Baku’s aim is to keep tension in the region: Armenia FM at UN Council

 19:13,

YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS. There is continuous bellicose rhetoric and military escalation provoked by Azerbaijan following earlier incursions into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. The impunity of the illegal use of force resulted in new territorial claims against Armenia. Nowadays, the whole territory of the Republic of Armenia is presented as so-called “Western Azerbaijan”, which was invented with a pure intention to keep tension in the region. 

Foreign Minister of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan said in his address at the High-Level Segment of the 55th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, the foreign ministry said.

The address reads as follows:

"Armenia congratulates the newly elected Bureau of the Human Rights Council under the Presidency of H.E. Ambassador Omar Zniber of Morocco and wishes all the best at the helm of this august body.

A year ago, from this very stage, the UN Secretary-General warned of rising public disregard and private disdain for human rights. He called to stand on the right side of history, to stand up for the human rights of everyone, everywhere.

Indeed, the world becomes a dangerous place when adherence to human rights declines, when our common principles and norms, particularly international law, international human rights and humanitarian law, are ignored and violated on a massive scale.  

Armenia views this august Council as one of the key pillars of the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide. It is in this vein that at this session, Armenia presents a new iteration of Genocide Prevention resolution. We believe that the HRC should continue its contribution to the international efforts of countering the scourge of genocide, not least through exploring ways of enhancing early warning and early action capacities. And this is the main thrust of the new draft. We count on the wide support to this noble goal.

Mr. President,

Since 2020 the international human rights law and international humanitarian law have been continuously violated in our region. In the course of the last three and half years, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh suffered from war of aggression, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture, starvation and other forms of inhumane treatment. It endured a ten-month-long blockade of the Lachin corridor, the only connection to Armenia and the world, and then was subjected to renewed hostilities, which resulted in the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Armenian population of the region.

We have been witnessing such a policy of Azerbaijan since the 80s of last century. In fact, today, we commemorate the victims of Sumgait pogroms. Together with similar acts in Baku, Kirovabad and other Armenian-populated cities of Azerbaijan, around 360 thousand Armenians were forced to flee their homes, deprived of all their rights, including the right to property, and find refuge in Armenia. Earlier, due to the same-style implemented policy, Armenians left their homes in Nakhijevan. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, there was no shortage of early warning signs of the looming atrocities. The list includes statements from the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Orders of ICJ, public communications of UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders. 

However, this was not enough for the international community, and I quote the Secretary General again, “to stand on the right side of history, to stand up for human rights”. Approximately 145.000 people were forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh and relocated to Armenia between 2020 and 2023. Here I should state that the Government of Armenia undertakes all necessary actions to address the needs and rights of these people. Together with dealing with the short-term challenges-providing access to education, social protection, healthcare system, supporting their housing difficulties, we are already planning concrete actions to address mid-term and long-term needs aimed at further integration of Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are more than thousand missing persons and enforced disappearances on the Armenian side from the wars of the 1990s and 2020. We have 23 prisoners of war and other detainees in Azerbaijan. We have an immense risk of destruction of Armenian cultural and religious heritage that the UN Special Rapporteur has recently warned: “may amount to cultural cleansing.”

There is continuous bellicose rhetoric and military escalation provoked by Azerbaijan following earlier incursions into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. The impunity of the illegal use of force resulted in new territorial claims against Armenia. Nowadays, the whole territory of the Republic of Armenia is presented as so-called “Western Azerbaijan”, which was invented with a pure intention to keep tension in the region.

Nevertheless, Armenia is committed to the peace agenda and will not deviate from it. We are convinced that mutual recognition of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders based on the 1991 Almaty declaration and delimitation of the interstate border based on the most recent and legitimate maps of the USSR is the only path towards peace and stability in our region. We also do believe that the opening of all regional communications that respect sovereignty and jurisdiction of states and is based on the principles of equality and reciprocity can create additional interdependencies complementing the stability of the South Caucasus and wider region. To that end, the Government of Armenia introduced the “Crossroads of Peace” initiative once again reaffirming our genuine interest and political will to unblock all the transport links. 

Concluding, I would like to underline that against all odds and challenges, we have been facing, Armenia continues its path towards the consolidation of democracy, and we are proud of the remarkable achievements that have been registered. The recent accession to the Rome Statute is only one, albeit a major step in this regard that stands as the token of our unwavering commitment to uphold human rights. Armenia is also taking considerable steps to further strengthen the rights of women, children, and other vulnerable groups, improve labor rights and social protection mechanisms. 

And I thank you."

Baku continues to make territorial claims: Mirzoyan at the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament

 19:37,

YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS.  The security environment in the South Caucasus remains volatile as Azerbaijan hasn’t denounced its aggressive policy against the Republic of Armenia. It continues to present new territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia along with backtracking from previously agreed principles of the establishment of peace and security in our region. Particularly the principle of respecting each other’s territorial integrity based on the Almaty Declaration of 1991 and conduct of the delimitation process aiming to recover the borderline of 1991 have been consistently rejected by Azerbaijan.

According to the readout issued by the foreign ministry, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan made a statement during the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament.

The statement reads as follows:

"It is a pleasure to address the Conference on Disarmament in our capacity as an observer state. We believe that the Conference on Disarmament serves as a crucial platform for dialogue and collaboration among nations, aiming to build trust and understanding in pursuit of common goals. Armenia, as an observer state, is eager to actively engage in the deliberations, discussions, and initiatives aimed at advancing disarmament efforts on a global scale.

We reaffirm our strong commitment to the universal implementation of the international obligations in the areas of arms control and non-proliferation and reiterate our steadfast support to the institutions that underpin it.

Armenia reiterates its firm support for the full, complete, and effective implementation of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation (NPT). As a strong supporter of the non-proliferation policies, we reiterate our full compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreements and additional protocol.

Furthermore, we consider the Comprehensive test-ban treaty (CTBT) to be an indispensable pillar and tool for the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and disarmament.

New international regulatory instruments or mechanisms for addressing 21st-century threats and challenges are crucial for preventing potential conflicts and saving lives in line with the International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. In this regard, it is our strong conviction that our joint efforts should be directed not just at protecting and advancing what we have already achieved but at matching the rapid technological progress, especially in artificial intelligence, lethal autonomous weapons systems or drone technologies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Armenia is well familiar with the devastating impact of conflict, having experienced the tragic consequences of wars in our recent history. This painful past motivates us to persistently advocate for peaceful resolution of conflicts, prevention of the use or threat of force, uncontrolled and mass acquisition of weaponry and disarmament.

The erosion of the arms control regimes does not happen in a vacuum. It is usually a consequence of years-long noncompliance to the main treaties and documents, as well as the negligence of such crucial principles of the UN Charter as the non-use of force or threat of use of force and the maintenance of international peace and security and good-neighborly relations. The international failures of identifying early warning signs of such violations usually evolve into bloody conflicts and hostilities.

It is in such an environment that Azerbaijan launched a violent war against Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, infiltrated into Armenia’s sovereign territory and on 19 September last year conducted an ethnic cleansing of over 108.000 indigenous Armenian population from its ancestral homeland.

Overall, the security environment in the South Caucasus remains volatile as Azerbaijan hasn’t denounced its aggressive policy against the Republic of Armenia. It continues to present new territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia along with backtracking from previously agreed principles of the establishment of peace and security in our region. Particularly the principle of respecting each other’s territorial integrity based on the Almaty Declaration of 1991 and conduct of the delimitation process aiming to recover the borderline of 1991 have been consistently rejected by Azerbaijan.

Nevertheless, the Government of Armenia continues its genuine efforts to build peace and stability in our region as well as confidence and trust between Armenia and Azerbaijan. To that end we have proposed simultaneous withdrawal of troops from the Armenia-Azerbaijan interstate border, with further demilitarization of the bordering areas. Armenia also proposes to sign a bilateral arms control mechanism and non-aggression pact ahead of the peace treaty in case the signing of the latter requires additional time to reach a consensus. Despite the fact that all these proposals have so far been ignored or rejected by Azerbaijan, we are determined to continue our efforts.

Dear Colleagues,

The arms control and non-proliferation architecture were established with the objective of ensuring safer and more secure life for all. It cannot be accomplished without joint efforts, compromise and political will.

We firmly believe that dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect are the cornerstones of effective disarmament efforts. Armenia stands ready to work collaboratively with member states, sharing experiences, expertise, and resources to address the complex challenges that are ahead of us. Through open communication and a commitment to finding common ground, we can pave a way for a more secure and safe world.

I thank you."

Members of Armenian delegation to PACE meet with Candidate for CoE Secretary General Indrek Saar

 19:47,

YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS. On February 27, the members of the delegation of the National Assembly of Armenia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Sona Ghazaryan, Arusyak Julhakyan and Armen Gevorgyan met with the candidate nominated by Estonia in the elections for the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Indrek Saar, the Armenian National Assembly said in a statement.

The guest presented to the Armenian parliamentarians his vision and priorities within the framework of the activities of the CoE Secretary General.

According to the source, at the meeting the member of the Armenian delegation Sona Ghazaryan touched upon the security challenges facing Armenia. The MP spoke about ongoing process on the Peace Treaty with Azerbaijan, expressed concern on the danger of the aggressive rhetoric of Azerbaijan, which does not promote the establishment of peace.

According to Sona Ghazaryan, the circumstance that Azerbaijan has become a record holder of the organization in not executing the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is concerning for the Armenian side. The MP expressed conviction that that circumstance does not promote the normalization of the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and the institutional establishment of the structure.

'' It is important that the member states respect their assumed obligations,'' she said.

Armen Gevorgyan referred to the Armenian captives and the civilians being held in Baku and highlighted their return to the homeland.

Arusyak Julhakyan spoke about the importance of the negotiations based on the democratic principles between the member states of the structure, underscoring the role of the organization in that issue.




EU provides 15 million euros to Armenia to support refugees: Adrienn Kiraly

 21:00,

YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS.  Adrienn Kiraly, Neighbourhood East & Institution Building Director at European Commission presented details of the results of the meeting with the Armenian Deputy Prime Ministers Mher Grigoryan and Tigran Khachatryan. 

“Good discussions with Deputy Prime Ministers Grigoryan and Khachatryan in Yerevan on our joint efforts to strengthen EU-Armenia relations. During the meeting, I handed over the financing agreement allocating €15 million in budget support for refugees”, Kiraly posted on her X account.

Iraq is one of the cradles of human civilization – Armenian President visits Iraq National Museum

 21:05,

YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS. Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan visited the Iraq National Museum as part of his official visit to Iraq.

During his visit, the President of Armenia familiarized himself with the museum’s extensive collection and unique exhibits showcasing Iraq's rich history and culture.

The extensive collection of the museum shows the development of human civilization from ancient settlements to the rise and fall of great empires. Some of the exhibits span over 10.000 years old. Following the tour, President Vahagn Khachaturyan expressed his gratitude to the museum staff, emphasizing the significance of their mission.

The President emphasized that the presented exhibits prove once again that Iraq is one of the cradles of human civilization.

"Thank you for this opportunity. I hope that as a result of the cooperation between your museum and the History Museum of Armenia, the citizens of Armenia will also have the opportunity to see some samples of this museum, and the citizens of Iraq will have the opportunity to explore the samples of the History Museum of Armenia. I hope that the exhibits of our museum will also interest you," said the President.

After the tour, the President made a note in the Museum’s guestbook.

Armenpress: Armenia-EU relations have never been stronger – EU Commissioner for International Partnerships

 22:22,

YEREVAN, 27 FEBUARY, ARMENPRESS. The EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen  has addressed the need for closer ties between the EU and Armenia, as well as the necessity for a peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia. During her speech in the European Parliament, she emphasized that Armenia-EU relations are currently undergoing historic moments.

"Armenia-EU relations have never been stronger than today. This was confirmed two weeks ago at the Armenia-EU Partnership Council. Back in October last year, in this plenary session, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan signaled Armenia’s readiness to get closer to the European Union," said Urpilainen, emphasizing that the EU is working to move forward in that direction.

According to her, Armenia's previous decisions, which led to political, economic and security dependence, cannot be overcome overnight.

 "However, the clear political will of both sides will allow us to move forward in deepening and expanding our partnership. We already have a good foundation, solid frameworks, which is the European Union-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement,’’ said the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships.

She noted that together with Armenia, they had undertaken the preparation of a new ambitious partnership program. "We have proposed this new partnership program to be based on our shared values consisting of three pillars. First, we will work to strengthen Armenia's resilience and diversify its economy by expanding cooperation in trade, energy, communications, and aviation security.

In order to expand contacts between people, we are discussing options for initiating a dialogue on visa liberalization. Armenia has expressed its strong interest in this issue, and we call on its leadership to intensify work in the direction of relevant reforms. The start of the dialogue on the liberalization of the visa regime will be an important political impulse for the citizens of Armenia and will provide leverage for further reforms.

Secondly, the issue of security is becoming an increasingly important element of our relationship. We are pleased to celebrate the first anniversary of the EU mission in Armenia and look forward to its strengthening through the European Peace Facility. We are expanding our dialogue on foreign and security policy issues, including participation in EU unit missions and operations.

Thirdly, increased investment will be of great importance for closer economic cooperation. We are committed to supporting Armenia's participation in the construction of an electric cable in the Black Sea, as well as joining other projects aimed at creating closer ties between the countries of the region. Creating closer ties between the countries of the region has great potential to contribute to peace," said the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.

 According to the commissioner, the EU continues to support the Armenians of Karabakh by providing financial resources to address their socio-economic problems.

''Our firm commitment to the process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains unchanged. We are ready to support stable and lasting peace, based on the principles of recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries. We reject any use of force or threat of force and continue to support the peaceful settlement of conflicts," concluded the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen.

Asbarez: Prof. Seta Dadoyan to Hold Lecture Series on ‘Counterpoints: Philosophy, Historiography, Art’

Prof. Seta Dadoyan’s ‘Counterpoints: Philosophy, Historiography, Art’ lecture series flyer


Following the publication of her latest book, “Encounters and Convergences: A Book of Ideas and Art” (2023), and as a prologue to an exhibition of her artworks later in the year, Professor Seta B. Dadoyan is organizing a series of lectures, to be held on March 14, April 4, and May 2 at the Atamian-Hovsepian Curatorial Practice in New York.

The first lecture, titled “Dialectics as Perception, Outlook, Praxis,” will be held on Thursday, March 14 from 6 to 8 p.m.  In this lecture, Dadoyan introduces dialectics as the theoretical context for what Professor Dadoyan calls “counterpoints” in her philosophical historiographic and artistic careers, hence the commonalities between them.

The second and third lectures, titled “Aesthetics of Historical Thinking/Writing” and “The Artwork and the Dialectics of Truth Content,” will be held on Thursday, April 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday, May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m., respectively.

All lectures will take place at 227 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010. Wine will be served.

Prof. Dr. Seta B. Dadoyan is a prominent Armenian scholar and academic. She holds a Doctor of Sciences degree in Philosophy, and has twelve volumes and over 60 scholarly papers in leading academic publications to her credit. She is also a prolific painter. In addition to her research and publications on Western Armenian culture, Dadoyan’s groundbreaking research position her as the initiator of the discipline of Islamic-Armenian interactive history in the Near East. She has been Professor of Cultural Studies, Philosophy and Art History at AUB and later taught at Columbia University, the St. Nersess Seminary, University of Chicago, and Yerevan State University. Professor Dadoyan has received numerous awards including the Society of Armenian Studies “Lifetime Achievement Award,” the “St. Mesrop Mashtots Medal” of the Catholicoate of Cilicia, and the highest “Medal and Diploma of David Invictus/Anhaght” of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.

AW: Armenian Sports Wrap: February Finale

From a Middle Eastern tennis triumph to an undefeated boxing record put to the test, Armenian athletes had a fruitful finale to February.

The now No. 15 men’s tennis player in the world Karen Khachanov proved why he is a top 15 tennis player during the Qatar Open. Without losing a single set, Khachanov battled his way from the round of 16 to the final unblemished to win his sixth-career title on February 24. 

The Russian-Armenian’s skill set was on full display, including this ridiculous between-the-legs return:

Undefeated boxer Gor Yeritsyan stepped into the ring on February 23 to fight for his first-career title. Yeritsyan (18-0-0) earned a unanimous decision win over Quinton Randall (13-2-1) and secured the vacant WBC Continental Americas welterweight title in the main event of the 360 Boxing Promotions show on UFC Fight Pass in Santa Ynez, California.

This title victory marks Yeritsyan’s fourth fight in the past eight months. With legendary trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, Yeritsyan is setting his sights sky-high. “This is my first step. Remember my name. This was a good experience for me. I want to go forward and forward. I can’t stop,” Yeritsyan said during the post-fight interview.

The Armenia men’s national basketball team earned its first win in the 2027 FIBA World Cup pre-qualifiers with an 84-79 victory over Albania on February 25. The game’s Most Valuable Player honors went to Andre Mkrtchyan Spight, who tallied 31 points on 62.5-percent efficiency, six rebounds and four assists. Chris Jones also put in a solid performance for Armenia, posting up 22 points, 11 assists and three steals.

Armenia began its 2027 FIBA World Cup pre-qualifiers campaign in Vienna, Austria on February 22, suffering a 91-106 away loss. While Armenia started the match with a 29-23 first quarter advantage, the Austrians proved to be more physical and better conditioned to cruise to victory. Jones led the way in scoring for the matchup with 30 points and eight assists, but the Armenians knew they had to bounce back from the loss to keep their World Cup hopes alive. Notably, a massive crowd of Armenians was present in the Hallmann Dome to support the team.

Head Coach Rex Kalamian traveled with the team to Vienna to help prepare for the slate of FIBA pre-qualifiers, but he had to return to his assistant coaching duties with the Milwaukee Bucks on February 22. Assistant Coach Alex Zampier was called to lead the men forward and picked up his first-career head coaching win with the Armenian national team against Albania.

The match against the Albanians had crucial lead changes throughout the game. Albert Tatevosyan netted back-to-back three-pointers in the second quarter to take Armenia from a six point deficit (32-38) to a tie game (38-38). Tatevosyan appeared to have been fouled on his second three-point make but was not granted a four-point play.

The MVP of the match also flexed his muscles from downtown. With less than three seconds left in the first half, Jones’ dribble drive found Spight in the left corner for a buzzer-beating bucket that gave Armenia a 48-42 halftime advantage.

The match was ultimately decided by the last few possessions, as Jones drove into the paint and attempted a difficult fadeaway with his defender draped all over him. The shot went wide, but that’s when Zach Tavitian collected the rebound and put in a banked layup with 21 seconds left in the match. Armenia grabbed an 81-77 lead that the Albanians never recovered from. With an 84-79 victory in its back pocket, Armenia will now shift attention to Los Angeles, where the national team will play Ireland and Guatemala in a pair of friendly matches from June 21-23.

A trio of Armenian wrestlers competed in California for the state’s top prize on February 24. Grigor Cholakyan, Henry Aslikyan and Nikolas Sahakian were all in contention for the 2024 CIF state wrestling championships in their respective weight classes.

In the 106 lbs category, sophomore Aslikyan proved he’s more than just the fourth-ranked wrestler in his division. The Armenian, based out of Birmingham Community High School, bested Arseni Kikiniou of Poway with a 6-3 win in the state final. Aslikyan is the youngest Armenian to compete at the finals and has already won the U15 and U17 Pan-American championship twice.

In the 285 lbs state final, St. John Bosco High School’s Sahakian fell short of coming away with a state title. The junior lost a tight 2-3 decision to Cody Merrill of Gilroy.

In the 157 lbs final, Stanford commit Grigor Cholakyan showcased why he is one of the best wrestlers in the United States. After being ranked the fifth-best wrestler in the state of California before the season began, the high school senior proved why he needs more respect on his name. Cholakyan defeated Andrew Barbosa of Palm Desert with a 3-2 result. Cholakyan and Aslikyan also helped St. John Bosco place fourth in the team result with a combined 186 points.

A duo of Armenian gymnasts are continuing the trend of medaling at the 2024 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup series.

Three-time European medalist Vahagn Davtyan walked away from Cottbus, Germany with a bronze medal for his efforts in the rings exercise. Davtyan scored a 14.600 to win his second medal at the 2024 World Cup. He earned a silver medal for scoring a 14.500 in the rings event in Cairo, Egypt.

Six-time European Champion Artur Davtyan struck gold once again during the 2024 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup after scoring a resounding 15.050 in the vault exercise in Germany. This is Davtyan’s 12th gold medal win in his last 14 events. The legendary Armenian gymnast is already qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France but is continuing to put on a show around the world. After winning gold in Cairo and now Cottbus, Armenia’s gymnasts will not compete in the third leg of the World Cup, which is set to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan from March 7-10. Instead, they will pick back up in Doha, Qatar for the fourth and final series of the FIG World Cup from April 17-20.

After nearly a quarter century with the New England Patriots and longtime head coach Bill Belichek, Berj Najarian will accept a role with Boston College football as Bill O’Brien’s chief of staff. The details on Najarian’s role are still to be determined, but he is one of the few members of Belichek’s staff who was with him for his entire Patriots tenure, winning six Super Bowls in the process.

Najarian and Boston College head coach Bill O’Brien are familiar with each other. They worked alongside each other for the Patriots from 2007-2011. According to Pete Thamel, O’Brien once described Najarian to the New York Times as “the consigliere of the New England Patriots.”

Jason Takhtadjian is a reporter, producer and weekend anchor at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa. Takhtadjian began college pursuing Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Aerospace until deciding to pursue a sports broadcast career after one semester at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. While at UNLV, Takhtadjian worked on his own weekly radio show/podcast covering soccer and basketball, produced his own sports debate show, was part of the university’s weekly sports show “The Rebel Report” and was the play-by-play commentator for UNLV men’s and women’s soccer and basketball, to name a few. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Jason was graduating college and had to pivot to the world of general news to land a job. Three years after accepting a job in the middle of the United States with no Armenian community, Takhtadjian accepted a reporter position at KSEE in Fresno, California. The 26-year-old also worked as a contributor for Armenian Sports News, helping grow the page by thousands of followers in less than a year of work.


Katia Tavitian Karageuzian Discusses ‘Forbidden Homeland’ at Book Talk in Orange County

Dr. Katia Tavitian Karageuzian (center) with guests at a book talk held in Orange County on Feb. 25

BY KARINE CODILIAN

The Orange County Armenian Center was packed on Sunday afternoon. Several community organizations partnered to organize a book talk event featuring Dr. Katia Tavitian Karageuzian, author of “Forbidden Homeland, Story of a Diasporan.”

“I am very humbled by the warm reception of the Orange County Armenian community,” said Dr. Tavitian Karageuzian. “As Judge Apkarian said: ‘This is the story of all of us.’ Keeping memories alive is very important for the identity preservation of a people in exile. As Armenians, we should never let go of our truths to appease others. A nation that does not uphold its history jeopardizes its very existence.” Using personal accounts of diaspora, author Katia Tavitian Karageuzian delves into her cultural past to start solving mysteries about her family history with a focus on the Armenian Genocide and the ongoing Karabakh conflict. The story unlocks a discovery that led to a decades-long search to reveal the extensive history of American involvement in the destiny of her homeland and a buried record of those living with generational trauma. 

Ari Guiragos Minassian School principal, Ani Sarkissian, offered opening remarks and welcomed the attendees.

Special guest speaker, Judge Gassia Apkarian, co-founder of The Center for Truth and Justice gave her remarks on the book. She emphasized how this book tells each and every one of our stories, and how “Forbidden Homeland, Story of a Diasporan” can be used as historical documentation.

Dr. Tavitian Karageuzian gave an informative presentation about Armenia’s history starting from before the genocide and an explanation of events that have led us to our current state of affairs. She encourages us all to mobilize and work towards what is rightfully ours.

“I am very humbled by the warm reception of the Orange County Armenian community. As Judge Apkarian said: ‘This is the story of all of us.’ Keeping memories alive is very important for the identity preservation of a people in exile. As Armenians, we should never let go of our truths to appease others. A nation that does not uphold its history jeopardizes its very existence,” Dr. Tavitian Karageuzian said.

AYF members and former AGM School and ARS “Sevan” Chapter Saturday school students, Karine Codilian, Gregory Codilian, and Gregory Mikhanjian read selected excerpts from the book that gave the audience a glimpse into the colorful world described in the book.

Hamazakayin OC “Siamanto” Chapter representative, and former AGM principal, Kohar Zaher thanked all the community organizations for their collective efforts in bringing this event to fruition: Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church, ARF “Armen Karo” Gomideh, A.G. Minassian Armenian School, Hamazkayin “Siamanto” Chapter, and ARS “Sevan” Chapter.

Rev. Fr. Karekin Bedourian, pastor of Forty Martyrs Armenian Apostolic Church, gave the closing remarks and ended the event with a prayer.

“Forbidden Homeland, Story of a Diasporan” is available for purchase online and in select Barnes & Nobles bookstores.

Asbarez: Yerevan Ready to Sign Non-Aggression Pact with Azerbaijan

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan addresses the UN Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Feb. 27


Accuses Baku of Disregarding Human Rights Norms and Stoking Conflict

Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan on Tuesday said that Armenia is ready to sign an non-aggression pact with Azerbaijan before the ratification of a peace treaty, talks for which are scheduled later this week in Berlin. He also accused Baku of disregarding international human rights norms and continuing the fan the flames of conflict.

Speaking at the annual United Nations Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Mirzoyan proposed to sign a bilateral arms control mechanism and non-aggression pact ahead of the peace treaty “in case the signing of the latter requires additional time to reach a consensus.”

“Armenia is well familiar with the devastating impact of conflict, having experienced the tragic consequences of wars in our recent history. This painful past motivates us to persistently advocate for peaceful resolution of conflicts, prevention of the use or threat of force, uncontrolled and mass acquisition of weaponry and disarmament,” Mirzoyan said.

“The erosion of the arms control regimes does not happen in a vacuum. It is usually a consequence of years-long noncompliance to the main treaties and documents, as well as the negligence of such crucial principles of the UN Charter as the non-use of force or threat of use of force and the maintenance of international peace and security and good-neighborly relations. The international failures of identifying early warning signs of such violations usually evolve into bloody conflicts and hostilities,” the foreign minister added.

He emphasized that continued disregard for international norms led to the 2020 Artsakh War, and continued as Azerbaijan invaded Armenia’s sovereign territory, and, finally in September of last year launched an attack on Artsakh that forced the Armenian population there to flee to Armenia. Mirzoyan accused Azerbaijan of an ethnic cleansing campaign that went generally unpunished by the international community.

“We have proposed simultaneous withdrawal of troops from the Armenia-Azerbaijan interstate border, with further demilitarization of the bordering areas. Armenia also is proposing to sign a bilateral arms control mechanism and non-aggression pact ahead of the peace treaty in case the signing of the latter requires additional time to reach a consensus. Despite the fact that all these proposals have so far been ignored or rejected by Azerbaijan, we are determined to continue our efforts,” Mirzoyan said.

He also spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council, where he accused Azerbaijan of violating international norms and also derided world leaders for failing to properly condemn the Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia and Artsakh.

“We have been witnessing such a policy of Azerbaijan since the 80s of last century. In fact, today, we commemorate the victims of Sumgait pogroms. Together with similar acts in Baku, Kirovabad and other Armenian-populated cities of Azerbaijan, around 360 thousand Armenians were forced to flee their homes, deprived of all their rights, including the right to property, and find refuge in Armenia. Earlier, due to the same-style implemented policy, Armenians left their homes in Nakhichevan,” Mirzoyan told the UN HRC.

“In the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, there was no shortage of early warning signs of the looming atrocities. The list includes statements from the UN Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Orders of ICJ, public communications of UN Special Procedure Mandate Holders,” explained Mirzoyan.
“However, this was not enough for the international community, and I quote the Secretary General again, ‘to stand on the right side of history, to stand up for human rights.’ Approximately 145.000 people were forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh and relocated to Armenia between 2020 and 2023,” he emphasized.

“There are more than thousand missing persons and enforced disappearances on the Armenian side from the wars of the 1990s and 2020. We have 23 prisoners of war and other detainees in Azerbaijan. We have an immense risk of destruction of Armenian cultural and religious heritage that the UN Special Rapporteur has recently warned: ‘may amount to cultural cleansing,’” Mirzoyan pointed out.

“There is continuous bellicose rhetoric and military escalation provoked by Azerbaijan following earlier incursions into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. The impunity of the illegal use of force resulted in new territorial claims against Armenia. Nowadays, the whole territory of the Republic of Armenia is presented as so-called ‘Western Azerbaijan,’ which was invented with a pure intention to keep tension in the region,” he added, underscoring that February 27 marked the beginning of the 1988 Azerbaijani pogroms of Armenians in Sumgait.