Former President Robert Kocharyan Detained

The court of Yerevan’s Shengavit district decided on Friday, July 27 to detain Robert Kocharyan, a former Armenian president, said Kocharyan’s lawyer Aram Orbelyan.

He said nothing else and declined to answer questions from journalists, but invited them for a news conference to be given the following morning.

Ruben Sahakyan, Kocharyan’s other lawyer, confirmed that the former President is detained and added that the latter took the court decision well.

On Thursday, the Special Investigation Agency of Armenia has filed a motion in court for authorization of detention of Robert Kocharyan. Earlier, Kocharyan had been summoned to the agency and was questioned as a witness. He was grilled for three hours. After the inquiry, he was released, but a little later it became known that he was already charged with toppling constitutional order in collusion with other persons, and that the agency has applied in court for a detention warrant.

Kocharyan had been summoned for questioning over the 2008 bloody events. After the 2008 presidential election, Armenian opposition headed by the first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who was defeated by Serzh Sargsyan in the then presidential race, staged protests saying the elections had been fraudulent and the results had been rigged. the rallies ended in clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

As a result, ten were killed and more than 200 injured. Many were arrested.

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Italy Will Support Armenia and Be Friendly, President Mattarella States

The relations between Armenia and Italy are on a high level and there is readiness to further deepen bilateral cooperation in various spheres, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, who is in Armenia on a state visit, said in a briefing, on July 30th.

“I am grateful for the very warm reception. I am happy for these visits that take place in a period when Armenia marks the 100th anniversary of the first Republic of Armenia and the 2800th anniversary of Yerevan. The links between our peoples date back to ancient times and are based on trust. My visit is a good opportunity to further develop the bilateral relations and deepen friendship,” Armenpress reports the Italian President as saying.

He mentioned that Italy will support the peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “We will do everything so as the peaceful negotiations resume and will try to find ways for a political settlement but not a military one, which will be lasting, only through the OSCE Minsk Group and based on all the principles of the international law”, Sergio Mattarella said.

The Italian President noted that Armenia and Italy successfully cooperate in a number of directions, particularly, the servicemen of and Italy work together in Lebanon. There is active cooperation in the spheres of trade, economy, culture, and science, but, according to the Italian President, there is potential to further develop them. “I am glad to note that tomorrow the opening ceremony of Armenian-Italian heritage protection center will take place. It will foster the strengthening of cultural relations and will be a support to Armenia for preserving historical heritage,” the Italian President said.

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Armenia-Russia Relations Should Not Have Dark Corners, Says PM Nikol Pashinyan

The Armenia-Russia relations must not have any dark corners, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview to Echo of Moscow on July 25th.

Pashinyan mentioned that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a lot franker than he could have imagined. “It was a very pleasant surprise for me that he [Putin] is a frank and honest man. In our relations, I like that we speak about everything frankly and honestly. After my latest visit to Moscow, I said that our relations with Russia must be without dark corners. This doesn’t mean that we will always agree in everything, this means that we will always be honest. It is the greatest friendship that two states, two peoples look into each other’s eyes and speak directly and honestly,” Pashniyan said.

Pashinyan mentioned that Armenia, being a CSTO member, aims at making its membership to the institution a lot more effective.

Asked whether or not he and Putin have discussed the arms supplies to Azerbaijan at the meeting, Pashinyan said indeed they did, but didn’t give any details.

Addressing the activities of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia, the PM emphasized that the base is an important part of Armenia’s security system. “The military base has clear duties. This doesn’t that we don’t have issues with the base’s activities, but the existence of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia complies with the national interests of Armenian,” Pashinyan said.

Speaking about the operation of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, Pashinyan said that Armenia is working to extend is lifecycle. “Having nuclear energy is important for Armenia. We require to extend the lifecycle of the nuclear power plant by 2040, by trying to build a new nuclear power plant by then. We are hopeful that Russia will assist us in this matter, because unfortunately, at this moment we don’t have sufficient financial resources to start the process on out own,” he said, adding that if Russia were to offer help, Armenia would cordially accept it. “We aren’t planning to shut down the nuclear power plant,” he said.

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OSCE Says Ready to Assist Armenian Government in Anti-Corruption Reforms

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a meeting on July 19, with Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office on Combating Corruption, Paola Severino.

The meeting attached importance to the further development of cooperation with the OSCE in various platforms, including in combating corruption.

Pashinyan emphasized that combating corruption is one of the priorities of the Armenian government and they will continue coherent steps in this direction. At the same time, the PM added that Armenia find exchange or practive and possible assistance from international partners to be necessary in this sphere.

Paola Severino welcomed the actions of the Armenian authorities in combating corruption and expressed conviction that the steps will be productive. She stressed that the OSCE is ready for active cooperation with the Armenian government, including with the justice ministry for providing assistance in implementing reforms in the anti-corruption area.

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PM Pashinyan Says He is not Surprised that Every Day and Every Hour There is a Corruption Revelation

While investigations are going on, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said: that during the past few weeks, last days, every hour, every hour, every minute, he does not cease to be surprised by new facts about corruption. “I think that I will stay in this state for at least four more months,” he said.

According to the prime minister, every time at the beginning he refused to believe in the information received, until the entire evidence base was laid out. “That day, I stopped one of the heads of the state department, asking him not to continue, because he began to fear for his psychological state, and he took out photos, videos, proofs.” It is impossible to imagine the scale of the arrogance of some citizens,” he stressed.

At the same time, as the prime minister noted, some citizens intensified their criticism of the new government. They say that some offenders are punished and some escape law enforcement. Meanwhile, as Pashinyan said, no is punishable selectively. All searches and detentions are carried out on the basis of operational information and concrete signals of citizens. “By virtue of my position, I am now aware of such facts, that sometimes I’m not even sure that the public is able to digest such a large amount of information, and I do not know to what point we have the right to disclose the truth so that the citizens of the country do not come to a state of full disappointment”, he pointed out.

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Armenia’s Culture Minister Has Great Expectations from Her U.S Trip

The popularization of Armenian culture in any international arena is very important, Minister of Culture Lilit Makunts said while speaking about her USA visit and Armenia’s participation at the Smithsonian Folklife cultural festival in Washington, D.C.

The minister assessed her USA visit to be productive. “During the visit I’ve also met with The National Endowment for the Arts, which is funding different cultural programs. We tried to discuss and understand together by what principle and standards they make the selection of cultural programs in 50 US states. It was a rather productive meeting, from which I believe we will make certain conclusions,” Makunts said.

The minister also visited Los Angeles, California, where she gave a comprehensive lecture at Glendale Central Library to a large group of guests, close to 100 people. Following her talk, she answered the questions posed by the public. The Los Angeles visit was not funded by the state budget: The local Armenian community and Creative Armenia made the invitation and paid for expenses. She also met with several cultural figures during her visit to Glendale. “I also met with a number of wealthy Armenian-Americans during the meeting. Together we tried to understand how they can have their contribution in the new Armenia. Certain processes are in the finalization phase. I have high hopes that we will have a result. I won’t disclose other things at this moment,” the minister said.

Minister Lilit Makunts reminded that New York;s Met will soon host an exhibition about Armenia in September. “The exhibition will take place in such a location,” she said. “Cultural exchange of USA and Armenia is interesting to the extent that originality is appreciated here. We are interesting with our originality not only for the US for the entire world.

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Time Magazine Names Nikol Pashinyan One of Four “Crusaders of World Democracy”

NEW YORK – Time magazine has named Armenia’s prime minister one of the modern world’s four prominent crusaders “keeping the dream of democracy alive.”

The publication has spoken with all the four people about their motivation to fight authoritarian regimes in their countries. “Opposition politician who led the protest that topple Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan in April and shortly after became the nation’s leader,” reads the description about Nikol Pashinyan. “It was love for my people that forced me to get out of my comfortable office as head of a parliamentary faction and spend about 20 nights in the woods, the streets in a tent, in protest at the government led by Serzh Sargsyan. I had no personal motivations. All I wanted was to win freedom and happiness for my homeland and people. I said that if citizens took to the streets in the hundreds of thousands and power did not change, I would no longer engage in political activities. From the very first day, we kept saying we would not resort to violence against anyone, even if we were met with brutality. From the podium, I said we would be guided by a biblical verse: ‘If someone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too’. We knew we would never retreat,” Pashinyan said in comments to the magazine.

Pashinyan is branded as a crusader of democracy along with Faida Nabourema, an activist and blogger from Togo, Enrieth Martinez, a Nicaraguan activist who leads a protest movement to oust President Daniel Ortega, and Ouided Bouchamaoui, a Tunisian opposition leader.

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Henry Morgenthau III, Lifelong Supporter of US Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, Passes Away at Age 101

WASHINGTON, D.C — The Armenian Assembly of America and Armenian National Institute, mourn the loss of a longtime friend of the Armenian people, Henry Morgenthau III, who dedicated himself to honoring the memory of his grandfather, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, passed away on July 10th.

In countless public presentations, in television appearances, and in numerous publications, Henry Morgentahu III recounted his recollections of his grandfather with whom he lived in New York City. He was honored on many occasions by Armenian organizations across the country.

The Armenian National Institute and the Armenian and the Armenian Assembly of America shared the distinction of organizing Mr. Morgenthau’s trip to Armenia in 1999 where he was honored by the National Academy of Sciences, the Armenian Genocide Museum, and the Armenian Genocide Museum, and the City of Yerevan.

Morgenthau was joined by his sons Dr. Henry Ben Morgenthau and Kramer Morgenthau, as well as Armenian Assembly President Carolyn Mugar, longtime personal friend of Henry from the of his residence in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Mrs. Kitty Dukakis, wife of the former governor of the state of Massachusetts and a board member of the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“My grandfather frequently told me that his attempts to save Armenian lives at the time of the Genocide and the establishment of the Near East Relief effort were the achievements that meant the most to him,” Morgenthau explained on the occasion.

With Henry Morgenthau III’s endorsement, in 1996 the Armenian Assembly of America established the Henry Morgenthau Award for Meritorious Public Service which is given out to public officials in recognition of their contributions in defense of Human Rights. Recipients of the Assembly’s Morgenthau Award include the first U.S Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, Harry Gilmore and U.S Ambassador John Evans, who publicly called for official U.S recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

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William Saroyan House-Museum Grand Opening Friday, August 31st

After much anticipation, the William Saroyan House-Museum will open to visitors on Friday August 31st, the 110th anniversary of the birth of the writer.

To celebrate this occasion, a Grand Opening Celebration will be held at the Satellite Student Union at Fresno State on August 31st. Doors to the Satellite Student Union will open at 6:30pm with an exhibition devoted to Saroyan’s life. At 7:00pm, the formal program will begin with a movie about the Saroyan House-Museum project, speakers, and several musical performance. The event will conclude with a reception.

Entrance is free for the Grand Opening, but registration is required, by going to the website: http://saroyanhouse.com/ and clicking on the subscribe button.

In 2016, Arthur Janibekyan, found of the Renaissance Cultural and Intellectual Foundation, purchased William Saroyan’s house, thus saving it from foreclosure. The process of establishing the William Saroyan House-Museum began after that.

Saroyan was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1940, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and in 1943 won the Academy Award for Best Story for the film adaptation of his novel The Human Comedy.

The museum is full of interactive and innovative exhibits, thus making it unique the region. Due to the newest technology, William Saroyan will be “revived” and his hologram will greet visitors.

The House Museum will feature a large digital archive on William Saroyan, including exclusive picture, examples of his graphic work, and examples of his works. In addition, according to William Saroyan’s will, a research area will be created within the house. This will give an opportunity for students, scholars, and other interested individuals to benefit from the vast heritage which William Saroyan left.

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Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan Resigned

There were rumors that the Mayor of Yerevan wanted to resign and on Monday, July 9th, Mayor Taron Margaryan resigned. During the past week, protests were being held outside of Yerevan City Hall demanding Mayor Taron Margaryan resignation. Taron Margaryan was serving as Mayor of Yerevan since 2011.

The snap elections of the Mayor are being held within a timeframe set by the City Council, but no later than within a month.

During the snap elections, the right to nominate candidates for the Mayor belongs to the City Council’s factions.

The City Council members are voting at the snap elections. Each member of the Council has a right to one vote. If one candidate is nominated, he/she is elected Mayor if the number of votes in favor is more than the number of votes against.

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