Read daily news summary for February 2 here.
We urge Turkey to strictly adhere to its obligations under international agreements – Armenian FM
‘We strongly condemn the policy of consistent destruction and misappropriation of Armenian cultural heritage by the Turkish authorities that gained new momentum and urge Turkey to strictly adhere to its obligations under the international agreements,’ Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan said in response to the question about reported sales and destruction of Armenian churches in Turkey and Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s advice to Armenians ‘to learn lessons’.
‘We are familiar with the reports in Turkish media about the sale of Armenian churches in Turkey. In particular, the Armenian Catholic Church in Sebtash district of Bursa was put up for sale for 6 million Turkish lira, while another Armenian church in Bursa was put for sale for 6,3 million Turkish lira. Moreover, the Armenian St. Toros Church in the western Turkish province of Kutahya was destroyed,’ the Spokesperson said.
In the Spokespersons words, calling on cooperation for regional peace and stability by a state which demonstrates such attitude towards historical-cultural monuments at least cannot be credible.
‘As for the "advice to learn lessons from history": no one has the right to speak disrespectfully with the language of threat and give lessons of history to the nation who survived genocide,’ the Naghdalyan added.
‘Turkey’s authorities must clearly realize that a relevant environment of trust is needed for a dialogue, and the destruction of the Armenian historical-cultural heritage definitely does not contribute to the establishment of such an environment,’ the Spokesperson said.
Azerbaijan barred search for bodies of Armenian servicemen and civilians
The Azerbaijani authorities have barred a planned search operation for bodies of the war victims that was supposed to take place today in two directions, the Artsakh authorities in charge of the retrieval operations said, Armenpress.am reports.
The total number of bodies retrieved since the recent Nagorno Karabakh ended is 1355, which includes both servicemen and civilians.
Artsakh State Service of Emergency Situations spokesperson Hunan Tadevosyan said they planned to resume the search operations on February 3 in the regions of Fizuli and Jabrail currently under the Azerbaijani control. ‘But the Azerbaijani side, without giving any reason, did not allow it,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijanis continue sending more text messages to the parents and relatives of the missing Armenian servicemen from their phones, media and information security expert Samvel Martirosyan alerted as PanArmenian.net reports.
‘The messages give the relatives of the servicemen hope that they are still alive,’ the expert said.
Protests held in Yerevan. Parliament seeking to prohibit news media from using uncited sources
Protests have been held Wednesday in Yerevan demanding Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan's resignation, while the parliament was holding a special session, News.am reports.
The citizens marched from the Armenian parliament's building to the main building of the government. The protests ended in Yerevan’s main square. Police forcibly apprehended several people during this protest, including Gegham Manukyan, a member of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation-ARF Dashnaktsutyun Party.
Yesterday, the ‘Homeland Salvation Movement’, an opposition of 17 parties demanding PM Pashinyan’s resignation, called on their supporters to gather near the parliament building to protest against ‘anti-state activities’ refereeing to bills on the agenda of the Parliament.
A group of lawmakers from the ruling ‘My Step’ bloc are advancing a bill that seeks to prohibit the news media to write articles citing what they describe as sources of unknown origin, most likely referring to unreliable social media news accounts which are frequently cited by the Armenian press in their reporting, Armenpress.am reports.
‘There are journalistic organizations whom people can identify, people know them, they have editorial boards. Parallel to this, some telegram channels and Facebook accounts are emerging that generate information without doing any work, and then this information appears on the pages of real news media outlets through citation. Therefore, real media outlets star factually promoting sources whose origins are unknown,’ My Step lawmaker Artur Hovhannisyansaid.
Other news from Armenia
- Armenian Health Minister Anahit Avanesyan had a meeting today with the Russian ambassador to Armenia Sergey Kopyrkin and thanked thank Russia for invaluable assistance in the fight against coronavirus, Arka.am reports.
‘Close cooperation with the Russian side, regular information, and experience exchange are very important for us, and today our specialists are actively negotiating the purchase of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19,” she said. The minister added that Armenia has signed a cooperation agreement within the framework of the COVAX FACILITY initiative. “We are also ready to purchase additional batches of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as part of this initiative,” she added.
- Armenian third president Serzh Sargsyan responded to ‘Bright Armenia’ parliamentary party’s head Edmon Marukyan’s statement about his willingness to lead the interim government, PanArmenian.net reports.
According to the former president, everyone remembers that ‘Bright Armenia’ was a part of the ‘traitorous government’ in 2018 referring to the Minister of Social Affairs from ‘Bright Armenia’ party appointed by Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan.
Sargsyan also responded to Marukyan’s statement about the need for investigation of the circumstances of the recent Nagorno Karabakh war. According to the third president, Marukyan’s statement ‘leaves the impression of a clear political game, a distortion of reality.’
- The Government of Armenia will provide funding to parties and blocs which won 3% or more votes during the National Assembly elections of 2018 in line with the program ''Assistance for political parties and blocs of parties'', Aam reports the draft decision is included in February 4 agenda of the Cabinet meeting.
According to the program, the ARF will receive 4.3 million AMD, The Republic of Armenia Party will receive 5.2 million AMD, ''Bright Armenia'' Party 7 million AMD, ‘’Prosperous Armenia’’ Party will receive 9 million and 150 thousand AMD, and ‘’My step’’ bloc 48 million AMD.