March 23-30. Pashinyan-Aliyev First Official Meeting was Held

Criminal Case Against the Soldiers, News from the Parliament

Pashinyan-Aliyev First Official Meeting was Held

On March 29 the first official meeting of Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev took place in Vienna. The meeting was arranged at the initiative of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.  It lasted longer than planned: 3 hours and 15 minutes.

The meeting was focused on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Negotiations started with the participation of Foreign Ministers of the two countries, as well as OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. After the meeting with expanded team Pashinyan -Aliyev continued the negotiation behind closed doors. Pashinyan positively assessed the meeting.

During the meeting with Armenian community representatives in Vienna Pashinyan said: ″I cannot say that there has been a breakthrough in the negotiation process, a revolution, a turning point or event, but it is important that a process has started, which allows us to speak about our agenda, ideas, concerns and talk about the process I referred to in Stepanakert and later on during my press conference.″

Before visiting Vienna, Nikol Pashinyan mentioned that views will be exchanged around the inclusion of Artsakh in the negotiations of the NK conflict settlement, but neither of the sides states anything about it after the meeting.

Criminal Case Against the Soldiers

During the past week media outlets were actively covering the case of the soldiers who voluntarily left one of the military units in Meghri and then returned. Information about the incident is limited. The main source of information was the spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisyan, as well as parents of the soldiers. First, they gathered in front of the Government Building and then in front of the Ministry of Defense.

Hovhannisyan assures that, those who left the military unit had previously made disobedience. Two criminal cases launched on the incident. As a result of service investigation, a number of officers were dismissed, and disobedient soldiers were moved to other military units, mainly located in the frontline. The soldiers’ relatives expressed their indignation about the fact demanding that the soldiers continue their service in the same military unit. But this is considered to be impossible by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Defense. Parents claim that one of the officers of the military unit is to be blamed, in real. Meanwhile, Hovannisyan stated that no one making disobedience and contumacy will remain unpunished in the armed forces.

News from the Parliament

The draft law on making amendments and addenda to the RA Constitutional law  “On State Pensions” was adopted, by which the minimum pension will become equal to the extreme poverty threshold.

The legislative package was fully approved in second reading on amending the RA Constitutional Law “The Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly” and on Making Amendments and Addenda to the RA Constitutional Law on “Constitutional Court.” 83 MPs voted for it. The Constitutional Court found contradictory terms in those laws. To eliminate them Constitutional Court’s Judge election and terms of appointment were clarified by the amandments.

One More SNCO Will Dissolve

“Armenian Roads Directorate” SNCO’s functions will be fulfilled by the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies from now on. The Government decided to dissolve the mentioned SNCO during its March 29 session.

The state budget allocated 218 million AMD to the SNCO annually. It is noted that as a result of the dissolvement 37.6 million AMD will be saved, which was annually spent for keeping the SNCO administration. SNCO had 50 employees.

Conductor Orbelian released Director position of Opera Theater

By order of Acting Minister of Culture Nazeni Gharibyan Constantine Orbelian was released from the position of director of the Spendiaryan National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. He was the artistic director of the theater at the same time. The latter was appointed artistic director in 2016 and director in July, 2017 by order of former Armenian Minister of Culture Armen Amiryan.

On March 30, before the “Masquerade” performance, actors of the theater made an announcement in support of the released director and artistic director Constantine Orbelian. On April 1, cultural figures gathered in front of the Government Building to make a protest against the appointment of a newly appointed director of the theater.

“I have put a lot of efforts into the theater and I have many plans for the future. She has not called me. We have received an official reference. I am not going to contact her either, she has expressed her official position,” said Orbelian adding that he is going to apply to the court.

Acting Minister of Culture of RA Nazeni Gharibyan in her turn stated that the decision of releasing Orbelian was the requirement of the law.  “Mr. Orbelian was appointed director with violations of the law. During these months we have been trying to find a key to this problem. There is a requirement of the law which should be fulfilled,” said Gharibyan adding that Ministries of Justice and Labor and Social Affairs assured that director has no right to hold other jobs except from creative, pedagogical and scientific activities.

Ampop  Media

Translated by Mary Grigoryan

For Armenian original CLICK HERE

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First Published: 02/04/2019