U.S. President Barack Obama marked the 18th anniversary of Armenia’s declaration of independence late Tuesday with a special statement and a congratulatory message to his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian, RFE/RL reports.
“The people of the United States join the people of Armenia in celebrating Armenia’s day of independence today,” Obama said in a statement posted on the White House website. “We deeply value the many cultural and historic ties that bind our two countries.”
The full text of Obama’s statement is here. The reason this statement by Obama grabbed my attention is the background information on the RFE/RL story: “Obama similarly congratulated Armenians on the occasion and hailed their “spirit of independence, self-reliance, and survival” one year ago, when he was still a presidential candidate. “Even in the face of genocide, the pain of the past has not defeated the Armenians, either in Armenia or the far-flung diaspora,” he said in a September 2008 letter to Sarkisian.“ Link
Armenia turned 18 today. Wouldn’t be able to buy beer in U.S.A yet, but certainly entitled to a passport. This is quite a mature age for a country, and time to behave more responsibly in local and international politics. Like an adult!
Let’s wish all the best to the 18-year-old Armenia and its 18-year-old citizens, many of whom have yet to understand what statehood, citizenship and responsibility towards one’s country means.
PS: I’m buried in so much work, that it doesn’t seem like holiday or party at all. Oh well, I suppose work-work-work is part of building one’s country and helping sustain its fragile independence?
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoghlu has proposed to start parliamentary discussions on the “peace road” project which would connect the Caucasus to Europe, spanning vast 7 thousand kilometers, passing through 12 countries, connecting 24 cities including Baku, Yerevan and Istanbul, Turkish Sabah newspaper reports.
From what little I was able to make of the Google Translator’s English version of the text, it looks like the project has been agreed on by the Black See Economic Cooperation (BSEC) countries back in 2007, and the project called “Black See Ring Road” is waiting for the approval by the parliaments of member countries. Here’s a quote (don’t even hope for it to be an accurate translation):
The “Black See Ring Road” will pass through 12 countries and 24 cities connecting the Caucasus to the Balkans. Each country will meet the cost of construction within its own borders. EU funds could also be used for road construction. According to the agreement the road would link the countries and cities as follows: "Komotini, Alexandroupoli (Greece), Edirne, Istanbul, Samsun, Trabzon (Turkey), Batumi, Poti (Georgia), Yerevan (Armenia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Novorosisk , Rostov-on-Don, Taganrok (Russia), Mariupol, Melitopol, Odessa (Ukraine), Chisinau (Moldova), Bucharest, Constanta (Romania), Haskovo, Sofia (Bulgaria), Nis, Belgrade (Serbia), Tirana (Albania ).
The project looks too unrealistic to be true, especially the funding part. I’m also somewhat worried by the fact, that none of us has heard anything about such a magnificent agreement signed by our country back in 2007.
On the other hand, even if it’s another test of public opinion, as we have seen the Turkish media do from time to time, I’m here to give my very own subjective, non-public opinion – this is a great idea. I like the Baku-Yerevan connection part, and promise to drive on it from end-to-end as soon as the road is completed! Hey, I can even promise to buckle up the whole way and only listen to Armenian Rabiz music throughout the trip!
Raffi Hovannisian, the leader of a “Heritage” opposition party, will give up his mandate in the National Assembly, RFE/RL reports.
The source, who asked not to be identified, declined to comment on reasons for the unexpected move, saying that Hovannisian himself will explain his motives in the coming days. The spokesman for his Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, Hovsep Khurshudian, refused to confirm or refute the resignation.
Oh I love when they do that – refuse to ‘confirm or refute’, because that leaves so much space for speculation. My version of the developments is – Hovhannisian has just started his run for the next presidential elections which are due sometime in the faraway 2013. Why not? Let the race begin!
This video from the YouTube claims that Armenia’s entry into “Eurovision 2009” music contest was actually a rip-off from Azerbaijani musician Tofiq Quliyev’s “Naxcivani” song. Thanks to Hetq blog’s Sard for the link. There are, actually, some similarities between the two songs, which is probably the case with most folk-music in the Caucasus.