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Ex-prime minister of France Dominique de Villepin to visit Armenia
/Feb 11/ARKA/

YEREVAN – In the framework of his working visit to Paris last week, Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian met with the former Prime Minister of France Dominique de Villepin who in different periods of time was also foreign minister and minister of internal affairs of France.
President Armen Sarkissian and Dominique de Villepin were said to have exchanged views on the international politics and security, spoke about problems and challenges existing in the South Caucasus region.
Armen Sarkissian spoke also about the programs and preliminary initiatives which he pursues and noted that they were pointed into the future and were aimed to make Armenia a center of modern technologies and startups.
The President of Armenia invited former Prime Minister of France Dominique de Villepin to visit Armenia in the nearest future. The invitation was accepted.


Pop star Sirusho becomes first Armenian to receive DIAFA award
/Feb 11/Verelq.am/

YEREVAN – Pop star Sirusho has become the first Armenian performer to be awarded the DIAFA (Distinctive International Arab Festivals Awards) award in Dubai.

Held annually, DIAFA honors distinguished personalities for their achievements in various fields such as arts, culture, music, business and humanitarian services.

“Was honored to be the first performer from Armenia and receive an award. Thank You”, Sirusho said on Facebook after the show.

Lebanese-Armenian TV personality, producer and host Neshan Der Haroutiounian presented the award to Sirusho.

On stage, Sirusho asked the audience if they don’t mind her to teach them an Armenian song.

The video below shows Sirusho rocking the stage and lighting up the audience with her performance.
 

‘Summit of Minds’ to be held in Armenia for the first time under high auspices of President Sarkissian
/Feb 13/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – The Summit of Minds, an annual event taking place in the French resort area of Chamonix, this year will be held in Armenia for the first time.

“The Armenian Summit of Minds” will take place in Yerevan and Dilijan on June 7-9.

The Monthly Barometer, an analytical and predictive newsletter, is the chief partner of the Summit.

An agreement on holding the event has been reached in September 2018, when President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian was participating in the Summit of Minds as a main speaker, the Presidential Office told Armenpress.

The Summit of Minds is a major event gathering over 300 politicians, scientists, businessmen-investors, heads of large companies and media outlets from all over the world. The event aims at presenting new ideas on issues of global importance, establishing reliable partnering relations through direct discussions.

Armenia is the first country to host the event outside Chamonix.

The main topic of discussion during the expected Armenian Summit of Minds will be the “Regional geopolitics, economy and investments: Multipolarity impact on trade and investment flows”.

Famous speakers representing different countries will deliver reports on the topic. One of the main features of the event is the cultural part, including visits to Armenia’s historical-cultural sites to introduce the Summit participants on the history and culture of Armenia and its people.

Holding this event in Armenia will contribute to raising the country’s international ranking. The Summit is a unique opportunity to present Armenia’s potential, develop new cooperation directions and establish business ties.
 

Armenia to host French Summit of Minds
/Feb 14/ARKA/

YEREVAN – The annual Summit of Minds, hosted traditionally by the French town of Chamonix, will be held in Armenia this year, the press service of Armenian president said. It said the event called the Armenian Summit of Minds will be held June 7-9 in the capital Yerevan and the resort town of Dilijan. The sponsor of the summit is the Monthly Barometer magazine.
The agreement on the organization of this event in Armenia was reached in September 2018, when Armenian President Armen Sarkissian took part in last year’s Summit of Minds as a key speaker. Once a year, The Summit of Minds brings together 300 personalities and their partners in Chamonix, for a three-day conference centered on new ideas and friendships.
The main purpose of the event is to present new ideas on the most important issues of global importance, as well as to establish trusting partnerships through direct discussions. Armenia is the first country to host the summit outside of Chamonix.
The main topic of discussion at the Armenian Summit of Minds will be “Regional geopolitics, economics and investment: the impact of multipolarity on trade and investment flows.”
One of the important features of the summit to be held in Armenia is the rich cultural component of the program, including visits to the historical and cultural sights.
“Hosting such an event in Armenia, as well as influential people and leaders representing business, science and politics, will contribute to raising the international image of Armenia. The summit is an exceptional opportunity for Armenia to present its potential, develop new areas of cooperation and establish business ties,” the press service said.


French President to pay state visit to Armenia French President to pay state visit to Armenia
/Feb 14/News.am/

Deputy Premier Mher Grigoryan received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic to Armenia Jonathan Lacôte and Head of the regional office of the French Development Agency for the South Caucasus Gaëlle Assayag, Deputy Premier’s office said in a statement.

Mentioning the fact that the day of their meeting was symbolic since it is the day that the National Assembly approved the government program, Deputy Premier Mher Grigoryan attached importance to the development and deepening of cooperation with France during implementation of the reforms set forth by the government as well. Grigoryan presented the main provisions of the government program and stressed the opportunities for enhancing the bilateral relations within the scope of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.

Ambassador Lacôte stated that France was willing to enhance relations with Armenia in the bilateral and multilateral formats and highlighted the fact that President Emanuel Macron had recently informed about his intention to pay a state visit to Armenia.

The head of the regional office of the French Development Agency for the South Caucasus talked about the process of implementation of the Agency’s programs under implementation in Armenia and expressed the Agency’s willingness to develop new programs in line with the reforms set forth by the Armenian government.

The interlocutors touched upon the need for the formation of a capital market in Armenia and considered the perspectives for the growth of French businesses in Armenia. Armenia’s advantages of being a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as being included in the GSP+ system and being a member of the International Trade Organization.


Armenia celebrates 150th birth anniversaries of Tumanyan and Komitas
/Feb 16/Public Radio of Armenia/Alisa Gevorgyan/

Events marking the 150th anniversary of Hovhannes Tumanyan will take place in Lebanon, Iran, Artsak, Georgia, Javakhk and all regions of Armenia.

On February 19, the writer’s birthday, which has long been celebrated as a day to gift books, his birthplace of Dsegh will be the center of events, says Eduard Militonyan, Chairman of the Union of Writers.  

On that day writers will hold meetings in different schools of the republic, will donate books and give lectures about Tumanyan. At 2 p.m. they will give books to passers-by in front of the premises of the Writers’ Union.

On February 18 an event is expected in front of his statue at the Freedom Square. On the same day a scientific conference dedicated to Hovhannes Tumanyan will be held at the National Academy of Sciences.

On February 22 the Union of Writers will host a conference titled “My Tumanyan.”

Komitas will also be in the focus in February. On February 20 the concert of the Chamber Choir of Armenia dedicated to the 150th birth anniversary of the composer will take place at Komitas Chamber Music Hall.

The yerevan chamber Choir will start a series of concerts on February 27.


Souvenir sheet dedicated to 150th anniversary of Hovhannes Tumanyan cancelled and put into circulation
/Feb 18/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – A souvenir sheet with one stamp dedicated to the theme “Prominent Armenians. 150th anniversary of Hovhannes Toumanian” has been cancelled and put into circulation by HayPost CJSC in the premises of Hovhannes Toumanian museum, Armenpress reports citing HayPost.

The souvenir sheet with nominal value of 1100 AMD is printed in “Lowe Martin Group” printing house in Canada with the print-run of 20 000 pcs.

The author of the souvenir sheet’s design is the chief designer of HayPost CJSC Vahagn Mkrtchyan.

The postage stamp of the souvenir sheet depicts the famous Armenian writer, poet, national and public figure Hovhannes Toumanian against the background of his books and handwriting.

The postage stamp also depicts the logo of UNESCO as the 150th anniversary of Hovhannes Toumanian is included in the 2018-2019 UNESCO calendar of renowned people and important events.

The souvenir sheet was cancelled by Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of the Republic of Armenia Hakob Arshakyan, Minister of Education and Science Arayik Harutyunyan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affaires Artak Apitonyan, Chairman of the Board of HayPost CJSC Juan Pablo Gechidjian, President of the Union of Philatelists Hovik Musayelyan.
 

Armenia plans to purchase 12 Su-30SM fighters from Russia
/Feb 18/Panorama/

Armenia plans to receive 4 Su-30SM multifunctional fighters from Russia in late 2019 or early 2020. Meantime, Yerevan wants to purchase a total of 12 such fighters, RIA Novosti reports, citing the country’s defense minister.

“We continue negotiations on the supplies of the next batch of Su-30SM fighters. Everything will depend on how quickly that products will be ready. We are planning to receive the first batch this year, in the extreme case, at the beginning of the next year,” Davit Tonoyan told the Russian news agency on the sidelines of IDEX 2019 international defense exhibition.

Earlier, Defense Ministry spokesperson Artsrun Hovhannisyan told RIA Novosti that Armenia plans to purchase four Su-30SM fighters from Russia.

The ministry also confirmed the report later, saying that the purchase is part of the $100 million worth Russian credit. 
 

Toumanian’s World: Exhibition of Armen Lorents’ works opened in the National Assembly
/Feb 19/Panorama/

The opening of the exhibition of Armen Lorents’ works dedicated to Armenian poet, publicist Hovhannes Toumanian’s 150th birth anniversary was held in the Natioanl Assembly attended by Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, the Head of Bright Armenia Fsaction Edmon Marukyan, deputies, representatives of the parliament staff and journalists.

Congratulating the attendees on the occasion of the poet’s 150th anniversary, Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan noted: “Toumanian’s biography is one of the best examples how an individual with his life and activity can entirely be devoted to his own people, Motherland and with his works have an impact on the formation of the whole people’s world outlook.” According to Ararat Mirzoyan, Toumanian fairly holds the title ‘Poet of All Armenians,’ in his works sums up the Armenian people’s wisdom, emotions, pains and inexhaustible faith towards bright future. The Head of the legislative body considered typical that on Toumanian’s 150th birth anniversary the exhibition of the works of the painter from Lori opened in the National Assembly.

The author of the initiative Edmon Marukyan highlighted the opening of the exhibition with the title Armen Lorents’ ‘Toumanian’s World.’ The poet’s works accompany us from our childhood, the MP has noted, adding that the nations that have no great individuals, cannot also have future.

Armen Lorents thanked the MPs for hospitality and on the occasion of Book-Presenting Day gave as a gift his authored book to the RA NA President and the heads of the factions.

Afterwards the Head of the parliament hosted the pupils of Yerevan Hovhannes Toumanian N 32 School. Ararat Mirzoyan presented the activities of the National Assembly, answered the questions concerning them and on the occasion of Book-Presenting Day passed the book by Levon Khechoyan to the library of the school.
 

Primate of the Tehran Armenian Diocese: For the first time after the revolution rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Iran became  legal
/Feb 18/Arminfo/Marianna Mkrtchyan/

After the revolution for the first time the rights of ethnic and religious minorities in Iran have become legal, the primate of Tehran Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Church, Archbishop Sepuh Sarkissian said in his welcoming speech at the solemn event of the Armenians of Tehran on the occasion of the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.

“Religion and homeland are two sacred values for the people of Iran, and Iranian citizens have always sacrificed themselves for the protection of these two sacred principles. After the war, the Armenian community also played its role in promoting Iran in the artistic, industrial, and international transport sectors, “said Sarkissian.

To note, according to official data, today the Armenian community of Iran totals 200 thousand people.
 

On the fact of illegal alienation of land adjacent to the free economic zone “Megri”, a criminal case is raised.
/Feb 18/Arminfo/Alexandr Avanesov/

On the fact of illegal alienation of land adjacent to the free economic zone “Megri”, a criminal case. The press service of the RA Police reports. According to the source, the Directorate for Combating  Corruption and Economic Crimes of the RA Police received a signal  that in 2014, during the implementation of the process of creating a  free economic zone in the Karchevan community of Syunik region, the  head of this community and other officials were abused. 

In the process of preparing the investigation materials, evidence was obtained that the abuses were committed both by the head of the community and by the former heads of the real estate cadastre committee. It turned out that in July 2014, the then head of the Real Estate Cadastre Committee and his deputy visited the Karchevan community. where, pointing to the head of the community in the territory adjacent to CJSC “Free Economic Zone Meghri”, announced the initiative of the then prime minister to begin the process of alienation of these territories in favor of CJSC “ESIA”.

Then the head of the company, who visited the head of the community, demanded that he organize the sale of these territories through competitive bidding, in which other participants would formally participate.  After that, the head of the community organized the illegal alienation of these lands from using obviously falsified documents. Thus, one of the members of the Council of Elders signed a protocol on the allegedly held meeting of the Council of Elders, at which the decision on alienation was taken. Meanwhile, as noted by the RA Police, in fact there was no meeting of the Council. Based on these agreements, 3,209,948 ha of land were alienated at a price of 1.540.000 drams, 550.000 drams and 385.000 drams. 

Thus, the community suffered enormous damage. Moreover, the head of  the community, already being informed about the prospect of creating  a free economic zone, on the basis of vested interests and abusing  his official position, sold 1,378 hectares of land adjacent to the  zone. A criminal case was initiated on this fact according to the first part of Article 308 and the first part of Article 314 of the RA Criminal Code. The investigation continues. 

 

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