BAKU: OSCE PA chairman to visit region

AzerTag, Azerbaijan State info agency
March 11 2004

OSCE PA CHAIRMAN TO VISIT REGION
[March 11, 2004, 12:04:45]

Speaking of conclusions of the visit of reporter on the
Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorny Karabakh conflict Mr. Goran Lenmarker to
the region, Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE George
Bruce said that he would visit the region, head of the Azerbaijan
parliamentary delegation at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, chairman
of the MM standing committee on economic issues Sattar Safarov told
AzerTAj correspondent. In his report, Mr. Lenmarker confirmed the
fact of occupancy of the Azerbaijani lands by Armenia, stressed the
necessity of quick release of the occupied territories, mine clearing
of the areas, and return of the refugees to their homelands. He also
criticized activity of the OSCE Minsk Group. After the reporter made
his remarks, Mr. George Bruce met the delegation of Azerbaijan and
stated on his forthcoming visit to the region to discuss peaceful
ways of settlement of the conflict.

Mr. Sattar Safarov also said that Mr. Lenmarker would make his large
report in summer (July) session of the Organization in the city of
Edinburgh. The OSCE Minsk Group is expected to make its report, too.

Delegation of Azerbaijan will try to put on the agenda the issue of
activity of the Minsk Group.

BAKU: Illegal broadcast of Armenian TV to be in focus

Azer News, Azerbaijan
March 11 2004

Illegal broadcast of Armenian TV to be in focus

Representatives from the Ministry of Communications and Information
Technologies left for Moscow on Wednesday at the invitation of the
CIS Regional Cooperation Organization (RCO).

The key goal of the visit is to discuss the illegal broadcast of
Armenian TV programs in Azerbaijan at the RCO meeting. The
coordination of broadcasting radio and television programs at the
Azerbaijani-Armenian border and frequencies will also be mulled at
the gathering.

Recently the population of many regions in Azerbaijan has protested
against the broadcast of Armenian TV programs.

BAKU: German gives advice on how to defeat Armenia

Azer News, Azerbaijan
March 11 2004

German gives advice on how to defeat Armenia

Dr. Wilhelm German, an expert on the security, military and political
issues of Germany, has arrived in Baku for a fact-finding visit. Dr.
German will help Azerbaijani experts develop laws on some relevant
issues, as agreed at a Wednesday meeting held between Vice Speaker
Ziyafat Asgarov and the German expert.

Stressing that it is necessary to take into account national
interests while adopting laws, Asgarov voiced criticism towards the
Council of Europe on the issue. Dr. German, in turn, underlined that
he would help Azerbaijan as much as possible in military and security
issues.

He said that the most serious problem impeding Azerbaijan’s
development was the Upper Garabagh conflict. “Don’t wait for Armenia
to weaken in order to settle the Upper Garabagh conflict. You can
solve the problem in your favor by achieving socio-economic
development in the country,” Dr. German stressed.

BAKU: Araz Azimov: EU could take more active role in peace process

Baku Today, Azerbaijan
March 11 2004

Araz Azimov: ‘EU could take more active role in peace process’

European Union’s special representative for South Caucasus Heikki
Talvitie will visit Azerbaijan on March 18, 2004.

11/03/2004 15:12
Baku Today

Commenting on European Union’s(EU) role in peace process over Nagorno
Karabakh conflict deputy foreign minister Araz Azimov said, European
Union could take more active role in mediating a settlement to the
conflict.

Azimov said, there are two possible ways for EU involvement in the
process.Either EU might delegate one of its member states France,
which is presiding over Minsk group, to act on its behalf for the
mediation, or EU may participate together with Minsk group in the
peace process.

Talking on next meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia
Azimov said, the time of a meeting has not been fixed yet. However,
Azimov said, deputy foreign ministers of the two countries might meet
in the near future.

Tehran: Armenia seeks broader cooperation

IranMania
March 11 2004

Armenia seeks broader cooperation

MOSCOW, March 10 (Iran Daily) — The Head of Armenia’s Presidential
Office and Chairman of Iran-Armenia Economic Commission Artashes
Toumanian reiterated the need to bolster cooperation between the two
states, IRNA reported.

Speaking to the visiting Governor General of Ardebil province Javad
Najafi-Azar and his delegation in Yerevan, Toumanian called for
closer ties in various fields, particularly agriculture and
industries.

Turning to the role of the joint economic commission in broadening
ties, he noted that Armenia’s president and other high-ranking
Iranian and Armenian officials have focused on developing economic
collaboration, in particular at the provincial level.

“Given the significance of expanding ties to both sides, it is
inevitable for Iran and Armenia to undertake joint projects in
various sectors including industries, agriculture, trade, foodstuff,
engineering services and tap existing potentials for the purpose,” he
added.

Toumanian also called for broader cooperation between Armenia and
Ardebil province, given the latter’s diversity of industrial and
trade potentials.

For his part, Najafi-Azar referred to the potentials of Ardebil
province and called for bolstering bilateral relations, given the
capabilities available in industrial, commercial, tourist,
agricultural sectors as well as exchange of technical and scientific
expertise.

Gazprom following Kremlin’s instructions

Russia Journal, Russia
March 11 2004

Gazprom following Kremlin’s instructions

MOSCOW – Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller has received instructions from his
friends in the Kremlin and has acted accordingly. This appears to be
the only plausible explanation for the steps taken by the Russian gas
giant this week.

Sibur, Gazprom’s largest petrochemical concern, on Wednesday inked a
deal with Beltransgas, the Belarussian state pipeline company, to
supply gas to Belarus. In line with the agreement Sibur will ship 1
billion cubic metres of gas to Belarus by the end of this year,
including 200 million cubic metres to be delivered in March. However,
the volume of 200 million cubic metres is unlikely to cover Minsk’s
monthly demand.

Gazprom holds a 90 per cent stake in Sibur, the Siberian-Urals
petrochemical company. Sibur runs Gazprom’s petrochemical plants in
the Volga region, the Urals and Siberia.

Gazprom halted supplies of its own gas to Belarus on 1 January 2004
amid a dispute over prices. The gas concern insists Belarus should
pay for Russian gas at international prices. On 18 February this year
Gazprom stopped gas deliveries to Minsk altogether and also halted
transit shipments to Europe via Belarus. The company said it wanted
to raise the price Belarus pays by 56 per cent to $50 per 1,000 cubic
metres and to receive payment for gas already supplied. In the
meantime, Belarus is receiving Russian gas from Russian suppliers
Trans Nafta and Itera.

Another 230 million cubic metres will be delivered to Belarus in
March by Trans Nafta, Russian media reports said on Thursday.
According to Gazprom’s press-service, the gas concern will only
provide the transit pipeline.

A Sibur official optimistically said that the price at which gas will
be supplied to Belarus is comparable to that of Nafta. However,
Belarus still has not repaid its debt to Trans Nafta for the volumes
already supplied in 2004.

The decision to supply gas via Sibur seems strange. The company has
never been involved in gas deliveries before. Moreover, unlike Itera,
a company formally independent of Gazprom, Sibur is fully controlled
by the concern.

Gazprom has also voiced its intention to halve its gas supplies to
Georgia as of 15 March 2004 because of debts owed by Tbilisi to
Gazexport, Gazprom’s export subsidiary. According to Gazexport,
Tbilisi’s debt now stands at $7.4 million. Russia also supplies gas
via Georgian territory to Armenia, where there are also problems with
payments.

Gazprom has been supplying gas to Georgia since 1 October 2003 via
Gazexport. Before that Itera was the sole supplier of Russian gas to
Georgia. Last year Gazprom also began to deliver gas to Azerbaijan.

Alexandra Vertlyugina, an analyst with AVK, believes it is possible
to assume that following Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller’s meeting with the
country’s top leadership Gazprom was given certain political
instructions concerning Belarus and the Transcaucasian countries,
through which the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline runs – an alternative
route to Russian pipelines – and began to incorporate them in the
company’s economic policy.

Chess: Timman pulls off surprise in Reykjavik Open

ABS CBN News, Philippines
March 12 2004

Timman pulls off surprise in Reykjavik Open

By MANNY BENITEZ
TODAY Chess Columnist

Veteran Dutch Grandmaster Jan Timman, one of the world’s superstars
30 years ago, showed he still has got what it takes when he caught
Ukrainian GM Ruslan Pogorelov, one of his early coleaders, by
surprise in the third round of the Reykjavik Open chess tournament.

With his third straight win for a perfect score, Timman took the solo
lead, followed by 13 others with 2.5, including the top seed, Alexey
Dreev of Russia, teenage GM Bu Xiangzhi of China, and Ian Rogers of
Australia.

Behind them were 76 others with 1.5 each as the open tournament,
which serves as a qualifier for the forthcoming Reykjavik Rapid,
entered the fourth round.

Former Manila visitor Michal Krasenkow of Poland, one of the 13 first
runners-up, played the most instructive endgame, as follows:

After 25…Rxc5??

Best was 25…Rd5, with equal chances.

26 Rxc5! Qxc5 27 Rc1 Rc4 28 Qd8+ Kg7 29 Rd1! 1-0.

White wins in all variations, e.g., 29…Qc8 30 Qf6+ Kg8 31 Rd8+!

In Armenia, Latvian GM Evgeny Sveshnikov, whose name has been
immortalized in a popular Sicilian variation, kept the lead with 2.0
points after two rounds of the Petrosian Memorial, followed by two
Armenian GMs, Ashot Anastasian and Karen Asrian with 1.5 each.

Meanwhile, Mila Emperador of Milo Checkmate announced that the Young
Knights Invitational Chess Cup has been reset for April 2-4 and the
Metropolitan Chess Club’s Intercommercial Team tournament for April
17-18.

The Young Knights will comprise those who have taken the Milo
Checkmate course. Among the better known players are Southeast Asian
Games triple gold medallist Mark Paragua, SEAG female team gold
medallist Sheerie Joy Lomibao, zonal champion Ronald Dableo, two-time
national junior champion John Paul Gomez, and columnist Marlon
Bernardino.

The P70,000 Intercommercial Team event is open to all bonafide
company employees and varsity players. Each team is entitled to one
master to play on top board.

Tbilisi: President Saakashvili to visit Armenia

Georgian Times, Tbilisi
March 11 2004

President Saakashvili to visit Armenia

(GT News) On March 12-13, President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili
will go for an official visit to Armenia.
Within the frames of visit, President Saakashvili will meet the
representatives of the Armenian government and discuss the wide
spectrum of questions including the two sides’ cooperation.
The key issue of the discussion will be the current transit tariff
imposed on the Armenian cargo.

President Ghukassian received RA minister of education

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 10 2004

PRESIDENT GHUKASSIAN RECEIVED RA MINISTER OF EDUCATION

On March 8 the president of the Republic of Nagorni Karabakh Arkady
Ghukassian received the delegation of the Ministry of Education and
Culture of Armenia headed by Sergo Yeritsian. The director of the
National Institute of Education of Armenia Victor Martirossian was
also in the delegation. During the meeting the minister told that the
aim of his visit to Nagorni Karabakh is to get closely acquainted
with the problems in the sphere of education in NKR. In this
reference he said that the ministry is willing to provide their
assistance to the further development of the sphere in Artsakh. The
participants of the meeting touched upon several aspects of the
program of bringing the new system of education to NKR, which
provides a wide use of computer technologies, and requires retraining
of school and university teachers. The minister of education of
Armenia promised to provide about 600 computers to the schools of
Nagorni Karabakh and mentioned that the possibilities of his ministry
will be used to solve the problems that will occur during the
implementation of the new educational program. Speaking about the
prospects of development of the educational system in NKR Mr.
Yeritsian emphasized the importance of promoting relationships
between the universities of Armenia and Nagorni Karabakh. During the
meeting it was mentioned that due to the efforts of the corresponding
ministries of the two Armenian republics the representation of the
National Institute of Education of Armenia was opened in NKR. The NKR
president expressed his confidence that daily cooperation between the
ministries of Armenia and Nagorni Karabakh, the implementation of
joint programs may influence positively the promotion of the sphere
of education in Artsakh.

AA

No Armenians killed in Madrid explosions

ArmenPress
March 10 2004

NO ARMENIANS KILLED IN MADRID EXPLOSIONS

MADRID, MARCH 11, ARMENPRESS: A clergyman of the Armenian Church,
Father Masis, dispatched to Madrid to help local Armenian community
to resolve their organizational issues, was quoted by RFE/RL as
saying that no Armenians were identified among 173 people, killed
today morning in a series of explosions hat ripped through crowded
passenger trains during the rush-hour.
Official sources had earlier confirmed that around 130 people were
killed.
Authorities blamed the attacks on Basque separatist group ETA,
which is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and the
European Union. According to some estimates, some 45,000 Armenians
live in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.