- 16:53 | Armenia Open skies policy boosts passenger flow
In May-July 2014, passenger flow via Zvartnots and Shirak airports made 632,000 passengers against 469,000 passengers in the same period of last year, marking a 34.6% increase.
- 15:35 | Armenia Georgian PM visits Tsitsernakaberd
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has arrived in Yerevan for an official visit at the invitation of Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan.
- 15:12 | In the world Karabakh official: Baku involved Iraqi authorities in its intrigues
“Official Baku manipulates Karabakh’s friendly gesture of accepting the friendly Yazidi people in its territory, also involving the Iraqi authorities in its intrigues,” said spokesperson of the NKR President David Babayan.
- 11:42 | Region 40 ceasefire violations reported on Aug. 20-21
Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire about 40 times on Karabakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact on August 20-21, with over 400 shots fired at Karabakh frontline positions.
Source: NKR Defense Ministry
- 09:56 | In the world UN humanitarian chief to visit Ukraine
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, is expected to visit Ukraine later this week.
Source: RIA Novosti
- 09:52 | In the world ISAF service member killed in Afghanistan stabbing
A coalition service member died Wednesday after being stabbed in the neck -- allegedly by a Taliban member -- near the international airport in Afghanistan's capital.
- 09:49 | In the world Malaysian couple charged with alleged theft from MH370 passengers
Malaysian police have charged two people over the alleged theft of around $35,000 (110,600 Malaysian ringgits) from the bank accounts of four passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
- 09:43 | In the world Marina Silva chosen to run for president in Brazil
Ms Silva replaces the late Eduardo Campos, who was killed in a plane crash last week.
- 09:40 | In the world Thailand coup General Prayuth Chan-ocha named PM
Gen Prayuth, 60, was nominated on Thursday in a legislature hand-picked by the junta and made up of mostly military and police figures.
- 09:35 | In the world US military tried but failed to free Foley
A US secret military mission had tried but failed to free US reporter James Foley and other American hostages in Syria, US officials said.
- 14:41 | Armenia Melkumyan: Government should create favorable conditions for investments in border villages
“The four non-government parliamentary forces plan to submit to the government a draft envisaging privileges to the population of Armenia’s border villages,” Prosperous Armenia faction member Mikael Melkumyan told reporters.
- 11:57 | Armenia Deputy governor of Kotayk dismissed
Deputy governor of Kotayk province Albert Ghazaryan was relieved of his post yesterday by a decision of Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and at the suggestion of Kotayk governor Aram Harutyunyan.
- 11:33 | Armenia Azerbaijan will cede another 7 regions in case of war, Suren Khachatryan says
“It is Azerbaijanis that should worry because if something happens they will cede another seven regions,” former governor of Syunik province said.
- 11:08 | Armenia Yerevan TV to be renamed Third Armenian TV Channel
Orinats Yerkir Party leader Arthur Baghdasaryan has moved Yerevan TV to the head office of the party.
- 11:08 | Armenia Samvel Alexanyan’s company to get license to export psychotropic drugs
It is noteworthy that the government granted a similar license to the company in August 2011, but it was terminated last year for unknown reasons.
- 09:59 | In the world At least 6 dead, 22 missing in Hiroshima landslide
Video footage from the national broadcaster NHK showed suburban homes in the western Japanese city surrounded by streams of mud and debris, and residents picking their way over piles of rocks and dirt.
- 09:58 | In the world China's latest bus fire kills 1, injures 19
A public bus in eastern China caught fire Wednesday in what was likely arson, killing one person and injuring 19 others.
- 09:45 | In the world UN warns of alarming humanitarian situation in Central African Republic
Four weeks before the UN is scheduled to take over the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, the organization reports continued sectarian violence all across the country.
Source: RIA Novosti
- 09:43 | In the world Ebola crisis: Liberia orders curfew and quarantine
Liberia already imposed a state of emergency earlier this month, but the number of deaths from the disease has continued to climb.
- 09:38 | In the world Gaza conflict: 'Nine Palestinians killed' as truce ends
Israel said about 50 rockets were launched from Gaza on Tuesday, but there were no injuries reported.
- 09:31 | In the world Islamist militants 'kill reporter James Foley on video'
The militants said the killing was revenge for US air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.
- 16:03 | Armenia Hayrikyan prepared to start hunger strike
Leader of National Self-Determination Union Paruyr Hayrikyan plans to start a hunger strike on September 8 demanding that the “Armenian authorities get sober, assess the situation correctly and take correct steps to come out of the current situation.”
- 13:38 | Armenia Three soldiers still in hospital after being wounded in Azerbaijani commando raids
“Their condition has stabilized, but they need a long treatment; their life is out of danger,” said Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan.
- 12:11 | Armenia Armenian PM unable to decide whom to choose as spokesman
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- 11:19 | Armenia Signature campaign in support of Vardan Petrosyan
Organizers plan to expand the campaign to Armenian provinces, beginning with the city of Gyumri.
- 09:58 | In the world Venezuelan government steps down amid reshuffle
Venezuelan government resigned on Monday to allow the nation’s President Nicolas Maduro to reshuffle the cabinet.
Source: RIA Novosti
- 09:53 | In the world Poroshenko, Merkel discuss further steps to defuse tensions in east Ukraine
On Monday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said the German chancellor was due in Ukraine on Saturday, ahead of the Independence Day on August 24.
Source: RIA Novosti
- 09:47 | In the world India calls off Pakistan talks over separatist meetings
Kashmiri separatist leaders on Monday slammed New Delhi's decision to call off talks with Pakistan, scheduled for August 25 in Islamabad.
- 09:42 | In the world Jackie Chan's son Jaycee in drug arrest
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- 09:32 | In the world Gaza conflict: ceasefire 'extended by a day’
The Gaza ceasefire has been extended for a further 24 hours after talks in Cairo, according to Palestinian and Israeli officials.
- 09:32 | In the world Ferguson unrest: White House steps up involvement
Eric Holder will go to the town on Wednesday to meet officials in charge of a federal investigation into the killing of Michael Brown on 9 August.
- 17:18 | Armenia Temperatures to rise by 1-2 degrees
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Source: Hydrometeorology and Monitoring State Service
- 14:16 | Armenia Heffern: If sanctions harm Armenia, you can complain to Moscow
“The sanctions are aimed against Russia, not Armenia, but they can affect Armenia’s economy,” said the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia.
- 12:02 | Armenia Seyran Ohanyan: We will do everything to restrain encroachments by enemy
Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan has hailed the performance of Armenian tankmen at the Tank Biathlon 2014 international competition.
- 09:58 | In the world Nepal flood toll hits 101, fears of disease rise
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- 09:49 | In the world Ebola facility in Liberia attacked; patients flee
Ebola patients fled during an attack at a health care facility in Monrovia, Liberia, on Saturday, according to Liberian National Police spokesman Sam Collins.
- 09:45 | In the world Strong earthquake hits Iran near border with Iraq
The 6.2-magnitude quake hit at a depth of around 10 kilometers (6 miles), in an area 36 kilometers southeast of the Iranian city of Abdanan.
- 09:41 | In the world Pope Francis urges inter-Korean reconciliation
"Let us pray for the emergence of new opportunities for dialogue, encounter and the resolution of differences," he said.
- 09:36 | In the world Obama: Air strikes on Iraq dam 'to protect US interests'
The failure of Mosul dam may put US staff and facilities, including the US embassy in Baghdad, at risk, Barack Obama warned Congress in a letter.
- 09:31 | In the world Overnight curfew resumes in tense St Louis suburb
Police have fired tear gas and issued warnings for crowds to disperse as a curfew starts for a second night in Ferguson in the US state of Missouri.
- 16:54 | Armenia Azerbaijan’s propaganda produced no results, expert says
“Azerbaijan’s propaganda presenting Armenia as a side that was a winner on the battlefield but on the whole lost the war does not produce any results,” political scientist Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan told reporters.
- 14:11 | Region 450 ceasefire violations reported on Aug. 10-16
Over 4,500 shots were fired at Karabakh frontline positions from guns of different calibers.
Source: NKR Defense Ministry
- 13:51 | In the world Blasts hit Armenian-populated district of Aleppo
Two homemade rockets were fired at the Armenian-populated district yesterday at noon.
Source: Gandzasar Weekly
- 12:48 | Armenia Dean of Economics University’s Finance Faculty suffers car crash
He was transported to Grigor Lusavorich Medical Center with a craniocerebral injury.
- 12:06 | Armenia Tigran Sargsyan cannot ‘bid farewell’ to Armenia
Tigran Sargsyan is living an active life in Armenia, attending weddings and birthday parties.
- 09:49 | In the world Police: Chemicals in tea due to earlier mix-up
On Sunday, a worker took large quantities of the substance thought to be sugar and poured it into the iced-tea dispenser.
- 09:40 | In the world Putin, Merkel discuss ways to de-escalate situation in Ukraine
Putin also informed Merkel of the ongoing cooperation between Russia and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on their efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the civilian population of eastern Ukraine.
Source: RIA Novosti
- 09:32 | In the world Boko Haram kidnaps at least 97, kills 28 in raid
Boko Haram gunmen also injured 25 others during the raid in which scores of homes were burned.
- 09:25 | In the world Brazil crash: Black box 'did not record Campos flight'
Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos and six others died when his private jet crashed in bad weather in the port city of Santos near Sao Paulo.
- 09:21 | In the world Pope Francis beatifies 124 South Korean Catholic martyrs
He paid tribute to the Koreans, who died for their faith in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
- 09:15 | In the world Yazidi villagers 'massacred' in Iraq
Islamic State (IS) fighters entered Kocho, 45km (30 miles) from Sinjar, on Friday afternoon, reportedly telling men to convert to Islam or die.
- 17:35 | Armenia Ohanyan: Tension has declined on border after Sochi meeting
“I think that our armed forces created conditions for Armenia’s position at the trilateral meeting to be obvious and well-grounded, and the situation became calmer after the meeting,” the official said.
- 16:00 | Armenia ASALA fighter: What was happening on border was political games by Azerbaijan
“Our authorities showed a good stance, so we did not fall into the trap they set, and our soldiers demonstrated their fighting efficiency,” Martiros Zhamkochyan told reporters.
- 14:37 | In the world Obama says Sinjar siege broken, some personnel to leave Iraq
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday the Islamist militant siege of Iraq's Mount Sinjar had been broken and most U.S. military personnel sent to assess the situation would be pulled out of Iraq in coming days.
- 14:25 | Armenia Justice Minister: Armenian government attaches importance to cooperation with EU
“The Armenian government attaches importance to cooperation with its international partners, in particular with the European Union,” Armenian Justice Minister Hovhannes Manukyan said.
09:18 18/10/2013 » Analysis
Karzai’s last-minute game with the Americans
Iranian Diplomacy’s interview with Pirmohammad Mollazehi, an expert on Afghan affairs
- The security agreement between Afghanistan and the US is still in a coma state. Why is there a delay in signing this part of the strategic pact?
- A part of the strategic pact which was adopted between the US and Afghanistan was the issue of the security agreement. At that time, due to the serious protests of the Afghan intellectuals and among the people and even the countries of the region, there were discussions about not signing this agreement. Therefore, Afghanistan and the US decided to postpone it to a later time when the conditions were more suitable and then the security agreement which is part of this strategic pact could be signed. Right now the issue is that Hamed Karzai has set certain conditions for this agreement and on the other hand, the Americans attempt to sign this agreement before the presidential elections and prefer to impose this agreement on Karzai whose position is weaker now.
- What is the main objective of the US with this agreement? What have the major obstacles been until now?
- The main objective of the US is for the US and member countries of NATO to take out a major part of their forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and based on Obama’s plan. But the problem is that the Americans do not intend to completely leave this country and they have rather proposed to build 9 military bases in different regions of Afghanistan and maintain a part of their forces in these safe bases. This is the main issue with regard to these two countries and their relations. Also, Afghanistan seeks to be able to try any American soldier who might commit a crime in Afghanistan in Afghanistan’s tribunals, but the Americans believe that this would be impossible because it is against the constitution of this country. The US experience in different parts of the world shows that they have not accepted such a demand in any country that they have had military agreement with and they have somehow imposed to the host country that they do not recognize the competency of the local courts with regard to crimes committed by Americans. This is the main problem and public opinion in Afghanistan believes that this measure violates the national pride of Afghanistan legally which is based on capitulation which since long has been abolished.
- To what extent would the Americans have open hands with regard to political and military interference in Afghanistan?
- The experience of other countries wherein US military forces are stationed, such as Japan, South Korea and in the past the Philippines and the former Germany shows that the extent of the interference and influence of the Americans depends on the resistance of these countries against the demands of the Americans. With regard to Afghanistan, it must be said that this country is not in a position to show its national power and the presence and influence of the Americans will be more than other countries. For example, a comparison with Japan shows that Japan is an economic power and is able to limit the influence of the Americans. But this cannot be expected of Afghanistan because this country is in a weak position and, with the establishment of US military bases, the US will have a certain power inside that country and can even violate the national integrity of Afghanistan without fearing the reaction of the government. This is a fact and completely depends on the extent of the establishment of national power in this country and whether it would be able to safeguard the interests of the people. But if the same weak position continues, the American will have the power to influence.
- Based on Karzai’s remarks, how possible is the signing of this agreement during his presidency, in your opinion?
- It seems that Karzai’s statements are not very serious. Karzai plays with public opinion and seeks another objective, otherwise he would sign the agreement. The fact that he has stated that the Loya jirga will meet in the next month and he does not intend to send this agreement to the parliament is because he is worried that they might not adopt this agreement. But since he has selected certain people in the Loya jirga who agree with the signing of this agreement, it seems that Karzai will sign this agreement before the presidential election and until March. But his intention behind such statements and pretending to show his opposition to the signing of this agreement or setting conditions for it is to impact public opinion for the election. He attempts to attract public opinion towards his team or those of whom he approves, but the agreement will be signed during this period and it can even be said that it might be signed within the next month.
- Another issue is peace with the Taliban, one of the conditions of which is the political and military absence of foreign forces in this country. If this agreement is signed, is it possible that this issue would be transformed into one of the major challenges between the government and the Taliban?
- Of course, there is this possibility because the Taliban knows that if the American and NATO forces gain bases in this country and remain there, their expectation to return to power and revive the Islamic rulership will be severely weakened. Furthermore, if the Americans reach an agreement with the Afghans, the policy of the Pakistanis might change and become hopeless about helping the Taliban to gain power. Therefore, from the Taliban’s point of view, the continuation of the Americans’ presence is very dangerous because they will create obstacles for them. But it can have other consequences as well. When the Taliban becomes hopeless about gaining power through the usage of forces, they might be encouraged to compromise with the government through which they could gain part of the power and since they have strong social bases among the Pashtun tribes, they can even participate in the democratic process and reach power. But under the present circumstances, my analysis is that until the signing of the agreement, the Taliban will exert maximum pressure both politically and militarily to prevent it but when it is signed they would be forced to review their policies.
- Have any of the candidates taken positions in this regard? How is the atmosphere of public opinion?
- The fact is that the candidates have so far attempted to bypass this issue so that it would not have negative effects on their votes.
The other issue is that the main groups which seek the signing of this agreement are, contrary to assumptions, the northern groups whose candidate is Abdullah Abdullah. They are concerned that if the Americans completely leave Afghanistan, the Taliban might gain power by force and make them return to Saidabad and it would be similar to the time prior to the entrance of the Americans when these groups cooperated with the US. Thus, this concern has caused them to be the main proponents of this agreement. This is while these groups are considered the closest group to Iran because they are Persian-speakers, Uzbeks and people who are culturally closer to Iran. But on the other hand, the Pashtuns and the Taliban are against this agreement because they believe that the government which now administers the country (despite the fact that Karzai’s ancestors are Pashtun) and the US’ interference have destroyed the historical power of the Pashtuns who have had it for the last 250-300 years. That is why they are strongly against the continuation of the presence of the Americans, but the military presence of the US is to the benefit of the Shiite Hazara, Tajik, and Uzbek minorities.
- Russia is also among the countries which is very concerned about the continuation of US presence in Afghanistan. What is the reason behind the Russians’ opposition and do their views impact the decision-making process of the Afghans?
- The Russians’ concerns are similar to those of the Iranians. Russia, China, Iran and to some extent India are concerned about US military bases in Afghanistan and its long presence in the region. The Russians, in particular, are afraid that if the Americans are present in Afghanistan, they will gradually attempt to take Central Asia out of the hands of the Russians and the same big game which has existed since the 19th century would end to the benefit of the Americans. Therefore, the Russians are very concerned. Of course, they have another concern as well and that is that if the Americans are permanently present in Afghanistan and compromise with the Taliban, then the radical groups which live in Chechnya and Uzbekistan and the Uyghurs who are in China will find the power to maneuver and intensify their opposition and continue their war against Russia. It is possible that these groups might gain the support of the West and an international competition between China and Russia would form. The Russians are concerned about this issue as well and believe that the events that happen in Afghanistan, particularly the influence of the Taliban in the Badakhshan region, will engage China, Russia and the Central Asian countries. The Americans might compromise with those groups who are fighting against them like al-Qaeda and its subgroups like the Hizb ut-Tahrir in Uzbekistan or the Chechen Liberation Front or the East Turkestan Movement and use radical groups against Russia and China. Thus, they attempt to prevent this event and discourage Afghanistan from signing this agreement but it seems that their power to maneuver is very limited.
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