The Obamameter, Armenians, Turks and blogs

As President Barack Obama’s 100 days in office went by the American analysts tried to find out how many of US President’s 514 campaign promises had been fulfilled, making use of the famous Obameter. Turns out Obama has fulfilled 27 of his campaign promises, broken 6, took a comprimise decision about 7 of them.

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Giving up scepticism over Armenia – Turkey 'roadmap'

Official Yerevan on Monday praised U.S. President Barack Obama’s carefully worded statement on the 1915 massacres of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey, while regretting his failure to describe them as genocide, RFE/RL reports.

“President Obama’s statement was a step forward from relevant statements made by other U.S. presidents,” Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian told the Armenpress news agency. “That statement contains very strong points. President Obama said that he has repeatedly spoken out on the events of 1915 and that he has not changed those views.”
“President Obama used the phrase Mets Yeghern. We Armenians ourselves use both the terms genocide and Mets Yeghern.”

Seems like US has assigned the role of appeasing the Diaspora to the Armenian authorities, and they are doing the job well.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Nalbandian, apparently to thank for the understanding stance and give a pat on the back. In diplomatic lingo that sounded like this: “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reported to describe as “historic” a Turkish-Armenian statement on the normalization of bilateral relations.”
While ARF-Dashnaktsutyun’s strong wording and pulling out of ruling coalition initially raised my suspicion about the course of action in Armenia’s foreign policy, the latest announcements by Nalbandian and Clinton’s phone call persuaded once again, that US is behind the April 22 Armenia – Turkey – Switzerland announced ‘roadmap’, which means there are actually certain guarantees of it being fair to Armenia, so now I’m going to give up skepticism and wait a little longer.

Podcast: Armenian blogosphere talks Turkey

Podcast“Armenia and Turkey have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations,” is said in the joint statement disseminated by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries. Hot discussions around the statement have started in the Armenian blogs.
“Today, a day before the commemoration of the genocide victims, we have learnt that Armenia and Turkey had signed an official joint document on normalizing bilateral relations and identifying a road-map,” Ogostos writes. “I would like to a) know what that bloody road-map contains; b) hear what Dashnaks will say before their torchlight procession; c) read “Golos Armenii” and other similar newspapers. Actually, I would like normal relations to be established between Armenia and Turkey. However, I am concerned about the price we will have to pay for it,” Ogostos concludes.

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Dashnaktsutyun Observes Genocide Vigil

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As hundreds of Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF-Dashnaktsutyun) supporters start the traditional procession with lanterns in the center of Yerevan to observe vigil the evening before official Genocide rememberence day, the question remains – will the party opt out of the ruling coalition over Armenian – Turkish – Swiss announcement on normalisation of relations released April 22nd? Continue reading “Dashnaktsutyun Observes Genocide Vigil”

Armenia, Turkey release joint statement

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Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries released a joint statement today, claiming they have agreed “on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner.”
The statement comes at a time, when most analysts in Armenia are speaking of a deadlock in Armenia – Turkey negotiations, saying Turkey has used Armenia for its purposes, not giving anything in return.
Furtherfore, RFE/RL reports, top leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) harshly criticized on Wednesday President Serzh Sarkisian’s policy toward Turkey, saying that it has only harmed Armenia and earned Ankara a role in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.
Today’s statement means one of the two things: either there really is some real progress, or – Armenian Foreign Ministry have gone absolutely nuts by releasing such a statement 1 day before April 24 – Armenian Genocide anniversary and a day, when US President Barac Obama is expected to make a statement about the Armenian Genocide.
The full text of the statement is below: Continue reading “Armenia, Turkey release joint statement”

Armenia: recession hits hard, -6.1% in first quarter

The Armenian National Statistical service has released the “Current-operative preliminary main macro-economic indicators” characterizing the socio-economic situation of Armenia for January-March 2009. The situation is sad – to say the least – the published data shows that the Armenian economy has shrinked by 6.1% compared with last year.
But the bare figure won’t tell you much. Consider this: data released for only January – February indicated a 3.7% slump in the economy. So March has gone that much wrong to affect the whole quarter so radically. As the economic activity starts to pick up, the difference in what economic (de)growth we have now and what we had only a year ago will likely become more obvious. Continue reading “Armenia: recession hits hard, -6.1% in first quarter”

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