Group addresses letter to Sec. of State for foriegn affairs of UK

March 16 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 16, ARMENPRESS: Dr. Tessa Hofmann, the chairperson
of Working Group Recognition – Against Genocide, For International
Understanding, addressed a letter to the Secretary of State for
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom Mr. Jack
Straw. Referring to the interview of Mrs. Thorda Abbott-Watt, the
ambassador of the United Kingdom in Armenia, in which the ambassador
stated that the case of the Armenian Genocide did not correspond with
the UN Genocide Convention, Tessa Hofman stated that “Mrs.
Abbott-Watt is wrong in doubting that this case did not correspond
the UN Genocide Convention.”
“She may not know that the author of this convention Mr. Raphael
Lemkin, drafted it on the empirical base of both the Armenian and the
Jewish Genocide as case studies during the World War I and World War
II. Mr. Abbot-Watt may also be ignorant of the joint statement of May
27, 1915, in which the governments of Britain, France and Russia
warned the Ottoman government to held its members personally
responsible for the crimes committed on the Armenian citizens of the
Ottoman Empire. In this statement the killings of the Armenian
population were categorized, under the terms of contemporary law, as
a crime against humanity and civilization”.
The letter also says that “Mrs. Abbot-Watt is obviously not
qualified as a scholar of genocide research. Otherwise she would know
that the denial of genocide is considered as an integral part of the
crime and its final stage. Sadly, Mrs. Abbott-Watt herself
contributes to the crime of denial, thus keeping painfully alive the
trauma of the Armenian nation and upsetting all others, who are aware
of the consequences of genocide denial”.
Dr. Tessa Hofmann also stressed that “as an international NGO,
which is focusing on the recognition of denied genocide crimes, we
will urge you to re-consider whether it is advisable that Mrs.
Abbott-Watt, who is ignorant of basic facts of legal history and
international relations and who makes repeated incompetent and
offensive statements, may continue her diplomatic career in a
country, where half of the population descends from survivors of

NK officials reiterate the need for new negotiation format

March 16 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 16, ARMENPRESS: Nagorno Karabagh parliament
chairman Oleg Yesayan and foreign affairs minister Ashot Ghulian met
today with Ursula Schleikher, head of a European Union’s delegation
that has arrived in Armenia to attend the 6-sixth session of
EU-Armenia parliamentary commission. The meeting was held at Karabagh
representation in Yerevan and was focused mainly on ways of resolving
the ongoing conflict.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ghulian said Karabagh
speaker has once again repeated that the conflict could be resolved
only with participation of its representatives in the talks, as “its
population’s security and future are on stake,” but added that
Karabagh’s desire to reshape the format of negotiations is not
sufficient. “Azerbaijan is trying now to complicate the negotiation
process and it is hard to mention a concrete date when Karabagh may
be involved in them,” he said.
According to Ghulian, Europe’s willingness to assume a bigger role
in the regulation of the conflict is the evidence of its growing
interest in the region, confirmed also by appointing a Special
Representative of the EU for the South Caucasus, “but so far the
EU-South Caucasus partnership has not gone beyond the boundaries of
economic and humanitarian aid.”
Admitting that the talks are in a deadlock, Karabagh foreign
minister said there are indications of new upcoming contacts between
Armenian and Azeri officials and only after these meetings one can
say if there is a progress.

Arminco may compete for mobile phone services

March 16 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 16, ARMENPRESS: The biggest Armenian Internet
provider, Arminco, has announced today about its plans to compete in
a tender that is supposed to be announced some time later this year
for providing mobile phone services. Speaking to a news conference
Arminco’s chief manager, Andranik Alexanian, said his company is
waiting for the government to announce the tender to learn its terms
in order to make the final decision. “We have all capacities to
participate in the tender,” Alexanian said.
The government announced earlier this month that it will strip
Armentel operator of its exclusive right to mobile phone services on
June 30. This means that Armentel may continue providing cellular
phone services, but will have to put up with the existence of rival

Living in Yerevan becomes hazardous, NGO says

March 16 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 16, ARMENPRESS: A coalition of 28 nature protection
non-governmental organizations, united in Yerevan Ecological
Alliance, warned today that living in Armenia’s capital is becoming
gradually hazardous, following mass logging of trees in public parks
and building the vacated areas with cafes and other entertaining
Sona Ayvazian, one of the seven members of the Alliance’s board
said today: “We have neither forests, nor parks, the only green area
in the capital is the Botanic garden in which many species are drying
up.” She called on mass medias and public at large to raise their
protesting voice against the ongoing destruction of green areas.
According to another speaker, in early nineties trees were cut by
people to warm their houses due to the lack of other fuel, today
forests are destroyed to make money.

BAKU: Armenia, Azerbaijan must be main force in NK settlement

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 16 2004


BAKU, March 16, 2004. (RIA Novosti) – Azerbaijan and Armenia have to
make the main efforts to settle the Nagorny Karabakh problem,
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliyev told reporters after his
meeting on Tuesday with the incumbent chairman of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Bulgarian
Foreign Minister, Solomon Pasi.

“The OSCE plays the role of a mediator in this process today,”
underscored Mr. Guliyev.

He noted that in the course of the meeting with Mr. Pasi the role of
the OSCE in settling the Nagorny Karabakh problem was discussed.

Apart from that, they discussed the problems of democratic reforms in
Azerbaijan, the preparations for the municipal elections in the fall
of 2004, the events of October 15-17, 2003 in Baku (during the
presidential elections, the opposition organized several unsanctioned
protests) and freedom of the press in Azerbaijan.

Al-Arabiya factors in ‘Genocide’ doc

Yahoo News
March 16 2004

Al-Arabiya factors in ‘Genocide’ doc
Sun Mar 14, 7:00 PM ET

Melanie Goodfellow

(Variety) JERUSALEM Pan-Arab satcaster MBC TV has acquired “The
Genocide Factor,” a U.S.-made doc exploring religious and ethnic
persecution from Biblical times to the present, to air on news and
current affairs channel Al-Arabiya in April.

Series, narrated by thesp Jon Voight, examines some of the worst
crimes against humanity including the Nazi Holocaust and the
Armenian, Bosnian and Rwandan genocides.

“Having “The Genocide Factor’ run complete and uncensored on free TV
in the Middle East to a potential audience of more than 130 million
people is truly groundbreaking,” says Gary Lico, CEO of U.S. distrib
Cable Ready.

Directed by Robert Emery, the four-part series features photos, news
footage and interviews with Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, former U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (news – web sites) and genocide

Polish, Armenian MPs discuss bilateral relations

Polish Press Agency
PAP News Wire
March 16, 2004 Tuesday

Polish, Armenian MPs discuss bilateral relations


Sejm Speaker Marek Borowski and head of the Armenian National Assembly
Artur Bagdasarian met Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations,
international affairs and Armenia’s policy towards the Polish

Borowski said after the meeting that Bagdasarian was interested in
European legislature, Poland’s political system and the functioning
and powers of the Sejm. The Armenian side expressed readiness to
develop closer interparliamentary contacts between the two countries
and interest in Polish experience in European integration.

On Wednesday the guest will be received by President Aleksander
Kwasniewski, PM Leszek Miller, Foreign Minister Wlodzmierz Cimoszewicz
and presidia of the Sejm’s foreign affairs and European committees.

Students protest in Cyprus over closure of historic Melkonian school

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
March 16, 2004, Tuesday

Students protest in Cyprus over closure of historic boarding school

Over 200 students of an historic Armenian boarding school in Nicosia
demonstrated Tuesday against its impending closure.

The U.S.-based foundation that runs the Melkonian Educational
Institute announced it will close the school in June 2005, after over
seven decades.

News of the closure has angered critics who say that profits from the
40 million Cyprus pound (84 million dollars) sale of the school’s
prime assets will leave Cyprus.

Protesting students blocked the main road leading out of the capital,
chanting “Melkonian not for sale” and brandishing placards condemning
the foundation.

The school, Cyprus’s only boarding school, was established in 1926 by
two Armenian brothers to provide shelter to orphans that escaped
genocide at the hands of the Ottomans during the First World War.

Students and teachers claim the New-York based Armenian General
Benevolent Union (AGBU), which had been entrusted with the management
of the school, decided to close the institute without sufficient
justification. dpa mdp ch sc

Armenia hopes for peaceful settlement of Adzharia situation

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 16, 2004 Tuesday

Armenia hopes for peaceful settlement of Adzharia situation

By Tigran Liloyan


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said he was hoping that Tbilisi
and Batumi would settle their disagreements through talks. Yerevan
hopes that the situation will normalize and that it will not affect
the functioning of Black Sea ports, he said.

“Georgia on the whole and the Black Sea ports of this country have a
very important significance for Armenia,” Kocharyan said in the
course of his visit to a Defense Ministry’s military college on

The president noted that Armenia’s authorities wish for a peaceful
settlement of the situation around Adzharia was voiced during the
recent official visit to Yerevan by Georgian leader Mikhail

“Stability in Georgia has an extremely important significance for
Armenia,” said Serzh Sarkisyan, Armenia’s Defense Minister and
Secretary of the National Security Council under the president.

The minister said he did not share the view that a new war would
break out in the region.

Direct negotiations are only way to Karabakh settlement- OSCE

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 16, 2004 Tuesday

Direct negotiations are only way to Karabakh settlement- OSCE

By Sevindzh Abdullayeva, Viktor Shulman


OSCE thinks that direct negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia
are the only way to the Karabakh settlement, Bulgarian Foreign
Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Solomon Pasi said at a Tuesday
meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku.

He noted with regret that the OSCE Minsk Group mission had not
brought positive results. “I expect a lot from dialog between the two
presidents, and I will declare that during a visit to Yerevan,” Pasi
said. Pasi will go to Yerevan on Tuesday evening for discussing the
Karabakh problem with the Armenian administration.

The Azerbaijani president said he hoped for more intensive efforts of
the Minsk Group in the Karabakh settlement. The unsettled problem “is
a great danger to the region,” he said.

“Solomon Pasi promised support to the Azerbaijani striving for closer
integration into Europe,” the AzerTadz news agency reports.

The absence of dialog is characteristic of conflicts in the South
Caucasus, Pasi said. He noted that OSCE would boost dialog between
Azerbaijan and Armenia for settling the Karabakh conflict. “We can
offer a dozen of settlement options, but neither of them will be
workable until Azerbaijan and Armenia reach understanding,” he said.