BAKU: Azeri, Georgian, Armenian speakers to meet in Strasbourg

AZERI, GEORGIAN, ARMENIAN SPEAKERS TO MEET IN STRASBOURG

AssA-Irada, Azerbaijan
May 13, 2004

Speakers of the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Armenian parliaments are
planned to meet in Strasbourg next week.

A source from the Milli Majlis (parliament) told AssA-Irada that the
trilateral meeting was scheduled to be arranged during the visit
of the Council of Europe member states’ speakers to Strasbourg on
May 17-19. A number of issues including that of the Upper Garabagh
conflict will be discussed during the meeting.

BAKU: FM Stresses conflict aftermath

FM STRESSES CONFLICT AFTERMATH

AssA-Irada, Azerbaijan
May 13, 2004

Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov is visiting Strasbourg to attend the
114th session of the Council of Europe (CE) Ministerial Committee. In a
meeting with the CE Secretary General Walter Schwimmer on Wednesday,
Mammadyarov elaborated on the work underway towards solving the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Upper Garabagh.

The Foreign Ministry told AssA-Irada that in a meeting with the CE
Ministerial Committee’s Ago monitoring group, Mammadyarov spoke of
the efforts Azerbaijan has taken to fulfill its commitments to the
CE as well as of prospects for settling the Upper Garabagh conflict.

Addressing the session, Mammadyarov spoke of the outstanding political
issues and the reformation of the European Court for Human Rights
(ECHR). He said that the CE plays a crucial role in promoting the
undivided Europe and stated Azerbaijan’s position on the issue.

Mammadyarov noted that the Upper Garabagh conflict had caused serious
hurdles in the development of the South Caucasus region and emphasized
the initiatives taken by Azerbaijan to solve these problems. On the
first day of the session, a statement on long-term productivity of the
ECHR and the 14th protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights
were adopted. Later in the day, foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and
Armenia met at the CE Office in France. The meeting was also attended
by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

Ilkham Aliyev is determinate to return Karabakh

Ilkham Aliyev is determinate to return Karabakh
Bby Maksim Yusin

RusData Dialine – Russian Press Digest
May 14, 2004 Friday

SOURCE: Izvestia, No 83, p.1

Azeri president threatens Armenia with war

The Azerbaijan’s President Ilkham Aliyev speaking Wednesday at the
opening ceremony of a military garrison said that his country is
determinate to reclaim the province of Nagorny Karabakh, a disputed
territory now controlled by Armenia.

Aliyev said that “the Azeri people and its army can at any moment
take steps to restore the territorial integrity of the country.
International law gives us right to do it. Azerbaijan will strive to
resolve the conflict over Nagorny Karabakh through negotiations. But
if we see that any further dialogue brings no results, we will liberate
the occupied territories at all costs.”

The Azeri president made his harsh statement on May 12 – the tenth
anniversary of the ceasefire between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in
Nagorny Karabakh, therefore his words are to be taken most seriously.
Yet, Izvestia writes that neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia need a new
war, and the peace negotiations, however difficult they might be,
will probably continue.

Kocharian has problems

Agency WPS
What the Papers Say. Part B (Russia)
May 14, 2004, Friday

KOCHARJAN HAS PROBLEMS

SOURCE: Vremya Novostei, May 14, 2004, p. 5

by Arkady Dubnov

President Robert Kocharjan of Armenia is visiting Moscow. Kocharjan
is the first Caucasus leader to meet with Vladimir Putin since his
inauguration. He will meet with Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister
Mikhail Fradkov today. Yesterday, he met with Alexei Miller, CEO of
Gazprom. The visitor also expects to meet with Igor Materov of ITERA.

The natural gas problem is no longer an economic issue for Armenia;
it is geopolitical. Yerevan wants gas from Moscow and also from Iran.
It even hopes to provide Iranian pipeline transit in future. Ukraine
also wants Iranian gas. All of these routes will bypass Russia, and
the Kremlin has some question for Armenia, known as one of Russia’s
most loyal allies in the CIS.

Putin and Kocharjan will also discuss the situation in the Caucasus.
This is the subject where the visitor will be asking questions
because the consequences of the Revolution of Roses in Georgia cannot
help worrying him.

Like Georgia not long ago, Armenia – that is, Kocharjan – has serious
problems with the opposition that demands the president’s
resignation. A large demonstration will take place in Yerevan today.
On April 13, the Armenian authorities dispersed a demonstration
staged by the opposition and the political crisis in this country
entered a new phase. On April 28, the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe (PACE_ adopted a resolution giving Kocharjan three
months to release the opposition activists arrested on April 13. The
PACE will insist on economic sanctions against Yerevan otherwise. All
this explains why Robert Kocharjan needs Moscow’s support so badly.
To secure it, he may have to sacrifice something. According to our
sources, the matter may concern a controlling interest in
Armrosgazprom for Gazprom (these days, Gazprom controls a 45% stake,
ITERA 10%, and Armenia the remaining 45%; the subject may have been
discussed by Kocharjan in Moscow yesterday).

Presidents Putin and Kocharjan will discuss Nagorno-Karabakh as well.
No sensational developments are expected in this particular sphere.

Translated by A. Ignatkin

Fradkov: Russia Interested in Development of Relations with Armenia

Mikhail Fradkov: Russia Interested in Development of Relations with Armenia

RIA OREANDA
Economic News
May 14, 2004 Friday

Moscow. Russia is interested in the development of the relations
with Armenia and is ready to consider all the issues of bilateral
cooperation. RF Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov made the respective
statement in the course of the meeting with Armenian President Robert
Kocharian.

Our relations are positively developing in all the directions but at
the same time we have topics to discuss with each other in order to
discover new efficient opportunities for cooperation, Mr. Fradkov
said. We are ready to consider the topics on the agenda that will
contribute to the extension of the Russian-Armenian relations, the
Prime Minister assured.

Robert Kocharian, in his turn, noted that the volume of cooperation
between the two countries is rather wide and we managed to considerably
develop it recently.

Vladimir Putin Met His Armenian Counterpart Friday

RIA OREANDA
Economic News
May 14, 2004 Friday

Vladimir Putin Met His Armenian Counterpart Friday

Moscow. Today the RF President, Vladimir Putin, held meeting with his
Armenian counterpart, Robert Kocharyan. The Head of the Russian state
expressed confidence that the summit talks would permit to
efficiently develop Russia-Armenia cooperation, the Kremlin
press-service informed. Apart from that, the Russian President
pointed out the fact that his meetings with Robert Kocharyan for
discussion of bilateral cooperation, coordination of activity in
post-Soviet territories and international arena were rather regular
and productive.

Singer Charles Aznavour awarded Legion of Honour

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
May 14, 2004, Friday

Singer Charles Aznavour awarded Legion of Honour

Paris

French President Jacques Chirac on Friday bestowed on popular singer
Charles Aznavour the rank of commander in the Legion of Honour.

Calling him “the most popular and probably the most admired French
singer in the world”, Chirac also paid homage to Aznavour’s
songwriting and to his charitable activities.

The Paris-born son of Armenian immigrants, Azanavour turns 80 on May
22. He has said he will use the receipts from three of his series of
concerts celebrating his eightieth birthday to benefit humanitarian
aid to Armenia. dpa sm jm

Willoughby (Australia): Council to apologise

Council to apologise

North Shore Times (Fri) (Australia)
May 14, 2004 Friday

A GENOCIDE commemoration was marred by a series of blunders by
Willoughby Council recently.

The event, held each year as the focal point for the Armenian
Community’s commemorations in Sydney, was disrupted by a
double-booking of the Town Hall.

In a stunning oversight, the council’s Heritage Committee was granted
use of the front lawn and stairs leading to the main entrance to the
hall, forcing commemoration attendees to sneak through activities to
a side entrance.

Adding further distress was the presence of a Turkish food seller at
the entry to the hall. More than 1.5 million Armenians died during
the genocide carried out by Turkish authorities from April, 1915.

In the audience on the night were several survivors of the genocide.
Khajaque Kortian of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee
said he expected full access to the hall, having booked and paid a
year ago.

“The main entry was completely blocked which I found strange given we
normally can’t even put tables there,” Mr Kortian said. “There was
confusion about whether it was being held outside or inside.

“It’s not just for our community, it needs to be addressed. No hirer
should have to go through that.”

Councillor Judith Rutherford said the community and food sellers
should receive partial refunds.

“It was a disgrace and people were upset. Whoever had organised it
had not thought through the significance,” she said.

” If you know the history of that whole event that was just a really
silly thing to do.”

The council said it would send letters of apology to organisers.

Gazprom CEO and Armenian President consider gas supplies

The Russia Journal

Gazprom CEO and Armenian President consider gas supplies

BUSINESS ยป :: May 14, 2004 Posted: 18:47 Moscow time (14:47 GMT)

MOSCOW – Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller and Armenian President Robert
Kocharian discussed the current situation with Russia’s gas supplies
to Armenia. According to the press service of Gazprom, the sides
discussed issues connected with the condition of the gas transportation
network in Armenia and neighboring transit states. Miller and
Kocharian considered activities of the joint Russian-Armenian company
ArmRosgazprom and some other issues of bilateral cooperation.

The Armenian energy sector almost completely depends on gas
imports. Gazprom resumed its supplies to Armenia in June 2003 and at
present is the only supplier. /RosBusinessConsulting/

Relations btw Armenia, Iran at high point, say officials

Relations btw Armenia, Iran at high point, say officials
By Tigran Liloyan

ITAR-TASS News Agency
May 13, 2004 Thursday

YEREVAN, May 13 — Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian and Iran’s
visiting Oil and Gas Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Thursday
political relations between the two countries were at a high point.

Zanganeh arrived here to sign an agreement on building a gas pipeline
from his country to Armenia.

They stressed the significance of increasing Armenian-Iranian ties
for the situation in the entire region.

“Cooperation in the energy sector is a thrust force that can stimulate
relations in other sectors,” Kocharian said.

“Its deepening has a profound meaning for Armenia, since we’re
interested in a successful completion of the pipeline project,”
he indicated.

The pipeline will help double the volume of Armenian-Iranian trade and
is destined to play a crucial role in a broader regional cooperation,
Kocharian and Zanganeh said.