ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN-TURKEY: THE DIALOGUE CONTINUES
On November 5-8 in Gudauri (Georgia) a round table titled “Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey: Looking for Reconciliation” was held. The event was organized by Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Germany, Yerevan Press Club and “Yeni Nesil” Journalists Union of Azerbaijan. The meeting was held under Armenian-Azerbaijani-Turkish journalistic imitative that was launched in 2001 and supported by the Open Society Network Media Program. In Gudauri the journalists and the political analysts of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey discussed a broad range of issues faced by the three countries.
The round table was opened by a summary presentation of the trilateral dialogue by the President of Baku Press Club Arif Aliev.
The main directions for the developments in the South Caucasus were discussed in the presentations made at the meeting. Azerbaijani political scientist Rasim Musabekov spoke about the impact of the NATO summit in June this year on the region. The Special Assistant to the State Minister of Georgia on Conflict Resolution, the Consultant of Friedrich Naumann Foundation Ketevan Tsikhelashvili analyzed the political processes in Georgia and their influence on South Caucasus in general. The presentation of the Professor of Yerevan State University, Ambassador David Hovhannisian touched upon regional economic projects in terms of their contribution to or obstruction of the resolution of conflicts in South Caucasus. The Correspondent of Turkish “Cumhuriyet” daily Leyla Tavsanoglu addressed the issue of opening Armenian-Turkish border as an important factor for the normalization of relations between the two countries. The Head of Armenian Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation Stepan Grigorian considered the possibilities for resolving the Karabagh conflict in the context of EU and NATO activation in South Caucasus. The presentation of Yerevan Press Club President Boris Navasardian was focused in the role of media, civil society and independent experts in finding solutions for the region.
MEDIA AND NGOS OF SOUTH CAUCASUS IN SEARCH OF MUTUALLY ACCEPTABLE SOLUTIONS
On November 3-5 in Tbilisi a conference “The Society and the Media of the South Caucasus Countries: Search for Mutually Acceptable Solutions to Regional Problems”. The event was organized under the homonymous project of Yerevan Press Club, the “Black Sea Press” Association of Georgia and “Yeni Nesil” Journalists Union of Azerbaijan, supported by Eurasia Foundation South Caucasus Cooperation Program.
At the opening of the conference the Regional Director of Eurasia Foundation South Caucasus Cooperation Program Rob O’Donovan welcomed the participants. The representatives of media and non-governmental organizations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia discussed the coverage of the relations of the three countries of South Caucasus and the perspectives of cooperation of “the third sector” and “the fourth estate” in their assistance to the resolution of regional problems.
On November 9 a press-conference was held in the RA General Prosecutor’s Office, devoted to institution of separate proceedings on the terrorist attack in the Armenian Parliament on October 27, 1999. However, not all of the leading Armenian media were able to receive first-hand information on the reasons behind the closure of the investigation on this separate part. Thus, the correspondents of “168 Zham” weekly and the online publication of “A1+” TV company (www.a1plus.am) were refused in entry. As YPC was told in these editorial offices, the refusal of the General Prosecutor’s Office was motivated by “lack of seats”. Considering the permanently intense interest the Armenian media has been displaying for the past five years towards everything that refers to the events of October 27, the law enforcement bodies should have been found a possibility to create additional seats.
The representatives of “A1+” noted also that it is not the first case for them when some state structures restricted access to information. Thus, recently particular difficulties are associated with the presence of “A1+” correspondents at the events held by the administration of the RA President. The latest example of that is the refusal to accredit “A1+” to cover the visit of the NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Yerevan on November 5. The representatives of “A1+” were only able to attend the meeting of the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance with the students of Yerevan State University, when accreditations were issued by the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“TV-MOL”, ALSO KNOWN AS “TV-MAN”
Since November 11 the Russian version of “TV-mol” weekly – “TV-man” started to be published. As it has been reported, the newspaper is issued in Armenian since mid-September. The founder of “TV-mol”/ “TV-man” is the CS Publishing House, the Chief Editor is Artashes Khachatrian. Similarly to “TV-mol”, “TV-man” is published on 32/A3 pp. (16 of them being full-color). The total circulation of the weeklies is 45,000 copies.
On November 7, at age of 44 our colleague passed away, the deputy Chief Editor of “Novoye Vremya” newspaper Mikhail Shakhsuvarian. Yerevan Press Club expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.