- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
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 July 25 , 2003 



Editor's note: Beginning with this issue, ArmeniaNow will provide a weekly synopsis of significant news events of the previous seven days.

Rumors of a Defection: Airport Chief Threatened with Arrest: More Political Upheaval: Armenians Grow Slowly: Another Week, Another Attack.

Reports that the Turkmen Ambassador to Armenia, Toyli Kurbanov, had left his post without permission and sought asylum were dismissed by the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan on July 18. It stated that Kurbanov had sent his resignation to Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov, which was accepted.

Meanwhile in Argentina, Judge Julio Cruciani issued an international arrest warrant on July 18 for businessmen Eduardo Eurnekian on tax evasion charges. Eurnekian, the owner of a company running 33 airports across South America, has been granted management rights to Armenia's main Zvartnots International Airport for the next 50 years. Argentina's supreme economic court withdrew the arrest warrant on July 22 after Eurnekian, who denies the charges, agreed to return to the country.

Ruben Mirzakhanyan resigned as chairman of the Ramkavar-Azatakan party on July 19 after apparent internal discontent over the party's poor showing in the May parliamentary elections. The party, which is backed by Russian-Armenian tycoon Ara Abrahamian, failed to win a single seat in the National Assembly.

Also on July 19, Armenian National Security officers seized 100kg of medicines smuggled from Moscow. Three Yerevan residents were arrested and charged.

Pilgrims from the Armenian Diocese of Georgia arrived at the Mother Church of Echmiadzin on Sunday July 20 to participate in the "Liturgy of Oath". They were later received at the Pontifical Residence

A report from the US Population Reference Bureau estimated that Armenia's population will grow by 4 per cent by 2050 to 3.4 million. It predicted that neighboring Azerbaijan will see an increase of 41 per cent over the same period to 11.6 million, while Georgia's population is forecast to shrink by almost half.

Emigration assistance for all those wishing to live in Karabakh is the key objective of the newly established "Call of Homeland" organization set up in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar. An announcement on July 21 from the founders, who are mostly former Karabakh residents presently living in Krasnodar, said the organization would provide information on the assistance provided by the Karabakh authorities for settler families.

July 21 brought reports of what police described as an assassination attempt on a wealthy government-linked businessman. Mher Sedrakyan, who runs the Erebuni district of Yerevan, was rushed to hospital with serious injuries when a device exploded under his black Mercedes limousine. Sedrakyan is a senior member of the Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan's Republican Party and a prominent supporter of President Robert Kocharian. The attack follows a series of unresolved mafia-style killings in Yerevan in recent weeks that have prompted demands for the resignation of top police officials.

The Foreign Ministry of Nagorno-Karabagh marked the 10th anniversary of its establishment on July 22 with the opening of a new library at the ministry, built with donations from Belgium-Armenian benefactor John Malcolm (Hovhaness Melkon Back)

The Armenian government approved an order on July 23 to provide orphans with housing. Deputy Social Security Minister Ashot Yesayan estimated that 150 orphans need houses at present but only 55 will get them by the end of this year. The houses will be provided free of charge for 10 years. Each year, 15 to 20 orphans leave orphanages facing the acute problem of where to live. There area total of 552 full and 2,800 one-parent orphans in Armenia.

Armenpress reported July 23 that the Armenian authorities intend to begin the trial of 13 suspects accused of plotting and killing Tigran Naghdalian, the former head of Armenian Public TV and Radio Council, on Tuesday July 29. Those accused include Armen Sarkisyan, brother of Vazgen Sarkisyan, the former prime minister who was assassinated in the 1999 attack on Parliament

A former deputy prime minister of Azerbaijan Hikmet Hajizade, now a senior member of the opposition Musavat party, told Armenpress July 24 that both the authorities and the opposition believe the Karabagh conflict must be resolved peacefully, according to relevant United Nations resolutions. But, speaking to an online news conference organized by Region Research Center (, Hajizade warned: "If this option fails the threat of a new war will be inevitable."

Human rights activist Alexander Amarian told the Presidential Commission on Human Rights on July 24 that about 7,644 Armenian citizens are members of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization. The proportion has tripled since 1999 but represents just 0.15 per cent of the population in Armenia.



According to Agnes
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Click to enlarge.


Double Death: Siamese twins birth and death separate family.

Full story


Family Law: Newly enforced legislation makes surrogate birth more appealing to the childless.

Full story

The Week in Seven Days.

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  Photo of the week
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Click on the photo above to enlarge.


This has been a nerve-wracking week for many students as they have waited to discover if they have passed entrance exams for universities in Armenia. For this student in Yerevan, success brought a smile and a kiss from a relative.



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