Saakashvili certain Russia will not interfere in Georgia’s affairs

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 12, 2004 Friday

Saakashvili certain Russia will not interfere in Georgia’s affairs

By Tengiz Pachkoria


Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is certain that Russia has no
intention of interfering in Georgia’s internal affairs.

Speaking in Tbilisi earlier on Friday before flying to the Armenian
capital Yerevan Saakashvili said, “Russia plans no interference in
Georgia’s internal affairs. President Vladimir Putin made a definite
statement on that score at our meeting in Moscow in February. I trust

Saakashvili was speaking after some local mass media alleged Russia
had the intention to increase the strength of the personnel of its
military base in Adzharia to intervene in the relationship between
Tbilisi and Batumi.

Bush taps ambassadors to Swaziland, Finland, Guinea, Kazakhstan

Agence France Presse
March 12, 2004 Friday

Bush taps ambassadors to Swaziland, Finland, Guinea, Kazakhstan


US President George W. Bush has picked nominees for ambassadorial
postings to Swaziland, Finland, Guinea and Kazakhstan, the White
House announced Thursday.

Bush wants Lewis Lucke, mission director and reconstruction
coordinator for the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) in Iraq, as ambassador to Swaziland. Lucke has
worked for USAID in Haiti and Jordan.

Bush has picked businessman Earle Mack as ambassador to Finland, and
career diplomat Jackson McDonald, currently US ambassador to Gambia,
as ambassador to Guinea.

The president has chosen career diplomat John M. Ordway, currently US
ambassador to Armenia, as US ambassador to Kazakhstan.

US ambassadorial nominations must win Senate approval.

Armenia, Georgia adherent to European integration

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 12, 2004 Friday

Armenia, Georgia adherent to European integration

By Tigran Liloyan


Armenia and Georgia emphasize their striving for integration with
European organizations. They want closer interaction with the
European Union and cooperation in the United Nations, the Council of
Europe, the OSCE, the CIS and other international and regional
organizations, says a joint statement adopted after Friday
negotiations between Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and
Armenian leaders.

The Armenian and Georgian presidents said they were ready for more
active cooperation in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
Organization. They noted the importance of cooperation in TRACECA and
INOGATE initiatives of the European Union.

Bearing in mind the need to respond to new challenges and threats,
primarily terrorism, organized crime, illegal arms trade and drug
trafficking, Armenia and Georgia call for better efficiency and
coordination of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation, the
statement says.

Greek Cypriot side to continue reunification talks: Papadopoulos

March 11, 2004, Thursday

Greek Cypriot side to continue reunification talks: Papadopoulos


Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said on Thursday that his Greek
Cypriot side remains firm in its commitment to continue the current
reunification talks under the auspices of the United Nations.

Papadopoulos made the promise in a written speech to the opening
ceremony of a trade union congress, which was read by Labour and
Social Insurance Minister Iacovos Keravnos.

It is too early and dangerous to draw conclusions on the progress of
the UN-led direct negotiations for a comprehensive settlement to the
Cyprus problem, despite the fact that most of the positions raised by
the Turkish side are contrary to the philosophy and parameters of the
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plan, Papadopoulos said.

He said that what he can reiterate at this sensitive and important
present juncture is that the Greek Cypriot side remains firm in its
commitment to continue working positively, constructively and
productively with the UN Secretary General on the basis of his plan,
to secure a functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

The Greek Cypriot side is striving for a solution which will secure
the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and will allow them to enjoy the
benefits with the accession to the EU, within the framework of a
reunified Cyprus, the president added.

He stressed that “our firm pursuit and constant concern is and will
remain the creation of a stable, peaceful and safe environment,
necessary for the welfare, progress and well being of all the people
of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey sent troops to take
control of its northern third. The two sides are currently engaged in
talks with a view to reach an agreement that would be put to
referenda, the positive outcome of which would enable a reunited
Cyprus to join the EU in May this year.

Gunfight near restaurant where Georgian, Armenian prez dining

Associated Press Worldstream
March 12, 2004 Friday 3:08 PM Eastern Time

Gunfight erupts near restaurant where Georgian, Armenian presidents
dining, neither injured

by AVET DEMOURIAN; Associated Press Writer

YEREVAN, Armenia

A gunfight erupted Friday evening near a restaurant where the
presidents of Georgia and Armenia were dining, injuring at least
three people but leaving the two leaders unharmed, an official said.

The shooting started shortly after 10 p.m. local time between two
rival criminal groups outside the restaurant in the capital Yerevan,
an Interior Ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and his Armenian counterpart
Robert Kocharian weren’t injured and they even continued their meal
after the clash, the official said.

One person was arrested, and a gun and three knives confiscated,
according to the official. It didn’t appear those involved in the
altercation were aware the presidents were nearby.

Kocharian commonly invites his guests to informal dinners at the
restaurant, located in the center of the city on the banks of a small
pond. The shooting began on the other side of the water.

Saakashvili was in Armenia for his first visit there since winning a
January election to replace former President Eduard Shevardnadze. The
U.S.-educated Saakashvili was the most prominent leader of protests
that forced Shevardnadze to resign in November, and he has received
strong support from Washington.

Earlier at a news conference, the two leaders said they agreed to
keep close contact and Saaskashvili praised Kocharian as an “ideal
partner” for Georgia.

Saaskashvili said Armenia could also help Georgia normalize its
relations with Russia, which have been complicated by the continued
presence of Russian troops and Moscow’s support of separatist

On Friday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry harshly warned Georgia against
trying to rein in the independent-minded region of Adzharia, whose
leader has maintained close ties with Russia.

Kocharian expressed support for new railroad lines to be built from
Russia through the Georgia’s separatist Abkhazia region, which would
also link Armenia to Russia.

The dog days of spring

Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA)
March 10, 2004 Wednesday

The dog days of spring;
The return of Aram Arakelian and his pushcart to downtown Lowell is a
sure sign of warmer weather


Aram Arakelian serves customers from his sausage cart on Central
Street in Lowell. sun/michael pigeon LOWELL New York has one on every
corner. In Boston, The Sausage Guy is king. On the streets of Lowell,
Aram Arakelian is the sole purveyor of America’s culinary icon: the
hot dog.

For 10 years now Arakelian has stuffed grilled dogs, Italian sausages
and Polish kielbasa into buns from his silver cart for streams of
hungry denizens. Want peppers and onions? Extra hot sauce? “No
problem,” is the motto of this amiable Armenian vendor.

As sure a sign of spring as daffodils and the red breast of a robin,
the sight of Arakelian’s silver pushcart means winter is bowing out.
So when he popped up on Central Street last week, regulars relished
the smell and sizzle of grilled sausage, pepper and onions in the air

“When I got off the bus today I said ‘yahoo!’,” exclaimed Pauline
Sigman, who likes to hit the cart a couple of times a week.

“I’ve tried all the stuff; it’s all good. The best there is.
Sometimes I want to double up, but I’ve got to watch my weight,” said
the Lowell resident ,gesturing toward her stomach.

Before there was Sal’s Pizza, before The Old Court, Arakelian held
down this stretch of Central Street in front of Banknorth. As the
city’s only outdoor food vendor, this one-man operation has become
part of Lowell’s lore.

“I’ve seen things change, but I stay the same,” said Arakelian,
deftly slinging sausages hot off the boil onto the grill.

Menu options haven’t wavered much; prices have kept pace with the
times. But at $1.25 for a grilled dog and $4 for a savory sweet
Italian sausage stuffed with grilled peppers and onions, it’s still a
decent bite for your buck. For a dollar more, the grilled chicken
breast sub is competitive, but is made to order with fresh meat and
served on soft rolls from a Malden bakery. He’s also strong in the
condiment department honey mustard, teryaki and hot sauce can doctor
up any order.

Ten years is a lifetime in the food industry and Arakelian attributes
his success to the Middlesex College students and elderly residents
who populate the block. They have turned his cart into a meeting
place and in turn he feels at home here. “I like seeing the people.
They ask me about my kids; it feels like a family.”

Like his exuberant personality, these sandwiches overflow with
goodness, making napkins a necessity when dining “a la cart.” The
other attraction to this portable meal is its versatility. These dogs
are easy to eat canal-side now that the weather is here. With so many
pluses, could Arakelian have created the signature meal of the city?

“It’s the best sandwich in town,” bellowed real estate tycoon Louis
Saab, walking by the cart this week.

“That’s good,” Arakelian said, pleased by the impromptu endorsement.
“He owns the city.”

Arakelian’s cart is open every weekday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., if it’s
not raining. Follow the aroma to Central Street between Middle and

Kathleen Deely’s e-mail address is [email protected] .

ARKA News Agency – 03/12/2004

ARKA News Agency
March 12 2004

RA President presents his condolence to the King of Spain Juan Carlos I

6TH sitting of EU-Armenia Parliament Commission on Cooperation to
start in Yerevan on March 15

RA NA Speaker congratulates Fadey Sargsian with re-election on the
position of RA NSA President

RA Deputy Foreign Minister receives Director of Caucasus and Central
Asia Office of the U.S. Department of State



YEREVAN, March 12. /ARKA/. RA President Robert Kocharian presented
his condolence to the King of Spain Juan Carlos I concerning
terrorist act in Madrid, President’s press office told ARKA. `From
the name of all Armenian people and personally myself I present my
deep condolences to You and Spanish people’, says the letter of the
President. L.D. –0 –



YEREVAN, March 12. /ARKA/. 6th sitting of EU-Armenia Parliament
Commission on Cooperation will start in Yerevan on March 15, RA NA
told ARKA. The sitting will be presided over by Armen Rustamian and
Ursula Schlicher. Meeting with Director Executive of All Armenian
Fund Hayastan Naira Melkumian will take place after the first day of
the sitting. Press conference of German Ambassador to Armenia Hans
Wolf Bartles, the Head of European Commission Delegation to Armenia
Torban Holtze and EU Ambassadors will take place the same day. Then
OSCE Yerevan Office will hold a meeting with the Head of the Office
Vladimir Pryakhin. Besides, delegates of EU will meet with RA NA
Speaker Arthur Baghdasarian and representatives of parliament
factions and groups.
On March 16, the Commission will continue its work, particularly,
will conduct meetings with the Head of NKR Parliament Oleg Yesayan,
the Chairman of RA National Commission on Tele and Radio Broadcasting
Grikor Amalian, the Ambassadors of Russia and USA to Armenia Anatoly
Drukov and John Ordway and Armenian Ombudsman Larisa ALaverdian.
On March 17, RA President Robert Kocharian will receive the
delegation. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 12. /ARKA/. RA NA Speaker Arthur Baghdasarian
congratulated Fadey Sargsian with re-election on the position of RA
National Science Academy President, RA NA told ARKA. In his letter
the Speaker expressed confidence that Sargsian will continue all his
efforts for development of science in Armenia. `I am sure that under
your wise and careful supervision Armenian scientists will gain new
achievements’, the letter said. Baghdasarian wished Fadey Sargsian
successes and expressed readiness to support initiatives of newly
elected president of RA NSA. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 12. /ARKA/. RA Deputy Foreign Minister Ruben Shugarian
receives director of Caucasus and Central Asia Office of the U.S.
Department of State John Fox, RA MFA told ARKA. The parties exchanged
views on present affairs in South Caucasus, perspectives of Karabakh
settlement, relations of Armenia and USA with neighbor countries of
the region and development of events in the region. L.D. –0–

ASBAREZ Online [03-12-2004]


1) Armenia ‘Ideal Partner’ For Georgia, Says Saakashvili
2) Ferrahian School’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations
3) ANC West Honors Its Own
4) [email protected]
5) Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Finds Match for First Armenia Patient

1) Armenia ‘Ideal Partner’ For Georgia, Says Saakashvili

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili praised Armenia and
its President Robert Kocharian on Friday during an official visit to Yerevan.
Meeting for the first time, the two leaders stressed the high level of
relations between their nations, vowing to strengthen friendly bilateral ties,
promote regional cooperation, and continue to seek integration into European
Saakashvili described Armenia as an ideal partner, saying that his country
a lot to learn from its neighbor’s nation-building experience.
“The president of Armenia left an extremely positive impression on me,”
Saakashvili told a joint news conference after the talks. “I think that he
is a
very energetic and able leader who is well aware of the region’s problems and
international relations in general. And I think Armenia is lucky to have
such a
“I remember telling my ministers that there are many things they can learn
from Armenia,” the 36-year-old leader said, mentioning its armed forces in the
first instance.
“We are going to develop, get stronger, and promote peace and stability. In
this sense, we have an excellent, an ideal partner in Yerevan.”
Kocharian was more reserved in his comments. “I am happy with the sincere
character of today’s exchange of opinions,” he said, adding that
Armenian-Georgian summits will now be more frequent than in the past.
Kocharian also noted an “amazing convergence” of the two governments’
positions on the situation in Javakhk, an economically strapped
Armenian-majority region in southern Georgia which is home to a Russian
military base. He said they both believe that the only way to ease simmering
tensions in the impoverished region is to address its socioeconomic problems
and promote its residents’ “deep integration” into Georgian society.
The joint declaration implies that Armenia will not seek a status of autonomy
for Javakhk demanded last month by a junior member of its governing coalition,
the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. “The Parties reiterated once again
commitment to the principle of non-interference with each other’s internal
affairs, mutual respect for self-rule, territorial integrity and inviolability
of borders,” it reads. In a joint declaration issued by them, Yerevan again
disavowed recent calls for self-rule in Georgia’s Armenian-populated areas.
Saakashvili was quick to publicly welcome Kocharian’s “principled stance” on
what he stressed is his country’s internal affair.
Touching on the uneasy Russian-Georgian relationship, Saakashvili suggested
that Yerevan, which maintains close ties with Moscow, might “greatly
assist” in
their improvement. Tbilisi, for its part, is ready to help defuse tensions
between Armenia and its regional arch-foes: Azerbaijan and Turkey, he said .
Economic issues were also high on the agenda of the talks, with the two
presidents agreeing to step up activities of a Georgian-Armenian
intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation. It will now be
by Prime Minister Andranig Markarian and Georgian State Minister Zurab

Saakashvili effectively reaffirmed his pledge to lower transit fees levied
from goods imported to and exported from Armenia through Georgian railway and
Black Sea ports. The latter handle 90 percent of Armenia’s external trade. The
Georgian tariffs for Azerbaijani cargoes have until now been considerably
“Armenia must have the most favorable regional tariffs, no less favorable
any of our neighbors has,” Saakashvili declared.
But it was not clear if any bilateral agreements to that effect will be
by the two governments soon.
Later in the day Saakashvili visited the genocide memorial on Yerevan’s
Dzitdzernagapert Hill and met with leaders of the Armenian parliament and its
pro-Kocharian majority.

2) Ferrahian School’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations

ENCINO–The 2003-2004 academic year marks the 40th anniversary of the
establishment of Holy Martyrs Armenian Elementary & Ferrahian High School. To
celebrate this historic event, two formal events have been organized by the
school administration.
The anniversary celebrations will begin with a special program on May 2, at
6:00 pm, at the school’s Avedissian Hall, where alumni will take part
recognizing faculty members throughout the years for their exceptional
contributions. The celebrations will continue with a banquet organized by the
Finance Committee dedicated to the 40th anniversary on May 8, at 8:00 pm, at
the Regents Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Both events will be held under the
of Western Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian.
The administration looks forward to seeing the more than 1500 alumni, their
families, parents and teachers, the representatives of community
devoted supporters and benefactors, and all others who have unconditionally
supported the school throughout the years.

3) ANC West Honors Its Own


GLENDALE–The hard work of over a dozen ANC chapters from across the Western
United States was recognized at the first annual ANCA-WR Grassroots Awards
Event on February 29 in Glendale, California. On the same night that
was honoring its best across town at the Oscars, ANC leaders and supporters
from throughout the Western Region gathered in Glendale to acknowledge each
other’s hard work, and celebrate individual and collective dedication and
commitment to the Armenian Cause. Activists from Sacramento, Los Angeles, San
Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, and many others, came together for this
unique event.
“The 2004 ANCA-WR Grassroots Awards event acknowledged chapters and activists
who comprise the core of the ANC, making it the largest, most effective, and
efficient Armenian-American grassroots public affairs organization,” said
ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian.
Not only was one Grassroots Activist from each ANC chapter given special
recognition, but awards were also handed to chapters for best website, most
innovative project, media outreach, voter outreach, up-and-coming chapter, as
well as others.
“The dedication and strength of our ANC chapters is a tribute to the
democratic principles of America’s founding fathers and the pioneers of the
Armenian Cause,” commented ANCA-WR Chairman Raffi Hamparian after the event.
“On a daily basis, ANC members encourage Armenian Americans to vote and to
participate in the political life of our nation. I am very proud of each and
every ANC chapter and activist who was honored at our Awards Event.”
The Master of Ceremonies at the ANC Awards Event was longtime community
activist and former Burbank ANC Chair Stepan Boyadjian. With a good dose of
humor, Boyadjian kept the audience laughing as he moved the program along.
Assisting Boyadjian was ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian who
thanked everyone in attendance for their dedication and support.
“What makes the Armenian National Committee such a unique organization is the
simple fact that this organization doesn’t function with merely the work of
or two individual staffers, but through the constant effort of thousands and
thousands of individuals who do their part every day of ever week of every
year,” said Kassakhian. “We owe our supporters a big thank you.”
The highlight of the evening came with an awards presentation in a variety of
categories, including individual honors.
In order to recognize the impact the dedication of certain individuals has
had, each chapter nominated one member who had made an exceptional
to their respective chapter.
Presenting ANC Chapter Awards were ANCA-WR Board Members Aida Dimejian and
Garo Ispendjian. In a creative display of solidarity, the Burbank ANC
nominated the Burbank ANC Chapter Activist as their individual honoree. The
selfless nomination served as the closing theme for the evening as Burbank
received the 2004 ANCA-WR Grassroots Activist of the Year award for the entire
Western Region of the United States.

Other individual chapter awards:
Crescenta Valley
Saro Senekerinian

Fresno Central California
Ara Kachadourian and Rich Sanikian

Hovannes Boghossian

Milene Apanian

Susan Berberian

San Diego
Dr. Robert Deranian

San Francisco
Raffi Momjian

Montebello San Gabriel Valley
Serge Samoniantz

East San Fernando Valley
Vahe Shahinian

West San Fernando Valley
Nichan Kulukian

Chapters were also recognized for their outstanding work throughout 2003 in
the following categories:

2004 ANCA-WR Rising Star–Crescenta Valley ANC for outstanding work in
establishing a relationship with the local community and involving a wide
section of the community in ANC activities

2004 Best ANCA-WR Local Website–Central California/Fresno ANC for their
<; website

2004 ANCA-WR Best Local Voter Outreach Campaign–San Francisco /Bay Area ANC
for regularly emailing and updating Bay Area Armenians on local, state, and
federal elections in 2002-2003 with special recognition for the ANC San
Francisco Mayoral Debate

2004 ANCA-WR Best Local Voter Outreach Campaign–Montebello/San Gabriel
ANC for their voter outreach and registration drive and being the deciding
factor in their local municipal election with special recognition for the
“Honoring the Montebello City Council” event

2004 ANCA-WR Most Outstanding Initiative by a Local Chapter–San
Area ANC for their Genocide Education Campaign with special recognition for

2004 ANCA-WR Best Media Outreach Campaign–Pasadena ANC for press coverage in
the Pasadena Star News on the Policeman’s Appreciation Luncheon and the Person
of the Year Event.

ANCA-WR Chair Raffi Hamparian thanked each chapter and the ANCA-WR office
staff for their hard work, and encouraged all to strive for greatness in the
coming year in pursuit of ANC’s goals.
Among officials present at the event were Congressman Adam Schiff, California
State Senator Jack Scott, California State Assemblyman Paul Koretz, former ANC
Chairmen Jack Messerlian, Armand Keosian, Dr. Sahag Baghdasarian and Steven
Dadaian. Glendale School Board Member Greg Krikorian, Burbank School Board
Member Paul Krekorian and Glendale Community College Board Member Ara Najarian
were also in attendance.

4) [email protected]


Last year, in April, some friends and I organized a viewing of the BBC
documentary on the Armenian Genocide here in Yerevan, and during the
after the film, an Armenian friend stood up and complained that when
speak about denial and the importance of remembering the Armenian Genocide,
they never consider the fact that denial is a non-issue in Armenia. At the
I was offended by my friend’s disposition, but then I thought about it and
figured that she was probably right, because who, after all denies the
Genocide in Armenia.

This week, I had a reminder.

As reported by Harout Sassounian of the California Courier last week, the
British Ambassador to Armenia, in an interview in January, had called into
question the veracity of the Genocide as an actual genocide, claiming that the
Armenian Genocide does not fit the UN’s definition of the term. Below, I am
providing my response to the British Ambassador, sent this week, without the
attachments, of course.

The one thing I forgot was to thank her for answering my friend’s question.

Thanks for your indulgence.

March 11, 2004

HM Ambassador Thorda Abbott-Watt
British Embassy
34 Baghramyan Street
Yerevan 375019

Dear Madam Ambassador:

As an American working in the aid community in the Republic of Armenia over
the last 23 months, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with you on several
occasions, and I’ve been delighted with many of the projects sponsored by the
British Embassy and the British Council under your auspices.

It was therefore an unpleasant surprise to read words attributed to you
regarding the Armenian Genocide and the applicability of international
conventions to this–the first genocide of the 20th Century. I am certain that
you have already received numerous letters in this regard. I also understand
that as the highest ranking representative of Great Britain in Armenia, your
words reflect the political stance of your government on the issue of the
Armenian Genocide, and hopefully not yours personally.

In the interest of promoting human rights and civil discussion, however, I
would like to respectfully disagree with your statement, and while aside from
my limited exposure to other scholars’ works, I am not professionally
to argue historical facts of World War I and/or the Armenian Genocide, I would
like to ask you to consider the attached list of literature on the Armenian
Genocide and the history of the era, as well as the international response,
including that of Great Britain’s, to this crime against humanity.

In addition to a news clipping on recent events related to the recognition of
the Armenian Genocide in Europe, I’m attaching a copy of a recent article by
international law scholar and former UN human rights expert Dr. Alfred De
entitled “The Genocide against the Armenians 1915-1923 and the application of
the 1948 Genocide Convention.” I trust you will find this report enlightening
and perhaps will share it with your colleagues at the Foreign Office for their

Madam Ambassador, I am well aware of the political sensitivities surrounding
the issue of the Armenian Genocide and its recognition, and I understand that
in the strategic paradigm, Armenia and its history may not be a priority for
your government. At the same time, however, I would hope and would like to
respectfully ask that in keeping with the great diplomatic history of your
nation, your next statement on the Armenian Genocide–albeit a statement of
denial of historical facts–be done with at least the same amount of
consideration and regard as your government has for its relations with Turkey,
when dealing with the latter’s past crimes and present human rights

The Armenian Genocide may be a distant and historical, abstract concept for
governments, but it is a living and breathing reality for Armenians and all
peoples of good conscience. American Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt, in
conjunction with numerous other scholars wrote in a 1996 statement against
denial of the Armenian Genocide, “Denial of genocide strives to reshape
in order to demonize the victims and rehabilitate the perpetrators. Denial of
genocide is the final stage of genocide; it is what Elie Wiesel has called a
‘double killing.’ Denial murders the dignity of the survivors and seeks to
destroy the remembrance of the crime.”

Your statement has reinforced your government’s stance on the issue, but it
has also caused much pain for the survivors of this great calamity. I hope you
will take an example from the pages of your country’s diplomatic tradition,
clarify the record for Armenia and Armenians–your hosts.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue further.

In anticipation,
Alex Sardar
Yerevan, Armenia

5) Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Finds Match for First Armenia Patient



YEREVAN–A few Individuals can make a difference in the world, and this time,
they may just have found a way to save a young boy’s life.
When 10-year-old Aram was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago, his doctors
hopeful that a series of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments would help
him. They also contacted the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) to
see if there was a bone marrow donor match just in case the therapies didn’t
work and he needed a transplant in the future. An identical donor match was
found, but it wasn’t until this December that the doctors determined that a
transplant was his only hope for survival.
But it would take more than the generous heart of a donor and the dedication
of his doctors and the ABMDR staff to save Aram’s life. Aram and his family
faced other challenges: raising money to pay for the transplant and finding a
transplant center, since Armenia has no such facility.
Through the passionate commitment and direct initiative of the ABMDR’s
honorary chairperson, First Lady of Armenia Dr. Bella Kocharian, funds have
been raised for Aram’s transplant and arrangements have been coordinated with
the ABMDR for his transplant in Poland. When the First Lady of Poland visited
Yerevan two years ago, First Lady Kocharian showed her the ABMDR facilities
told her that Armenia has no transplant center. Moved and impressed by the
ABMDR’s efforts, First Lady Kwashniewska offered to make Poland’s facility
available to Armenian patients at minimal cost.
While the ABMDR does not provide funds for transplantation costs, it can
provide connections and visibility, as was the case with Aram and his family.
Publicity surrounding the ABMDR’s recent anniversary gala in Yerevan
coordinated through First Lady Kocharian’s office catalyzed special efforts to
raise funds for Aram’s transplantation costs, resulting in over $30,000
collected from the Armenian community.
Support for Aram and his family came from other sources as well. ABMDR
Executive Director Sevak Avagyan relayed the young boy’s circumstances to
Catholicos Garegin II, who gave his blessing to Aram before he left for
Now, with the help of a few committed individuals, Aram is in Poland armed
the fight of his life. The first bone marrow transplant resulting from the
ABMDR’s identification of a marrow match occurred at City of Hope in Los
Angeles in 2003. Aram’s will be the second transplantation, with many more
likely to be scheduled among Armenian patients and their potential donors in
the months ahead.
The ABMDR is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that every
ethnic Armenian struck with a life-threatening blood-related illness is
able to
find hope for long-term survival through the identification of a genetically
suitable bone marrow match. It is a member of the Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide
association, which helps the ABMDR to identify more patients in need and find
bone marrow matches. Since December 2000, over 6,500 Armenians in Armenia and
the United States have registered with the ABMDR, 209 patients have been
identified who need transplants, and 70 potential bone marrow matches have
Those who wish to further assist the Registry in helping patients like Aram
may write ABMDR President Dr. Frieda Jordan at 347 W. Stocker St., Suite 208,
Glendale, California, e-mail her at [email protected], or call her at

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Armenian, Georgian leaders sign joint statement

Armenian, Georgian leaders sign joint statement

Noyan Tapan news agency, Yerevan
12 Mar 04

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and visiting Georgian President
Mikheil Saakashvili have signed a joint statement in Yerevan, the
Armenian news agency Noyan Tapan said on 12 March.

Noting the “high level of relations between Armenia and Georgia”, the
statement said that “the sound legal basis between the countries would
help develop cooperation on a whole range of issues of bilateral
relations”, including cooperation in the sphere of security.

In the statement, the sides also noted the “need to continue work to
complete the delimitation of the state borders” between Armenia and
Georgia, the agency said.

Over 60 House Members Urge Hastert To Schedule Genocide Bill Vote

Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th St., NW, Suite 904
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 775-1918
Fax: (202) 775-5648
E-mail: [email protected]

March 12, 2004
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


— Rep. Radanovich Leads Effort in Support of H.Res.193

WASHINGTON, DC – A bi-partisan group of over 60 House Members
called on Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), today, to bring the
Genocide Resolution – H.Res.193 – for a full floor vote, reported
the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The letter, initiated by Rep. Radanovich (R-CA), stresses that, “As
we saw in Rwanda a decade ago, and as we witness today the signs of
a possible new genocide emerging around the world – as a government
and a people – we must make sure that we apply the lessons of past
genocide to prevent future crimes against humanity.”

The Genocide resolution was introduced in the House last April by
Representatives Radanovich, Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Congressional
Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg
(R-MI). It was adopted unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee
in May and has 111 cosponsors. Its companion legislation in the
Senate, S.Res.164, was introduced last June by Senators John Ensign
(R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and currently has 37 cosponsors.

The resolution cites the importance of remembering past crimes
against humanity, including the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust,
Cambodian and Rwandan genocides, in an effort to stop future
atrocities. Support for the measure has been widespread, with a
diverse coalition of over 100 ethnic, religious, civil and human
rights organizations calling for its passage, including American
Values, National Organization of Women, Sons of Italy, NAACP, Union
of Orthodox Rabbis, and the National Council of La Raza.

Joining Rep. Radanovich in cosigning the letter to Speaker Hastert
were Representatives: Tom Allen (D-ME), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Tammy
Baldwin (D-WI), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA),
Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH),
Ken Calvert (R-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA),
John Conyers (D-MI), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY),
William Delahunt (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), John Dingell (D-MI),
Elliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA),
Michael Ferguson (R-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA),
Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Mark Green (R-WI), Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Raul
Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY),
Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Marcy
Kaptur (D-OH), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Jerry Kleczka (D-WI), Dennis
Kucinich (D-OH), James Langevin (D-RI), Jim Leach (R-IA), Barbara
Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-
NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey
(D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Marty Meehan
(D-MA), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA),
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Frank Pallone (D-
NJ), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Adam Schiff (D-
CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Mark Souder (R-IN), John Sweeney (R-NY),
Edolphus Towns (D-NY), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

The full text of the letter follows.


=======================================TEXT OF LETTER TO SPEAKER DENNIS HASTERT
=======================================Mar ch 12, 2004

The Honorable Dennis J. Hastert
Speaker of the House
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Hastert:

We are writing to share with you our strong support for bringing H.
Res. 193 to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible.

This measure, as you know, commemorates the 15th anniversary of the
U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention and reinforces our
nation’s dedication to this landmark human rights treaty. Approved
in the shadow of the Holocaust, the Convention stands today as the
international community’s best hope for the realization of the
noble aim of eradicating forever the crime of genocide. The House
Judiciary Committee, recognizing the importance of this effort,
adopted H. Res. 193 without opposition on May 21st. One hundred
and ten Representatives have cosponsored this measure, including
both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee.

As we saw in Rwanda a decade ago, and as we witness today the signs
of a possible new genocide emerging around the world, as a
government and a people, we must make sure that we apply the
lessons of past genocide to prevent future crimes against humanity.
Sadly, even as we confront new genocides, we still have among us
those who, against all facts and morality, deny the Holocaust or
seek to rewrite the history of the past atrocities. These hateful
deniers dishonor the dead and threaten the living. They make the
world a more dangerous place by emboldening future potential
perpetrators of genocide to believe that their crimes can be
committed with impunity. Adolf Hitler confirmed this with his
chilling remark to his military staff prior to launching the
Holocaust, “who, after all remembers the annihilation of the

Clearly, the struggle against genocide is not over. The pressing
need to remain ever vigilant was underscored recently by Samantha
Power, Pulitzer Prize winning author of ” A Problem from Hell:
American in the Age of Genocide.” Commenting on similar
legislation in the 107th Congress, she noted that, “For too long
American leaders and citizens have reflexively uttered the phrase
‘never again’ without taking concrete steps to give the slogan
meaning. This legislation marks the beginning of a twenty-first
century campaign to get the U.S. government to commit itself
politically and operationally to prevent future genocide.”

Recalling your support for H. Res. 596 in the 106th Congress and
knowing of your principled advocacy for human rights around the
world, we ask that you please move quickly to schedule a vote on H.
Res. 193. Thank you for your consideration of our request.