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#241 Yervant1


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Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:20 PM

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
February 16, 2018 Friday

Russian journalist impressed with Artsakh trip, praises locals

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 16, ARMENPRESS. After visiting Artsakh, Igor
Shiryayev, editor-in-chief of the Russian Интересный мир (Interesting
World) magazine, says he is certain that the country is one of the
most unique places of the world which is real.

The journalist shared his impressions from his visit to Artsakh on Facebook.

“By having visited many beautiful and exotic places of the world, I
find Karabakh to be one of the few places which I call real. Yes,
there are higher mountains, more exotic nature, and wealthier
countries. But Karabakh is real. What do I include in this word?
Well-mannered people live here, who lived through a lot and
surprisingly became not worse, but better persons after it all. They
do not ask for anything from anybody. Their only desire is to be left
alone and be allowed to live calmly on the land which they consider to
be theirs. And I fully agree with them in this matter. In addition,
I’ve never felt myself so free and at the same time safe as I have in
Karabakh. It is paradoxical, taking into account the dramatic history
and not easy present of this country, but a fact”, he said.

Shiryayev thanked all those who organized his trip.

He was pleased to mentioned that he celebrated Valentine’s Day with
his wife in one of the mountainous snow-covered settlements of

At the same time he was excited by the fact that people both in
Armenia and Artsakh were recognizing him, and saying that they read
his articles.

Shiryayev said he will publish articles on his visit.

Many people left comments on his Facebook page, jokingly mentioning
that he should now avoid traveling to Belarus, a reference to the
ordeal that tourism blogger Alexander Lapshin went through in the
past. Lapshin himself joked on Facebook, commenting in an Azeri
accented Russian that Shiryayev will be blacklisted after the visit.

At the same time, he drew attention on the grammatical error in an
official Baku court document.

#242 Yervant1


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Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:26 AM

National Geographic Magazine
January 11 2018
These Teens Are Fighting a War Older Than They Are
Along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, 150,000 people in an unrecognized republic live in military limbo.
Photographs by Emanuele Amighetti


JANUARY 11, 2018

Life on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan has been fraught for decades. But in April of 2016, the two countries battled for four days over a disputed region in the middle, the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic that’s officially a part of Azerbaijan but currently occupied by Armenian rebels. A cease fire in 1996 had cooled tempers, but reports of repeated violations on both sides led to full out war for four days in 2016.

Locked in perpetual dispute, the 150,000 people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic live in a state of military limbo. Much like the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians, the Armenian-Azerbaijan tension is long simmering, and long ago became part of everyday life.

Photographer Emanuele Amighetti visited the region last year to capture the aftermath of the four-day conflict and the psychological effects of decades at war. Permanent readiness for battle means compulsory military service, and soldiers as young as 13 trained to fight. After school and sometimes before, young people conduct drills on marching and combat, as daily a part of their lives as doing math homework. “Their dedication and profoundness was something I had never seen before,” says Amighetti. “I felt obliged to humanize these young boys and girls.”

The constant preparedness can have degrading impacts on the country’s economy. Young people who might otherwise pursue advanced education tend to be enveloped into an all-hands-on-deck mentality. On the front lines in the province of Mantakert, Amighetti met a young soldier, perhaps 18 or 19, who interrupted his studies in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, and was sent to Nagorno-Karabakh for training. He was fascinated by journalism and, as Amighetti photographed, he marveled at the first time he had seen a foreign photographer take interest in the crippling stiffness of a mostly unknown region.


Despite the looming threat of war, the overarching sentiment in Amighetti’s images and in his conversations wasn’t anger or resentment. On the front lines, while both sides have dug new trenches and bought new weapons, urban streets elsewhere in the region seemed to be filled with a sense of ordinariness, in supermarkets and in restaurants. One benefit of a decades-long standoff seemed to be that eventually, new generations start to forget, the grievances become more distant and less relevant. At least a teenager, preparing for battle in a war that predates him, can hope.

See more of Emanuele Amighetti's work on his website and follow him on Instagram.

For photos, please visit the link: https://www.national...er-photographs/

#243 Yervant1


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Posted 25 February 2018 - 09:50 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
Feb 24 2018
Azeri blogger: Armenians haven’t destroyed Azerbaijani monuments
February 24, 2018 - 13:25 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenians have not destroyed Azerbaijani graves and monuments in Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh), Azeri political emigrant, blogger Orduhan Teymurhan said in a speech in Europe.

"Yes, pigs and goats walk on and around Azerbaijani graves, but Armenians haven’t committed vandalism against our monuments," he said, according to Haqqin.az.

Teymurhan’s statement stirred an extremely negative reaction among Azerbaijani social media users.


#244 Yervant1


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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:31 AM

News.am, Armenia
Feb 27 2018
American professor: Karabakh has earned sovereignty
22:33, 27.02.2018

Based on many precedents, Karabakh people have a right to self-determination, Washington College of Law's professor Paul Williams said during a roundtable discussion in the European Parliament.

Karabakh has earned sovereignty and built effective institutions for a number of years, free and fair elections, he said during “Remedial Secession in Theory and Practice: The case of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh)” conference.

The conference organized by the Armenian organizations was hosted by European Parliament members Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE) and Lars Adaktusson (EPP).



#245 Yervant1


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Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:34 AM

News.am, Armenia
Feb 27 2018
UN Expert: Karabakh has absolute right for self-determination
20:01, 27.02.2018

Azerbaijan must abandon its aggressive stance towards the people of Karabakh, UN independent expert said during round table discussion in the European Parliament.

Dr. Alfred de Zayas, UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, is one of the key speakers of “Remedial Secession in Theory and Practice: The case of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh)” conference organized in Brussels.

“The April aggression constituted a breach of peace and violation of the UN Charter, and it must be condemned,” he said, adding that Karabakh has absolute right for self-determination.

He added that neither the right to self-determination, nor territorial integrity is absolute and must be used as a part of the UN Charter.  He named a number of European countries that unilaterally declared their independence.

“All people have the same human rights. There is no justification to deny their [Karabakh’s] recognition.  This right cannot be used selectively,” he added.

The conference is hosted by European Parliament members Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE) and Lars Adaktusson (EPP).



#246 Yervant1


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Posted 01 March 2018 - 11:50 AM

News.am, Armenia
Feb 28 2018
European Parliament hosts conference on Karabakh
19:37, 28.02.2018

A conference dedicated to Nagorno-Karabakh and its relations with the EU was organized in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

“Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU 1988/2018” was hosted by MEP Frank Engel who is also the Chairman of the Friends of Nagorno-Karabakh group in the European Parliament.

Participants at the event stood up in silence to honor the victims of the Sumgait pogroms.

Members of the European Parliament Eleni Theocharous and Jaromir Stetina delivered speeches during the event.

Speaking about Karabakh, Eleni Theocharous said the region was always inhabited by the Armenians, adding that the right to self-determination is a universal right.

She emphasized that the resolution of the conflict is important and called on the European Union not to remain inactive.

For his part, Jaromir Stetina said there is “a sense of historical justice” to support Karabakh.

“Hate policy which began in Sumgait continues. The war for freedom of Karabakh continues, and diplomatic efforts to stop the conflict continue but they are unsuccessful,” he added.

The politician said the Karabakh people realized that international community would not help them and took the arms.

“It’s time to act on the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said addressing the European Union. 

Another speaker was Bulgarian journalist Tsvetana Paskaleva who told the moving story of her first trip to Karabakh in 1991 and the horrors of the aggression against the Karabakh people.

“I want to see Karabakh with peace and recognition. They’re ready for it,” she added.

The discussion was organized by the European Friends of Armenia and AGBU Europe.


#247 Yervant1


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Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:11 AM


28 February 2018
“Nagorno Karabakh Must Be the Primary Subject and Not an Object of the Peace Process” Say Prominent International Scholars

On February 27 the European Parliament deputies Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE) and Lars Adaktusson (EPP) hosted a public debate featuring prominent international scholars and diplomats who examined developments in international law, the status of the negotiations, and recommendations for achieving a peaceful resolution in Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh).

Speakers included Dr. Alfred de Zayas, UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Dr. Paul Williams, Professor of Law, American University’s Washington College of Law and co-founder of the Public International Law & Policy Group, Dr. Sergey Markedonov, associate Professor at Russian State University, Armine Aleksanyan, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Artsakh Republic and moderator Giro Manoyan, board Member of the Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights (ALC). The event was co-organized by ALC, Tufenkian Foundation and the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD).

Held at the European Parliament, the debate reviewed the findings of a colloquium held on Feb. 26-27 at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS), with the participation of over a dozen distinguished international law experts and former diplomats. The colloquium was co-organized by the Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights and the Tufenkian Foundation.

The findings of the colloquium included the following:

- Nagorno Karabakh must be the primary subject and not the object of the peace process;

- Under well-established international legal precedents, people, including those in Nagorno Karabakh, have the right to declare independence;

- Under international law there is a duty not to respond with violence to a declaration of independence;

- Nagorno Karabakh is a functioning state based on the concept of earned sovereignty, since it has institutional capacity, a democratically elected government, control of its borders and a functioning civil society;

- International community should actively engage with Nagorno Karabakh.regardless of its status;

- International law provides a framework, but by itself cannot serve as sole tool for resolving conflicts, one cannot ignore the role politics plays in a conflict resolution;

- Confidence-building is a key tool to peace and a final resolution;

- Escalation of armenophobic rhetoric and war-mongering are not acceptable and must be discouraged, incitement to violence and hatred is prohibited by international law.

During his presentation Dr. de Zayas stressed that self-determination of peoples often misinterpreted as destabilizing, is in fact a crucial component of regional and international stability. Commenting on the four-day war in April 2016, he noted: “Azerbaijan’s aggression in April 2016 constituted a breach of peace and must be condemned as a violation of the UN Charter.”

To emphasize the need to create mechanisms for dealing with the right to self-determination, Dr. Williams noted that there were over 70 active self-determination movements in the world and the failure to create mechanisms to address them has resulted in over 20 million deaths in the past 50 years.

“Failure to adequately develop a plan to resolve self-determination movements is deadly,” explained Williams. He went on to propose the concept of “earned sovereignty” as a crucial mechanism that would prevent the deadly conflict. Earned sovereignty would require de facto states build functioning state institutions and democracy rooted in respect for human rights before gaining recognition.

Dr. Markedonov, who provided an overview of recent developments, stated that the recent escalations of violence and war rhetoric has set the sides apart, making a negotiated settlement even more difficult. He also cautioned against the current focus only on the Karabakh-Azerbaijan border, since “one more important challenge is along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border which is not contested territory,” but experiences ceasefire violations.

Deputy Foregin Minister of the Artsakh Republic Aleksanyan noted : “Nagorno Karabakh is not merely a name of a conflict, it is a place where people live. These people were destined to fight for their right to live.” As proof of Artsakh’s determination to build a strong democratic state, Aleksanyan emphasized that the country has unilaterally signed several human rights treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Geneva Conventions, and the ICCPR.

The conference participants agreed that Nagorno Karabakh has a very strong claim for self-governance and that international community should become more heavily engaged with Nagorno Karabakh and the peace process to facilitate an appropriate solution to the conflict.


Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights

Tufenkian Foundation

European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy





#248 Yervant1


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Posted 13 March 2018 - 11:11 AM

The National Interest
March 12 2018
Will Trump Ignore a Visit from the President of Nagorno-Karabakh?
It is time for the international community to welcome the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh—Artsakh—into the community of nations.
by John Evans
March 11, 2018
In 451 A.D., Armenian warriors, having just lost a fierce battle with the superior Persian Empire, retreated into the forests of Artsakh in the South Caucasus. They had lost the war, but preserved their Christian faith, and thus considered it a victory. Armenia was the first nation to embrace Christianity, in the year 301.
In 2018, a small but determined Armenian democratic republic, the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (or “Artsakh,” as Armenians call it) is attempting to survive, threatened by a militarily superior power that wishes to crush it. Professor Audrey Altstadt, in her recent article about Azerbaijan did not mention Nagorno-Karabakh, but perhaps ought to have, as the plight of the citizens of that unrecognized de facto state constitutes a serious violation of human rights.
This week, the democratically-elected president of Artsakh, Bako Sahakyan, will visit Washington. He will not be received by the administration, in part because the United States is silent on the question of whether Artsakh should eventually be independent of Azerbaijan, to which it was allocated by Josef Stalin in 1921. Washington does not recognize Artsakh—in fact no country yet does—but President Sahakyan’s predecessor who visited in 1999 and 2002 met with State Department officials at the working level, and there is an unofficial representative of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh resident in Washington. For this visit, Sahakyan will have to be content with meetings on the Hill and a private lunch at the Center for the National Interest.
Along with France and Russia, the United States has been attempting to mediate the dispute between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh for more than twenty years. Although the talks, sponsored by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, have not yet produced a settlement, in the meantime the people of Karabakh have built a thriving democracy based on market principles, free and fair elections and respect for human rights. A fragile cease-fire reached in 1994 under Russian auspices was flagrantly violated in April 2016 when Azeri troops attempted to reverse the victory achieved in the early 1990s by Karabakh Armenians fighting for their right to self-determination as the Soviet Union started to collapse. Nagorno-Karabakh has never in fact been part of modern Azerbaijan except as a part of the USSR, when it was an autonomous region, with the right of secession. Nor was it a part of the short-lived Azerbaijan that briefly existed prior to the establishment of Soviet power in the South Caucasus.
The four-day war in 2016 has changed everything. It was a brutal campaign launched in the middle of the night on multiple sectors of the Line of Contact that divides the Armenian and Azeri forces. Some four hundred casualties resulted before a shaky cease-fire was restored. Azeri forces carried out multiple atrocities, cutting off the ears of an elderly Armenian couple, torturing and mutilating the bodies of Armenian soldiers, and, in at least one case, decapitating them, ISIS-style. These atrocities—some twenty-eight of them—have been documented by the Ombudsman for Artsakh and reported to the UN Commission on Human Rights. The blitzkrieg destroyed what little confidence the Armenians in Artsakh may have had in the peace talks and in Baku’s intentions toward them, which some observers say were tantamount to genocidal.
As I saw with my own eyes when I visited in July after the April 2016 war, the people and the de facto authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic have built a functioning democracy despite being “unrecognized” by the world. They have demonstrated all the attributes of a state outlined in the Montevideo Convention except the last: the capacity to conduct state-to-state relations. In fact, they do have the capacity; it is only the opportunity that they have been denied. Azerbaijan punishes anyone who visits Karabakh without its consent, so the opera singer Monserrat Caballé, celebrity cook Anthony Bourdain, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius and many others are now on Baku’s “black list.” Full disclosure: I am on that list myself.
According to experts on international law who met recently in Brussels to discuss the issue, the right to self-determination trumps the principle of territorial integrity, which can be invoked only “externally,” that is, in defense of the state against external threats, but not to thwart the rights of an internal minority seeking to exercise its rights. Leaving aside the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh legally seceded from the USSR at the same time as Armenia and Azerbaijan did, there can be no doubt that the conflict with the government in Baku began as an internal one. It is also true that Armenia came to the support of its cousins in Artsakh, as did Armenians from California and around the world. And it has to be said that self-determination can sometimes be exercised within a state, as Quebec has chosen to do within Canada. But when the “parent” state employs violence against what it considers its citizens, it forfeits its right to rule over them, and there arises the question of what has been termed “remedial secession.”
As Professor Paul Williams of the American University Washington College of Law reminds us, there are some seventy active self-determination movements in today’s world. These conflicts, he points out, are “deadly, durable and destabilizing.” They tend to last, on average, about thirty years. But as another international law expert, Alfred de Zayas, points out, self-determination is a form of democracy, and ought to be viewed as a factor for long-term stability.
It is time for the international community to welcome the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh—Artsakh—into the community of nations. As the deputy foreign minister of Artsakh, Armine Aleksanyan, put it recently at the European Parliament, “Karabakh is a country, not a conflict.” The people of Artsakh just want to live their lives in peace and freedom. Even though the status of the Republic of Artsakh has not yet been finally determined, the people of Artsakh possess, and should enjoy, the same rights as all the rest of us, and ought not to be quarantined by the rest of humanity.
John Evans is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served as Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia 2004–2006. He is the author of Truth Held Hostage: America and the Armenian Genocide—What Then? What Now?

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