Armenia Politics News Digest for Tuesday, February 11, 2020

ITN-armenia-politics

Here is the Daily Digest of political news for Armenia for Tuesday, February 11, 2020. The notable stories are (we hope you like them):

King of Jordan says proud to be responsible for holy sites of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem

On an official visit to Armenia, His Royal Majesty Abdullah II Al Hussein All Hashimi sent his massage of “Religion and Tolerance.”

Speaking at the Presidential Palace, the King said “being
one of the world’s oldest cities, Yerevan is the capital of a young a vibrant
country. It reminds me very much of my beloved Jordan. Our two countries and
peoples have carved a niche for themselves in the contemporary world.”

“Jordan, much like Armenia has made its human capital the main driving force in its journey towards development. Our countries have much to gain from cooperating, to capitalize on this promising potential,” he added.

“Although this is our first official visit to your beautiful country, we feel like we are a family, and, in fact, we are a family. These bonds are dating back hundreds of years. My grand grandfather, as you mentioned, Mr. President, commanded to love God and love our neighbor and gave refuge to the Armenian Christian families. My grand grandfather, my grandfather, my father and me, helping those, who are desperately in need understood that it is the only option. It is a duty that Jordan continues to live by. Thousands of Jordanian trace their roots back to Armenia. They are an honor to both our countries and play a vital role in the arts, education, public service, business and much, much more. And they form the solid bedrock on which our friendship continues,” he added.

King Abdullah said that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was preparing to celebrate its first centennial, “We look back fondly and proudly on the role that the Jordanians of the Armenian descent and all Jordanians have played working for progress and prosperity of our homeland,” he said.

 “But our joint history extends far beyond that. Armenians in the Middle East are part of the oldest Christian community of the world. They are an inextricable part of our past, and we look forward to working with you to make sure they continue to play such a role in shaping the present and the future,” King Abdullah said.

According to him, Saint Karapet Armenian Apostolic Church in Jordan that stands at the christening site of Jesus Christ on the banks of Jordan River is a testament to the enduring Armenian history in the country.

“The Armenian quarter in Jerusalem has been part of the city for centuries, and the Armenian Patriarchate along with other churches has been under Omar’s protection. A tradition of Christian and Muslim coexistence dates back over thirteen hundred years. This heritage continues today at the Islamic and Christian holy sites. This is a duty I am carrying proudly. And I am especially proud to be responsible for the holy sites of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem,” he stated.

“Jerusalem holds great historic significance not only
to me and my family; the city is holy to the three monotheistic faiths, and
they all have a stake in safeguarding the spiritual, peace and co-existence
that it symbolizes. We cannot let the Holy City turning into a city for
violence and division. So preserving the city’s identity, its legal status as
well as historic status quo in relations to holy sites, Islamic and Christian
alike, is of critical importance. We look to Christian leaders and friends like
you all over the world in safeguarding Jerusalem as a unifying city of peace. I
have spoken today of our old friendship which has rich history,” the King
continued.

He added that for the past 100 years Jordanians of Armenian descent have been
creating an exemplary story of friendship and proved that friendship and,
certainly, brotherhood always win.

“So, I hope that days and months ahead we can write a new chapter together, a
chapter that builds upon friendship that began so long ago, new partnership and
promise for all our people,” King Abdullah concluded.

Read original article here.

Armenia: President not ruling out discussions with Constitutional Court

Armenia: President not ruling out discussions with Constitutional Court

February 11, 2020 – 15:48 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – By appointing a referendum on constitutional amendments in Armenia on April 5, President Armen Sarkissian does not rule out the possibility of further discussions, including with the Constitutional Court, his office said in a statement on Tuesday, February 11.

The President could also hold consultations with international organizations and experts, the statement said.

“Prioritizing the constitutional amendments, as well as the need to maintain the rule of law and Armenia’s international reputation, the President does not rule out further discussions and consultations with public and political groups, professional community members, state authorities like the National Assembly, the government, the Constitutional Court, and relevant international institutions and experts,” Sarkissian’s office said.

“The President has repeatedly expressed his principled position on the expediency and necessity of making decisions on public life by referendum.”

The country will hold a referendum on suspending the powers of seven out of nine judges of its Constitutional Court on April 5, according to a decision signed by Sarkissian.

If the constitutional amendments are approved by the public, the two other judges, who were appointed after the peaceful revolution against corruption and former authorities, will maintain their powers.

Read original article here.

European Court ruling in Saribekyan and Balayan vs Azerbaijan case “unprecedented” – Armenian MFA

The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has described the European Court in the case of Saribekyan and Balayan vs Azerbaijan as “unprecedented.”

On January 30 the European Court of Human Rights ruled in the case of Saribekyan and Balayan vs Azerbaijan. It is related to the death circumstances of Armenian national Manvel Saribekyan at the Military Police Department of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan.

On September 11, 2010, Manvel Saribekyan due to bad weather conditions lost his way in the borderline of Tavush region of Armenia and found himself on the Azerbaijani side. A month later Saribekyan’s body was returned to the Armenian side. Azerbaijan claimed the Armenian shepherd had committed suicide.

The Azerbaijani side had initiated criminal proceedings against Manvel Saribekyan on obviously false charges and forced him to appear on the Azerbaijani TV by means of torture.

The European Court of Human Rights has concluded that the fundamental human rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter: the Convention) of the citizen of the Republic of Armenia were breached, particularly substantive and procedural aspects of the Right to Life (Article 2 of the Convention), as well as breach of Article 3 of the Convention prohibiting torture, as the European Court of Human Rights undoubtedly ruled that Saribekyan was subjected to very serious and cruel suffering and that it was carried out intentionally on a detained person under the exclusive control of the Azerbaijani authorities.

“The ruling is unprecedented: for the first time the European Court of Human Rights has found  Azerbaijan responsible for depriving an Armenian national of life and established that the citizen of the Republic of Armenia  died as a result of violent actions of others, notably personnel at the Military Police Department of Azerbaijan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“This ruling once again demonstrates that Azerbaijan is overtly violating its international human rights obligations. It also indicates that every Armenian who would fall under the control of the Azerbaijani authorities, regardless of his or her status, is subjected to a life threat,” the statement reads.

The Ministry said the Republic of Armenia will continue its consistent efforts to ensure security of the citizens of Armenia and the Armenian people and achieve justice. 

Read original article here.

Armenia, Jordan discuss perspectives of visa-free travel

President Armen Sarkissian received today the King of Jordan Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein Al Hashimi at the Presidential Palace.

President Sarkissian welcomed the high guest and said in particular that the visit of the King of Jordan is historic and significant. He expressed hope that there would be many occasions to host His Majesty in Armenia. “Our two nations are ancient. Your nation represents the essence and axis of Islam; You, Your Majesty, as well as Your family, are descendants of Prophet Muhammad. As a country which was the first to adopt Christianity, PA WIRE not only has good relations with Jordan but we two have a lot to tell each other,” the President of Armenia underscored.

President Sarkissian expressed confidence that potential, which the two countries could reach in the future, would be much more that it is today.

The King of Jordan Abdullah II said that the two countries are linked by good friendship and history. “We have great reverence towards the oldest Christian Church which is represented not only in Jerusalem but in our country too. It represents part of our past and is a beautiful element not only of our present but also of our future,” he underscored.

At the meeting, the President of Armenia raised the issues of a visa free regime for the citizens of Armenia travelling to Jordan and signing the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation. The interlocutors noted that great opportunities exist for cooperation in the areas of high-tech, education, science, and healthcare. Stressed was the necessity of expanding the already existing student exchange program, as well as the establishment of a direct air link between the capitals of the two countries – Yerevan and Amman.

Read original article here.

EPP alarmed by "rushed procedure" to change Armenian Constitution

EPP alarmed by

February 11, 2020 – 13:53 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The European People’s Party (EPP) has expressed concern over “the rushed procedure” to initiate changes to the Armenian Constitution.

“We call on the authorities of Armenia to request and consider the opinion of the Venice Commission as soon as possible,” the EPP said in a tweet.

The country will hold a referendum on suspending the powers of seven out of nine judges of its Constitutional Court on April 5, according to a decision signed by President Armen Sarkissian.

If the constitutional amendments are approved by the public, the two other judges, who were appointed after the peaceful revolution against corruption and former authorities, will maintain their powers.

Read original article here.

Yerevan dismisses Baku’s “nuclear terrorism” remarks as “flimsy”

Yerevan dismisses Baku’s “nuclear terrorism” remarks as “flimsy”

February 11, 2020 – 11:36 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on Monday, February 10 blasted Azerbaijan’s “non-existent” and “flimsy” allegations concerning Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

Mnatsakanyan made the comments at the at the International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts after Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said that because of the “occupation of 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory”, the country “is unable to control the territory, which creates favorable conditions for illegal activities, including nuclear terrorism.”

“Flimsy and unjustified charges were made against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh by the speaker from Azerbaijan. Those are totally rejected. The territory of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is under full and legitimate control of NK authorities and nothing indicates to the contrary. NK authorities are open for international cooperation and at any time the Azeri allegations can be easily verified and proven as non-existent,” said Mnatsakanyan.

“I would like to reiterate Armenia’s strong commitment to our shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy and wish every success to the conference.”

Read original article here.

Armenian President congratulates Iran’s Rouhani on anniversary of Islamic Revolution

President Armen Sarkissian has congratulated Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei on the 41st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

“Due to the deep-rooted good-neighborly traditions
between Armenia and Iran, close political and economic cooperation continues
today,” President Sarkissian said in a message to Rouhani.

He voiced confidence that the m confident that the
Armenian-Iranian relations would strengthen and develop steadily.  

“Today, as the world faces many challenges, it is
important to maintain and develop a stable and mutually beneficial relationship
between Armenia and Iran,” he added.

In a separate message to Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali
Khamenei, the President said, “respect for one another’s religion and culture,
coupled with political dialogue, contributes to the establishment of peace and
stability in the region.”

The President hailed the “successfully developing cooperation”
between Armenia and Iran in various fields.

The President of Armenia wished the spiritual leader
of Iran good health and success, as well as peace and prosperity to the friendly
people of Iran.

Read original article here.

King of Jordan arrives in Armenia for official visit

The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, His Majesty Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein Al Hashimi has arrived in Armenia on an official visit at the invitation of Armenian President Armen Sarkissian.

Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan welcomed the high-ranking guest at Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport.

Abdullah II Ibn al-Hussein al-Hashimi enjoys great authority in the Islamic world. He is a representative of the Hashimian dynasty, the 41st generation of the Prophet Muhammad, and ascended the throne on February 7, 1999.

Abdullah II is the guardian of the Christian and Islamic shrines in Jerusalem.

President Armen Sarkissian and King of Jordan meet in 2019 during a working visit by the Armenian President to Jordan in April.

Read original article here.

Armenia attaches great importance to reinforcing nuclear security – FM

Armenia attaches great
importance to reinforcing nuclear security both at national and international
levels, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said in an address to the International
Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts.

“As a strong supporter of
the non-proliferation policies, Armenia reiterates its full compliance with the
non-proliferation treaty and other relevant treaties, as well as IAEA
safeguards agreements and additional protocol,” he stated.

“Recognizing that the responsibility for nuclear
security within the Member state rests entirely with that State, we have always
strongly supported the essential and leading role of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) in the international nuclear security framework and
non-proliferation regime. The peaceful use of nuclear energy is of vital
importance for my Government in terms of economic development and energy
security,” the Foreign Minister added.

He noted that Armenia attaches great importance to
reinforcing nuclear security both at national and international levels through
the ratification and implementation of international legal instruments as well
as the establishment of robust national legislation related to physical
protection and security of Armenian NPP and nuclear materials and rules on
physical protection of nuclear installations and nuclear materials.

“Armenia closely cooperates
on a regular basis with the international partners with regard to all nuclear
energy issues. Armenia is undertaking necessary measures to enhance and
maintain nuclear and radiation safety. We greatly value the role of the IAEA
and ongoing support to Armenia in ensuring the highest standards Security of
the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant,” Mnatsakanyan stated.  

In particular, he said, numerous IAEA’s on-site
inspections and assessment missions have reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment in
implementing its international obligations and the highest level of openness
and transparency. “No any non-compliance or deviation from the requirements of
international treaties has ever been recorded,” he noted.

“Armenia fully implements its international
obligations under the UN Security Council Resolution 1540. The National Action
Plan of Armenia for 2015-2020 outlines series of concrete steps ranging from
reviewing already implemented national measures to the coordination of ongoing
and anticipated activities,” Minister Mnatsakanyan added.

According to him, the Government of Armenia is
continuously working with its international partners at bilateral and
multilateral levels to further enhance its national capabilities in countering
nuclear smuggling.

“We follow with deep concern the developments in our
region, and, in particular, the situation with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Actions on Iran’s nuclear program). The conclusion of JCPOA – a real
achievement of multilateral diplomacy – provided world with a critical tool in
reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation and we call upon all partners to
honor their obligations under the JCPOA, to avoid taking steps that could lead
to escalating tensions and do the utmost to preserve the agreement. Armenia
welcomes all diplomatic and multilateral efforts to re-start the inclusive and
open dialogue on the matter,” the Foreign Minister stated.

Responding to a speaker from Azerbaijan, Minister
Mnatsakanyan said “flimsy and unjustified charges were made against Armenia and
Nagorno-Karabakh.”

“The territory of the
Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh is under full and legitimate control of the
Nagorno Karabakh authorities and nothing indicates to the contrary. NK
authorities are open for international cooperation and at any time the Azeri
allegations can be easily verified and proven as non-existent,” he stated.

The Foreign Minister reiterated Armenia’s strong
commitment to our shared goals of nuclear disarmament, nuclear
non-proliferation and peaceful use of nuclear energy and wish every success to
the conference.

Read original article here.

Yerevan preparing to host trilateral Armenia-Greece-Cyprus Summit

On February 8, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan had a phone conversation with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias.

During the phone conversation, the Foreign Ministers touched upon a wide range of issues on bilateral Armenian-Greek agenda.

Underscoring the importance of Armenia-Greece-Cyprus trilateral platform in strengthening the established partnership and regional cooperation between the countries, the Foreign Ministers touched upon the preparations of Armenia-Greece-Cyprus Summit to be held in Yerevan.

The counterparts exchanged views on international and regional urgent issues.

In June 2014 the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Armenia agreed that their respective heads of state would meet at a trilateral summit in Armenia, adding that the purpose for the cooperation is to promote peace, stability and prosperity through enhanced political dialogue.

Read original article here.

Armenian Justice Minister, Venice Commission chief discuss referendum

Armenian Justice Minister, Venice Commission chief discuss referendum

February 10, 2020 – 16:11 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Armenian Justice Minister Rustam Badasyan has discussed issues concerning an upcoming referendum on constitutional amendments with the president of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio.

“I also expressed the readiness of the Armenian side to continue close cooperation with the Council of Europe and the Commission in the field of judicial reform,” Badasyan said in a Facebook post.

Armenia will hold a referendum on suspending the powers of seven out of nine judges of its Constitutional Court on April 5, according to a decision signed by President Armen Sarkissian.

If the constitutional amendments are approved by the public, the two other judges, who were appointed after the peaceful revolution against corruption and former authorities, will maintain their powers.

Read original article here.

Tigran Avinyan Receives Council of Europe Armenia Office Head

Monday, 10 February 2020

Tigran Avinyan Receives Council of Europe Armenia Office Head

On February 10, Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan received Council of Europe (CoE) Armenia Office Head Natalia Voutova.

Tigran Avinyan stressed that the CoE is among Armenia’s key partners in promoting democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law. He referred to the 2019-2022 CoE-Armenia Action Plan, which was launched last year and is seen as an important milestone on the way to developing relations.

Natalia Voutova briefed the Deputy Prime Minister on the main areas of CoE Office’s activities in Armenia.

The parties discussed opportunities for cooperation in the fields of digitization, e-justice and cyber security, as well as artificial intelligence in the context of human rights. Tigran Avinyan advised that the digitization process is in full-swing. He appreciated the ongoing cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
 

Read original article here.

Armenia will hold referendum on constitutional amendments on Apr. 5

Armenia will hold referendum on constitutional amendments on Apr. 5

February 10, 2020 – 10:45 AMT

PanARMENIAN.NetArmenia will hold a referendum on suspending the powers of the President and seven out of nine judges of its Constitutional Court on April 5, according to a decision signed by President Armen Sarkissian.

If the constitutional amendments are approved by the public, the two other judges, who were appointed after the peaceful revolution against corruption and former authorities, will maintain their powers.

In September 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that a criminal case against Armenia’s former president Robert Kocharyan was partly unconstitutional.

The ex-President has been charged with breaching the constitutional order by introducing a state of emergency in March 2008. 10 people were killed in protests that erupted shortly after the disputed election.

In December, Hrayr Tovmasyan, the President of the Constitutional Court of Armenia, was charged with abuse of power while he was the country’s Justice Minister. He has denied the charges.

Read original article here.

Mher Grigoryan Welcomes King of Jordan

Monday, 10 February 2020

Mher Grigoryan Welcomes King of Jordan


Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan went to Zvartnots International Airport to meet King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, His Majesty Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, who has arrived in Armenia on an official visit at the invitation of RA President Armen Sarkissian. 

Read original article here.

Today on Twitter

Here is a selection of several tweets about Armenia from some of the Twitter accounts we follow. Contact us via Twitter if you want to be part of this Twitter list. We retweet occasionally.

Karina Movsesyan 🇦🇲🇪🇺– became the winner of the 29th #EuropeanUnion Contest for Young Scientists #EUCYS and received the title of the “Youngest Scientist of European Union.” She discovered a mechanism which prevents the development of #cancer tumors. #WomenInScience

#ECHR ruling once again demonstrates that #Azerbaijan is overtly violating its intl #humanrights obligations. It also indicates that every #Armenia’n who would fall under AZE authorities control, regardless of status, is subjected to life threat https://bit.ly/2SCh946 @ECHR_CEDH

Important conversation on #education & adolescent girls, with Bono of @U2 and @ONECampaign, Mary Robinson, Chair of @TheElders. Quality #education for all named N1 priority by @antonioguterres. Armenia🇦🇲 is committed to equal access to education #InternationalDayOfWomenInScience

2

🇦🇲 Only 50 farmers have signed up for a new agricultural insurance scheme despite the fact the government has promised to pay half the costs. #armenia #agriculture

https://jam-news.net/armenian-farmers-balking-at-insuring-crops-why/

FROM THE #ARCHIVES: students of the #Yerevan State Conservatory on a strike in support of the #KarabakhMovement. Protest signs including “Artsakh – the Conservatory is with you” visible on the building. 1988.

Yestreday, MEP #CostasMavrides hosted a conference with the title “The forgotten #refugees: What Happened to the #Armenians of #Baku?” in the @Europarl_EN.
Keynote speakers were #BaronessCarolineCox, @AnnaATurcotte and David Babaev.
Press Release👇
https://eafjd.eu/forgottenrefugees.html

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Today on Facebook

These are some of today’s Facebook posts about Armenia. Contact us on Facebook if you want to be included in this list. We share posts occasionally.

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