TURK PARTY PROMOTES RELATIONS: Salik Kapusoz from Turkish ruling Justice and Development party said he believes that Armenian-Turkish borders may open soon to become a strong incentive for improvement of relations between the two nations, Armenpress reported.
Kapusoz who arrived in Yerevan to attend a session of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation argued that both nations should not cling to the past and look instead forward.
BORDERS AND CONFLICTS: "If Turkey opens its boundary with Armenia , resolution of the Karabakh conflict will become impossible at all," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told journalists yesterday, ITAR-TASS reported.
Ilham Aliyev said that the EU and several influential states exert a serious pressure on Turkey in order that the latter opens its boundary with Armenia . However the Azeri president believes that in case if the boundary is opened, Azerbaijan will lose a very important lever and such a step will result in stoppage of the negotiation process with all its negative consequences.
LAVISH RELATIVES: The amount of cash sent home by Armenians working abroad reached about $544 million last year, showing an $85 million increase over last year, and equaling Armenia 's budget.
According to Armenia 's Central Bank, some $395 million were remitted from Russia , followed by the USA - almost $60 million, Germany -$13.1 million and Switzerland -$10.2 million.
NEW KARABAKHTSIS: Within 2004, some 80 unsecured families from Armenia will be resettled in Nagorno Karabakh within the framework of project of the Union of Public Organizations for Repatriation and resettlement "Yerkir".
The families will be provided with cottages, household plots and will receive definite privileges on legal basis, such as exemption of taxes. The Yerkir's program for 2004 will total more than $400,000 and is financed by the charitable funds of France , Canada , USA and Armenian foreign charitable-families.
PEACEKEEPERS IN KOSOVO: Armenian peacekeepers, serving in Kosovo within a Greek contingent, continue to carry out their mission away from the spots of recent escalation between Kosovo Albanians and Serbs, the defense ministry spokesman told Yerkir daily.
According to the spokesman, the NATO command has decided that chiefly the American troops should be involved in the spots where Albanians and Serbs are clashing.
ANTI-SMOKE CAMPAIGN: The Armenian Alliance of public health has condemned the rejection of the bill on tobacco by the Armenian Parliament last week, Arminfo news agency reported.
The Alliance intends to establish a public coalition " Armenia without Tobacco," which will unite all the organizations and natural persons fighting smoking in Armenia .
PHONE JOKER: The Armenian Police initiated a criminal investigation on the fact of false information on a bomb planted in one of the buildings in the center of Yerevan , Arminfo agency reported.
The press-service of the Armenian Police told that it received an anonymous call warning of a bomb placed on Mashtots Avenue 18, Yerevan . The area was cordoned off and the residents of the building and the nearby houses were evacuated.
SEISMIC ACTIVITY INCREASED: The northern branch of the National Survey for Seismic Protection situated in the town of Gyumri , said there are indications of increased seismic activity in Armenia 's northern regions, Armenpress reported.
Since the start of 2004 it has registered around 200 tremors against last year's 30 minor tremors. These tremors though being of small size, are registered several times a day, however, experts claim these tremors are only of a discharging nature posing no threat.
TV COMPANY DEMANDS JUSTICE: The "A1+" TV Company is going to hold protest action on April 2 on the fact of the blocking A1plus return to the broadcasting area by the TV and Radio National Committee.
The company claims that authorities conducted illegal elections, bereaving people of the right and chance to receive unbiased information. The company was deprived of the broadcasting licence two years ago and demands now to hold a tender for free frequencies.
DIPLOMAT CRITICIZED: The History Department of the Yerevan State University released a statement on Thursday condemning the British ambassador's statement over the Armenian Genocide, Yerkir weekly reported.
"The ambassador has crudely offended the dignity of the Armenian people," the statement says. "She should apologize, because the non-punishment of those responsible for the Armenian Genocide made the Jewish Holocaust possible, and non-recognition of the Armenian Genocide today, is likely to lead to new genocides," the statement says.
MEETING CANCELLED: Yuri Merzliakov, Russian co-chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group, told that the meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, scheduled for March 29 in Prague , has been cancelled, Yerkir reported.
He said that the decision was made following the request by "one of the sides." The Armenian foreign ministry said that Armenia has not requested cancellation. Armenian Foreign Minister had said earlier that the Prague meeting would clarify how Azerbaijan sees the continuation of peace talks.
MP ATTACKED: Victor Dalakyan, MP and opposition activist was attacked earlier this week by three unidentified men near his apartment who took away his jacket with his MP mandate and his wallet, AyBFe weekly reported.
Dallakyan told what happened was a retaliatory and intimidation action from the authorities who carried out Defense Ministry Serge Sargsyan's recent threat to the opposition without delay.