REMEMBERING GENOCIDE: Activities dedicated to 90th anniversary of 1915 Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Empire will take place in Armenia through May 2004 to May 2005, Arka agency reported.
Armenia ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs assigned diplomatic representations of Armenia in different countries to develop and represent the list of activities by the beginning of May. The Government of Armenia plans to take measures to increase the level of familiarity of international society on Armenian Genocide.
ENDED MISSION: The U.S.-backed Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) said that it has achieved its main objectives and is disbanding to pave the way for broader contacts between the two estranged peoples, RFE/RL reported.
The announcement came after a three-day meeting in Moscow attended by three Turkish and four Armenian members of the private body. “TARC’s term was to be one year, but the course of events required a longer period to accomplish our goals,” the statement says.
GAS PIPELINE: Armenian foreign minister Vardan Oskanian during his visit to Tehran this week discussed with the Iranian officials the construction Iran-Armenia gas pipeline. Upon his return Oskanian said that at the upcoming visit of Iranian energy minister to Yerevan in May the final package on pipeline’s construction will be signed, which will be followed by construction works, Azg daily reported.
According to the interstate agreement, the pipeline will have 141 kilometers of length, 41 km of which will pass via Armenia, and 100 km- via Iran and is scheduled to be finished by 2006. The pipeline will pass 41 kilometers from Agarak to Kadjaran, the construction cost of which is estimated to be around $100 million.
WRONG BOOK: Azeri President Ilham Aliev sharply criticized the authors of the national encyclopedia for apolitical stance and lack of principle and giving much space to Armenian activists and history, Armenian Public TV reported.
Aliev was upset at seeing "Stepanakert" mentioned in the book, saying that there is no such city in the world and demanding changing the name of the city according to its Azeri name, Khankendi. "I imagine what kind of encyclopedia you would have written had the election ended otherwise,” he said, demanding encyclopedia rewriting.
NATO EXERCISES: Armenian deputy defense minister said that Armenia will send its officers and a platoon to NATO-supported exercises Cooperative Best Effort-2004 scheduled in Azerbaijan this autumn, Armenpress reports.
During a meeting with students of Yerevan Engineering University, the official said Armenian authorities will demand NATO guarantees for Armenian officers and soldiers.
MORE NATO ISSUES: Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolay Bordyuzha regards the possibility of dislocating the mobile military bases of NATO in the territory of Azerbaijan negatively.
He gave a negative assessment of NATO's expansion towards the boundary of Russia and the Caucasus. Bordyuzha said that no military threat exists today, that is why CSTO and NATO must direct their efforts to combat such urgent problems as terrorism, drugs trafficking and organized crime. Diplomat assessed the situation in the Caucasus stable, on the whole, pointing out that there are no serious preconditions for concern.
HANDS CONTROL: Armenia is included in the list of countries whose citizens are to be required to be fingerprinted and photographed when applying for US visas, Armenpress reported.
The US-Visit (US Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) security system is meant to identify travelers who belong to groups listed as terrorist organizations by the US. The procedure does not cover children under 14 and persons above 79. Out of 774 Armenians who applied for visas in March 363 were denied permission to travel to the country.
MINISTER RESIGNED: Armenian Minister of Urban Development, Ara Aramyan sent in his resignation caused by the fact that his son was involved in a skirmish that took place in one of the Yerevan cafes on March 12, PanARMENIAN.Net reported. The minister's son was arrested early in April charged with homicide attempt, hooliganism with use of weapon, purchase and storage of weapons and ammunition.
ASSAULT IS CONDEMNED: Head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Lord Russell-Johnston addressed a letter to Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, in which he expressed his concern over the assault on the chairman of the Helsinki Association of Armenia, lawyer Mikael Danielyan that took place in Yerevan on March 30, 2004.
In the diplomat’s words, to preserve a good name Armenia should conduct a scrupulous and transparent investigation of the incident. "When human rights defenders are attacked, suspicions about political motives inevitably occur", he noted.
DAY OF EARTH: April 25 is announced the Day of the Earth in Yerevan, Arka agency reported. According to Yerevan public ecology union, planting trees and placing nestling boxes are planned on April 25. Exhibition of NGOs’ works relating to ecology, paintings, as well as a concert by children are to be held in the framework of the exhibition. The program is financed by World Learning Yerevan representative office.
ARMENIAN IT : Armenia-based branches of several US IT companies have given their preliminary consent to organize "the Armenian IT Day" at Silicon Valley in California, Armenpress reported.
The showcase of Armenia-based companies' products is supposed to give a full picture of the present day Armenian IT sector, its successes, achievements and potential. According to IT development council, the IT sector has been steadily growing at 20 percent annually. The amount of some 120 companies' income, remaining in Armenia is around $50 million. Half of this income is made by companies running on Armenian capital only and the other part by companies with US capital. US branches pay all obligatory payments.