HUNTSVILLE, Ontario, June 26 (Reuters) – The United States, France and Russia on Saturday pledged to support Armenia and Azerbaijan as they try to agree basic principles for settling a dispute over Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“The people have a need to know. Journalists have a right to tell” is the message carried by the Newseum – America’s “most interactive museum” where five centuries of news history meet. I went in and came out blinded and impressed, but once the glaring of shiny exhibits settled down in my eyes and memory, I couldn’t let go of the feeling, that I’ve been somehow deceived.
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
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sent two foreign policy officials to meet the advisors of both U.S. presidential candidates Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain in the United States, Hurriyet daily reported on Tuesday.
Ahmet Davutoglu, chief foreign policy advisor to Erdogan and Suat Kiniklioglu, deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament would convey Turkey’s stance on a number of crucial issues, including PKK terrorism, the so-called Armenian “genocide” claims, Cyprus and other regional problems, to the advisors of both candidates, Hurriyet wrote.
Turkey would also urge the U.S. presidential candidates to listen to Turkish views on the so-called Armenian “genocide” claims, aside from focusing solely on the Armenian claims.
A warmer period began between Turkey and Armenia, who for more than a decade have not had any diplomatic relations over Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, after Turkish President Abdullah Gul paid a landmark visit to Armenia early September.
The 23rd issue of “Armenian Blogosphere” Radio Program is out and can be downloaded from here. The program brings comments by bloggers on the decline in global markets and shift in US and Russian policies in the Caucasus.
Athanatoi has detected warming of Russia-Turkey and Russia-Azerbaijan relations seeing dangers for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in this shift of Russian intersets. Mark Grigoryan on the other hand, has interviewed American co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group – Mathew Bryza, and notes, that first time ever a co-chair speaks to an international media outlet and states, that the Karabakh conflict should be settled based on the principle of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. “This indicates a shift of US approach to the Karabakh conflict”, Mark Grigoryan thinks. Kornelij Glas comments on the fall of Russian stock indices and decline of oil prices below $89. Nazarian compares the US and Russian economies and sees no reason for Russian speculations about the downfall of US economy and perceptions on takeover of the US interests in the world by Russia.
Back to Armenian realities. Following the President’s address to the nation from the Parliament, Uzogh has found a fundamental difference between President Serge Sargsian and his predicessor – Robert Kocharyan. While “Kocharyan sees the state as a political system”, the blogger remarks, “Sargsyan sees it as an economic one”. Mark Grigoryan looks at the speech from another perspective – the President didn’t say anything about 1) Armenia-Turkey relations 2) Karabakh conflict 3) Georgia-Russia conflict 4) Events of March 1st. “So it turns out the president didn’t say anything on the most important issues?”, the journalist-blogger asks?
This podcast also features an interview with wonderful Armenian blogger and writer Byurie.