Tatul Hakobyan

Tatul Hakobyan is an analyst with the Civilitas Foundation. For over three years, through November 6, 2009, he was the Armenian Reporter's senior correspondent.



Author's articles

A man kneels before the Church of Holy Cross on Aghtamar . Mustafa Ozer / AFP

Holy Cross deserves more Armenian tears

Sep 21, 2010: Tatul Hakobyan went to the island of Akhtamar for the September 19 ceremony at its Holy Cross Church turned museum. UPDATE: Returning to Akhtamar a week later, Hakobyan was stopped from saying a prayer. UPDATE2: On October 1 cross was finally installed on Holy Cross' dome.  more...



Karine Danielyan. Mkhitar Khachatryan / Photolure

Global warming threatens Armenia too, activists say

Dec 12, 2009: Armenia’s high-level delegation, headed by the Minister of Environment Aram Harutyunyan, will leave for the U.N. Climate Change Conference on December 14. In the meantime, another delegation led by Deputy Minister of the Environment Simon Papyan is already in Copenhagen taking part in the ongoing activities there. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



From left, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, Foreign Ministers Bernard Kouchner of France, Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, Edward Nalbandian of Armenia, and Elmar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan at the meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens, Dec. 1, 2009. OSCE

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may be resolved “in months,” French foreign minister says

Dec 04, 2009: The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved on the basis of the principles of the nonuse of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, principles enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act, the OSCE Minsk Group said in a statement issued on December 1 in Athens after high-level talks between diplomats from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, France, and the United States. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Presidents Serge Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev in Munich. Armenian president’s press office.

Mediators note progress and new hurdles

Nov 27, 2009: Lately, there has been an unprecedented warming of Russia-Turkey and Russia-Azerbaijan relations, factors which in general are conducive to forcing Armenia and Azerbaijan to make peace Tatul Hakobyan writes in a news analysis.  more...



Yerevan, February 26, 2008: Levon Ter-Petrossian, left, who disputed his defeat at the presidential polls, suggested at a Yerevan rally that President Elect Serge Sargsyan, right, should resign and leave the country. The president elect, at a rally elsewhere in Yerevan, appealed to all the former presidential candidates to join in a coalition government. Most agreed in the name of national unity . Photolure

Levon Ter Petrossian says he is ready to work with President Sargsyan

Nov 20, 2009: Levon Ter-Petrossian, the former president, who leads the opposition Armenian National Congress, last week delivered a scathing attack on President Serge Sargsyan’s nationalist critics. In a turnabout, he signaled his willingness to acknowledge the legitimacy of Mr. Sargsyan’s presidency. Tatul Hakobyan has an analysis.  more...



The map portrays the Turkish rail system. The distance between Armenia and the Black Sea is smaller via Georgia than it is via Turkey, and the rail lines in Turkey travel more slowly, owing to the bad shape of the lines.

Georgia to remain vital transit route for Armenia

Nov 13, 2009: If the Turkish blockade of Armenia comes to an end, it will be possible to transport goods to and from the Black Sea over Turkey. But the distances are longer than they are over Georgia, and the Turkish rail system is in pitiful shape, Tatul Hakobyan reports from Turkey.  more...



At the conference in Antelias on the 100th anniversary of the Cilicia tragedy. Tatul Hakobyan

100th anniversary of Adana massacres remembered

Nov 09, 2009: Returning temporarily to Cilicia, Catholicos Sahak on November 29, 1921, wrote poignantly about the Armenians who had lost their homes and were dispersed along the shores of the Mediterranean. He explained why it was important to find a safer place for the Armenians rescued from Cilicia and move them away from their homes.  more...



Ara Kochounian, editor of the Istanbul-based Armenian newspaper Jamanag. . Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Reconciling with reality is not insulting, says Ara Kochounian, editor of Istanbul’s “Jamanag” daily

Oct 31, 2009: Turkish state, public, and media circles are confident that Armenia has recognized the borders of modern-day Turkey through the two protocols signed on October 10, and it is this point they refer to when they try to persuade the political opposition in Turkey that the documents are in line with Turkish state interests. Ara Kochounian, editor of Istanbul’s Armenian daily "Jamanag," thinks the Armenian government’s choice to recognize the border was wise, Tatul Hakobyan reports from Istanbul.  more...



Egemen Bagis . Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Turkey’s chief EU negotiator: Turkish parliament unlikely to ratify protocols without “major developments” in Karabakh

Oct 23, 2009: “The Turkish government signed a protocol in an attempt to open the border, but those protocols need to be ratified by the Turkish parliament. The way I know my parliament, it would be very hard to get a majority vote from the Turkish parliament without major developments in the Karabakh issue,” Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s minister for European affairs and chief EU negotiator, said in response to a question from the "Armenian Reporter." He added, however, “I think Turkey will open the border.”  more...



The flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan on display in Bursa, Oct. 14.

An Armenian reporter in Bursa

Oct 16, 2009: As soccer fans prepared for the Armenia-Turkey soccer match, Tatul Haobyan spoke to people on the street in Bursa, Turkey, former seat of the Armenian Patriarchate.  more...



At the Armenia-Turkey soccer match. Melik Baghdasaryan / Photolure

Turkey beats Armenia, 2-0, in soccer match

Oct 16, 2009: The Armenia-Turkey return soccer match here was of little interest as a sporting event. Both national teams were already out of the running for the 2010 World Cup. The significance of the match was more emotional.  more...



French police try to push French-Armenian protesters out of the way so that President Serge Sargsian can approach the statue of Gomidas in Paris and lay a wreath. The protesters objected to the terms of the agreement on the normalization of relations negotiated by Armenia and Turkey. October 2, 2009. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

French police confront protesters as Armenian president visits Paris

Oct 02, 2009: French police spent an hour dragging some 300 French-Armenian protesters out of the way to allow President Serge Sargsian of Armenia to lay a wreath at the Armenian Genocide memorial on the banks of the Seine River in Paris on Friday, October 2, our senior correspondent Tatul Hakobyan reports from the scene.  more...



The fort at Tigranakert . Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

A city built by King Tigran the Great is unearthed

Sep 26, 2009: When it was announced in 2005 that one of the cities called Tigranakert, built by King Tigran the Great (r. 95–55 B.C.E.) had been discovered in Tigranakert, Artsakh, the reaction from Armenia was one of mockery, while the Azerbaijani side condemned the initiative of Armenian archaeologists as political propaganda. Tatul Hakobyan visited the archeological site four years later and filed this report.  more...



Vartan Oskanian at a forum organized by the Civilitas Foundation, of which he is the founder, in Yerevan, Sept. 22, 2009. Photolure

Oskanian says he’s ready to lead a “popular wave”

Sep 26, 2009: Vartan Oskanian, who served as foreign minister of Armenia from 1998 through 2008, and has been a consistent critic of Armenia-Turkey soccer diplomacy, considers it possible to stop the process only if “there is a popular wave of protest, and the authorities feel that they are going against the people’s will.” Tatul Hakobyan reports from Yerevan on a speech in which Mr. Oskanian for the first time offered to “be on the forefront” of a popular movement.  more...



President Serge Sargsian addresses the leaders of over 50 political parties, as Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian looks on. He made a case for an agreement on bilateral relations negotiated with Turkey. September 17, 2009. Hayk Badalian / Photolure

President consults political parties on Turkey relations

Sep 18, 2009: President Serge Sargsian of Armenia convened a meeting of the leaders of over 50 political parties to make his case for an agreement to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey. Tatul Hakobyan reports from Yerevan.  more...



Hakob Avedikian  . Photolure

Editors in Armenia are split over the newly unveiled Armenia-Turkey protocols

Sep 10, 2009: Hakob Avedikian, the editor of the daily "Azg," recalls taking a $12 train ride across the Armenia-Turkey border in 1976. The agreements negotiated by Armenia and Turkey bring Armenia a range of economic opportunities, as well as “strong risks and massive concessions,” he said. Tatul Hakobyan spoke to Mr. Avetikian and other editors in Armenia about their take on developments in Armenia-Turkey relations.  more...



Serkis Seropyan and Ara Abramyan.

In Moscow and Istanbul, Armenians react to protocols with caution and concern (updated)

Sep 10, 2009: Reacting to the Armenia-Turkey protocols, Ara Abramyan, president of the powerful Union of Armenians in Russia, told the Armenian Reporter, “If they have taken [Karabakh] off the agenda, then where did that issue go? I’d prefer to see the issue remain where we could see it.” Tatul Hakobyan compiled this and other reactions from Moscow and Istanbul.  more...



The Armenian-Turkish border crossing at Margara, which Turkey has kept closed since 1993. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter.

Armenia and Turkey initial agreement “to open the common border” (updated)

Sep 04, 2009: Armenia and Turkey took a major step toward the establishment of bilateral relations and open borders, initialing two protocols and a timetable for their implementation. The documents were released on August 31. Tatul Hakobyan has the details, including a range of reactions from Yerevan.  more...



 

A dream come true for Turkey

Sep 03, 2009: Even if the protocols on Armenia-Turkey relations are defeated in the Turkish parliament, and the border remains closed, the fact will remain on the record that Armenia was willing to acquiesce in a commission that would cast doubt on the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, Tatul Hakobyan writes in a commentary.  more...



Matthew Bryza, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, during a July 27 visit to Yerevan. Photolure

In Karabakh talks, promise of a referendum in return for land

Aug 21, 2009: The "Armenian Reporter" was able to review the still-secret Madrid Document, which has since 2007 served as the basis for negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Based on this review and interviews with former and current officials intimately familiar with the negotiations, Tatul Hakobyan reconstructs the main points of contention.  more...



Armenia's President Serge Sargsian, left, with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, center, and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Moscow, July 18, 2009. Presidential Press Service

Sides have not accepted the mediators’ proposal for Karabakh, Armenia’s foreign minister says

Jul 24, 2009: In response to criticism that Armenia had agreed to unfavorable terms proposed by Karabakh mediators, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on July 20 said, “Armenia has not agreed to the Madrid Document. . . . We have only said that the Madrid Document is a basis for negotiations.” Tatul Hakobyan has the story.  more...



Armen Rustamian, representative of the ARF Supreme Body of Armenia and chairperson of the foreign relations committee of Armenia's National Assembly, addressing a pan-Armenian conference in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh, July 10, 2009. ARF Central Hai Tahd Council chairperson Hagop Der Khatchadourian and ARF Bureau member (and former minister of education) Levon Mkrtchian look on. Photolure

ARF calls on government to discontinue talks with Turkey and reassess the last year of Armenian diplomacy

Jul 16, 2009: A resolution adopted by a pan-Armenian conference organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and held July 10–11 in Stepanakert acknowledged that Armenia and Turkey must eventually establish normal relations. But, finding that the process of public interactions with Turkey initiated by President Serge Sargsian a year ago was generating “negative results,” the resolution called on Mr. Sargsian to “reassess” and “discontinue” the process. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



 

Hrant Markarian: Correcting course would be “a sign of self-confidence, not weakness”

Jul 16, 2009: ARF Bureau representative Hrant Markarian, in an interview, argues that by changing course in Armenia-Turkey relations Armenia's president would be projecting self-confidence, not weakness.  more...



President Bako Sahakian of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic delivers the opening address at a pan-Armenian conference in Stepanakert, as Artsakh Primate Abp. Barkev Mardirossian, ARF Bureau representative Hrant Markarian, and ARF Central Hai Tahd Council chairperson Hagop Der Khatchadourian listen. July 10, 2009. Photolure

President Serge Sargsian urged not to endorse “updated Madrid Document”

Jul 14, 2009: A pan-Armenian conference convened in Stepanakert on July 10–11 by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation called on Armenia’s President Serge Sargsian to decline to endorse a proposed Karabakh settlement presented by the mediators, and “to take urgent steps to return the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to the negotiating table as a full-fledged party,” Tatul Hakobyan reports from Stepanakert.  more...



Valentina Kerkhanacheva of Yaghdan. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Visiting Yaghdan: The last Greek village in Armenia

Jul 10, 2009: “Our forebears came from the shores of the Black Sea, from historic Pontos and then Gyumashan. Our language is closer to old Greek and is different from modern Greek,” says Frontik Nikolayid. Tatul Hakobyan visits Yaghdan, the last Greek village in Armenia.  more...



The fertile Debed valley, where Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia intersect, as seen from Odzun. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Visiting the Debed River’s fertile valley

Jul 10, 2009: The property of Misha Gevorgyan, 73, like the property of most of his fellow villagers, lies along the banks of the Debed River. These are the most fertile lands in Armenia, where even subtropical fruits grow – olives, oriental persimmons, pomegranates, and every other kind of fruit that grows in other regions of the country. It was once famous for its peach orchards. Tatul Hakobyan has the story.  more...



Zaruhi Postanjian (Heritage Party), a member of Armenia’s National Assembly. Tigran Tadevosian / Photolure

Zaruhi Postanjian: Levon should have been by our side on March 1

Jul 03, 2009: Zaruhi Postanjian of the opposition Heritage Party discusses her efforts to keep the deaths of 10 people in Yerevan on March 1–2, 2008, on the agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In an interview with Tatul Hakobyan, she lashes out at former president Levon Ter-Petrossian for failing to join the people in the streets on March 1.  more...



Hakob Avedikian addressing the founding meeting of the Armenagan-Ramgavar Party, Yerevan, June 19, 2009.   . Photolure

Old Ramgavars join forces in Armenia

Jul 02, 2009: On June 19, at the Tekeyan Cultural Center in Yerevan, the Armenagan-Democratic Liberal Party (Armenagan-Ramgavar) held its founding congress. This new party consists of former Ramgavar activists. Tatul Hakobyan speaks to one of them, Hakob Avedikian, the editor-in-chief of “Azg” daily.  more...



Harutiun Arakelian of the Ramgavar Party.  . Photolure

Armenia’s Ramgavar chair condemns attempts to “split” party

Jul 02, 2009: Harutiun Arakelian, chair of the Armenian Democratic Liberal (Ramgavar) Party of Armenia, condemned the formation of the Armenagan-Ramgavar Party by former Ramgavars. Tatul Hakobyan interviewed him.  more...



Giro Manoyan refuses to leave a protest outside the Armenia Marriott hotel, where Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili was staying, Yerevan, June 25. Courtesy of hetq.am

Georgian president receives a warm welcome from Armenian authorities

Jun 26, 2009: Armenia’s law enforcement bodies have dispersed protests on June 24 and 25 organized by Armenians from Javakhk at the Presidential palace and at the Armenia Marriott Hotel, where Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili was staying during a two-day official visit to Armenia. Armenia's president, meanwhile, welcomed the efforts of the Georgian government “to ease the social and economic pressures in Javakhk.”  more...



Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan of the United Arab Emirates, Yerevan, Sunday, June 21, 2009. MFA

Armenia is still "hopeful" that Turkey will not retreat on talks

Jun 22, 2009: Although Turkey has announced repeatedly that it will not open its border with Armenia, Yerevan officially remains optimistic about the normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said in response to a question from the Armenian Reporter. He also responded to a U.S. State Department announcement about an Armenia-Turkey history commission, Tatul Hakobyan reports from Yerevan.  more...



An Armenian National Congress rally in Yerevan on June 12. Hayk Badalian / Photolure.

With Yerevan municipal election, Serge Sargsian and Republicans consolidated their power

Jun 19, 2009: Levon Ter-Petrossian continues to be the lightening rod for the opposition, but his influence is steadily waning, Tatul Hakobyan writes. Meanwhile President Serge Sargsian and his Republican Party of Armenia have consolidated power since the February 2008 presidential election.  more...



Maria, 10, paints pottery at the Zangakatun Center in Vanadzor.  . Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

At the Zangakatun Center in Vanadzor, all children are loved equally

Jun 12, 2009: At the Zangakatun Center in Vanadzor, 10-year-old Maria and five dozen other schoolchildren are not only fed properly, but also receive the educational, spiritual, emotional, and other kinds of support all the children in the world need – thanks to the Tufenkian Foundation’s “Our Duty to Live” project. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



 

Philip Gordon on the Armenian Genocide resolution

Jun 10, 2009: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon on June 9 clarified his position on the Armenian Genocide resolution before Congress, Tatul Hakobyan reports from Yerevan.  more...



U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon, Yerevan, June 9, 2009.  . Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

U.S. urges no Karabakh link for Armenia-Turkey relations

Jun 10, 2009: The newly confirmed U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Gordon announced in Yerevan on June 9 that there should be no preconditions or linkages “to anything else” in the process of normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations, Tatul Hakobyan reports from Yerevan.  more...



 

A prolonged and indefinite process with Turkey awaits Armenia

Jun 04, 2009: Tatul Hakobyan finds that Armenian-Turkish relations on the ground remain as they were in 1993, when Turkey blockaded Armenia. Armenia has an interest in being very clear, he argues: either Turkey immediately opens the border, for which Armenia will not concede anything, or Armenia will halt all negotiations  more...



Ishkhan Tzaturian preparing a video for the former residents of Dziunashogh – who live in his native village, now called Kerkenj.

Exiles remain true to their pact

Jun 03, 2009: "From Home to Home," a documentary by Seda Muradian, tells the story of two villages, one in Armenia, the other in Azerbaijan, that exchanged populations in 1989. The villagers made a pact not to desecrate the old graves. They have kept their promise for 20 years, and have gone beyond. Tatul Hakobyan has a review.  more...



Schoolchildren visiting the Sardarapat Memorial Complex, with the eagles in the background.  . Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter

On Armenian independence day, a visit to Sardarapat, symbol of Armenian pride

May 28, 2009: The fifth-graders of City of Artik School No. 3 introduced themselves during their May 22 field trip to the Sardarapat Memorial Complex. In May 1918, the hometown of these children, Artik, and the whole of the Shirak plateau were occupied by Kazim Karabekir's army. Tatul Hakobyan tells the story.  more...



A Yerevan municipal campaign rally for the Prosperous Armenia Party, with the party's mayoral candidate, Minister of Health Harutiun Kushkian, at the podium, and party leader Gagik Tsarukian, in white, at lower right (and in the larger-than-life banner). May 19, 2009. Mkhitar Khachatrian/Photolure

Yerevan City Council elections this month will be another test of democracy in Armenia

May 19, 2009: Municipal elections in Yerevan have become something more than a local contest, Tatul Hakobyan reports. One reason is the mayoral candidacy of Armenia's first president, Levon Ter-Petrossian, who was also the runner-up in the February 2008 presidential elections.  more...



 

Is a resolution of the Karabakh conflict in the works?

May 15, 2009: It’s an unwritten rule of diplomacy: what you categorically reject today you may beg for in vain tomorrow. Without a doubt, the “step-by-step” solution Armenians rejected in 1997 was a poor one, Tatul Hakobyan writes in a commentary. The question was and remains whether the ultimate solution will be any better.  more...



Samvel Babayan. Hayk Badalyan / Photolure

Samvel Babayan: “We must do everything to avoid a war”

May 08, 2009: Legendary commander Samvel Babayan talks about May 9 celebrations, the possibility of a new war, and the policy of repopulating the liberated territories of Nagorno-Karabakh. May 9 is the anniversary of the liberation of the ancient Armenia fortress city of Shushi.  more...



President Abdullah Gul of Turkey, left, grabs President Serge Sargsian's hand during their meeting at the EU summit in Prague on May 7, 2009. With them are Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, center, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, partly obscured on left.

President Sargsian meets with Ilham Aliyev, Abdullah Gul

May 08, 2009: The presidents of Armenia and Turkey met on May 7 in the capital of the Czech Republic. Also present were the foreign ministers of the two countries, Edward Nalbandian and Ahmet Davutoglu. Armenia's president also met with his Azerbaijani counterpart in Prague.  more...



Professor Richard Hovannisian in Yerevan. Armenian Reporter

Richard Hovannisian: “A joint historians’ commission is a dangerous trap”

May 02, 2009: Historian Richard Hovannisian of UCLA, met with Tatul Hakobyan of the "Armenian Reporter" on April 24 in Yerevan. They discussed the joint statement issued by Turkey and Armenia on April 22 and the Turkish proposal to form a bilateral historians’ commission. Prof. Hovannisian called the proposal a dangerous trap.  more...



OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, from left, Yuri Merzlyakov, Bernard Fassier, and Matthew Bryza, in Yerevan. Hayk Badalyan / Photolure

Sargsian and Aliyev to meet in Prague

May 02, 2009: Presidents Sargsian and Aliyev have agreed to meet in Prague on May 7. Meanwhile, Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian has asked the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to organize a meeting between the leaders of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.  more...



A memorial to the Battle of Hajin in Nor Hajin, Armenia. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Remembering the tragedy of Cilicia 100 years later

Apr 18, 2009: Exactly one century has passed since those days, when on the banks of the Mediterranean, in Cilicia, a massacre of the Armenians took place. Tatul Hakobyan looks back.  more...



A view of Nor Hajin. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

A visit to New Hajin

Apr 18, 2009: Tatul Hakobyan visits New Hajin, a city established in 1958 and named after a town in Cilicia where 100 years ago Armenians defended themselves as the Turkish population massacred thousands of Armenians in the region.  more...



Speaking to Be Heard compiles a decade of Vartan Oskanian’s eloquent speeches.  .

Oskanian’s Speaking to be Heard or An Unfinished Decade

Apr 18, 2009: "As the representative of an ancient people, new at statehood, I viewed each appearance as our opportunity to move from being witnesses or mere subjects of history to a new place on the world stage where we would participate in the making of history. This collection of speeches reflects that emergence and documents the evolution of Armenia's foreign policy," Vartan Oskanian writes in his introduction to "Speaking to be Heard." Tatul Hakobyan has a review.  more...



Russia’s Sergey Lavrov, Azerbaijan’s Mahmoud Mamedkuliyev, Armenia’s Edward Nalbandian, BSEC Secretary General Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, and Turkey’s Ali Babacan at the meeting of the BSEC Council in Yerevan, April 16, 2009. Photolure

Turkey’s Babacan traveled to Armenia but nothing was signed

Apr 16, 2009: Turkey's foreign minister Ali Babacan and Azerbaijan's deputy foreign minister were in Yerevan on April 16, as was Russia's foreign minister, for the meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization's Council. Mr. Babacan did not hold a separate meeting with his Armenian counterpart, however, Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Armenia’s and Nagorno-Karabakh’s railways. The borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed. The only operating international rail link is with Georgia. Armenian Reporter map / © 2009 Armenian Reporter LLC

In five years, Armenia, Iran to be connected by rail

Apr 10, 2009: High ranking officials from Armenia and Iran are giving assurances that in five years’ time there will be a railroad linking the two countries. An agreement will be signed by Armenia and Iran sometime this month when President Serge Sargsian is expected to be in Tehran for an official visit.  more...



The mosque at the center of this photograph is across the Akhuryan River and the border in Halimjan, Turkey, whereas the buildings in the foreground are in Bagaran, Armenia. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

After years of isolation, the ancient capitals of Yervandashat and Bagaran are now open to visitors

Apr 10, 2009: The residents of Bagaran wake up every morning to the voices of the muezzin from the neighboring village of Halimjan. The two villages are on two sides of the Akhuryan river, which separates Armenia and Turkey. The two ancient cities of Yervandashat and Bagaran, closed off for centuries because of their strategic position, are now open to visitors who can see ancient archaeological sites dispersed throughout the region, Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



President Serge Sargsian. Photolure

Serge Sargsian hopes to go to Turkey in October through open borders

Apr 10, 2009: Armenia's President Serge Sargsian stated on April 11 that in terms of Armenia-­Turkey relations, the ball is now in Turkey's court. He is also hopeful that Turkey will open the border with Armenia by October, Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



The Dzitoghtsian and Merkurov Museum in Gyumri. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter.

Gyumri has preserved the aura and architecture of the 19th century

Mar 27, 2009: Visitors to the museums of the Dzitoghtsians and Merkurov in Gyumri, Armenia, travel back in time to the era of the czar, when Alexandrapol was the second richest and most beautiful city in the Caucasus, after Tbilisi, Tatul Hakobyan writes.  more...



Akhalkalak, Georgia. Photolure.

The issue of Javakhk is both political and national

Mar 27, 2009: The decision of the Tbilisi authorities to release on bail two promoinent Armenians from Akhaltsikhe, Georgia, accused of forming an illegal armed group and spying, raises many questions, Tatul Hakobyan writes: why is the judicial system being so mild on such serious charges, why is not speaking to the media a condition of their release, and why has no action been taken against the people to whom they are alleged to have passed information? Are the charges nothing more than a way to intimidate Armenians?  more...



The Assyrian alphabet. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter.

Armenia is a homeland for the Assyrians, who have no homeland

Mar 27, 2009: In Armenia very few people know that they are living alongside one of the oldest nations in the world, the Assyrians. The largest Assyrian community in Armenia is in Verin Dvin village, which is 40 kilometers away from Yerevan. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Father Anton Totonjian senior archimandrite of the Armenian Catholic Church in Armenia's Shirak province. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

A visit to Panik, Armenia’s Catholic stronghold

Mar 21, 2009: Faith in God and love of his own nation brought Father Anton Totonjian from the distant and warm shores of Australia to the Shirak province in the north of Armenia, home of a large Catholic Armenian population. Tatul Hakobyan reports from Shirak.  more...



Sarkis Hakobjanian and Grigor Minasian, who have been arrested on espionage charges by authorities in the Republic of Georgia. Photolure

Questions linger regarding Georgian-Armenians accused of spying for Russia

Mar 21, 2009: Two Armenian citizens of Georgia accused of forming an illegal armed group and spying for Russia are out on bail after a plea bargain. Tatul Hakobyan has details.  more...



Tigran Khachatrian remembered. Armen Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter.

A year after the March 1 tragedy in Armenia, a mother still seeks justice

Mar 07, 2009: Every March 1 Alla Hovhannisian will visit her son's grave to commemorate the anniversary of his murder. Her son, Tigran Khachatrian, only lived 23 years. He was killed near Miasnikian Square in Yerevan, as a result of a police officer firing an outdated tear gas gun. Tatul Hakobyan spoke with Ms. Hovhannisian in Yerevan.  more...



On the eve of March 1, 2009, thousands of candles were lit at Miasnikian Square to honor the memory of those killed a year earlier. Photolure

Armenia marks the first anniversary of March 1 events

Mar 06, 2009: A year after the events of March 1, 2008, which cost 10 lives, about 20,000 people gathered near the Matenadaran in central Yerevan to hear opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian speak. He struck a conciliatory tone. Meanwhile, President Serge Sargsian lit 10 candles at a church. The Catholicos of All Armenians conducted a requiem service at Holy Etchmiadzin. Tatul Hakobyan reports from Yerevan.  more...



A view from the caves of Azokh in the Hadrut region. The caves were inhabited 50,000–100,000 years ago, archeologists say. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Lack of resettlement detrimental to Hadrut

Feb 28, 2009: “We are grateful to diaspora Armenians” for all they have done for our region, the head of the regional administration of Hadrut, Nagorno-Karabakh said. “Now I would like to invite them to come to Hadrut when they visit Armenia and Karabakh. Let them come, see, and relax.” Tatul Hakobyan reports from the region.  more...



A house in Karchevan that belonged to Gurgen Aghayan, member of parliament of the first Republic of Armenia, 1918–20. General Garegin Nzhdeh (Karekin Nejdeh) stayed in this house when he visited Karchevan. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

The only remaining village from Armenian Goghtn

Feb 28, 2009: Of all the villages in Armenia, Karchevan is the second-farthest from the capital city, more than 400 kilometers. It is on the border with Iran and with Nakhichevan. It is known not only for its sweet, sun-ripened fruit, but also for being the only village of the historic Armenian province of Goghtn – today called Ordubad – still remaining within Armenia. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Yuri Merzlyakov (l.), Matthew Bryza, and Bernard Fassier ( (file photo). Photolure

Mediators fault Azerbaijan for threatening war over Karabakh

Feb 27, 2009: In a rare instance of criticizing one party to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a joint statement asserting that “despite two reports circulated at the request of the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations on December 24 and 29, 2008, there is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



A gathering in Opera Square in February 1988. Photolure

Armenians love to gather in Freedom Square

Feb 21, 2009: The best translation of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost among all the languages encompassed in the Soviet Union was the Armenian hraparakainutiun – from the Armenian word for public square. And it was in Opera Square that the Armenian nation gathered in February 1988. Tatul Hakobyan recalls that fateful month.  more...



Van and neighboring villages in the Voghji River of Nagorno-Karabakh. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

30 Armenian families live in liberated Van

Feb 20, 2009: Vardan Vardanian and his wife moved to the village of Van when it was established in 1999. Their two children, five-year-old son Sergo and two-year-old daughter Ani-Van, were born here. Tatul Hakobyan traveled to Van and spoke with the residents about survival, work, and keeping the land they liberated.  more...



Dmitry Medvedev. kremlin.ru.

Bogged down in a financial crisis, the Kremlin offers money to its former satellites

Feb 13, 2009: Armenia expects to receive a $500 million loan from Russia, which will also be lending Kyrgyzstan $2.15 billion and Belarus $2 billion. Ukraine is negotiating a $5 billion loan. It is not only the magnitude of the loans that is remarkable, but also the political price Moscow appears to be extracting from the four former Soviet Republics, Tatul Hakobyan writes.  more...



President Serge Sargsian speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Feb. 7, 2009. Kai Mörk

Sargsian calls for peace and cooperation in the South Caucasus

Feb 13, 2009: President Serge Sargsian of Armenia declared at the Munich Security Conference that Armenians are not afraid to defend Karabakh against Azerbaijani aggression, but they do not want war. The South Caucasus, the president argued, should turn into a crossroads of peace and cooperation. Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan described this outcome as impossible unless the Karabakh conflict is resolved. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Catholicos Aram I speaks at a gala fund raiser in Dubai for the ARF's advocacy efforts.

Armenian advocacy efforts in Europe and Mideast get $5 million boost

Feb 06, 2009: Benefactors from a range of organizations joined traditional constituents in pledging $5 million in support of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s political activities in Europe (including Russia), in the Middle East, and in international organizations, at a gala benefit held February 2 at the Intercontinental Hotel-Festival City Hotel in Dubai. Tatul Hakobyan has the story.  more...



The Nabucco project would take natural gas from Erzurum to Austria. Some of that gas would come from the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline, which runs in the same corridor as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. But additional capacity is needed. Additional gas could flow from Turkmenistan or Azerbaijan through a new pipeline. The route shown through Karabakh and Armenia is among the options. Armenian Reporter map

Is there a place for Armenia in regional energy projects?

Feb 05, 2009: What is the price, if any, Armenia and Karabakh would have to pay for the planned Nabucco pipeline, which bypasses Russia, to pass through Armenia and Karabakh? Tatul Hakobyan provides the background and speaks to four experts.  more...



President Serge Sargsian meeting his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Davos, Jan. 28, 2009. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are in the background. Press office of the President of Armenia

Serge Sargsian and Ilham Aliyev meet in Zurich

Jan 30, 2009: Armenia’s President Serge Sargsian met his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev on January 28 at the Radisson Hotel in Zurich.  more...



Georges Colombier presents his report on Armenia while co-rapporteur John Prescott, center, looks on. Alban Bodineau / © Council of Europe

Armenia given more time to release accused insurrectionists

Jan 30, 2009: With Armenia’s authorities and European civil rights monitors at an impasse over the release of prisoners detained in connection with the riots of March 1, and accused of attempting to “usurp state power,” a key European body was set to impose sanctions on Armenia this week. But a plan put forward by the Speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly broke the impasse and allowed Armenia to avoid the sanctions. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU commissioner for external relations and European Neighborhood Policy, in Yerevan, Jan. 19. 2009. Photolure

EU seeks closer ties with Armenia

Jan 24, 2009: Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU commissioner for external relations and European Neighborhood Policy, welcomed a new initiative to deploy EU experts within the Armenian administration at a high level to support Armenia’s reform efforts, Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian of Armenia, r., with his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, in Helsinki, Dec. 4, 2008.

Armenia, Turkey are “very close” to normalizing ties

Jan 24, 2009: Armenia's foreign minister Edward Nalbandian agreed with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan that the two countries “are very close to normalizing relations.” He added, in response to a question from Tatul Hakobyan, “Turkey is not doing us any favors by opening the border, or normalizing relations; it is no less important for Turkey.”  more...



Edward Nalbandian, Armenia’s foreign minister, reviews the year 2008. Yerevan, Jan. 21, 2009. Photolure

Presidents Sargsian and Aliyev to meet again in Davos on January 28

Jan 23, 2009: The president of Armenia Serge Sargsian and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev are expected to hold talks at the International Economic Forum at the Swiss town of Davos on January 28, Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



PACE co-rapporteurs John Prescott and George Colombier in Yerevan, Jan. 15, 2008. Photolure

Armenia’s Speaker asks counterparts to oppose European sanctions

Jan 17, 2009: Armenian officials are taking steps to avoid, in the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the adoption of a resolution approved by the assembly’s Monitoring Committee, declaring that Armenia is holding political prisoners and suspending the Armenian delegation’s vote at the assembly.  more...



Armen Rustamian, one of the four members of Armenia’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, chairs the Armenian parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations and is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter

Armen Rustamian: “I believe that there should not be any political prisoners in my country”

Jan 17, 2009: Armen Rustamian of the ARF, who chairs the Armenian parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, argues in an interview that the Armenian authorities have demonstrated the political will to carry out the demands of the Council of Europe with regard to the state of emergency declared on March 1, 2008. He insists, however, that the president should grant an amnesty to opposition activists being tried on charges that can be perceived as political.  more...



Tigran Torossian with his letter of resignation. Photolure.

Tigran Torossian: The threat of European sanctions is an alarm bell our country should heed

Jan 09, 2009: Tigran Torossian, who was the Speaker of Armenia's National Assembly until mid-September 2008, spoke to our correspondent Tatul Hakobyan about the year 2008 and the challenges of democracy and civil society in Armenia.  more...



Demonstrators outside the trial of seven prominent figures charged with attempting to usurp state power in violation of the constitution and organizing mass unrest in which deaths occurred. Dec. 23, 2008, Yerevan. Photolure

Instead of criticizing the Europeans, we must clean house

Jan 08, 2009: Tatul Hakobyan warns that sanctions against Armenia by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will hurt Armenia in its international relations.  more...



Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanian, Primate of Georgia. Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter

“The Georgian government must return Armenian churches”

Dec 20, 2008: Tatul Hakobyan speaks to the Primate of the Georgian diocese of the Armenian Church about the status of Armenian churches claimed by the Georgian Church.  more...



The church on the right side of the photo is Holy Norashen. The church on the left is a formerly Greek Orthodox Church, seized and reconsecrated as a Georgian Orthodox Church. Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter

Georgian Church lays claims to Armenian monuments in Tbilisi and beyond

Dec 20, 2008: On December 9, members of the Georgian-Armenian community pulled the nails out of the doors of the 15th-century Holy Norashen Church in Tbilisi, and entered it with lit candles. A group, including Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian of Armenia, entered the church, where for the first time in 12 years prayers were heard and candles were lit. After the short ceremony, the doors to the church were once again nailed shut. Tatul Hakobyan reports from Tbilisi about the status of Armenian churches in the one-time capital of Eastern Armenian culture.  more...



 

PACE Monitoring Committee recommends suspension of Armenian delegation’s voting rights

Dec 19, 2008: A committee responsible for monitoring Armenia's compliance with binding commitments to democracy and human rights, which it undertook upon joining the Council of Europe, has concluded that the country is holding political prisoners. The committee, meeting in Paris on December 17, decided to recommend that the voting rights of the eight-member Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe be suspended. Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Petros Terzian of PetroStrategies in Paris speaks in Yerevan in a lecture hosted by the Civilitas Foundation. Photolure

Azerbaijan’s oil is no longer important to the international market, expert says

Dec 10, 2008: Petros Terzian, president of PetroStrategies Consulting and Publishing in Paris, said on December 9 that Azerbaijan has become less important than before for the international oil market, as the volume of consumption and price of oil has dropped. Nonetheless, Azerbaijan is looking at netting $7 billion in oil income this year, Tatul Hakobyan reports.  more...



Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian of Armenia, r., with his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, in Helsinki, Dec. 4, 2008.

Views vary on prospects for Armenia-Turkey diplomatic relations

Dec 10, 2008: Tatul Hakobyan reports from Helsinki on the prospects for quick movement toward the normalization of relations with Turkey and Armenians.  more...



OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Bernard Fassier of France, Yuri Merzlyakov of Russia, and Matthew Bryza of the United States, with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian of Armenia (second from left), in Helsinki, Dec. 3, 2008. Tatul Hakobyan

Edward Nalbandian: “This is not a statement becoming of a co-chair”

Dec 04, 2008: After an angry response from Armenia's foreign minister, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group distanced himself from earlier statements that could be deemed to prejudge the outcome of the negotiations over the final resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Tatul Hakobyan reports from Helsinki.  more...



Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reads the statement of the three countries that co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried look on. Tigran Balayan

United States, Russia, and France insist on peaceful solution in Karabakh

Dec 04, 2008: Top diplomats from the United States, Russia, and France met today with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Helsinki and, at the conclusion of their meeting, made a joint declaration calling on the parties “to recommit to a peaceful resolution” of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Tatul Hakobyan reports from Helsinki.  more...



Göran Lennmarker, PACE rapporteur on Nagorno-Karabakh, with Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Helsinki, Dec. 3, 2008. Tigran Balayan

Foreign ministers to take up Karabakh issue at OSCE meeting in Helsinki

Dec 03, 2008: Top diplomats from the United States, Russia, and France will meet Dec. 4 in Helsinki with their counterparts from Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Armenian Reporter's Tatul Hakobyan reports from Helsinki, where the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is holding a meeting of its Ministerial Council. (Second update)  more...



Göran Lennmarker, PACE rapporteur on Nagorno-Karabakh, with Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Helsinki, Dec. 3, 2008. Tigran Balayan

Foreign ministers to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Helsinki

Dec 03, 2008: (Dec. 3) -- The Armenian Reporter's Tatul Hakobyan reports from Helsinki that U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, representing the three nations that co-chair the OSCE Minsk Group mediating in the final resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, will meet on Thursday, December 4, with Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandian of Armenia and Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan. The senior diplomats are in Helsinki for the meetings of the OSCE Ministerial Council.  more...



Aram Kocharian. Armenian Reporter.

About 6,000 families in Lori and Shirak provinces still need housing

Nov 29, 2008: Aram Kocharian, governor of the Lori province, sat down with the Armenian Reporter’s Tatul Hakobyan to discuss the losses incurred in his region after the 1988 earthquake and how authorities continue to deal with the situation.  more...



Shirakamut today. Armenian Reporter.

Shirakamut: 20 years on, more than 200 families still have no home

Nov 29, 2008: After the earthquake and up until 1993, the birth rate rose in the disaster zone. People wanted to "return" the children they had lost, at least by returning their names. Parents, if both of them had survived, had children and named them after those children who had died in the earthquake.  more...



Zorik and Seda Argamanian. Armenian Reporter.

A story of a grandmother and her grandchild

Nov 29, 2008: From the adjacent room, Zorik Arghamanian, 23, brought photos of his parents, David and Alina, and his little brother Sergey, set in two large frames. He placed them on the couch and sat next to his grandmother. Seda Arghamanian, 75, glanced at the pictures and started recounting a story. It was a tragic story, but also a story of faith and endurance. Tatul Hakobyan reports from Spitak, Armenia.  more...



Vladimir Movsisian. Photolure.

“The buildings we constructed did not meet the seismic standards of Armenia”

Nov 22, 2008: Tatul Hakobyan speaks to Vladimir Movsisian, the deputy prime minister of Armenia at the time, who lost 57 relatives in a matter of seconds. His home village was a few kilometers from the epicenter. Mr. Movsisian acknowledges, “The buildings we constructed did not meet the seismic standards of Armenia.”  more...



An accompanying table [pdf] presents the various proposals negotiated since the 1994 cease-fire, including the current framework proposal on the negotiating table. Armenian Reporter

Mediators play down prospects of early Karabakh settlement

Nov 21, 2008: The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, confirmed that no serious progress could be expected in the coming weeks or months in the negotiations over the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Tatul Hakobyan reports. He presents a summary of the framework agreement that the parties are negotiating.  more...



Virab Shaboyan, father of nine, with one of his cows.

Living in the liberated territories is an act of heroism

Nov 15, 2008: Lebanese Armenians Melkon Hagopian and Ben Bouchakjian have visited the liberated regions in Nagorno-Karabakh several times. They have traveled the territory between the mountains of Omar to the banks of the Araks; they have been amazed at the breathtaking landscape, met with people not cared for by the authorities, and have come to realize that living in the liberated territories is itself an act of heroism. The last time they went to Artsakh was in the spring of this year to participate in a conference c0-organized by the Tufenkian Foundation and the Karabakh government, aimed at ensuring investments for the revitalization and resettlement of the liberated territories.  more...



Jumber Patiashvili. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter.

Jumber Patiashvili, the former leader of Georgia, remembers the earthquake in Armenia

Nov 15, 2008: When the earthquake struck Armenia on December 7, 1988, Jumber Patiashvili felt his Tbilisi office shake. Not long after, he was on a helicopter to northern Armenia. He landed in Spitak, a town he had never before seen, and found only ruins. Tatul Hakobyan traveled to Tbilisi to talk to Mr. Patiashvili.  more...



From left, Presidents Aliyev, Medvedev, and Sargsian on Nov. 2. Photolure.

The Maiendorf Declaration: reactions from Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Azerbaijan

Nov 08, 2008: The three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on November 6 met in Vienna to discuss Russia's mediation effort in the Karabakh peace process and the results of the meeting of the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia in Moscow. Matthew Bryza, the American co-chair, announced that the Moscow Declaration made it clear that henceforth negotiations will continue based on the Madrid Principles. "The issue of whether the Madrid Principles was on the agenda or not has been resolved with this declaration. All the efforts geared toward resolving this conflict from now on will be based upon the those founding principles," Mr. Bryza said.  more...



President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia plants a tree at the Armenian Genocide Memorial complex in Yerevan on Oct. 22 during his official visit. Photolure

Russia’s president, in Yerevan, sees quick action on Karabakh

Oct 25, 2008: President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia is looking forward to a meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow, he announced during an official visit to Armenia on October 20-21.  more...



At the Gandasar Monastery, some of the 700 young Armenian couples who were married in one day in Nagorno-Karabakh, October 16, 2008. Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter

"Just Married!" One day, 700 weddings in Artsakh

Oct 16, 2008: Seven hundred couples from all over Nagorno-Karabakh were married during two separate ceremonies on October 16, Tatul Hakobyan reports. This unprecedented event was made possible by Russian-Armenian entrepreneur Levon Hairapetian, a native of Artsakh.  more...



Gul, Sargsian, and protestors at Baghramian 26

Abdullah Gül, center, is received by Serge Sargsian at the presidential palace in Yerevan as protestors invoke Armenian grievances against Turkey. Photolure

Gül’s visit to Armenia “more advantageous to Turkey”

Oct 04, 2008: Turkey has long proposed to form a commission of historians to examine the events of 1915. In New York last week, Armenia's president noted that Turkey's foreign minister has announced that Turkey is ready "to face the conclusions of the presumed commission’s findings. These are the words of a courageous representative of the authorities. We have to think, how we can help Turkish society be more unbiased toward the pages of their own history.” Speaking in Yerevan this week, Vartan Oskanian, who served as Armenia's foreign minister from 1998 to 2008, said, "No one has the moral right to shed doubt on the fact of the 1915 Genocide." He added, “Turkey’s desire is to start the process, and not the actual result itself. That will be an eternal process. Everything must be done to halt the process from beginning.” Tatul Hakobyan reviews the controversy.  more...



 

Armenia’s choices: Russia or NATO

Oct 04, 2008: As NATO exercises bring some 1,100 service members from NATO and partner countries to Armenia, and as tensions between Russia and the West escalate, Tatul Hakobyan talks to some experts about Armenia's choices.  more...



Vartan Oskanian. Photolure

Civilitas Foundation opens in Yerevan

Oct 04, 2008: A new foundation, Civilitas, will focus on foreign policy on the one hand, and education, media, rural development and environmental awareness on the other. It was founded by Vartan Oskanian, who served from 1998 to 2008 as Armenia's foreign minister.  more...



 

The mediators are not physicians

Sep 27, 2008: From time to time Azerbaijan criticizes the OSCE Minsk Group, claiming that the mediators do not work hard enough toward the resolution of the conflict. The president of Turkey too questioned the effectiveness of the co-chairs during his visit to Baku. Armenia takes a different view.  more...



 

Who is hostage to whom?

Sep 27, 2008: In Armenia, especially after Mr. Gül's visit, some people have begun to believe that Ankara wishes to establish good relations with Yerevan and lift the blockade, and Azerbaijan is the obstacle. Turkey is supposedly Azerbaijan's hostage. This belief is of course baseless; Turkey, many times stronger than Azerbaijan, cannot become a hostage to a much weaker Azerbaijan. Turkey simply does not wish to end its hostile policy toward Armenia and for that reason uses the Karabakh issue as an excuse. It clearly understands that the issue is not conducive to a resolution and so uses it to somehow justify a permanent anti-Armenian policy in Ankara.  more...



 

For Turkey, relations with Armenia are still linked to Karabakh

Sep 27, 2008: Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Monday, September 22, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan of Turkey said that the war between Russia and Georgia had shifted the political landscape in the Caucasus and had prompted Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to try to settle their differences.  more...



The opposition’s latest rally in Yerevan, Sept. 15, 2008. Photolure.

Opposition turns down the heat on the government

Sep 20, 2008: For all its stridency, the recent rhetoric coming from Levon Ter-Petrossian, Armenia's first president, signals a less confrontational approach than the one he was taking in the first months after the presidential election in February. And there is a change in the attitude of President Serge Sargsian as well.  more...



We are all prisoners of the Soviet Unoin. Autumn, 1988. Photolure

Armenia on the road to independence

Sep 20, 2008: In the early spring of 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and last president of the Soviet Union, made a final attempt to prevent the inevitable death of the empire. On March 17 a referendum was held on preserving the Soviet Union. Approximately three-quarters of the population voted for the continuation of the Soviet Union. The Armenian republic, together with five other republics - the Georgian, Moldovan, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian - boycotted the referendum. On March 1 the Supreme Council of Armenia refused to hold the referendum in its territory and decided to hold its own referendum on independence six months later.  more...



Amb. Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, the secretary general of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization, in Yerevan. . Armenian Reporter

BSEC Secretary General strikes an optimistic note

Sep 13, 2008: The secretary general of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization, Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, on September 8 met with the Armenian Reporter's Tatul Hakobyan for an exclusive interview. Mr. Chrysanthopouls served in 1993 and 1994 as ambassador of Greece to Armenia.  more...



Gul, Sargsian, and protestors at Baghramian 26

Abdullah Gül, center, is received by Serge Sargsian at the presidential palace in Yerevan as protestors invoke Armenian grievances against Turkey. Photolure

Armenia receives Turkey's president for six-hour visit

Sep 12, 2008: Thousands of Armenians, mostly members and supporters of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun), formed a human chain lining the streets of central Yerevan along the route President Abdullah Gül of Turkey was expected to travel on September 6, on the first-ever visit of a Turkish president to Armenia. They were protesting Turkey’s denial of the Genocide and its anti-Armenian policies.  more...



Journalists from Turkey at Yerevan's Hrazdan stadium prepare to cover the Armenia-Turkey soccer match. The black tuffa house on the top right is former president Levon Ter-Petrossian's private residence. Photo: Photolure.

Journalists from Turkey at Yerevan's Hrazdan stadium prepare to cover the Armenia-Turkey soccer match. The black tuffa house on the top right is former president Levon Ter-Petrossian's private residence. Photolure

Turkey's Abdullah Gül prepares for unprecedented visit to Armenia

Sep 04, 2008: President Abdullah Gül of Turkey has accepted the invitation of his Armenian counterpart, Serge Sargsian, and will be in Yerevan today, September 6, for six hours. Following talks, the presidents of Armenia and Turkey will go to the Hrazdan stadium to watch their two national soccer teams play a World Cup 2010 qualifier match, after which Mr. Gül will depart.  more...



Naiyif Alibeyoglu, mayor of Kars. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Turkey faces a critical decision

Aug 30, 2008: Naiyif ­Alibeyoglu, the mayor of Kars, crossed the Turkish-Armenian border at the Akyakya-Akhurian crossing point in 1999 in order to meet with his counterpart from Gyumri. Even though Ankara officially closed the borders in April 1993, once in a while the two border crossing points at Akyakya-Akhurian and Alijan-Margara, have been opened for important people.  more...



Vagharshak Zurnachian. Tatul Hakobyan / Armenian Reporter

Georgia after the humiliation

Aug 30, 2008: The Armenian Reporter’s Tatul Hakobyan traveled to Gori, Georgia, this past weekend to see firsthand the condition of the city and its inhabitants. In the early morning hours of August 22, as the last of the Russian soldiers were leaving Gori, shops that had escaped the bombardment were opening up for business. While some residents blamed their own leadership for the conflict and said that when the Georgian police fled their city after the first bombing, it was Russian soldiers who had been able to maintain law and order. In the meantime, Georgia’s international image suffered immensely and the country, once considered the “beacon of democracy” by President George W. Bush, had been humiliated by Russia in a matter of hours.  more...



 

Armenians on the Georgian shores of the Black Sea

Aug 23, 2008: Khumaryan, 63, received his college education in Yerevan and worked in Armenia for 14 years before returning to his native Batumi. He fondly remembers the 1950s and 60s, when the number of Armenians in Ajaria exceeded 30,000 and Armenian could be heard spoken everywhere in Batumi, capital of the autonomous republic. In Batumi alone there were four Armenian schools, of which none remains today.  more...



 

War returns to the Caucasus as Georgia and Russia face off

Aug 23, 2008: NINOTSMINDA, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia (August 13) – If you stand on the side of the road leading from Akhalkalaki to Ninotsminda, you can see hundreds of cars and buses carrying thousands of Armenians returning home from their holidays on the Black Sea coast of Ajaria. They are escaping Russian bombs that have been dropping on Georgia’s military bases – some of which are located near residential areas – in response to the Georgian government’s military aggression against South Ossetia  more...



Vallex Group’s office by the forest at Teghut. Armenian Reporter / Armenian Reporter.


President Serge Sargsian of Armenia. Photolure

Threats of renewed war on the eve of settlement talks

Aug 05, 2008: We must be prepared to liberate our territories by way of war at any time," President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan announced on June 4 in the city of Julfa on Nakhichevan's Iranian border, the online Azerbaijani news agency Day.az reported. Mr. Aliyev was in Nakhichevan, an exclave of Azerbaijan, to meet with Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Turkey's president.  more...



Armen Martirosyan, the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations, addresses the General Assembly meeting concerning the situation in NKR, March 14, 2008. Jenny Rockett / UN Photo

UN vote seen as damaging Karabakh peace process

Mar 22, 2008: The United Nations General Assembly on March 14 adopted an Azerbaijani-drafted resolution demanding the "immediate, complete and unconditional" withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all of Azerbaijan's occupied lands.  more...



Map of the area of the incident . Grigor Beglaryan / Armenian Reporter

Azerbaijan violates cease-fire as forces skirmish near Mardakert

Mar 08, 2008: A serious breach of the cease-fire in place since May 1994 took place early in the morning of March 4 on the border of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) and Azerbaijan, northeast of Mardakert, a few kilo­meters from Levonarkh village. The skirmish lasted approximately 13 hours. There were dead and wounded.  more...



Elections in Armenia have often been followed by problems . Photolure

Turmoil has often come after Armenia’s elections

Mar 08, 2008: As the violent riots broke out in Yerevan on March 1, President Robert Kocharian signed a decree announcing a state of emergency, prohibiting meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches, and other mass events. Tatul Hakobyan reviews the history of post-election turmoil in Armenia.  more...



 

The 1988 Sumgait massacre crystallized anti-Armenian hatred

Mar 01, 2008: The 70-year history of the Soviet Union is full of bloody episodes, but what happened in Sumgait was unprecedented. Firstly, the massacres occurred in completely peaceful times. Secondly, the massacres were based on ethnicity not political loyalties. Thirdly, the central Soviet and republican authorities, though they did not implement the massacres themselves (as they had in Tbilisi in April 1989), by their lack of response, gave the opportunity to realize the massacres to the working class, which was, according to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's expectations, supposed to establish social order.  more...



Dimitrij Rupel, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and Dimitrij Rupel with President Robert Kocharian   . Photolure

EU Troika express hope for free and fair presidential elections in Armenia

Feb 09, 2008: Less than two weeks before the presidential elections in Armenia, the European Union Troika, comprised of Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European commissioner for external relations and European neighborhood policy, Dimitrij Rupel, minister of foreign affairs of Slovenia, and Ambassador Peter Semneby, EU special representative for the Southern Caucasus were in Yerevan. The European officials had high-level talks with Armenian authorities on February 6. Although the visit was regional and the Troika has had meetings in Baku and Tbilisi, the EU's main focus is Armenia because of the upcoming elections.  more...



Vladimir Kazimirov   . AIPRG

Vladimir Kazimirov: “In Karabakh, the overriding priority is to prevent a new war”

Jan 26, 2008: Editor's note: As Russia's envoy for Nagorno-Karabakh from 1992 to 1996, Ambassador Vladimir ­Kazimirov played a key role in securing the May 1994 cease-fire agreement. Born in 1929 in Moscow, Mr. Kazimirov served in the Soviet and later Russian Foreign Ministry since 1953, including at embassies in Europe, Africa and Latin America. His last posting was as Russia's ambassador to Costa Rica; he retired in 2000. Mr. Kazimirov is deputy chair of the Association of Russian Diplomats. He has remained concerned about the Karabakh conflict and comments on the subject frequently.  more...



Atilla Koc, Turkey's minister of culture and tourism, and Abp. Mesrob Mutafyan cut a red ribbon to rededicate the Cathedral Church of the Holy Cross on Aghtamar Island in Lake Van as a Turkish museum. Depicted on the red banner in the background is Mustafa Kemal, the founder of modern Turkey. Photolure

Aghtamar reopening becomes a celebration of Turkey

Apr 07, 2007: Tatul Hakobyan reports from Van, Turkey, on the March 29 opening of the renovated and restored Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Aghtamar Island as a Turkish museum.  more...