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
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
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
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 (www.caucasusjournalists.net),
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.