MARKING VICTORY: Nagorno-Karabakh’s Army is one of the guarantors of peaceful process of Karabakh settlement, says the letter of Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasyan on the occasion of Victory Day May 9.
“Today, when Azerbaijan tries to turn the history back, hoping to gain revenge in military settlement of Karabakh conflict, we have no right to drop speed of military construction, equipment of our army with modern armament and increase its fighting efficiency”, the letter says.
GAS PIPELINE: Armenian President and Iranian Oil and Gas Minister signed in Yerevan the basic treaty on construction of Armenian-Iranian gas pipeline, Armenpress reported. The construction is planned to be started in several months and be finished in 2006.
The project provides for laying down a 100-kilometer gas pipeline along the Iranian territory and 41 kilometers in Armenia. The pipeline will pump daily 1.5 million cubic meters of Turkmen gas. The approximate cost of the project is 96 million U.S. dollars.
ATTACKERS DETAINED: Armenian prosecutors announced this week that they have identified two men on charges of attacking journalists during an opposition rally in Yerevan on April 5, RFE/RL reported.
A statement by the Office of Prosecutor-General said the suspects have been questioned. Yerevan’s chief prosecutor said that they will likely be charged under an article of the Armenian Criminal Code that deals with “hooliganism.” The charges will carry up to five years in prison.
ARMENIA WILL GET MORE US AID: Armenia is among 16 developing countries of the world selected by the United States to share billions of dollars in additional U.S. government assistance in the coming years, RFE/RL reported. "These countries have met the high standard of this groundbreaking program by governing justly, investing in their people, and promoting economic freedom," the White House said in a statement
The aid, which will total $1 billion this year, is part of a new U.S. program to reward impoverished countries. The original list of prospective aid recipients included 75 nations that met a key eligibility requirement: a GDP per capita level of less than $1,425. They were also judged on 15 other "performance indicators," ranging from civil rights to spending on public health and education
NEW US DIPLOMAT: President George W. Bush announced Thursday his intention to nominate John Marshall Evans, of Virginia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Armenia, Armenpress reported.
A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Evans currently serves as Director of the State Department's Office of Russian Affairs. He previously served as Director of the Office of Analysis for Russia and Eurasia in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Evans earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University
GENOCIDE ISSUES: Speaking at a roundtable discussion in Yerevan this week, European Parliament member Per Garton said Turkey should admit the 1915 Armenian Genocide. " Turkey should get rid of that burden. The European Union has reinstated this year its decision recognizing the Genocide and calling on Turkey to do so too," Garton said at the discussion titled "Wider Europe. New Neighborhood."
Yerkir daily reported that Garton supported Turkey's accession to the EU, saying it would contribute to settling regional issues, including the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border.
SOCIAL REFORM: Armenian employment and social affairs minister said that some 1.2 million Armenians have applied for social security cards and added that the government is not going to extend the deadline for application beyond July 1, Armenpress reported.
The government first suggested introducing the system of social security cards last year. At first bill appeared as "identity cards", however meeting the protest of the Armenian Apostolic Church the name was changed. According to the reform, each Armenian citizen must have the lifetime card with a 10-digit number of a citizen's personal data, which will be used for opening a bank account, paying taxes, applying for state benefits and identification at healthcare facilities.
FOR THE SAKE OF ANIMALS: The Yerevan Municipality intends to show more humane treatment to stray animals, Yerevan Vice-Mayor told a press conference.
He reported that instead of being shot the animals will be sterilized in asylums which are to be constructed soon. The municipality intends also to allocate territory for the animals’ cemeteries. Arka agency reported that the number of stray animals exceeds 10,000 in Yerevan now.