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Two missing Armenian civilians return from Azeri-controlled areas

Two missing Armenian civilians return from Azeri-controlled areas

September 20, 2021 – 12:48 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Two Armenian villagers who accidentally found themselves in areas controlled by Azerbaijan on Sunday, September 19 have returned home, the National Security Service reports.

The NSS said the Armenian side worked with the Russian FSB border guards deployed in the area to negotiate the return of the two civilians.

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Unblocking of transport links in the region will increase trade between Armenia and Russia – Overchuk

The unblocking of transport links in the region will help increase commodity turnover between Armenia and Russia, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk told reporters in Yerevan on the sidelines of the Armenia Business Forum 2021.

The trilateral working group chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan continues it activity. The last 7th meeting was held in Moscow in mid-August, Overchuk said,  

“All parties are determined to unblock economic and transport links in the region. Of course, we are discussing how to do this, but it is unambiguously clear to everyone that the unblocking and restoration of the transport route will create significant new opportunities for expanding and increasing trade, including between Russia and Armenia. Actually, that’s what we are working for,” the Russian Deputy PM stated.

Speaking about the expected impact of the unblocking on the volume of turnover, Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan said there are two factors that need to be studied.

“The first is that we have been in the realm of limitations for many years. It is obvious that the unblocking will have a positive effect, but we must continue to study what will happen in terms of volume,” he said.

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Report on Azerbaijan’s violation of Armenians’ religious rights in Artsakh submitted to UN Special Rapporteurs

The Armenian Bar Association has submitted its Third Report to the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, to bring to continue to document the serious and worsening developments in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) .

The Third Report focuses on the numerous ways in which Azerbaijan has curtailed, and continues to curtail, the rights of Armenian-Christians to exercise their religion freely in their ancestral lands which Azerbaijan seized control of less than one year ago. The pattern of Azerbaijan’s conduct documented in this report includes: 

1. Eliminating physical security for Armenians in Azerbaijani-occupied territories. 
2. Blocking access of religious sites to Armenian-Christian pilgrims. 
3. Intimidating clergy by isolating, harassing, and subjecting them to inhumane conditions. 
4. Inhibiting access to foreign nationals of Armenian descent seeking to conduct religious pilgrimages. 
5. Changing the character of Armenian religious sites, without seeking participation or input of the Armenian Apostolic Church. 
6. Continuing destruction of religious sites that connect Armenians to the lands including churches and cemeteries. 

The destruction of cultural heritage which we documented in the previous letters sits squarely within a broader systematic effort and pattern to: (i) deprive Armenians of the right to exercise their fundamental right to freely exercise their religion, (ii) cleanse Nagorno-Karabakh of Armenian people and worshippers, and (iii) erase the record of Armenian history and any evidence of Armenian presence from the region. This amounts to more than the anecdotal destruction of cultural and religious property by individual bad actors – it is part of a broader pattern and strategy orchestrated by Azerbaijan. Each of the human rights violations encompassed by this strategy deserves separate attention and condemnation. 

“We request that the Special Rapporteurs investigate, report, and call broader attention to these issues and similar human rights violations. To the extent possible, we urge the Special Rapporteurs to try to mediate and promote peace-building measures that (i) protect and respect access to religious sites for the performance of religious rites; and (ii) protect and respect the coexistence of multiple religious faiths and cultures,” the Armenian Bar Association said.

This Third Report is also submitted on behalf of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the Society for Armenian Studies, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, and the Association Internationale des Études Arméniennes, the Research on Armenian Architecture Foundation and Save Armenian Monuments.

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Two citizens that had crossed to territory under Azerbaijani control returned to Armenia

The two Armenian citizens that had crossed to the territory under Azerbaijani control were returned to Armenia at 23:45 on Sunday, the National Security Service reports.

The repatriation became possible due to joint actions of the Armenian and Russian Security Services.

Late on Saturday two residents of Kasakh community of Kotayk province had driven off the road while moving along Goris-Vorotan highway and ended up in the territory currently controlled by Azerbaijan.

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Armenia participates in Thessaloniki International Fair

Armenia marked another successful participation at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), the greatest exhibition event in Greece, which took place at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre from 11th to 19th of September 2021, while observing all necessary hygiene protocols.

Mayor of Thessaloniki visits the Armenian pavilion

TIF was the first major exhibition organized in Europe in 2021 and Armenia focused on promoting Armenian products, tourism as well as investments in several fields of the Armenian economy such as agriculture, renewables, financial services and capital markets.

The widest ever range of Armenian products was presented at the Show including the legendary brandy ArArAt, the world famous ZULAL, ARMENIA WINE, KARAS,ARAME wines, legendary ZORAH, – one of the best 10 wines of the world according to Bloomberg, the multi-award winning KILIKIA beer, JERMUK and BJNI mineral waters, NOYAN Premium juices as well as the innovative AWI Watches. Capital markets were presented by Armenbrok, the leading brokerage firm of Armenia and its associates in Greece.

The nine-day exhibition attracted thousands of Greek and non-Greek visitors including a lot of diplomats from several countries such Italy, Cyprus, Luxemburg, Romania, Poland, Morocco, Vietnam and Bangladesh who showed special interest in the Armenian wines exhibited while the exhibition booth was also visited by ministers and members of parliament from Cyprus and Greece who expressed the fraternal relations between Greece, Armenia and Cyprus.

Armenia’s participation was organized by the Hellenic-Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Greece under the auspices of the Embassy of Armenia to the Hellenic Republic.

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Erdogan says Turkey “not closed” to talks with Armenia

Turkey’s President on Sunday said his country was “ready for talks with Armenia” but added Yerevan needed to take steps towards opening a “corridor” that would have to go through Armenia to connect Azerbaijan to Nakhijevan, AFP reports.

Armenia and Turkey have no diplomatic relations and the shared border has been closed since the 1990s.

Earlier this month, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Yerevan was prepared to hold discussions on repairing relations with Ankara.

“We are not closed to talks (with Armenia), we will hold the talks,” Erdogan told reporters at an Istanbul airport before leaving for New York where he will attend the annual UN General Assembly meetings.

“I hope that not a negative but a positive approach will prevail there,” he said. “God willing, the problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia will be overcome with the opening of the corridors.”

Addressing a government meeting on September 8, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said “deepening or normalization of relations with neighboring countries is an important foreign policy priority.”

Referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest statements, Nikol Pashinyan said “we see an opportunity to talk about normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, recommissioning of the rail and road communication.”

At the same time, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has declared on many occasions that “Armenia has never discussed and will not discuss anything under the logic of a corridor.” He has empathized that neither the November 9, nor the January 11th statement make any mention of a “corridor.”

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Armenian Ombudsman informs ICRC about two citizens that crossed to territory under Azerbaijani control

Armenia’s Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan has transferred data on the two citizens that ended up in territory under Azerbaijani control to the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to Armenia.

Th Ombudsman has talked to the head of the ICRC delegation in Armenia and asked to keep the issue in the focus.

Earlier today the National Security Service said two residents of Armenia’s Kotayk province drove off the road on Goris-Kapan highway and ended up in territory under Azerbaijani control.

“We will continue to cooperate with our NSS partners within our competence. The NSS is currently taking active measures to return our compatriots,” the Ombudsman said.

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Over $200,000 raised for Lebanon Armenians at event organized by ACF

Asbarez – Heeding the call from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western U.S. Central Committee, the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s Lebanon-Armenian Relief Committee organized a fund-raising event on Thursday at the courtyard of the St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Church, where a capacity crowd came together to raise more than $200,000 in assistance for our sisters and brothers in Lebanon.

As has been the case during all national crisis, the Western U.S. Armenian community members and benefactors, joined by the Western Region ARF chapters, which, on their own had organized similar events, and staying true to the “One Nation, One Future” motto, once again, rose to the occasion.

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Two residents of Armenia’s Kotayk province end up in territory under Azerbaijani control

Two residents of Kasakh community of Armenia’s Kotayk region turn off the highway while driving along the Goris-Vorotan road and ended up in the territory under Azerbaijani control.

The National Security Service was alarmed about the incident on September 18, at 9 pm.

The NSS is working with the Federal Security Service of Russia to find them.

The results will be announced later.

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Azerbaijani forces fired at Armenian positions near Shushi on September 17, Russia MOD confirms

Three cases of ceasefire violation were registered in Shushi region on September 17, the Russian Ministry of Defense reports.

The Ministry quotes the Armenian side as saying that the shots were fired frim the positions of the armed forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

As a result of the shelling, two servicemen of the armed force of Artsakh were injured.

The command of the peacekeeping contingent is conducting an investigation with the participation of representatives of both sides.

Artsakh’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday that one of its servicemen was wounded as a result of shooting from the Azerbaijani side.

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