Tillerson: Washington Will Carry on With Its Support for Armenia’s Security

U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian have exchanged letters in connection with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their countries.

In his letter to Tillerson cited by the Armenian Foreign Ministry last Tuesday, Nalbandian said the United States and Armenia have had “many remarkable achievements” in their “friendly relationship based mutual trust and respect.” The Armenian government intends to deepen it, he wrote, according to a ministry statement.

“The Armenian foreign minister emphasized that the United States was the first country that opened an embassy in Yerevan [in 1992] and stood with our newly independent state, including through broad assistance programs that proved particularly vital during the first years of its independence,” said the statement.

Nalbandian said that the U.S and Armenia have also been “closely cooperating” within the framework of various international organizations. Yerevan also attaches “great importance” to U.S involvement in international efforts to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he was reported to add.

According to the statement, Tillerson told his Armenian counterpart that Washington will carry on with its contribution to Armenia’s security, democratization, and economic development. He also hailed recent years’ sizable increase in U.S investments in the Armenian economy.

The U.S ambassador in Yerevan, Richard Mills, spoke of “considerable progress” in U.S-Armenian economic ties in February. He pointed to multimillion dollar U.S investments in Armenia’s energy and mining sectors.

Tillerson and Nalbandian discussed the bilateral agenda and the Karabakh conflict in their first-ever phone call in early March. They have yet to meet in person.

The U.S Embassy in Yerevan gave a largely positive assessment of the conduct of the April 2nd parliamentary elections in Armenia. In an April 4th statement, it backed the preliminary findings of an OSCE-led monitoring team which said the vote was “well administered” but “tainted by credible information about vote-buying” and pressure on voters. But the embassy also said that electronic anti-fraud equipment installed in the Armenian polling stations helped prevent more serious irregularities.

The U.S government joined the European Union in financing the purchase of that equipment this year.

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Vartan Gharapetian Elected Mayor of Glendale City

GLENDALE – Vartan Gharapetian was unanimously elected Mayor of the City of Glendale. Gharapetian was elected to the Glendale City Council in April of 2015 and has been involved with the City of Glendale directly as the past Commissioner on the Design Review Board, Commissioner on the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission, and Chair of the Glendale Housing Authority.

Other positions held include, Civic Advisory Board member of the Glendale Adventist Medical Foundation, Board member of the Glendale Police Foundation, Member of the Glendale Historical Society, Member of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Board Vice President of the D&M Educational Foundation, and Member of the Glendale Association of Realtors. Mayor Gharapertian and his wife Dr. Armina Gharapetian have been married 21 years. They have three children, all of whom attend Glendale public schools.

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Six Armenians Are Among 200 Richest Russian Businessmen

MOSCOW – According to the Russian edition of Forbes Magazine, Leonid Miklelson, co-owner of the Novatek gas producing company, has topped the annual rating of the wealthiest Russians.

The list includes also six ethnic Armenian businessmen. They are the main shareholder and CEO of Magnit retail network Sergei Galitsky (Harutyunyan), who is 8th with an estimated fortune of $6.8 billion.

President and founder of Tashir group of companies Samvel Karapetyan is 32nd with an estimated $3.4 billion wealth.

The 48th position is occupied by the president of Rososstrakh insurance company Danil Khachaturov with $2 billion.

One of the pioneers of Russian social entrepreneurship, investment banker, and philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan is 99th with a fortune of $950 million.

Albert Avdolyan, the head of the supervisory board of the Wooden Fish Agency, with a fortune of $800 million is 123rd.

The of RESO-Garantiya insurance company Sergey Sarkisov with a fortune of $700 million is 147th.

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Armenia to Build $350 Million Worth 100 Wind Power Plants

YEREVAN – Over 100 windmills will be built in Armenia, worth $350 million, Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructure and Natural Resources Hayk Harutyunyan told journalists.

He said the government has already approved an investment program of an UAE registered company Access Intra Central Asia Limited, which plans to build a wind farm in Armenia.

He said the company will conduct a research of potential in Gegharkunik and Kotayk regions of Armenia within this year, where a wind farm with a capacity of about 236 MW is to be built. He added that depending on the chosen project, the cost of the project can reach up to $350 million.

At the first stage, which is planned for the second half of 2019, the company is supposed to launch an 80 MW wind power plant. “This will be an exceptional program. as the wind resources in Armenia are good, but they are in very high places, making construction a little more difficult,” said Harutyunyan. He said that wind power plants will be erected from Ddmashen village to Sevan and from there to the Dilijan Mountains. “Depending on their capacity, about 100 windmills will be erected,” said Harutyunyan.

Armenian has two wind farms now – Arts LLC, located near the city of Kajaran in the south of Armenia, and Lori-I with a capacity of 2.64 MW in the northern Lori province.

Armenia’s nuclear power plant accounts currently for about 30% of the total electricity produced in the country. Thermal power plants produce about 42%, hydropower plants – 29% and 11% are produced by renewable energy resources.

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$6.8 Million Private Investments to Build Sports Facilities in 2017

About $6.8 million private investments are expected to be made this year in the construction of sport facilities in Armenia.

$2.4 million will be invested for a sports and recreation complex on 4800 square meters in Kanaker-Zeytun in Yerevan. The construction work is scheduled to be completed in February 2018.

A Greco-Roman Wrestling School for children will be built in Gyumrim in Shirak Province. The construction of a swimming pool in the town of Ijevan in Tavush province is expected to be over in 2017 December.

$4.12 million were invested in the construction of swimming pool and gyms of the Olympic Village in Davidashen. Also a $100,000 martial arts hall has been built in Sisian.

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Lost Evidence of Armenian Genocide Discovered in Jerusalem Archive

JERUSALEM – (The Jerusalem Post) – Lost evidence was recently recovered in a Jerusalem archive that researchers have dubbed as “smoking gun” proof of the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey.

Boxes of evidence have rested in the archives of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem for nearly a century, inaccessible to scholars “for reasons that are not entirely clear.”

In an article titled: “Sherlock Holmes of Armenian Genocide” Uncovers Lost Evidence, the New York Times reported that Taner Akcam, a Turkish historian at Clark University in Worcester, MA, has come upon an original telegram from the military tribunals that initially convicted the Armenian genocide’s planners. This key evidence has long been missing, and the lack of original documents, the Times said, is the foundation of the Turkish narrative of denying the genocide. “Until recently, the smoking gun was missing,” Akcam told the Times. “This is the smoking gun.”

The telegram, in code, is from Behaeddin Shakir, a high ranking Ottoman official, to a colleague, inquiring about specifics regarding the deportation and murder of Armenians in Eastern Anatolia. A copy of this telegram was used in Shakir’s conviction, shortly before almost all the original documents and testimony went missing, forcing scholars to rely on secondary sources for their research on the topic.

According to the Times, Armenian leadership in Istanbul shipped 24 boxes of records to England when Turkish Nationalists were seizing control of the country in 1922. The documents then made their way to France in the care of a bishop and finally to the archive of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, where they’ve remained since the 1930s, inaccessible to scholars “for reasons that are not entirely clear.”

Akcam came upon photographs of the original telegram in New York, the possession of the nephew of a now-dead Armenian monk.

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Erdogan Commemorates Victims of 1915 Armenian Killings

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a message to a religious ceremony held in the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul on April 24 to commemorate the victims of the 1915 killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule, addressing Patriarch Aram Atesyan, general vicar of the Armenian patriarch of Turkey, and citizens of Armenian origin.

“This year, I once again pay our respects to the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives under the harsh conditions of the First World War and convey my condolences to their descendants,” Erdogan said in the message. “Turks and Armenians, as two ancient nations of this region, have shared a common history and culture in this geography, where they lived side by side for a thousand years,” he said.

The Armenian community made great contributions to the Ottoman Empire, as well as to the modern republic, the president said. “Armenians, as equal and free citizens, have important roles in the social, political, and commercial life of our country today, as they did in the past,” he said.

It is our common objective for these two peoples, who have shared the grief and happiness of centuries to heal the wounds of the past and strengthen people to people ties. Turkey has taken steps to heal the wounds of the past and strengthen the ties between the two peoples,” Erdogan said. “We are determined to advance our efforts and preserve the memory of the Ottoman Armenians and the Armenian cultural heritage in the future,” he said.

“On this occasion, I would like to emphasize that the peace, security, and happiness of our Armenian community are of special importance to us. We have no tolerance for the alienation and exclusion of our Armenian citizens and for a single Armenian citizens to feel second-class,” the president said.

“I convey my hope for the speedy conclusion of the election of Armenian Patriarch of Turkey and wish you success in this endeavor,” he said. “With these thoughts, I once again pay tribute to the memories of the Ottoman Armenians who list their lives at the beginning of the 20th Century. May the millions of Ottoman citizens deceased under the difficult conditions of the First World War rest in peace,” Erdogan said.

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President Donald Trump also Does Not Use the Word Armenian Genocide

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Armenian Remembrance Day 2017

Today, we remember and honor the memory of those who suffered during the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century. Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. I join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the loss if innocent lives and the suffering endured by so many.

As we reflect on this dark chapter of human history, we also recognize the resilience of the Armenian people. Many built their new lives in the United States and made indelible contributions to our country, while cherishing memories of the historic homeland in which their ancestors established one of the great civilizations of antiquity.

We must remember atrocities to prevent them from occurring again. We welcome the efforts of Turks and Armenians to acknowledge and reckon with painful history, which is a critical step toward building a foundation for a more just and tolerant future.

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Armenian Assembly Reacts to President Trump’s Statement

The FBI and Congressional Intelligence Agency Should Investigate Turkish Influence on US Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C –On April 24, 2017, as the Armenian Genocide is commemorated around the world, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) stands in solidarity with Armenians and non-Armenians alike in remembering the victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan stated that “Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it – and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples – the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.” Reagan’s statement reflects American’s values and is a powerful reminder that words have meaning.

“We appreciate President Trump for recognizing Armenians who lost their lives and using the Armenian term for the Armenian Genocide, yet his statement today demonstrates the need for the FBI and the Congressional Intelligence Committees to do thorough investigations of all the evidence on surreptitious Turkish influence on the U.S government,” stated Armenian Assembly Co-Chair Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. “At the time when Christians and minority communities continue to be in imminent danger and under constant attack, the President’s statement fails to stand up for human rights and is inconsistent with American values, and represents the same kind of capitulations to Turkish authoritarianism which will cost more lives,” the Co-Chairs added.

On April 10th, 84 Members of Congress signed a bi-partisan letter to President Trump urging him to affirm the Armenian Genocide. Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) spearheaded the letter asking the White House to honor the Untied States’ historic leadership in defending human rights and to properly characterize the events of 1915 as a genocide in this year’s presidential statement on April 24th.

In addition, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to President Trump on April 21 and called on him to stand with the Armenian community and commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. “April 24th marks the anniversary of the genocide that Turkey sadly continues to deny to this day. Unequivocally affirming the Armenian Genocide would honor more than 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred. It would also serve to remember this proud chapter in America’s history of helping to save the survivors,” Sen. Markey said.

Earlier this month, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) opened its Armenian Genocide Library in Washington, D.C, giving researchers access to over 5000 publications on the Armenian Genocide and modern Armenian history. In February, ANI launched a Turkish-language version of its popular website documenting the facts and acknowledgements of the Armenian Genocide available at www.turkish.armenian-genocide.org

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California Legislature Commemorates the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Caucus Honors Salpi H. Ghazarian and Salpy Kerkonian; Announces 3rd Annual Scholarship Winners

SACRAMENTO, CA — Monday April 17, members of the California Legislature commemorated the 102nd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, even as the United States of America continues to turn a blind eye to the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.

“We commemorate the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to remember the 1.5 million souls lost and to celebrate the Armenian’s contributions to California,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “Through vigilance and education we can banish genocide to our history books.”

“Armenian-Americans have not only survive, they have thrived and enriched the fabric of our communities. The genocide is about people and real stories. For me, it is about my wife Vanessa and her family, people I love and who are Armenian-Americans,” said Senator Wilk. “By remembering the horror of the genocide we are taking steps to ensure it never happens again.”

Earlier this year the Armenian Caucus, in partnership with the California Arts Council, launched its 3rd Annual Essay and Inaugural Visual Arts Scholarship. Both are open to any California high school student.

During the Senate and Assembly Floor Session Senator Wilk and Assemblymember Nazarian honored two outstanding Armenian-Americans and presented them with Joint Legislative Resolutions commemorating the genocide:

Salpi H. Ghazarian, USC Institute of Armenian Studies leader, for her contributions to addressing and resolving national and global challenges in Armenian communities.

Salpy Kerkonian, flutist and specialist in the interpretation of music by Armenian composers.

Wilk and Nazarian also provide legislators with the book, Bread from Stones, by author Keith David Watenpaugh.

The Armenian Caucus was formed in 2015. It is a platform for Armenian-American voices at a statewide level and is open to all legislators, Armenian or not, who are interested in learning more about the community’s issues.

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