1) Oskanian: Karabakh Will Never be A Part of Azerbaijan
2) Gul Criticizes France over Bills Proposing Jail Time for Genocide Denial
3) Thousands Rally to Stop the Violence in Darfur

1) Oskanian: Karabakh Will Never be A Part of Azerbaijan

STEPANAKERT (Combined sources)--"Negotiations for the settlement of the
Karabakh conflict have reached a stalemate after Rambouillet. A certain
progress was observed before those talks, and now attempts are being made to
restore it," Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian stated at Artsakh State
University during his two-day visit to the Republic of Mountainous Karabakh.
Oskanian said the settlement of the Karabakh conflict is one of the most
important issues of Armenia's foreign policy. The minister also said the two
most current issues in the foreign political sphere are public democratization
and stable economic development. He also stressed the importance of
in various spheres with Russia, and the necessity for Armenia and Karabakh to
integrate into European structures.
Regarding the current state of the negotiation process, Oskanian said
"Azerbaijan should understand that one cannot turn back the clock. Baku should
get rid of the idea of a forced settlement of the conflict."
Touching upon mutual concessions, Oskanian said, ~SMutual compromises
should be
born during talks. Each of the parties has a line that the other cannot
For the Armenian side, that line is the guarantee of Karabakh security,
independence for Karabakh, and uninterrupted land communication with Armenia.
Oskanian made clear that these points are not negotiable and they won~Rt be
"I don't know what status Karabakh will have in the future, but I know for
sure what it will not be: Karabakh will never be a part of Azerbaijan. That is
absolutely impossible," Oskanian said. ~SKarabakh has never been part of
Azerbaijan,~T he emphasized.

2) Gul Criticizes France over Bills Proposing Jail Time for Genocide Denial

(Combined sources)--Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met his French
counterpart Philippe Douste-Blazy in an informal meeting of NATO foreign
ministers in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia last week.
During the meeting Minister Gul sharply criticized France for five bills in
the legislative proposing jail sentences and fines for denying the Armenian
genocide. Turkey asked France to stop these resolutions, which were submitted
to the French parliament by the Socialist Party with the aim of punishing
who deny the Armenian genocide.
Gul asked the French minister, ~SIf I visit France and say there is no
genocide, will you imprison me too?~T
The minister went on to ask if the French government would imprison Turkish
politicians paying an official visit to France and they deny the Armenian
genocide to reporters. "Will you put these politicians in jail? If our
president or prime denies the Armenian genocide in France, will you imprison
them too?~T
Gul stressed that if these proposed resolutions are enacted, they will create
problems with the political and economic relations between Turkey and France.
The French parliament will debate the resolutions on May 18.

3) Thousands Rally to Stop the Violence in Darfur

Protesters urge Bush to push for a stronger multinational peacekeeping force.

WASHINGTON (Reuters)--Thousands of people rallied Sunday on the National Mall
against human rights abuses in Darfur, joining celebrities, politicians and
activists who called on the Bush administration to strengthen its efforts to
end the violence in Sudan's western region.
"Let's tell President Bush he needs to do more," said David Rubenstein,
coordinator of the Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of 165 religious and
humanitarian groups that sponsored the rally. "His heart is in the right
but he is not doing enough. We need George Bush to work harder to save Darfur
People came from as far away as California to send that message and to hear
such speakers as actor George Clooney, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Nobel Peace
Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and Olympic speedskating gold
medalist Joey Cheek.
The Save Darfur Coalition wants Bush to push harder for a stronger
multinational peacekeeping force to protect people in Darfur. Its members have
collected more than 750,000 postcards urging him to do so.
The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when Arab tribal militias, known as
janjaweed, began a campaign of terror to crush a rebellion in Darfur. The
Sudanese government denies widespread accusations that it backs the militias.
The White House and Congress have described the campaign of mass killings and
rapes of civilians as genocide. More than 180,000 people have died, and more
than 2 million are homeless.
On Sunday, hours before a deadline for peace talks imposed by African Union
mediators, the rebels rejected a proposal to end the fighting, the Associated
Press reported. One rebel faction said the measure did not address its demands
for greater autonomy and for the appointment of a vice president from Darfur,
the Associated Press said.
The Sudanese government had said earlier in the day that it would agree to
plan, although there were indications that it did so only after determining
that the rebels would reject it.
The proposal could bring as many as 20,000 United Nations forces to bolster
the 7,000 African Union troops that have largely failed to prevent violence.
In response, the African Union extended the deadline for negotiations for 48
Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice called on China and Russia to join the United States in trying to get
Sudan to accept U.N. truce forces.
"Obviously, a peace agreement would be a very important step forward in
getting this done," she said.
On Sunday afternoon, Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick issued a
statement "urging the parties to finalize the agreement right away."
He praised the participation of the thousands who came to more than a dozen
rallies scheduled in cities across the country, including Austin, Texas; San
Francisco; Seattle; and Portland, Ore.
"People want a solution," he said. "Their activism and energy is
The rally on the Mall attracted 240 busloads of activists, according to
organizers, who said last week that they expected 10,000 to 15,000 to attend.
The National Park Service, which is responsible for events on the Mall, no
longer provides estimates of crowd sizes.
Sunday's gathering under a bright blue sky brought together older people,
families with young children, and students from a wide variety of religious
ethnic backgrounds.
"I heard that there wasn't a bus left in New Jersey," said Stacey Orden of
Hillsdale, N.J., who came with 55 people from her temple.
"In 1944, when 6 million people died in concentration camps, the U.S. waited
too long to intervene. Never again. And never again means never again," Orden
said. "Innocent people are being killed, and women are being raped."
Nan Myers of Philadelphia said she wanted to "make our views known to the
people who can make a difference to stop the genocide in Darfur. It is
gratifying to see so many young people."
About 50 students traveled from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill, even though they have final exams today.
"This is a lot more important than exams," said Joanna Zelman, 20. "There is
genocide going on, and you cannot sit by and let that happen."
She and her friend Jamie Persons, 19, said they were inspired by the movie
"Hotel Rwanda," which told how hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina saved more than
1,000 lives during ethnic violence in that country.
Rusesabagina, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom last year and
has visited Sudan, addressed the rally: "What I saw in Darfur is exactly what
was going on in Rwanda."
Seminary students Dan Peake and Kevon Gray came from Columbus, Ohio, because
Gray had heard about the problems in Darfur while on an evangelical mission in
Anderia Arok, a Sudanese who came to this country four years ago and lives in
Colorado, said, "They are committing genocide to get land in Darfur."
Peter Marcus, a Los Angeles lawyer, led a delegation of more than 100 from
Jewish World Watch, a Southern California organization he described as
"egregious human rights abuses, including genocide."
"Darfur is currently our primary focus," Marcus said. "The rally this weekend
is to draw attention to the issue. Genocide is a particularly sensitive issue
in the Jewish community, for obvious reasons."
He said of Darfur: "The United States and the world are not doing enough."

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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress