- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
May 7, 2004

Welcomed Change: Upheaval in Ajaria may ease trade concerns in Armenia


The departure of Aslan Abashidze from the Georgia autonomous region of Ajaria on Wednesday, may mean relations between Armenia and its neighbor can proceed more smoothly than recent conflict in Ajara has allowed.

Abashidze fled for Moscow, under threats from Georgian president Mikhail Saakasvili that military force would be used if necessary to achieve a settlement between Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, and the troubled region.

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Parliament Majority, Opposition Meet In ‘Dialogue’ Bid

By Ruzanna Khachatrian and Karine Kalantarian
Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty

Leaders of the Armenian opposition and the pro-government majority in parliament met behind the closed doors late Thursday to try to defuse the political crisis sparked by the month-long opposition campaign against President Robert Kocharian.

The talks initiated by parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian began late in the afternoon and lasted for about five hours. They were attended by 13 senior representatives of all parliament factions, including five members of the opposition Artarutyun bloc and the National Unity Party (AMK).

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Council Of Europe ‘Not A Politburo For Armenia,’ Kocharian Says

President Robert Kocharian on Thursday took issue with and downplayed the criticism of his government’s response to recent opposition rallies made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last week.

Kocharian said that while he finds “normal” the recommendations contained in the PACE resolution, he disagrees with its assessment of the Armenian authorities’ response to the campaign of street protests launched by the opposition one month ago

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Outside Eye: A non-Armenian's view of life in his adopted home

Across Europe this week there have been celebrations to mark the accession of ten new members to the European Union, including eight from the former Soviet bloc in the days when the Iron Curtain split the continent.

Those new members include the three Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which like Armenia were subject peoples of the Soviet Union just 13 years ago. Now they are full members of the world's largest free-trade zone and already there is talk of a "Baltic tiger" phenomenon in imitation of the economic miracle that has propelled Ireland from among the poorest to one of the wealthiest EU states in a single generation.

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Hometown Dispute: Family faces displacement over residency status

Levon Galstyan’s family are not refugees of war, but of natural disaster. They are Armenians who escaped Gyumri on December 9, 1988, two days after earthquake ruined their home.

They came to Yerevan, where they moved into a landmark of the capital, the “Corncob” building, officially known as Yerevan Youth Palace.

As aggressions intensified between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Karabakh, hundreds of Armenians from Azerbaijan also moved into the hostel.

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Life on the Outskirts: Margara village would be first to enjoy open border

Along a 15-kilometer stretch of the Armavir region, a barbed wire fence and the Araks river separates Armenia from Turkey, with the village of Margara the last spot on the Armenian side.

“See, that is the bridge and that is a Turkish soldier,” says Deputy Head of Margara village Gharib Tadevosyan, pointing to a frontier guard post.

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Welcome Back “Aghun”: Honored actress comes home to revive most popular role

After a 15-year absence from Yerevan stage, People’s Artist of Armenia Violet Gevorgyan returned last week to her signature role as Aghun in Hrant Matevosyan’s “Our Corner of the Big World”.

Since the play was first staged in 1980, Gevorgyan has played the role some 700 times. Fifteen years from her last performance here, she says she hasn’t forgotten a word or a gesture.

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Sports: Tennis, Chess

Tennis (ATP Tour)

David Nalbandian (Agrentina) has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Telecom Italia Masters Tournament in Rome, Italy.

On the clay surface, Nalbandian (seeded No. 5), defeated Sweden’s Robin Soderling (6-4, 6-4), Flavio Saretta of Brazil (6-2, 6-4) and Filippo Volandri of Italy (7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4). He will now face Vincent Spadea (USA).

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A letter to Santa

I thank all the people who took the initiative in carrying out the Hye Santa project through weekly. This noble project will give my son a possibility to study and have a specialty for his future life.

I express my thanks to journalist Vahan Ishkhanyan and the photographer Arthur Torosyan who took pictures of my son at the hostel, to the coordinator of program Knitting among refugees Stella Gukasova who could determine the necessity in showing moral and material attention towards my son, David Antonyan.

I wish your newspaper prosperity and your staff – health and success.

My thanks to you and to abovementioned people for the $500 which I received.

David’s mother,
Karina Antonyan

April 18, 2004

According to Agnes


The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


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


International annual exhibition Jewelry-2004 was opened May 6 presenting works of some 50 jewelry-making and diamond-cutting companies. Among guests was President Robert Kocharyan who expressed his high appreciation of the works of Armenian jewelers.


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