Hastert know that we were not born
yesterday and that he should crawl back under the rock from whence he came. 
Call Hastert right after you’re done reading this article. I’ll make it easier
for you– Here’s the phone number–(202) 225-2976. Don’t email. No one reads
emails anymore.¬† They’ll just delete it as spam especially if it has a heading
like “Recognize Genocide Now–from [email protected]” Call them up
and talk their ears off. If Hastert isn’t going to bring the current Genocide
Resolution up for a vote and if he’s going to come to Fresno, where Soghomon
Tehlirian is buried, Antranig Pasha called home, and where the Asbarez was
founded–then by God, we’re going to give it to him from both barrels.¬†
Keep on
fighting for justice and never give up!

* Skeptik Sinikian is deathly afraid of snakes, spiders, and other slimy
creatures like politicians who make promises they can’t keep. He lives in
Glendale, but every Armenian community in the world is his home. He can be
reached at [email protected]

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BAKU: America-Azerbaijan military coop to enhance

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
May 27 2004

AMERICA-AZERBAIJAN MILITARY CO-OP TO ENHANCE
[May 27, 2004, 18:12:35]

This was stated at the meeting of defense minister of Azerbaijan
Republic colonel-general Safar Abiyev with the delegation led by Vice
Chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee,
co-chair of the Congress-Milli Majlis working group, congressman
Curt Weldon.

Speaking of strengthening of the links and strategic partnership
between Azerbaijan and the United States, colonel-general Safar
Abiyev reminded that President Ilham Aliyev has presented the “Plan
of individual partnership activity” to the Secretary General of NATO
during his recent visit to Brussels. The defense minister dwelt on
joint combat against international terrorism between Azerbaijani
and US in the frame of “PfP” program. The Azerbaijan-US economic
partnership also develops successfully, he underlined.

Touching upon the current state of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorny
Karabakh conflict, the Minister said that Armenia keeps under
occupation the Azerbaijani lands and ignores the UN Security Council’s
four Resolutions on unconditional withdrawal of its armed forces
from eh area. “We are concerned that the world community still has
not recognized Armenian as an aggressor state.”

Congressman Curt Weldon presented the delegation he led saying “we
highly appreciate existence of Azerbaijan servicemen shoulder by
shoulder with the American soldiers in combat against international
terrorism. They are high-level militaries. We are thankful for this
to the people of Azerbaijan.” Speaking of the goals of his visit
to Azerbaijan republic, he said that we are going to expand the
Azerbaijan-US military cooperation. During the negotiations in the
Russian Federation, we recalled what significant role Azerbaijan
plays in security issues.

Dwelling on the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorny Karabakh conflict, Mr.
Curt Weldon said that the United States is going to increase its
efforts in this direction. US will continue its links with Azerbaijan
as a strategic ally, he emphasized.

Congressmen attending the meeting expressed gratitude to Azerbaijan
state and people for support of the United States in combat against
international terrorism. Azerbaijan and the United States have great
and all-round cooperation in the years coming, they noted.

Defense minister Safar Abiyev expressed gratitude to the Congressmen
for kind words underlining that Azerbaijan draws attention of the
leading world countries with its geographic-strategic position.
Azerbaijan from the first day of its independence prefers integration
to the West, including the United States. This choice gave birth to
large economic projects and Azerbaijan strictly adheres this position.

Updating the visitors on the military-political situation in the
South Caucasus, Minister Abiyev said the key goal is to strengthen
Azerbaijan’s independence, also responded to the questions the guests
interested in.

Ambassador of the United States Mr. Reno Harnish attended the meeting.

BAKU: Construction of railway line in Azerbaijan’s interests

Construction of railway line in Azerbaijan’s interests

Azer News, Azerbaijan
May 27 2004

Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov told journalists on Wednesday
with regard to Georgian President Saakashvili’s proposal to build
the Turkey-Georgia Gars-Akhalkalaki railway line that the project
represents importance for Azerbaijan’s economy.

He said that opening of this railway corridor meets the interests of
Baku. The implementation of the project will allow the establishment
of another railway line connecting Azerbaijan and Turkey.

It is for this reason that Yerevan considers this an attempt to put
Armenia in a blockade. Mammadov dismissed Armenia’s position on the
issue as groundless.

Enlarged EU to expand role in south Caucasus ‘neighbourhood’

Enlarged EU to expand role in south Caucasus ‘neighbourhood’

EUbusiness, UK
May 27 2004

The newly-enlarged European Union is to expand its political, economic
and security co-operation with the south Caucasus region as part of its
new “neighbourhood policy,” an EU envoy to the region said Thursday.

Anthonius Devries, the EU’s special ambassador to Azerbaijan, said an
action plan was being drawn up to “strengthen the activities of the
EU on co-operation and integration,” with the three south Caucasus
states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

“New forms of co-operation will appear,” the envoy told a press
conference.

“Greater attention will be paid to the energy sector. You can expect
new joint agreements. Co-operation on the fight against terrorism,
on science, education and culture, will be strengthened.”

He added that the EU was ready to take a bigger role in international
efforts to resolve the armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan
over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“If the sides approach us with a request to make more active efforts,
we can look at the options,” said Devries. “We do not rule out that
the EU could have a positive influence on the search for peace.”

The envoy said the specifics of the new relations between the EU and
the south Caucasus would be hammered out over the next few months.

After its historic enlargement on May 1 from 15 member states to 25,
the EU inaugurated its “neighbourhood policy” to foster links with
dozens of countries on the eastern and southern fringes of the new
Europe and prevent the appearance of “new dividing lines.”

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, during a visit to Brussels
earlier this month, urged European Commission President Romano Prodi
to take a more active role in the search for a peace settlement over
Nagorno-Karabakh.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Boxing: Abelyan turns up the heat ahead of fight with Harrison

Abelyan turns up the heat ahead of fight with Harrison

ic Lanarkshire.co.uk, UK
May 27 2004

WILLIAM Abelyan has turned up the heat ahead of his WBO World
Featherweight title fight with Cambuslang’s Scott Harrison.

They are set to meet on June 19 at the Braehead Arena, and the
tough Armenian is riled by comments he read on the internet from the
champion, stating that he would give Abelyan a “hammering”.

The WBO mandatory challenger, speaking from his training camp in Las
Vegas, said: “Harrison’s got a big mouth and I’m going to shut it
for him.

“I’ve read what he’s been saying on the internet and he’s talking a
lot of garbage.

“He’s scared – that’s why he’s talking big but I’ll be over there
for the fight soon and we’ll see if he talks just as big when he’s
face to face with me.”

The 25-year-old claims his training has not been disrupted despite
the second postponement of the fight following Harrison’s injury.

“I’m ready to fight Harrison right now,” he said.

“If my team said to me ‘William we’re going to Scotland tomorrow to
fight Harrison’ I would be straight on the plane. I have never been
up for a fight more than this one.”

Originally from Yerevan in Armenia, Abelyan moved to America when he
was nine years old and now lives in California.

He says it’s the glory of being world champion, not the money, that
is motivating him to dethrone Harrison.

“It’s the world title and the fame I want, not the money,” he said.
“After I win the title, I will return to Armenia a hero.

“I have never been back since I moved to America because I wanted to
achieve something spectacular before I returned. I will be the first
world champion boxer to ever come out of the country.”

Abelyan added: “The boxing ring is my house and Harrison is not
welcome.”

Tickets purchased for the original date of May 29 will remain valid
for the rescheduled date of June 19.

Tickets, priced at £30, £50, £75 and £125, are available from Keith
Prowse Ticketing on 0870 906 3839, Braehead Arena Box Office on 0870
444 6062 and online at

www.frankwarren.tv/tickets.

State registry launches own internet page

STATE REGISTRY LAUNCHES OWN INTERNET PAGE

ArmenPress
May 27 2004

YEREVAN, MAY 27, ARMENPRESS: Armenian justice ministry and USAID signed
a memorandum of understanding in 2002, envisaging to strengthen state
registry and making it more simple and predictable. As part of the
memorandum, yesterday presentation of state registry internet page
was held.

Armenian justice minister Davit Harutunian said that in a rule of
law country it is necessary that steps taken by state structures be
predictable for citizens. “Today we can state that most of project
responsibilities are met,” the minister said.

Presenting the difficult way that the state registry has passed,
he said that today the system is rather transparent. Most of the
registration procedures are simplified.

Internet project has two main components, one of which is electronic
communication system which creates a single database on more that
130,000 legal entities and entrepreneurs. The data is accessible to
8 territorial and 10 regional departments.

Later an attempt will be made to register legal entities and companies
through Internet. According to the minister, this is important
especially as an anti-corruption strategy. He said that most of the
corruption cases occur when the citizen has direct contact with the
executive body. Reducing or formalizing these contacts will eliminate
corruption in this field totally.

Boxing: Armenian fright night for boss Maloney

RINGSIDE; ARMENIAN FRIGHT NIGHT FOR BOSS MALONEY
BY JIM BLACK

The Express
May 27, 2004

FRANK MALONEY watched a tape of Armenian William Abelyan for a bit
of light relief following his team’s FA Cup Final defeat – and ended
up seeing a horror movie.

Millwall fan Maloney was gutted after the Lions lost 3-0 to Manchester
United, but he was even more upset after watching Scott Harrison’s
next opponent in action.

The Scot’s manager revealed: “I wanted to cheer myself up by watching
tapes of Abelyan and looking to see what a devastating job Scott was
going to do on this kid.

Instead, it depressed me.

“What I saw was a fighter who could give Scott the toughest fight
of his life. If Harrison is not in sparkling form the title will be
changing hands.

“Abelyan knows how to box and force the pace.

He can also punch hard and spoil a fight. His unorthodox style will
give Scott problems and may take some working out.”

But despite Maloney reckoning that Harrison is in for the toughest
fight of his career when he comes face-to-face with Abelyan at Braehead
Arena on June 19, he is also convinced the WBO featherweight champion
will show the heart and class of a true star.

“I have said it before, Scott Harrison is the best fighter I have
ever managed and worked with, ” said Maloney. “He is special.

“Scott’s commitment, desire and strength is amazing and he will
destroy any man who gets inhis way. The challenge Abelyan represents
will certainly be motivating Harrison to do a real job on him.”

Maloney also believes the patriotic Scottish crowd will lift Harrison
on the night, when he makes the second defence of the title he regained
from Manuel Medina last November.

The fight boss added:

“Even though Scott will be in the ring on his own he will be lifted
by the support of thousands of loyal fans.

“When he hears them sing Flower of Scotland that really gets him going,
and if that happens we will see Scott at his destructive best like
he was against Julio Pablo Chacon and Wayne McCullough.”

Meanwhile, promoters Sports Network have confirmed that tickets bought
for the original May 29 date are valid for the rescheduled showdown.

BAKU: BBC programmes directed against Azerbaijan’s statehood – rulin

BBC programmes directed against Azerbaijan’s statehood – ruling party says

ANS TV, Baku
27 May 04

[Presenter] The [ruling] New Azerbaijan Party [NAP] has published the
results of its monitoring of the BBC Russian Service. The programmes
are directed against Azerbaijani statehood, the party concluded.

[Correspondent over video of a meeting] Representatives of political
parties today discussed the reports of the BBC Russian Service
directed against Azerbaijani statehood and national interests. MP
Mubariz Qurbanli of the NAP said that they have monitored the BBC
Russian Service.

[Qurbanli] The monitoring revealed that the BBC Russian Service is
purposefully airing programmes directed against Azerbaijan’s statehood,
history and national culture. They are directed against Azerbaijan
to create a negative image of Azerbaijan for the listeners.

[Correspondent] Quote, we protest against the BBC and have sent
several letters of protest to the Russian Service’s management. We
want the companies which take part in broadcasting BBC programmes
to express their protest as well. Otherwise, we will turn into the
BBC Russian Service’s mouthpiece of Armenian propaganda. This works
against us in the information war, Qurbanli said.

MP Sayaddin Aliyev voiced the same idea. The Milli Maclis [Azerbaijan’s
parliament] will appeal to the BBC Russian Service’s management,
Aliyev said.

The MPs demanded that the BBC air only accurate and impartial
information.

Trans-Atlantic security organization agrees to tighten export contro

Trans-Atlantic security organization agrees to tighten export
controls of shoulder-fired missiles

Associated Press Worldstream
May 26, 2004 Wednesday

VIENNA, Austria — Europe’s largest security organization agreed
Wednesday to tighten export controls of shoulder-fired missiles to
keep the weapons, which can be used to shoot down airplanes, out of
terrorists’ hands.

Members of the 55-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe agreed to report transfers of the weapons, known as ManPADS
(Man-Portable Air Defense Systems), during a meeting of the group’s
Forum for Security Cooperation.

“We are determined to contribute to reducing the risk of diversion of
small arms and light weapons on to the black market,” said Armenian
Ambassador Jivan Tabibian, whose country holds the chairmanship
of forum.

“We have recognized the threats posed by unauthorized proliferation
and use of (ManPADS), especially to civil aviation, peacekeeping,
crisis management and anti-terrorist operations.”

The decision means that all OSCE countries will adopt the principles
of the “Wassenaar Arrangement,” a 31-country group formed in 1996 that
promotes transparency and responsibility in transfers of weapons and
materials that could be used as weapons.

Any infringement of those principles would be a criminal offense,
the OSCE said in a news release.

Members of the Vienna-based organization also agreed to promote the use
of ManPAD export controls in countries that aren’t part of the group.