Thursday, 28 May 2020

W Weekly Update

15-22 February

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Weekly update

 

22 February

  • Continued Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) demining and rehabilitation assistance and support for the implementation of the Royce-Engel proposal to deploy gunfire locators along the line-of-contact were key components of the Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) testimony, submitted earlier today to the U.S. House panel drafting the Fiscal Year 2021 foreign aid bill, said News.am. The request for Artsakh aid was part of a broader $100 million targeted assistance package which would bolster U.S-Armenia economic and military partnerships and support for Armenia. ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan shared with appropriators how the ANCA’s proposals advance U.S. interests and suggested concise, draft legislative language for their consideration. She reaffirmed the ANCA’s commitment to Armenia’s aid-to-trade transition, asking Members of the Subcommittee to encourage the Trump Administration to make full use of the U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and Economic Task Force, and, most urgently, to move forward with the long-overdue negotiation of a modern U.S. Armenia Double Tax Treaty.

  

21 February

  • RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) reported, a newly formed government commission tasked with drafting wide-ranging amendments to the Armenian constitution met for the first time on Friday amid uncertainty about the outcome of its work. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian announced plans to set up the commission in December. It was decided then that the ad hoc body will comprise 15 members, including Armenia’s justice minister, human rights ombudsman, a representative of the country’s judges, members of the three political forces represented in the parliament and legal scholars chosen by the Justice Ministry. The commission’s members were appointed late last month just days before Pashinian’s political team unexpectedly drafted its own constitutional amendments and put them on a referendum slated for April 5.They call for replacing seven of the nine members of Armenia’s Constitutional Court locked in a dispute with the government.

  

20 February

  • President of the Republic of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan addressed a congratulatory message on the Artsakh Revival Day, the Presidential Office told Armenpress. The message says: “Dear compatriots, On behalf of the Artsakh Republic authorities and myself personally I extend my most heartfelt congratulations on the Artsakh Revival Day. On the 20th of February 1988 an extraordinary session of the Regional Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region was held in Stepanakert and lent legitimacy to our people’s perennial aspirations and announced the start of realizing their cherished dreams and goals…This day became the symbol of our people’s courage, determination and love for freedom, our nation-wide solidarity.”
  • The real agenda in Armenia continues to be the need to adopt a new Constitution as the basis of the state building process. Such an opinion was expressed to ArmInfo by political analyst Saro Saroyan. “Unfortunately, the current administration directed the post-revolutionary processes in the wrong direction.  As a result, they did not lead to a coordinated, fundamental resolution of the key issues facing the country.  In the conditions of abandonment of the evolutionary path of development, extinguishing the “fires” periodically arising here and there with palliatives is impossible,” he said. According to the analyst, it was the new Constitution that would allow the people to conclude a social contract on the basis of a dialogue that promotes the formation of public consensus. In turn, a social contract would open up the possibility of implementing institutional changes in Armenia and the establishment of state institutions, “he emphasized.

  

18 February

  • The Presidential Office informed, President Armen Sarkissian received today the Ambassador of the United States to Armenia Lynne Tracy. The parties exchanged views on the issues related to cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and the United States in different areas. In particular, among prospective areas were mentioned modern technologies, especially implementation of joint programs in the area of artificial intelligence. In this context, possible cooperation in the framework of the ATOM Presidential initiative aimed at the development of science and technology in Armenia was mentioned. The program is directed at making Armenia a leading center in the area of artificial intelligence and mathematical modeling. The parties discussed also opportunities of cooperation on a number of Presidential initiatives which are aimed at the enhancement of Armenia’s international standing and the boost of interest towards our country. The interlocutors exchanged also views on the referendum on the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia to be held on April 5.
  • Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar. Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Victorin was in attendance, the Prime Minister Office Pleased with the current status of EU-Armenia relations, the Prime Minister noted that the ongoing cooperation is of intensive nature. The Premier advised that our country is in the process of holding a referendum on constitutional amendments and presented its rationale and objectives. The interlocutors discussed issues related to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Nikol Pashinyan assured of Armenia’s commitment to achieving a peaceful settlement in the OSCE Minsk Group format. He reflected on his vision of the negotiated settlement. The Prime Minister highlighted the involvement of Artsakh’s civil society in confidence building measures, which will help shape a constructive atmosphere in the negotiation process.

  

17 February

  • The Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders’ recent talks, on the sidelines of the 2020 Munich Security Conference, were a useless format in terms of pushing ahead with serious processes in the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict settlement talks, according to an expert in international affairs. “Such a format did not exist at all on the level of the former leaders. To the best of my understanding, the Armenian authorities previously made proposals of the kind, which were later rejected. “I don’t think the format is useful given that the parties, by and large, voiced theses which have been raised for decades. And they practically did not say anything new at this meeting either; they did not discuss new ideas, approaches and thoughts, and hence the meeting itself cannot possibly have any effectiveness,” President and Founer of the Armenian Center for American Studies Suren Sargsyan told Tert.am.

  

15 February

  • Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev are holding a discussion on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The session was presided by a conversation between Pashinyan and Aliyev, News.am informed.

 

Sources: https://www.primeminister.am/en/press-release/, https://www.president.am, https://www.azatutyun.am/en, https://armenpress.am, https://news.am/eng/, https://tert.am,  https://arminfo.info/.

24 May 2020
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The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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