Washington briefing

U.S. insists on delinking Karabakh from Armenia-Turkey normalization

Published: Saturday December 12, 2009

Two days after the prime minister of Turkey ruled out parliamentary ratification of agreements with Armenia unless there was progress on Karabakh, the United States government reiterated its insistence that the two issues should be dealt with separately. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Turkish ambassador resigns over prime minister’s visit

Published: Saturday December 12, 2009

Nabi Sensoy, a veteran Turkish diplomat who has been ambassador in Washington since 2006, resigned just hours after Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan completed his visit to Washington. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Leading Turkish think tank opens Washington branch

Published: Saturday December 12, 2009

The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) of Ankara became the first private Turkey-based think tank to open a branch in the United States earlier this year. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Senior Armenian member of parliament to meet members of Congress

Published: Saturday December 12, 2009

Armen Rustamian, the chairperson of the Armenian parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee and a senior member of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), visited Washington on December 9–10. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

British media scandalized over ex-PM Blair’s paid Baku visit

Published: Saturday December 12, 2009

Tony Blair, who was prime minister of Great Britain from 1997 to 2007, received nearly $150,000 to make a visit to Azerbaijan and deliver a speech there last month. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Russia wants NATO, OSCE replaced with new security pact

Published: Friday December 04, 2009

President Dmitry Medvedev published what he called a draft proposal for a new European security treaty that Russia wants to supplant Cold War-era organizations like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Emil Sanamyan reports.

Author: Azerbaijan, Israel “betrayed, pained” by Turkey

Published: Friday December 04, 2009

Turkey's rapprochement with Armenia has caused feelings of resentment in Azerbaijan, while its leaders' criticism of the Jewish state is "very painful for Israel to sustain," said Alexander Murinson, a scholar who discussed his Ph.D. thesis titled "Turkey's Entente with Israel and Azerbaijan in the post-Cold War era," at the SETA Foundation on November 24. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Azerbaijan advises International Court of Justice on Kosovo

Published: Friday December 04, 2009

Thirty-five states, including Azerbaijan but not Armenia, starting this week have provided "advisory opinions" in an International Court of Justice (ICJ) case contesting the validity of Kosovo's independence declaration in early 2008, according to ICJ. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Pentagon’s regional manager makes fist Armenia trip

Published: Friday December 04, 2009

Celeste Wallander, deputy assistant secretary of defense in charge of U.S. defense policy in Eurasia, discussed bilateral cooperation with Armenian officials on December 2-3. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Afghanistan, Iran, and weapons to dominate Erdogan-Obama agenda

Published: Friday December 04, 2009

The U.S. military buildup in Afghanistan, ongoing concerns with Iran's nuclear program, and potential American arms sales to Turkey are expected to dominate President Barack Obama's talking points as he meets Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 7 Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Armenian Caucus member takes on Congress’s European portfolio

Published: Wednesday December 02, 2009

Representative Bill Delahunt (D.-Mass), a veteran member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, has been selected to chair the Subcommittee on Europe of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Delahunt will replace as subcommittee chair Rep. Rob Wexler (D.-Fla.), the founder of the Turkey Caucus, who is leaving Congress next month.

Major U.S. dailies raise concerns with Turkey

Published: Thursday November 26, 2009

Ahead of a summit between Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Barack Obama on December 7 in Washington, leading U.S. newspapers outlined concerns with Mr. Erdogan's policies Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Krikorian closer to Democratic nomination in congressional run

Published: Thursday November 26, 2009

Businessperson David Krikorian emerged as the frontrunner to clinch the Democratic Party's nomination for member of Congress representing Ohio's second congressional district after state representative Ted Book pulled out. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Majority leader cosponsors Senate resolution

Published: Thursday November 26, 2009

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who heads the majority Democratic Party in the Senate, on November 19 cosponsored Resolution 316, which would affirm the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Expert: Armenia-Turkey protocols undermine congressional resolutions

Published: Thursday November 26, 2009

The agreements signed by the Armenian and Turkish governments last month will serve to chip away at congressional support for Armenian Genocide resolutions, according to Gregory Aftandilian a former State Department analyst and senior foreign-policy advisor in Congress.

NKR prime minister: our membership in U.N. is matter of time

Published: Thursday November 26, 2009

While at the United Nations headquarters in New York on November 18, NKR prime Minister Ara Harutiunian argued that international recognition of NKR's independence and the republic's U.N. membership were just a matter of time, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Corruption perception report issued

Published: Friday November 20, 2009

Armenia was ranked 120th of 180 countries and on par with Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Vietnam in terms of perception of its government corruption, according to the Transparency International annual rating released on November 19.

Armenian-American candidate for Senate opposes Turkey protocols

Published: Friday November 20, 2009

Danny Tarkanian, a Las Vegas businessperson seeking the Republican Party's nomination for the U.S. Senate, expressed opposition to the U.S.-mediated Armenia-Turkey protocols, the Armenian National Committee - Political Action Committee (ANC-PAC) reported on November 14.

U.S. official reiterates support for Armenia-Turkey “process”

Published: Friday November 20, 2009

A senior State Department official speaking in Turkey reiterated support for U.S.-mediated Armenia-Turkey talks that resulted in the signing of protocols on relations last month, but left no indication about when the agreements might be implemented, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Armenia mediates as Russia and Georgia talk of opening border

Published: Friday November 20, 2009

Georgian-Russian rhetoric remains acrimonious and formal negotiations over former Georgian provinces, held in Geneva, have proved fruitless so far. But low-key talks held with Armenian mediation appear to have begun to produce results, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Coming up: Turkish leader to visit Washington

Published: Friday November 13, 2009

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to visit with President Barack Obama on December 7, officials said this week. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Turkey warned against distancing from West

Published: Friday November 13, 2009

"Turkey's leaders must not think that they can expand the country's influence without first having a firm footing in the West," Morton Abramowitz, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, and Henri Barkey, a Turkey scholar, warned in an article they cowrote for the journal "Foreign Affairs." Emil Sanamyan reports.

Sen. McCain: Armenian Genocide “amply documented”

Published: Friday November 13, 2009

"I believe that genocide was committed against the Armenian people, I think there is ample documentation of that," Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.), the former GOP presidential candidate, told the Voice of America (VoA) Georgian service on November 9. On several previous occasions, the senator from Arizona has acknowledged the Armenian Genocide while opposing congressional resolutions on the subject, Emil Sanamyan reports.

MCC: Armenia “in red” in 8 of 17 performance indicators

Published: Friday November 13, 2009

Armenia ranks below average in nearly half of the indicators used by the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to determine countries' eligibility for its assistance programs, according to an annual scorecard released on November 9. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Turkish lobby group picks ex-State Dept. No. 2 as chair

Published: Monday November 09, 2009

Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage will replace former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft as chair of the board of directors of the American-Turkish Council (ATC), the group reported on October 29. The appointment will take effect at the start of 2010.

Senate Democratic leader raises concerns over Armenia-Turkey protocols

Published: Monday November 09, 2009

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) communicated his constituents' concerns over Armenia-Turkey agreements signed last month. Mr. Reid leads the majority Democratic Party in the Senate.

Governance, business climate, technology in focus of U.S.-Armenia talks

Published: Monday November 09, 2009

The United States and Armenia drew up a new action plan focusing on "good governance, addressing regional issues, and enhancing the business climate in Armenia," the U.S. State Department reported on November 4. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding on science and technology cooperation.

Armenia set to join NATO’s Afghanistan force

Published: Saturday October 31, 2009

Armenia is in the “final stages” of deploying a peacekeeping unit with NATO International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Armenia, European Union discuss cooperation

Published: Saturday October 31, 2009

Three Caucasus foreign ministers arrived in Luxembourg for October 26–27 meetings with European Union officials intended to review cooperative programs and map out what comes next. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Coming up: Baku courts Washington

Published: Saturday October 31, 2009

Azerbaijan’s deputy foreign minister Araz Azimov, government counsel Malcolm Shaw, and analyst Alexandros Petersen are expected to promote Baku’s vision of “the future of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict” during a November 3 off-the-record discussion in Washington, Emil Sanamyan reports.

OSCE Yerevan Office helping to improve police-media relations

Published: Saturday October 31, 2009

An OSCE-supported workshop to promote cooperation between police and the media was held on October 26 in Armenia's northern Lori province.

Biden: East Europeans should feel safe, tutor former Soviets

Published: Saturday October 31, 2009

Visiting the capitals of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania, Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to their security. During his tour, he also suggested that the newer NATO members should help former Soviet states become more democratic. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Obama wants “maintained momentum” for Armenia-Turkey normalization

Published: Thursday October 22, 2009

The presidents of the United States and Turkey discussed "the historic progress that is being made on normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia, and the importance of maintaining the momentum in this important effort," the White House reported on October 17 about a phone conversation the same day. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Turkey seeks mediator role between Iran, U.S.

Published: Thursday October 22, 2009

President Barack Obama has invited Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Washington, the Turkish leader revealed on October 16, suggesting that he may go immediately after a visit to Iran. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Senators reintroduce Armenian Genocide resolution

Published: Thursday October 22, 2009

Senators Robert Menendez (D.-N.J.) and John Ensign (R.-Nev.) on October 21 reintroduced a resolution on the Armenian Genocide, a move welcomed by Armenian advocacy organizations. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Congressional Turkey caucus expands to 100 members

Published: Thursday October 22, 2009

Membership in the congressional Turkey caucus reach 100, the Turkish Coalition of America reported on October 16. Emil Sanamyan has details.

U.S. official: No plans for missile defense in non-NATO states

Published: Thursday October 22, 2009

A senior U.S. defense official this week denied reports about U.S. intentions to base radar in the Caucasus that could track missile launches from Iran. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Human development, press freedom reports issued

Published: Thursday October 22, 2009

Armenia's level of "human development" was below Turkey's but slightly above Azerbaijan's and Georgia's, according to an annual report issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). And according to a report issued by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders, Armenia registered a regress in press freedom. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Coming up: Armenian officials in the U.S.

Published: Thursday October 22, 2009

Economics Minister Nerses Yeritsian will join Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch at the Armenia Technology Congress in San Jose, Calif., on November 5-8.

Key Armenian Caucus members comment on protocols, Genocide resolution

Published: Saturday October 17, 2009

Leading advocates of Armenian-American issues in Congress issued a joint statement that raised concerns with some of the provisions of the Armenia-Turkey protocols, while also reiterating their intention to continue to advocate for a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Turkey bars Israel from war games in latest snub

Published: Saturday October 17, 2009

Ankara barred the Israeli air force from the annual "Anatolian Eagle" exercises conducted in Turkey together with NATO since 2001, international media reported on October 11. The United States and Italy have pulled out of the war games as a result. Emil Sanamyan reports.

U.S. and Russia detail their roles in Armenia-Turkey deal

Published: Saturday October 17, 2009

Reports by U.S. and Russian officials played up their respective interventions as decisive in getting Armenia and Turkey to sign the protocols on bilateral relations, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Pro-Turkey member of Congress resigns to deal with Middle East peace

Published: Saturday October 17, 2009

Rep. Robert Wexler (D.-Fla.), a key supporter of Turkey in Congress, said he will resign his seat in January, a year before completing his seventh term in the House of Representatives. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Coming up

Published: Friday October 09, 2009

Ohio commission reprimands David Krikorian

Published: Friday October 09, 2009

An Armenian-American seeking the Democratic Party's nomination in Ohio's 2nd congressional district could not prove that the Turkish government directly funded the Republican incumbent's election campaign, while making statements to that effect, the Ohio Electoral Commission determined October 1, reprimanding the challenger, The Associated Press reported.

Armenians for Obama: administration’s policies undermine Armenian support

Published: Friday October 09, 2009

Armenian American supporters of Barack Obama's candidacy have written a letter faulting the president for failing to keep his pre-election promises, and warning that a continuing failure would have an electoral impact in 2010.

Sen. Menendez blasts Armenia-Turkey protocols

Published: Friday October 09, 2009

Sen. Bob Menendez (D.-N.J.), a leading Senate voice on Armenian issues, described elements of the proposed Armenia-Turkey protocols as "frankly absurd" and an "insult to the Armenian people."

Obama, Sargsyan have first phone conversation

Published: Friday October 09, 2009

In what was the first reported direct conversation between the two presidents, Barack Obama phoned Serge Sargsyan on October 5, "to commend him for his courageous leadership and to encourage continued progress on normalization of relations with Turkey," the White House reported the next day.

Europeans issue report on Ossetia war

Published: Thursday October 01, 2009

More than a year after the brief but devastating confrontation over South Ossetia was fought largely on live television, European Union investigators determined that it was Georgia after all that launched the war; but they also said Russia’s response, while initially justifiable, soon became excessive. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

White House responds to congressional letter on Armenia policy

Published: Thursday October 01, 2009

The Obama White House responded to 81 members of Congress more than six weeks after their letter raised concerns about the United States’ Armenia-Turkey policy. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. again insists on “reasonable timeframe” for Armenia-Turkey normalization

Published: Thursday October 01, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Assistant Secretary Philip Gordon reaffirmed U.S. support for the Armenia-Turkey normalization process this week. Mr. Gordon's remarks, however, pointed to persistent concerns about a speedy ratification of the agreement. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Azerbaijani official assails U.S. policies in “friendly talk”

Published: Friday September 25, 2009

A senior Azerbaijani official dismissed U.S. criticism of his government's treatment of political opponents, restrictions on mass media and nongovernmental groups, and corruption, pointing to what he argued were similar restrictions or greater problems in the United States. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Pentagon wants anti-Iran radar in the Caucasus

Published: Friday September 25, 2009

A senior general has again expressed an interest in placing a U.S. military radar in the Caucasus. Emil Sanamyan reports on the story and its history.

U.S. sees “clear outline” for Karabakh peace, “tangible results” in weeks

Published: Tuesday September 22, 2009

The U.S. State Department's top diplomat hopes to see "tangible results" come out of an expected meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in October. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Armenian-American groups split on Turkey protocols

Published: Friday September 18, 2009

The protocols on the establishment of bilateral relations and diplomatic relations that Armenia and Turkey are expected to sign on October 13 continue to be debated by Armenian-Americans, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. scraps European missile defense plan, launches fresh Iran diplomacy

Published: Friday September 18, 2009

The Obama administration decided to cancel the former president's plan to place missile interceptors and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Turkey seeks upgraded missile defense shield

Published: Friday September 18, 2009

The Turkish government is considering proposals on ways to improve its missile defense capabilities, including a potential $7.8 billion deal with U.S. companies. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Coming up: Armenia’s prime minister to visit U.S.

Published: Friday September 18, 2009

A visit of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian to the United States is in the works, Armenia's Ministry of Economy revealed in a statement on September 11. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. agency keeps Armenia aid cut in place

Published: Saturday September 12, 2009

The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) board held its regular quarterly meeting on September 9, with no new decisions on Armenia made public, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Rankings measure economic competitiveness, extent of state failure

Published: Saturday September 12, 2009

Armenia is behind its neighbors when it comes to the ability to attract foreign investments and do business, while it has done a relatively better job establishing state institutions, recent studies say. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Coming up: Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Turkish officials in the U.S.

Published: Saturday September 12, 2009

On September 14, European Union officials will gather in Brussels for a fresh review of the EU's policy in the South Caucasus. Also, officials from Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey will be in the United States. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Congressional, Armenian-American reaction to protocols is mixed

Published: Friday September 04, 2009

The announcement by Armenia and Turkey of their intention to sign protocols that could pave the way for diplomatic relations have elicited a slew of reactions from members of Congress and Armenian-American organizations, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Caucus co-chairs reiterate call for “international recognition” on Karabakh jubilee

Published: Friday September 04, 2009

“We continue to join you in the call for formal international recognition of your independence,” Reps. Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R,-Ill.) declared in a September 2 letter addressed to Nagorno-Karabakh’s President Bako Sahakian on the republic’s Independence Day, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Turkmenistan ratchets up rhetoric in Caspian dispute with Azerbaijan

Published: Friday September 04, 2009

Turkmenistan will build up its naval forces in the Caspian, its President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov declared on August 31. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have failed to agree on their maritime affairs after years of intermittent talks, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Russia, Georgia square off over Black Sea traffic to Abkhazia

Published: Friday September 04, 2009

Georgia sparked a fresh bout of tensions with Russia after its coast guard boats detained a cargo ship carrying fuel from Turkey to Abkhazia, RFE/RL and other media reported this week.

Senator Kennedy’s leadership on Armenian issues recalled

Published: Friday August 28, 2009

Armenian-Americans this week remembered the longstanding leadership and support of Senator Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.). Throughout more than four decades in the U.S. Congress, Senator Kennedy actively supported Armenian-American concerns.

Former editor Doug Frantz probing nuclear smuggling for Senate committee

Published: Friday August 28, 2009

The former Los Angeles Times editor who stirred up controversy in the Armenian community is now working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee led by Senator John Kerry (D.-Mass.)

Former U.S. official: Karabakh settlement up to Armenia and Azerbaijan

Published: Friday August 28, 2009

The Karabakh "conflict should be solved in Baku and Yerevan, not in Washington or Moscow," Marc Grossman, former U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs told Azerbaijani officials on August 24.

State Department’s Caucasus manager names his successor

Published: Friday August 21, 2009

Ambassador Tina Kaidanow will serve as the next U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of relations with the Caucasus, Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus. Matt Bryza, who currently holds the job, made the announcement in Georgia on August 10. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Russia says it wants Karabakh settlement; mulls use of military force abroad

Published: Friday August 21, 2009

“Russia is interested in the [Karabakh] conflict settlement and we are not interested in any conflicts in the Caucasus,” Russian premier Vladimir Putin said on a visit to Turkey on August 6. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Russia, Turkey reach fresh energy, trade agreements

Published: Friday August 21, 2009

Turkey agreed to transit Russian gas to third countries and will continue to consider the Russian bid to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, the two nations’ leaders agreed earlier this month. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Clinton indicates shift in U.S. thinking on Iran nuclear program

Published: Saturday August 01, 2009

With chances for a new government in Tehran quickly receding, American leaders have renewed warnings over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Russia, Turkey to hold fresh high-level talks

Published: Saturday August 01, 2009

Russian premier Vladimir Putin will visit with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on August 6, the Russian and Turkish governments announced on July 30. Emil Sanamyan reports details.

Biden comments on Russian economy, Georgian politics

Published: Saturday August 01, 2009

Russia will be forced to cooperate with the United States because Russia will grow economically and politically weaker, Vice President Joe Biden told the Wall Street Journal at the end of his trip to Georgia last week. Emil Sanamyan reports.

U.S. officials, Congress members debate relations with Russia

Published: Saturday August 01, 2009

In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Europe on July 28, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Celeste Wallander discussed the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s visit to Moscow in early July. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Members of Congress reiterate support for Armenia, Karabakh

Published: Friday July 24, 2009

Four key congressional supporters of Armenian-American issues released a joint statement denouncing Azerbaijan’s threatening rhetoric and reiterating support for Karabakh peace.

Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chair to run for Senate

Published: Friday July 24, 2009

Rep. Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) who last January became co-chair of the congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues will run for the U.S. Senate, he announced on July 20. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Chevron lobbied against Genocide resolution as it sought Turkey oil concession

Published: Friday July 24, 2009

A major U.S. oil company engaged in lobbying against a congressional resolution that affirms the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide as it negotiated to win an oil concession in Turkey. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. pledges continued military support for Georgia

Published: Friday July 24, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden toured Ukraine and Georgia this week in a visit that sought to underscore U.S. support for the two countries after President Barack Obama, on a visit to Moscow earlier this month, had declared a new, more cooperative stage in relations with Russia. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Members of Congress raise concerns with Armenia-Turkey “road-map”

Published: Monday July 20, 2009

In a proposed letter to President Barack Obama, leading congressional advocates of Armenian-American issues charged Turkey with reneging on a commitment to normalize relations with Armenia and urged the administration "to separate the issues of normalization and genocide recognition."

ANCA denounces “pressure” on Armenia regarding Karabakh

Published: Monday July 20, 2009

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has expressed “profound disappointment” over the recent joint statement of the presidents of the United States, Russia, and France about the Karabakh conflict. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Erdogan sees “nearly genocide” in China

Published: Monday July 20, 2009

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan characterized recent clashes in China’s northwestern Xiniang province as “nearly genocide.” Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Turkey agrees with Europeans over gas transit

Published: Monday July 20, 2009

After months of disagreements, Turkey signed an agreement with Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Austria to serve as a transit point for natural gas supplies to Europe. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. sees Turkey, others as “emerging global powers”

Published: Saturday July 18, 2009

Turkey is the only NATO member among countries listed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as "emerging global powers" the U.S. hopes to see as "full partners in tackling the global agenda," Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Armenian issues get high-level attention at G8 summit and in phone conversations

Published: Thursday July 09, 2009

The presidents of France, Russia, and the United States were expected to issue a joint statement on Karabakh during the G8 summit of the world’s leading economies being held on July 8–10 in Italy, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S., Russia agree on Afghanistan transit, disagree on Georgia

Published: Thursday July 09, 2009

Russia will allow the United States to transit supplies for U.S. and coalition forces via Russian territory, news agencies reported. The agreement was made public as President Barack Obama was hosted for a working visit to Moscow on July 6–8 that was supposed to “reset” bilateral relations that have long been troubled by tensions.

U.S. praised for aiding Armenia

Published: Thursday July 09, 2009

President Serge Sargsian on July 7 visited the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan to offer congratulations on the occasion of America’s Independence Day. He reiterated Armenia’s interest in cooperation, the president’s press office reported.

U.S. official: “Democratic reforms” may lead to more rural aid

Published: Thursday July 09, 2009

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza this week suggested that the recent amnesty of most Armenian opposition activists held in connection with deadly clashes on March 1, 2008, was a welcome, but insufficient step, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Coming up: Putin in Turkey

Published: Thursday July 09, 2009

In August, Russian premier Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Turkey.

Survey: Obama most, Putin least popular among world’s leaders

Published: Saturday July 04, 2009

America's president is by far the world's most popular leader, according to surveys that were conducted in 20 countries and involved more than 19,000 respondents. Emil Sanamyan has additional details.

DC think tanks: Armenia, ex-USSR backsliding on democracy

Published: Saturday July 04, 2009

Democratic decline in Central Europe and Eurasia was widespread in 2008, according to the Nations in Transit publication released by the Washington-based Freedom House on June 30. Worldwide Governance Indicators issued by the Brookings Institution and the World Bank found progress in Armenia in five of six areas covered, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Russia clinches Azerbaijan gas supplies

Published: Friday July 03, 2009

On June 29 Russian president Dmitry Medvedev paid a previously unscheduled three-hour visit to Azerbaijan, whose leader agreed to begin to sell natural gas to Russia, news agencies reported.

Israel, Azerbaijan to step up military cooperation

Published: Friday July 03, 2009

An Israeli company will launch production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Azerbaijan, and the two countries will cooperate in other military areas, including satellite technology. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Coming up: Horserace diplomacy?

Published: Friday July 03, 2009

On July 18, the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents may hold another meeting in Moscow, as both are expected to attend an annual horserace sponsored by the Russian president.

Obama condemns crackdown in Iran, but says he “respects its sovereignty”

Published: Friday June 26, 2009

As the crackdown on antigovernment protestors intensified in Iran, President Barack Obama condemned Tehran, but insisted that “the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran” and that it was up to Iranians to determine their future. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Ahead of Moscow summit, U.S. reasserts role in ex-USSR

Published: Friday June 26, 2009

As President Obama readied for talks with Russian leaders early next month, the United States held "strategic partnership" talks with Georgia and succeeded in having Kyrgyzstan reverse its decision to close the U.S. air base on its soil, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

A century and a half later, Congress apologizes for slavery

Published: Friday June 26, 2009

Both houses of Congress have now passed resolutions apologizing for past treatment of African-Americans, including slavery and segregation. The Senate voted unanimously to do so on June 18. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Foreign aid bill endorsed by House Appropriations Committee

Published: Friday June 26, 2009

Legislation that sets out foreign-aid allocations and was passed in the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee on June 17 was approved by the full House Appropriations Committee on June 23, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Coming up: Peres and Biden in the Caucasus, Sarkozy postpones his trip

Published: Friday June 26, 2009

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has postponed his anticipated trip to the Caucasus and Kazakhstan. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Ukraine and Georgia in late July.

U.S. companies with Turkey interests lobby against Genocide resolution

Published: Saturday June 20, 2009

Major arms producers BAE Systems Inc., Goodrich Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp., Raytheon Co., and United Technologies Corp. and energy producer Chevron Corp. lobbied against the Armenian Genocide resolution introduced in U.S. Congress earlier this year, the Associated Press reported on June 12 citing mandatory lobbying disclosures.

U.S. seeks to keep Kyrgyzstan airbase

Published: Saturday June 20, 2009

President Obama sent a letter to Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev emphasizing the importance of bilateral security ties, the Kyrgyz government reported on June 11.

State Dept. sees improvement in Armenia’s anti-trafficking policy

Published: Saturday June 20, 2009

Armenia has been removed from the U.S. human trafficking “watch list,” the State Department reported on June 16. After spending five years on the list, Armenia was credited with “significant efforts” to meet U.S. standards on fighting trafficking in persons, although it was still short of meeting them.

Possible pick for U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan criticized

Published: Saturday June 20, 2009

Matt Bryza, who has been the U.S. envoy for Karabakh negotiations since 2005, may be considered for a posting as U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan, a well-connected Foreign Policy magazine blog, The Cable, reported on June 12. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

World watching Iran’s post-election crisis

Published: Saturday June 20, 2009

Street clashes and large-scale protests that followed Iran's June 12 presidential election continue to grab headlines as the United States and others try to make sense of the crisis, watching for any potential impact it might have on Iran's relations with the world. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Pentagon’s Eurasia manager appointed

Published: Friday June 12, 2009

American University professor Celeste Wallander was appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia policy, the Department of Defense reported on June 9. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Proposed removal of U.S. trade restrictions for Azerbaijan questioned

Published: Friday June 12, 2009

Armenian organizations are questioning the rationale and timing for the efforts to remove Soviet-era trade sanctions against Azerbaijan – commonly referred to as the Jackson-Vanik amendment, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. agency cuts $67 million in Armenia funding

Published: Thursday June 11, 2009

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) board met on June 10 and decided that it “will not resume funding for any further road construction and rehabilitation” in Armenia. The funding had been suspended after U.S. officials blamed the Armenian government for the violence that followed last year’s presidential elections, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Barack Obama urges fresh start with Muslim world

Published: Friday June 05, 2009

In a much-anticipated address, President Barack Obama acknowledged on June 4 misunderstandings between the United States and many Muslims, and also stressed that “America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”

FM: Turkey wants new emphasis on U.S. ties, continued Armenia talks

Published: Friday June 05, 2009

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, addressing the American-Turkish Council (ATC) conference in Washington, acknowledged the link between Armenia-Turkey talks and Armenian-American efforts to pass a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Russia, Georgia may discuss opening of border crossing

Published: Friday June 05, 2009

The Russian Foreign Ministry has proposed to hold talks with Georgian diplomats on reopening the main highway linking the two countries at the Lars checkpoint.

Iran’s president faces strong electoral challenge

Published: Friday June 05, 2009

Early expectations that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would easily win reelection in voting on June 12 have now been replaced with those of a close race with a former prime minister, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, with the outcome likely to be decided in a runoff election.

Coming up: Sarkozy, Gordon, and Peres in the Caucasus, Obama in Russia

Published: Friday June 05, 2009

Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon, French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and Israeli president Shimon Peres are all headed for the Caucasus. President Barack Obama will visit Russia.

ANCA charges Obama with “grave offense” to Armenian Americans

Published: Friday May 22, 2009

In a strongly worded communication, the Armenian National Committee of America’s chair Ken Hachikian urged President Barack Obama to “revise the course your Administration has chosen on issues of special concern to Armenian Americans,” Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. reassures Armenia on Turkey talks

Published: Friday May 22, 2009

A letter from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent to Armenian President Serge Sargsian last week reiterated U.S. support for Armenia-Turkey talks. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

State Department’s new Eurasia manager confirmed

Published: Friday May 22, 2009

Philip Gordon, the Obama administration’s nominee for assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, was confirmed by the Senate on May 14. According to earlier reports, Mr. Gordon’s nomination was held up for over a month by Sen. John Ensign (R.-Nev.) because of Mr. Gordon’s opposition to U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. Emil Sanamyan has the story.

Turkey, Azerbaijan boosters hold Washington events

Published: Friday May 22, 2009

Hardly a week goes by in the U.S. capital without a public event intended to extol the importance of Turkey to the world. Less frequently, but also on regular basis, the Azerbaijani government’s mercenaries gather to discuss ways to ingratiate that eccentric regime to the Washington establishment. Emil Sanamyan rounds up the latest Washington events.

Putin meets Erdogan, indicates no change in Russia’s Karabakh policy

Published: Friday May 22, 2009

Meeting with visiting Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian premier Vladimir Putin appeared disinclined to lean on either Armenia or Azerbaijan to attempt any kind of settlement of the Karabakh standoff, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S., family continue to call for Iranian-Armenian’s release

Published: Saturday May 16, 2009

With Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist released this week, the family of Iranian-Armenian aid worker Silva Harotonian urged Iranian authorities to offer her clemency as well, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Members of Congress react to administration’s Armenia aid request

Published: Saturday May 16, 2009

Reps. Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.), co-chairs of the congressional Armenian caucus, said they “will work to restore funding for Armenia,” Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington. Also reacting to the request was Rep. Brad Sherman (D.-Calif.) who briefly raised the issue during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing

Ambassador to Armenia reacts to critics of aid request

Published: Saturday May 16, 2009

The U.S. ambassador in Yerevan responded to critics of the administration’s aid request for Armenia, noting that it was higher than the previous administration’s last aid request and that Congress, once again, was likely to allocate more than requested. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S., Armenian officials hold regular consultations

Published: Saturday May 16, 2009

At a meeting of the U.S.-Armenia Economic Task Force (USATF) on May 13, delegations “discussed advancing economic and market reforms, strengthening rule of law, and other bilateral issues.” Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Azerbaijan voted out of UN body

Published: Saturday May 16, 2009

Hungary will replace Azerbaijan at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Obama’s Armenia aid request: less than Congress, more than Bush

Published: Friday May 08, 2009

The Obama administration requested $30 million in aid to Armenia in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, down from $48 million allocated by Congress in 2009 and $58 million in 2008. However, the request is larger than the $24 million requested by the Bush administration in January 2008 before that amount was doubled by congressional appropriators.

U.S., Russia say both want Caucasus stability, but disagree on Georgia

Published: Friday May 08, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia met in Washington on May 7 to discuss a long list of issues on U.S.-Russia agenda. Mr. Lavrov was also received by President Barack Obama, who confirmed plans to visit Russia in July.

Turkish government ideologue appointed foreign minister

Published: Friday May 08, 2009

Ahmet Davutoglu formally replaced Ali Babacan as Turkish foreign minister in a cabinet reshuffle announced on May 1. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Israeli Knesset revisits Armenian Genocide

Published: Friday May 08, 2009

“We have a moral duty to remember the killing of Armenians,” a spokesperson for the rightwing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, on May 6. But like his predecessors, he relayed the government’s opposition to commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in the Knesset, deferring to Turkey’s position on the issue.

Freedom House catalogues worldwide media struggles

Published: Saturday May 02, 2009

“Journalists faced an increasingly grim working environment in 2008,” Freedom House reported in its annual report released on May 1. The think tank’s research registered global decline for the seventh year in a row and, for the first time, a decline in every region of the world, Emil Sanamyan reports.

“Rival” gas pipelines discussed in Sofia, Prague

Published: Saturday May 02, 2009

A meeting in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia on April 24–25 focused on the so-called South Stream project. On May 6–7, at the European Union summit in Prague, EU support for the U.S.-backed Nabucco gas pipeline is on the agenda, Emil Sanamyan reports.

State Dept. report notes Armenia’s “active interest” in aiding the U.S. in Afghanistan

Published: Saturday May 02, 2009

After Armenian peacekeepers completed their mission in Iraq in October 2008, "the Armenian Ministry of Defense has expressed active interest in sending a peacekeeping contingent to Afghanistan in support of the International Security Assistance Force," according to the State Department, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Armenian FM to visit U.S. after “historic step” with Turkey

Published: Saturday May 02, 2009

The U.S. State Department invited Armenia's foreign minister to Washington in early May and reached out to the Armenian Assembly, which had welcomed a joint statement issued on April 22 by Turkey and Armenia reporting progress toward the normalization of relations, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Speaker Pelosi says she’s committed to Armenian Genocide affirmation

Published: Friday April 17, 2009

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) reiterated her support for affirmation of the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) reported.

Ex-Speaker Hastert hired by Turkish lobby

Published: Friday April 17, 2009

The firm of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R.-Ill.) will receive $35,000 a month to lobby for the Turkish government, the Hill newspaper reported on April 10. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Crisis Group issues report on Armenia-Turkey issues

Published: Friday April 17, 2009

Armenia, the United States, and European and other countries should avoid "statements or international actions relating to [Armenian] genocide recognition that could inflame Turkish public opinion," the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) recommended this week. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Coming up: Armenian Genocide commemorative events in Washington

Published: Friday April 17, 2009

The co-chairs of the House Armenian Issues Caucus, Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D.-N.J.), and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.), on April 22 will host the annual congressional commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Other commemorative events are also planned for Washington.

U.S. indicates neutrality on Georgia standoff

Published: Friday April 17, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met visiting Georgian foreign minister Grigol Vashadze on April 14 to reiterate "U.S. support for Georgian independence and democracy," but she did not openly support President Mikheil Saakashvili, currently under siege by his domestic opposition.

Georgian opposition launches campaign for president’s ouster

Published: Saturday April 11, 2009

Political opponents of Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili began on April 9 what they promise will be continuing protests aimed at toppling the president, whom they blame for authoritarianism and last year’s defeat in the war with Russia, Emil Sanamyan reports.

U.S. joins talks with Iran, requests release of detainees

Published: Saturday April 11, 2009

On April 6, the State Department additionally urged Iran to release 34-year-old Silva Harotonian, an Iranian-Armenian employee of the U.S.-funded International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) imprisoned in Iran since last June, Emil Sanamyan reports.

State Department nominee held up over Armenian Genocide comments

Published: Saturday April 11, 2009

Left out of President Obama’s trip to Turkey was his pick for assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, Philip Gordon, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Obama visits Turkey, calls Azerbaijan

Published: Saturday April 11, 2009

President Barack Obama visited Turkey on April 6-7 in an effort to rebuild a troubled alliance and reach out to the Muslim world. The White House reported that on April 7, Mr. Obama also placed a call to the president of Azerbaijan.

Armenian Caucus co-chairs make aid, policy proposals

Published: Friday March 27, 2009

The United States should increase engagement with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and tighten existing restrictions on ties with Azerbaijan, Reps. Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues recommended in a March 24 letter to colleagues, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Armenian politician weighs in on Genocide resolution

Published: Friday March 27, 2009

In a rare letter to a congressional colleague, a senior member of the Armenian parliament wrote to express “complete support” for the House Resolution 252 affirming the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide, introduced earlier this month, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Senior Turkish official in Washington ahead of Obama’s visit

Published: Friday March 27, 2009

Ahmet Davutoglu, senior foreign policy advisor to Turkish leaders, last week met with U.S. officials to discuss President Barack Obama’s visit to Ankara and Istanbul on April 5–7, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Obama offers goodwill message to Iran

Published: Friday March 27, 2009

President Barack Obama stressed U.S. commitment to diplomacy and dialogue with the Iranian government in a March 20 video message dedicated to Nowruz, the Iranian new year, Emil Sanamyan reports.

European Union leaders agree on “Eastern” policy

Published: Friday March 27, 2009

During a March 19–20 summit in Brussels, European leaders agreed to set aside 600 million euros for a multiyear program dubbed “Eastern Partnership,” which will involve Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Turkey to buy more combat aircraft from U.S.

Published: Saturday March 21, 2009

Turkey will take delivery of 30 new F-16 fighter jets produced by Lockheed Martin Corporation. The order is worth $797 million and planes would be locally built in Turkey by 2012. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Coming up… Congressional advocacy and commemoration of Genocide

Published: Saturday March 21, 2009

The annual Capitol Hill commemoration of the Armenian Genocide will take place on April 22 this year. From April 22 to 24, the Armenian National Committee of America will hold its third annual “End the Cycle of Genocide: Grassroots Capitol Campaign,” which includes visits to congressional offices and meetings with their staff, and a protest outside Turkish Embassy in Washington.

State Department withholds comment on Genocide resolution

Published: Saturday March 21, 2009

“We’re looking at that resolution,” the State Department’s acting spokesperson Robert Wood said on March 18 when asked about the congressional Armenian Genocide resolution introduced the day before. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Secretary Clinton calls Armenia

Published: Saturday March 21, 2009

In the first high-level contact between the Obama administration and Armenian government, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke by telephone with President Serge Sargsian on March 17.

State Department’s incoming Eurasia manager opposed Genocide resolution

Published: Saturday March 14, 2009

Philip Gordon, who has been nominated as U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, replacing Daniel Fried, has warned Turks to have a Plan B in case the Armenian Genocide resolution is adopted by the House of Representatives.

Azerbaijanis lobby in California

Published: Saturday March 07, 2009

Azerbaijani officials were in California for the second time in six months, visiting with members of California State Assembly, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Turkish officials resume Washington lobbying

Published: Saturday March 07, 2009

As in years past, Turkish officials intensified efforts to lobby the U.S. Congress ahead of the anticipated introduction of a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide and a presidential statement on April 24, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Sudan’s leader wanted over Darfur crimes

Published: Friday March 06, 2009

In a landmark ruling against a sitting head of state, the Hague-based International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. Emil Sanamyan has the story.

Polls note Muslim suspicion of U.S., worldwide religiosity

Published: Friday February 27, 2009

A new poll puts Muslim suspicion of the United States in perspective, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Expert recommends change of rhetoric on Karabakh

Published: Friday February 27, 2009

“Both internationally and locally, the language used about the [Karabakh] dispute needs to change for progress to be made” in the peace process, the leading Western expert on the conflict Thomas de Waal argued in a paper for the Conciliation Resources, a British charity. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Reports review Armenia’s post-election crisis

Published: Friday February 27, 2009

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on February 25 released a detailed study, “Democracy on Rocky Ground: Armenia’s Disputed 2008 Presidential Election, Post-Election Violence, and the One-Sided Pursuit of Accountability,” perhaps the most comprehensive available account of Armenia’s latest post-election crisis. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Obama proposes 2010 budget, as Congress funds 2009

Published: Friday February 27, 2009

President Barack Obama made his first budget proposal since taking office, calling for an overall increase in funding for the State Department and other international programs to $51.7 billion, or $4.5 billion more than the Fiscal Year 2009 spending estimate, the White House announced on February 26. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Russia, Turkey tout friendly relations

Published: Thursday February 19, 2009

Turkey’s President Abdullah Gül visited with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in the Kremlin on February 13, with the two presidents signing a joint declaration “on new stage of relations” and “deepening of friendship and wide-ranging cooperation,” according to the Kremlin website. Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

U.S. nuclear regulator ready to help Armenia

Published: Thursday February 19, 2009

“We have had a good bilateral agreement with Armenia,” sharing technology and training, chairperson of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Dale Klein told the Armenian Reporter on February 13. Emil Sanamyan reports.

National intelligence director notes Caucasus problems

Published: Thursday February 19, 2009

“Fundamental differences between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh will keep tensions high in the Caucasus,” National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in testimony on February 12. Emil Sanamyan has a report.

Obama hears about Armenia from Turkish leaders

Published: Thursday February 19, 2009

President Barack Obama had “wide-ranging” phone discussions with Turkey’s president and prime minister, the White House reported on February 16, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Poll: U.S. edges out China and Russia in worldwide popularity

Published: Friday February 13, 2009

The overall view of the United States has improved while that of Russia and China has declined, according to a BBC World Service Poll conducted in 26 countries around the world late last year and made public on February 5. Emil Sanamyan has details.

Obama campaign manager queried over paid speech in Azerbaijan

Published: Friday February 13, 2009

David Plouffe pledged to donate proceeds from his paid speech in Azerbaijan to pro-democracy groups after his surprise trip was made public and subsequently questioned in U.S. media. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Congressional support sought for Genocide resolution as opposition readies

Published: Friday February 13, 2009

In a message to fellow members of Congress, Reps. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), George Radanovich (R.-Calif.), Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) are urging them “to re-affirm the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide by cosponsoring a bipartisan resolution” on the subject, according to a February 10 electronic letter made available to the Armenian Reporter, Emil Sanamyan reports.

U.S. squeezed by Russia in Central Asia, by Iran in space

Published: Thursday February 05, 2009

Russia offered massive financial incentives to Kyrgyzstan, apparently on the condition that its government close a U.S. Air Force base on its territory. Meanwhile, Iran launched its first domestically built satellite into space. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Obama administration announces foreign travel plans

Published: Thursday February 05, 2009

Barack Obama will make his first foreign trip as president to Canada, on February 19. He will also visit a yet-to-be-determined Muslim country, Emil Sanamyan reports.

Power, McFaul to join Obama White House

Published: Thursday February 05, 2009

Samantha Power, a Harvard professor and a strong supporter of U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, will serve as senior director for multilateral affairs in the s National Security Council. Stanford professor and Russia expert Michael McFaul has been appointed senior director for Russia in the National Security Council.

New appointments: Karabakh Representative to the United States, Armenia’s consul in Los Angeles

Published: Thursday February 05, 2009

Robert Avetisyan will replace Vardan Barseghyan as the representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the United States. Grigor Hovhannisyan will replace Armen Liloyan as Armenia's consul general in Los Angeles, Emil Sanamyan reports.

World optimistic about Obama presidency

Published: Thursday January 29, 2009

A majority of more than 17,000 respondents queried in 17 countries around the world believe that their nations will enjoy better ties with the United States under President Barack Obama, according to a BBC World Service study released on January 20. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Russia expands Georgia sanctions

Published: Thursday January 29, 2009

The Russian government could slap sanctions on countries and companies supplying the Georgian military, according to President Dmitry Medvedev’s executive order issued on January 19. Emil Sanamyan reports.

U.S. study: China, India, Russia to dominate headlines in next decade

Published: Thursday January 29, 2009

U.S. global influence will diminish and that of China and India will increase in the next decade and half, according to a study prepared by the National Intelligence Council, an in-house think tank of the U.S. intelligence community. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Obama administration foreign policy initiatives begin with Middle East

Published: Thursday January 29, 2009

President Barack Obama said he would work to retain U.S. leadership in world affairs to address global challenges and promote peace. In his inaugural address on January 20, Mr. Obama also offered the Muslim world “a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”

European Union promises funding for Russia gas bypass

Published: Thursday January 29, 2009

The European Commission has proposed $330 million in initial funding for what is known as the Nabucco gas pipeline. Emil Sanamyan reports.

Jewish Americans “gravely distressed” with Turkey, which in turn is upset with Israel

Published: Thursday January 29, 2009

In a January 21 letter addressed to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and made available to the Armenian Reporter, leaders of five Jewish-American organizations expressed profound concern over what they described as “the current wave of anti-Semitic manifestations in Turkey.” Emil Sanamyan reports.

Obama seeks dialogue with Iran, Muslim world

Published: Thursday January 29, 2009

“As I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us,” President Barack Obama said in his first White House interview, granted to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television on January 27. Emil Sanamyan reports.

U.S. pledges support for Georgia “to defeat threats”

Published: Wednesday January 14, 2009

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze of Georgia signed a Strategic Partnership Charter on January 9 outlining a mutual interest in bilateral cooperation on military, political, economic, and humanitarian issues.

Ratings: Armenia remains economically liberal, “partly free” politically

Published: Wednesday January 14, 2009

In the “Economic Freedom Index” jointly prepared by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation Armenia received the same score it had last year and was ranked 31st in the world, once again placing ahead of its neighborhood and many European Union countries. In its “Freedom in the World” ranking, Freedom House noted a decline in political freedoms in Armenia.

Bush thanks Armenia for Iraq war role

Published: Wednesday January 14, 2009

President George W. Bush expressed the “deep gratitude of the United States” for Armenia’s contribution to the U.S.–led Iraq coalition in a letter released by the office of Armenia’s President Serge Sargsian on January 13.

Turkey launches Kurdish-language TV station, plans one in Armenian

Published: Friday January 09, 2009

In a new public relations push targeting its largest ethnic minority, Turkish state television launched a 24-hour Kurdish-language station on January 1 It will begin radio broadcasts in the Armenian language in February and is looking into launching an Armenian-language TV station by late 2009.

World reacts to Israel’s attack on Gaza

Published: Friday January 09, 2009

Foreign governments issued a mixed reaction Israel’s massive assault on the Palestinian-populated Gaza Strip on December 27. More than ten days into the fighting an estimated 660 Palestinians and at least 10 Israelis died in the war.

The Ossetia war

Published: Saturday January 03, 2009

In 2008, Mr. Obama became Time magazine's Person of the Year, succeeding Vladimir Putin, who was that person in 2007. And although in 2008 he was succeeded as president by former aide Dmitry Medvedev, Mr. Putin became Russia's prime minister and remained its undisputed leader.

Barack Obama

Published: Saturday January 03, 2009

The meteoric rise of the junior senator from Illinois, elected just four years earlier, to President-elect of the United States became the biggest news event of 2008.

Former Georgian diplomat adds voice to early elections calls

Published: Saturday December 27, 2008

Irakli Alasania, former Georgian representative to the United Nations who resigned earlier this month, blamed the country's leader Mikheil Saakashvili for failing to avoid the war with Russia and said he is consulting with other Georgian politicians on taking the country out of crisis via early elections, Civil Georgia reported.

U.S. signs security charter with Ukraine, plans one with Georgia

Published: Saturday December 27, 2008

A Charter on Strategic Partnership between Ukraine and the United States was signed last week in Washington and a similar deal is in the works with Georgia.

UN study: Armenia falls behind Turkey in “human development”

Published: Saturday December 27, 2008

An annual United Nations study of the world's development released on December 18 placed Armenia 83rd of 175 countries ranked. The Human Development Index takes into account life expectancy,

Rwandans sentenced in genocide case

Published: Saturday December 20, 2008

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda sentenced three former senior military officials to life in prison on charges stemming from the 1994 genocide, the New York Times reported on December 18. The conviction of Theoneste Bagosora and two others was handed down at a United Nations court in Tanzania after a six-year-long trial. Mr. Bagosora was found responsible for the killing of several Tutsi leaders and ten Belgian peacekeepers on April 7, 1994, and organizing army units for subsequent attacks against ethnic Tutsis.

Azerbaijan, Russia cut oil output as prices fall

Published: Saturday December 20, 2008

Azerbaijan and Russia joined with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in announcing a big cut in oil production this week, news agencies reported.

Poll: U.S. military presence in Middle East opposed

Published: Saturday December 20, 2008

Most nations oppose continued U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf, according to a World Public Opinion poll conducted in 21 nations between July and October and released on December 15.

U.S. developing security pact with Georgia

Published: Saturday December 20, 2008

U.S. and Georgian officials are discussing a security agreement along the lines of the 1998 U.S.-Baltic charter, according to a RFE/RL report on December 18. The charter became a precursor to the Baltic states' membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004.

In tit-for-tat with U.S., Russia seeks sphere of influence in the Americas

Published: Saturday December 20, 2008

Russian naval vessels delivered humanitarian aid to Nicaragua last week, shortly after Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev arrived to observe joint Russian-Venezuelan military exercises and contemplated reviving a Cold War-era Russian radar during a visit to Cuba.

U.S. agency wants democratic reforms stepped up in Armenia

Published: Saturday December 20, 2008

The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) "reiterated its concerns about the status of democratic governance" in Armenia, according to MCC's statement following its board meeting on December 11. Although Armenia has remained eligible for U.S. aid under the program's guidelines, the volume of assistance has been restricted throughout 2008 after the State Department blamed the government for post-election violence.

In Georgia, calls for early elections, another reshuffle, and efforts to mend ties with Russia

Published: Saturday December 13, 2008

Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili replaced more ministers and faced new potential challengers to his power amid a gloomy economic outlook, Civil.ge reported this week and last.

Turkey prepares ground for U.S. ties under new administration

Published: Saturday December 13, 2008

Turkish officials and commentators have been actively reminding Washington of their country's importance to the United States, ahead of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

Obama promises to “reset” relations with Russia

Published: Saturday December 13, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama said he was determining when to meet Russian leaders and said there was a need to "reset U.S.-Russia relations" following tensions earlier this year.

Azerbaijan, Turkey seek Turkmenistan gas, ferry link up

Published: Saturday December 06, 2008

The presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey were in Turkmenistan last week in another effort to encourage routing of that country's natural gas exports via the Caspian, the Caucasus, and Turkey.

NATO: contacts to resume with Russia; no new decisions on Georgia, Ukraine

Published: Saturday December 06, 2008

Meeting on December 2, NATO foreign ministers agreed to resume some of of the alliance's contacts with Russia. The relations were suspended three months earlier over Russian military intervention in Georgia.

U.S. considers Caucasus to Central Asia route to supply Afghanistan forces

Published: Saturday December 06, 2008

With an increasingly unstable Pakistan, the United States is looking into the possibility of supplying its forces in Afghanistan via the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Washington Post reported on November 18 citing Pentagon documents.

Azerbaijan, Turkey seek Turkmenistan gas, ferry link up

Published: Saturday December 06, 2008

The presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey were in Turkmenistan last week in another effort to encourage routing of that country's natural gas exports via the Caspian, the Caucasus, and Turkey. The United States has long supported the trans-Caspian gas pipeline, having in August 2007 allocated funds to study its feasibility.

NATO: contacts to resume with Russia; no new decisions on Georgia, Ukraine

Published: Saturday December 06, 2008

Meeting on December 2, NATO foreign ministers agreed to resume some of of the alliance's contacts with Russia, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. The relations were suspended three months earlier over Russian military intervention in Georgia.

U.S. considers Caucasus to Central Asia route to supply Afghanistan forces

Published: Saturday December 06, 2008

With an increasingly unstable Pakistan, the United States is looking into the possibility of supplying its forces in Afghanistan via the Caucasus and Central Asia, the Washington Post reported on November 18 citing Pentagon documents. Since President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to increase the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, the need for additional supplies may add to existing concerns.

Caucasus countries clarify NATO policies

Published: Friday November 28, 2008

NATO foreign ministers will meet in Brussels on December 2-3 to find face-saving solutions that would help postpone immediate membership action plans (MAPs) for Ukraine and Georgia, news agencies report. Both countries were promised eventual membership at the NATO summit last April.

European Union weighing ties with Russia, ex-Soviet republics

Published: Friday November 28, 2008

"In recognition of European aspirations" of Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, the European Commission is set to propose a new Eastern Partnership project to encompass the six republics in June 2009, www.EUObserver.com reported on November 24.

Vatican: Memories of Armenian Genocide need to be overcome

Published: Friday November 28, 2008

"The Holy See’s official position was expressed in Pope John Paul II visit in Armenia [where he] spoke about genocide,” Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Vatican’s voice on interfaith relations told Vatican Radio on November 22. Cardinal Kasper was asked about the issue on eve of a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Catholicos Aram I of Cilicia who visited the Vatican from November 23 to 27.

Rep. Pallone: U.S. should step up support for Karabakh

Published: Friday November 28, 2008

"It is necessary that the United States place an importance on the existence of the smaller states in the Caucasus,” Rep. Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) said in a statement released following his meeting with president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Bako Sahakian, on November 22 in New York, Emil Sanamyan reports from Washington.

Turkish leader derides Bush, lobbies Obama

Published: Friday November 28, 2008

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan used an invitation from President George W. Bush to an economic summit in Washington to lecture President-elect Barack Obama and to lambast the Bush administration’s policies as “disastrous.”

Obama, Biden in telephone talks with foreign leaders

Published: Saturday November 22, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President–elect Joe Biden called a number of “world leaders and expressed thanks and appreciation for their congratulations on the election,” Emil Sanamyan reports.

Karabakh president begins U.S. visit

Published: Saturday November 22, 2008

President Bako Sahakian of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR) began a 10-day working visit to the United States on November 18. Mr. Sahakian's delegation includes NKR Finance Minister Spartak Tevosian and other officials.

U.S.-Armenia Task Force meets in Washington

Published: Saturday November 22, 2008

Economic Development Minister Nerses Yeritsian led an Armenian government delegation to Washington for talks with U.S. officials from November 19 to 21.

Europeans resume talks with Russia over Georgian objections

Published: Saturday November 15, 2008

The European Union (EU) will resume talks with Russia on a "strategic partnership" agreement, which it suspended on September 1 as a punishment for Russian military operations in Georgia.

World leaders to gather in Washington for economic summit

Published: Saturday November 15, 2008

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan will be among heads of state and government and senior officials from the world's 20 biggest economies who are arriving in Washington on November 14 for a summit called by President George Bush.

U.S.-led coalition members pull troops out of Iraq

Published: Saturday November 15, 2008

With the twilight of the George W. Bush administration and with President-elect Barack Obama having pledged a gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, most of the remaining members of the so-called Coalition of the Willing are no longer willing to stay in Iraq.

Moscow declaration on Karabakh welcomed, analyzed in the West

Published: Saturday November 08, 2008

Although France and the United States were not involved in drafting of the Moscow declaration on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, the document is nevertheless "totally supported" by the United States, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and envoy to the Karabakh talks Matt Bryza told Azerbaijani media on November 2 and 3.

U.S. diplomats, Armenian commentators disagree on trends in U.S. Caucasus policy

Published: Saturday November 08, 2008

Although Barack Obama ran with the slogan "The change we need," American diplomats posted in the Caucasus say they do not expect U.S.' regional priorities to change.

Regional leaders offer courtesies to President-elect Obama

Published: Saturday November 08, 2008

Following the election of Barack Obama as president on November 4, foreign leaders communicated their desire to strengthen their respective countries' relations with the United States.

Georgian government reshuffled

Published: Saturday November 01, 2008

International Monetary Fund to prop up Ukraine and Belarus

Published: Saturday November 01, 2008

Senior Turkish official: “Armenians aren’t our enemies”

Published: Saturday November 01, 2008

Media watchdog: peace is good for press freedom

Published: Saturday October 25, 2008

"It is not economic prosperity but peace that guarantees press freedom," Paris-based Reporters without Borders argues in its annual report released on October 22.

151 countries vote Turkey into the UN Security Council

Published: Saturday October 25, 2008

Turkey successfully concluded its five-year $50 million campaign for a two-year nonrenewable term on the United Nations Security Council, as it was voted in by 151 countries on October 17, Turkish and international news agencies reported.

Abkhazia, South Ossetia status talks stall; more aid pledged to Georgia

Published: Saturday October 25, 2008

European, Georgian, Russian, and U.S. officials met in Geneva on October 15 to start discussions, in the words of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on the "future status" of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and quickly adjourned until November, Civil.ge and others reported.

Active U.S. diplomacy continues in Eurasia

Published: Saturday October 25, 2008

Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried was in Armenia (Oct. 17), Georgia (Oct.18-20), and Turkey (Oct. 21) to discuss regional conflicts and bilateral relations, local news media reported. United States regional diplomacy has been stepped up significantly since Russian-Georgian fighting in August.

Iraqi Armenians killed, wounded in attacks

Published: Saturday October 18, 2008

An ethnic Armenian music-store owner, Farques Batool, was killed, and his nephew was wounded in attacks in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul on October 13. The attacks were apparently religiously motivated.

Turkey still weighing nuclear power plans

Published: Saturday October 18, 2008

The Turkish government is seeking to build two nuclear power plants – a long-delayed one at Akkuyu near the Mediterranean port of Mersin, and another near the Black Sea port of Sinop.

Ilham Aliyev claims less than 90 percent of vote in re-election

Published: Saturday October 18, 2008

Azerbaijan’s incumbent president Ilham Aliyev won just over 89 percent of the votes cast on October 15 and will remain president at least until 2013; his “main rival,” Milli Majlis member Iqbal Agazade was second, with 2.78 percent, according to official returns cited by RFE/RL.

Armenian activists meet Barack Obama’s advisor, confidante

Published: Thursday October 16, 2008

Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett expressed "deep interest" in the Armenian community's efforts "to elect Senator Obama our next president."

European MPs: Georgia, Russia both guilty in Ossetia war

Published: Saturday October 11, 2008

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on October 2 that called for an “independent international investigation into what happened” in and around South Ossetia last August, “since the facts surrounding the outbreak of war between Georgia and Russia are disputed.”

U.S., Azerbaijan calibrating ties after Georgia war

Published: Saturday October 11, 2008

Deputy Secretary John Negroponte, the State Department's second most senior official, went to Azerbaijan on October 2 in an apparent effort to safeguard plans for Caspian natural gas to flow to Europe via Georgia and Turkey.

David Krikorian in tight race for Ohio congressional seat

Published: Saturday October 11, 2008

Cincinnati-area business­person David Krikorian is making the strongest non­party bid for the House of Representatives this year, according to RealClearPolitics.com

Russia touts self-determination in “mini-empires”

Published: Tuesday October 07, 2008

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia on September 24 spoke at length on nations’ right to self-determination.

Georgian opposition leaders flock to the United States

Published: Monday October 06, 2008

Levan Gachechiladze, the main opposition candidate in the Georgian presidential election in January 2008, this week became the latest Georgian pro-Western opposition leader to visit the United States.

Coming up: Armenian prime minister plans U.S. visit

Published: Monday October 06, 2008

Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian will visit Washington between October 9 and 14. Mr. Sarkisian will participate in the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on October 11–13.

Senior U.S., Russian, and Turkish officials mark Armenia’s independence

Published: Monday October 06, 2008

Ambassador Nabi Sensoy of Turkey was among more than 100 guests at a reception on September 30, 2008, at the Armenian Embassy in Washington to mark Armenia's independence.

U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Turkey clarifies position on Genocide

Published: Saturday October 04, 2008

U.S. ambassadors to Ottoman Turkey Henry Morgenthau (1913–16) and Abram Elkus (1916–17) and other contemporary U.S. diplomats described in their communications “an attempt to exterminate the Armenian population,” ambassador-designate to Turkey James Jeffrey noted in a written response to questions for the record from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair and vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden (D.-Del.)

Seeking to overtake Armenia in rating, Azerbaijan improves business regulation

Published: Tuesday September 23, 2008

World Bank staff was approached by Azerbaijani officials several months ago with a mandate from the Azerbaijani president to do everything necessary to overtake Armenia in the Doing Business ranking.

Russia sends aircraft, naval vessels to the Americas

Published: Tuesday September 23, 2008

In a dramatic shift of military posture reminiscent of the height of the Cold War, last week two Russian strategic bombers flew for 13 hours over the Arctic and the Atlantic to land in Venezuela.

Members mobilize congressional support for additional U.S. aid to Armenia

Published: Tuesday September 23, 2008

Reps. Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) and George Radanovich (R.-Calif.) have called on colleagues to co-sign a letter they will send to President Bush arguing for additional U.S. aid to Armenia to offset the damages its economy has suffered as a result of interruptions in cross-Georgia trade since last month.

Azerbaijani officials on propaganda tour of California

Published: Saturday August 30, 2008

The California State Assembly hosted a group of four Azerbaijani officials earlier this month, one of the delegation members Azerbaijani Milli Majlis member Asim Mollazade told Day.az on August 21. The group visited the two chambers of California's legislature in Sacramento, Rep. Berman, who represents a Los Angeles-area district, the San Francisco City Council, and the local World Affairs Council.

Sen. Obama’s running mate pick strong on Armenian issues

Published: Saturday August 30, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) chose Sen. Joe Biden (D.-Del.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as his running mate last week, and the Democratic National Convention in Denver confirmed him as the party's vice presidential nominee.

Sadness, concern, calls for dialogue over Armenian crisis

Published: Saturday March 08, 2008

The United States and international human rights and media organizations issued statements and dispatched envoys as Armenia's post-election crisis took a violent turn last weekend.