The Website of the Armenian Movie hacked by Azerbaijanis

Since opening the first art movie site which is telling about Armenian-Azerbaijan relationship has been visited 25000 people within two days. From January 18 to January 19 at night the site has been attacked by Azerbaijani hackers and in result all visitors automatically readdressed into anti-Armenian content Azerbaijani sites. In a short time the site has been re-established by the efforts of web site administrators. The film makers consider the actions of Azerbaijan hackers as an intolerant treatment against the shooting film which is making by the efforts of Armenians.

We remind that the idea of shooting the film “Interrupted song” belongs to a group of Armenian young people living in Moscow. The aim of film is to represent the reality made during the ages in unbiased way which prevents the compromise between two nations now days. The film authors don’t defend one of the hero’s orientation but through the going discussion try to find the accepted solution for both sides from the made situation. The premiere of film will take place in Moscow at the end of May, 2011 then there is an aim to show the film in a big screen of USA, France, Georgia, Turkey, India, Near East and some Balkan countries. The director of the film is Arik Manukyan and major producer is Ashot Poghosyan. The film is funded from the personal sources of creative group but there is a need of extra finance for the mass scene shooting as well as for the organization of appropriate premiere-demonstrations in other countries. Shooting group is ready to discuss all the suggestions for helping the project which are not supposed to change the film plot.

In the photo: the main page of the website

Azerbaijan to host international gas conference

According to APA-ECONOMICS, World and Caspian Gas Infrastructure – 2011 international conference will be held in Baku on September 21-22, 2011.
The main purpose of the conference which gathers heads of states of regional countries, main gas sellers, companies managing the energy and pipelines, is the future and role of Caspian region in ensuring of demands of Europe and the world.

The participants will pay attention to long-term strategy, growth perspectives, and types of cooperation and investment issues. In general, routes of gas transportation will be discussed at the conference.

Georgian Opposition Will Not Wait Until 2012

Former Speaker of Georgian Parliament Nino Burjanadze in an interview to Asaval-Dasavali periodical said Georgian opposition is not intended to wait until 2012 for the regime change and dismissing President Saakashvili, quotes Грузия Online News Agency.
National Assembly was launched at the end of last year, were a decision was made to establish committees of civil disobedience. According to Burjanadze those committees will be in charge of organized resistant activities against the Saakashvili regime. Former speaker stated that the current regime is humiliating and insulting for the Georgian people, and the more citizens show readiness for the protection of their rights the sooner they will get rid of the regime.

Azerbaijani Internal Troops and Turkish Gendarmerie Forces discuss cooperation issues

Turkish delegation led by Turkish Gendarmerie Commander General Necdet Ozel was hosted at the Headquarters of Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan on Tuesday, APA reports.

Gendarmerie Commander met with Azerbaijani Deputy Interior Minister, Commander of the Internal Troops, Lieutenant-General Zakir Hasanov. They discussed the current state and perspectives of cooperation between the relevant organizations of both countries.

Armenia wants further deepening of relations with Cyprus

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has expressed his country’s will to further deepen its relations with Cyprus, noting that conditions and possibilities to this end exist.

He also made a special reference to the Armenian community of Cyprus.

Speaking during a meeting with House President Marios Garoyian, Sargsyan reaffirmed his country’s firm positions on the Cyprus problem.

An official press release issued here said that Garoyian said that the Armenian President’s visit to Cyprus makes the people of Cyprus, and particularly the Armenians living in Cyprus, happy. The excellent and fraternal relations between Cyprus and Armenia are enhanced rapidly in all fields, both on bilateral and inter-parliamentary level, he added.

Garoyian underlined that Cyprus supports Armenia in its struggles as Armenia supports Cyprus’ cause. He thanked the President of Armenia for the long standing support of his country to Cyprus and the efforts for a Cyprus settlement, underlining the need for cooperation of the two countries to address common challenges.

OSCE to conduct monitoring of contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops

The coordinator of the office of Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Imre Palatinus and field assistant Khristo Khristov will conduct monitoring on Azerbaijani side of the contact line and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk and his field assistants Anthal Herdic, Jaslan Nurtazin and William Pryor will conduct monitoring on the Armenian side of the contact line between the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, APA reports.

European Commissioner for Human Rights arrives today in Armenia

Hammarberg will meet with President Serzh Sargsyan, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian, Minister of Justice Hrayr Tovmasyanom, Attorney General Aghvan Hovsepyan, police chief Alik Sargsyan, as well as representatives of political parties from the ruling coalition, opposition parties and public organizations.

In particular, Hammarberg is going to meet with the leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress, the first president of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosian, said previously the representative of the ANC in the PACE, Arman Grigoryan. According to him, the sides will discuss issues of political prisoners, March 1-2, 2008, as well as freedom of speech.

Georgian Deputy FM: Arms Supplies Not Discussed With U.S.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and U.S. President Barack Obama did not discuss U.S. supplies of air and anti-tank defense arms during Saakashvili’s recent trip to Washington, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said, Xinhua reported Russian magazine Kommersant reported that U.S. arms supplies were discussed between Saakashvili and Obama.

Self-Determination of Peoples? Which Self?

One of the guiding mantras of the twentieth century was the self-determination of peoples, of nations. It was a piety to which everyone assented in theory. But in practice, it was a very thorny, very murky subject. The key difficulty is how to determine which was the self, the people, the nation that would be entitled to determine its own destiny.
There was never any accord on this subject. In the case of colonies, it was a relatively simple question. But in the case of a state already recognized as a sovereign state, opinion was very divided, usually violently divided. The issue is in the headlines at the moment because of the referendum in southern Sudan where the “people” are voting on whether they wish to remain part of the state called Sudan or to constitute a new state separate from Sudan.
In every state, without exception, there are people in state power who argue what we have come to call a “Jacobin” position. They assert that all the citizens of that state constitute a nation, one that has already determined its destiny. We talk of nation-states as though the Jacobin principle were a reality rather than a political aspiration. Jacobins say that the state should be reinforced and strengthened by refusing to recognize the right, the legitimacy of any so-called intermediate group to stand between the state and the citizens. All rights to the individual; no rights to groups.
At the same time, in every state, again without exception, there are others — often called “minorities” — who contest this idea. They say that the Jacobin position hides the interest of some “dominant” group which maintains its privileges at the expense of all those who belong to groups other than the dominant group. The minorities (who often, but not always, comprise in fact the numerical majority of the population) argue that, unless the rights of groups are recognized, they are denied equal participation in the state.
What “rights” do these minorities feel are being denied to them? Sometimes it is linguistic rights, the right to conduct legal, educational, and media business in a language other than the “official” language. Sometimes, it is religious rights, the right to practice openly a religion other than an officially recognized religion, and to conduct their civil affairs under the religious laws that are part of their own religion. Sometimes it is land rights, the rights of groups that hold land under traditional rules that are different from the current rules enacted by the state.
There are two strategies to secure the rights of minority groups. One is to seek officially-recognized autonomy in various spheres of social and legal life. The second, if the group occupies a relatively compact geographical zone, is to seek secession, that is, to create a new state. For many groups, these are alternatives between which they might move. Having failed to achieve autonomy, they might seek secession. Or having had their aspirations to secession defeated politically and/or militarily, they might settle for autonomy.
The Kurds in Turkey as well as those in Iraq, having sought secession, seem now ready to settle for autonomy. So, it seems, will the francophones in Quebec. The people of the southern Sudan have moved in the other direction, as did the Kosovars in Serbia.
The crucial point is that this is not, ever, a question merely internal to a given state. To be a sovereign state, one must be recognized by other sovereign states as a legitimate entity. Today, the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus is recognized by only one other state. It cannot therefore join international organizations, even if de facto it continues to control its territory.
When Kosovo proclaimed its independence, it was recognized only by less than half of the members of the United Nations. We then have to ask why, and by which states? There were some states in Europe but also elsewhere (notably China and Russia) who feared the precedent. They said that, if the Kosovars could declare unilaterally independence, similar groups in their countries might take this as a precedent. The United States and certain states in western Europe thought however that Kosovar independence from Serbia served their geopolitical interest and encouraged the Kosovars to proclaim their independence, which they immediately recognized, and to which they give material and political assistance.
When Biafra sought to secede from Nigeria several decades ago, almost all African states supported the efforts of the Nigerian government to suppress the rebellion militarily. The main argument for doing this is that secession of Biafra would set a terrible precedent in Africa where almost all state boundaries were constituted arbitrarily by former colonial powers and in fact traverse ethnic lines. The African states wanted to preserve existing boundaries, however “artificial” they seemed, as the only guarantee of collective order.
Now, it seems that the referendum in southern Sudan will produce an overwhelming vote for secession. And the African states that wouldn’t recognize Biafra, plus China that won’t recognize Kosovo, will almost certainly recognize the new state that is now being created. Indeed, even the state from which the secession is taking place seems to be ready to recognize the new state.
Why? The answer is simple. There are geopolitical reasons for doing this. China is interested in good future relations with the new state, which will be a big oil exporter. Interest in buying oil seems to be taking priority over worrying about a precedent for secessionist groups in China. The Sudan seems ready to recognize the new state because the United States has promised specific changes in its own policies vis-a-vis Sudan if they permit the secession to proceed peacefully. The African states are overwhelmed by the de facto accord between the two sides in this controversy. And in addition, many of them sympathize with the groups in southern Sudan who are Nilotic peoples faced with a government dominated by Arab peoples.
In the twenty-first century, the Jacobin option is in retreat in most countries. The real question is autonomy versus secession for the so-called minorities. Is one better than the other? There is no general answer to that question. Each case is different in two ways. The actual demography and history of each state is different and therefore what is logically best and maximally just is different. In any case, any new state resulting from secession will immediately discover “minorities” within its boundaries. The debate never ends.
But there is a second consideration. Autonomy versus secession has geopolitical consequences. And these are crucial in terms of the ongoing struggles within the world-system as a whole. All parties pursue, rather cynically, their self-interest as states. How they act can be quite opposite from one situation to the other. This is because outside powers are primarily concerned with the geopolitical impact of the decision. But it is the role of these outside powers that is often decisive.
Immanuel Wallerstein, Senior Research Scholar at Yale University, is the author of The Decline of American Power: The US in a Chaotic World (New Press).
Copyright ©2011 Immanuel Wallerstein – distributed by Agence Global

Turkey’s intervention ‘may cause new Caucasus war’

News.Az interviewed Prof. Alla Yazkova, head of the Centre for Black Sea–Mediterranean Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Europe, on Karabagh problem.
Below is the interview reprinted from News.Az

Most experts agree that 2010 was a year of missed opportunities for a Karabakh settlement. Do you share this opinion?

The Russian-Georgian conflict of 2008 signalled the need to stabilize the situation in the South Caucasus, which is criss-crossed by different routes to transport Caspian oil and gas. Therefore, in August 2008 the policy of regional and world powers actively focused on the problem of settling the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the local, but all the same highly explosive international, issue of to whom Nagorno-Karabakh belongs.
Over a long period of time, the co-chairs [of the OSCE Minsk Group of mediators] were able to keep a common approach to the negotiating process on the basis of a recognition of the status quo, i.e. the frozen state of the conflict, since neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia were ready to make concessions. However, in recent years, especially after the recognition of the independence of Kosovo by Western countries and in the light of the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, the situation started to change.
In November 2007 at the meeting of  heads of OSCE governments in Madrid the foreign ministers of Russia, the United States and France presented a list of the main principles for the settlement of the conflict and proposed that a peace agreement be drafted on their basis.
The previous experience showed, however, that none of the parties was ready to take compromise decisions which would be unpopular at home, while without this a resolution of the conflict seemed almost impossible. A situation of complete mutual antagonism and distrust has been established in the two countries in the past two decades. Possible solutions were discussed during numerous meetings of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, in the past two years, which, however, have not led to compromise.
Growing tensions in spring and summer 2010 over the Karabakh conflict were threatening to turn into open armed confrontation against a backdrop of a sharp increase in Azerbaijan’s military rhetoric and and Armenia’s practical rejection of the provisions for a conflict settlement proposed by the international mediators. This forced the leading world actors – the European Union, and Russia, the United States and France as the Minsk Group co-chairs – to formulate the most acceptable provisions to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In early June 2010 the European Parliament adopted Resolution 2216, which calls for the “withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan”. At that time, a meeting of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel took a decision to join force to find ways to solve “frozen” conflicts. And despite the high level of cooperation with Armenia, Russia’s position on the resolution of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh adapted to the principles coordinated within the Minsk Group. It is important to continue the process based on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and with respect to other basic norms of international law, without the use of force, according to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement of 24 May 2010.
A number of international meetings were held in June to September and ended in the signing of documents, coordinated with all parties, including the joint statement of the presidents of Russia, the United States and France on Nagorno-Karabakh (June 2010) and the further ministerial meeting at the OSCE forum in Almaty; the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Baku and Yerevan (July 2010), the official visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Azerbaijan (August 2010) and finally the visit of Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev to Yerevan and Baku (August-September 2010) and the meeting of the presidents of the United States and Azerbaijan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
What was most important in this series was the adoption of the joint statement of the presidents of the Minsk Group co-chairing states – Russia, the United States and France – on Nagorno-Karabakh on 26 June 2010.
The statement again summarized the principles for a conflict settlement coordinated by the parties, which are: the return of lands around Nagorno-Karabakh; interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh, with security and local government ensured; the presence of a corridor linking Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; definition of the future legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh by way of mandatory legal expression of will by its population; the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their places of previous residence; and international guarantees of security, including a peacekeeping operation.

Major discrepancies in the Russian and English versions of the statement nearly caused a diplomatic scandal.
Indeed, in the text the words “its population” were placed in brackets since these are absent in the English version. The exact definition here is important, since who will take part in the referendum depends on this: either the whole population of Azerbaijan, as envisioned in its Constitution, or residents of only one region of the republic, which Nagorno-Karabakh is, according to international law. The English version also speaks of the return of the occupied lands around Nagorno-Karabakh, while this is missing from the Russian version.
The English text is considered the official  one in this case, so Baku has not highlighted the existing differences, describing them as “a technical mistake”.
The adoption of this basic document was followed by the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. The central point of the visit was Baku, where she said the United States supported the peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict with consideration for the principles of territorial integrity, the non-use of the threat of force and the right to self-determination, reflected in the Helsinki Final Act.
The visit to Armenia focused on the problem of normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations and the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border – an issue which is of strategic concern to the US side. It was impossible to attain a breakthrough on these issues, moreover, the absence of a direct link to the need to solve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh caused an extremely negative reaction within Azerbaijani political circles. Leading Azerbaijani political scientists described the US secretary of state’s visit as “failed”.
The results of the official visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Baku were more definite in terms of Azerbaijan’s interests, since the parties signed a treaty on strategic partnership and mutual assistance on 16 August 2010 during the visit. All the same, the Turkish president hinted at a possible forced solution to the protracted conflict.
The risk of Turkey’s interference with a regional re-division of the Caucasus in the absence of real guarantees of stability from the US side may cause a new Caucasus war, which would pose Moscow some scarcely manageable challenges. Russia’s strategic ally, Armenia, was also caught at the junction of external threats, since an open anti-Russian campaign started there at the information level in August. It could easily have got out of control in early September, when incidents on the contact line became almost daily, so it was important build a system of checks and balances in order to prevent the uncontrolled expansion of the conflict.
Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev made state visits to Armenia and Azerbaijan. What is Moscow’s real position on the Karabakh conflict?
Russia’s position is based on the following: Azerbaijan and Armenia are strategic partners of Russia and war between them is inadmissible, while cooperation with them is important for Russia as a regional and global player in the Caucasus.
Negotiations in Armenia ended with the signing of a new agreement on military cooperation which extends the term of the Russian military base at Gyumri from 25 to 49 years. A kind of compensation for this was that Russia undertook to protect the Armenian borders, not only with Iran and Turkey but also with Azerbaijan.
A number of documents important for both parties were signed during the visit to Baku, including on the state border and on a four-fold increase in gas supplies from Azerbaijan to Russia.
How did these events influence the further resolution of the problem?
It is hard to judge about the long-term effects of the agreements on the balance of power in the South Caucasus. Today Armenia has received guarantees of security on its territory; Azerbaijan has got Turkey’s support on the basis of the agreement on strategic partnership and mutual assistance. As for the main issue, Nagorno-Karabakh, achievements were made in the phased implementation of the updated Madrid principles, though it does not necessarily guarantee a final break in the Karabakh deadlock.