[05-10-2004 'Armenia-Azerbaijan']
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Source : "Golos Armenii" newspaper (Armenia)
Author: Marina Grigorian

The presentation of Ilham Aliev at the 59th session of the UN General
Assembly can amaze an uninformed person primarily by the number of
negative characteristics to the address of Armenia. And the vocabulary
of the Baku speechwriters was actually reduced to one attribute:
`illegal'. Aliev Jr. took his time in making heartbreaking complaints
to the participants in the General Assembly, alleging that whatever
Armenia has been doing in the region is illegal. Having read through
the text of the complaint one can only wonder: is there anything
`illegal' that Armenia has NOT done with regard to the neighbor

Yet, a person who is well informed about the situation in the region
understands immediately that this ardent speech can hardly be classed
as a political statement. Moreover, the AR President was pursuing
several aims, of which even the wish to make the world community cry
is not a priority. Its main purpose most probably was the inner PR,
because it is obvious that the regime heir faces rather serious
problems within the country, also of image nature. And what can help
the self-establishment of a desperately striving politician attempting
to gain his place in his own country, than militant anti-Armenian
hatespeech? So Baku did its best, mobilizing the intellectual
potential of the governing elite to create an embodiment of some
regional evil that does everything `illegally', thus preventing `poor'
Azerbaijan to easily develop and widen at the expense of the
territories of the neighboring nations.

Unfortunately, the imagination of Aliev's speechwriters did not go
beyond the `treacherous policy', leading to `illegal mass population
of Armenians on the territories occupied', `illegal drug traffic',
`illegal economic activity', `illegal expropriation of cultural and
architectural heritage' and other time of `illegal activities' of
Armenians and their supporters. This set of illegalities of
replenished by a clichéé on `the failure to comply with the UN
resolution', the refugees, whose number again increased - they no
longer make `about a million', but `over a million', `aggression' and
`grounds for terrorism' - and it seems to be all the Azerbaijani
President can say from the UN tribune. Also, Aliev Jr. stressed the
importance of the donor countries' activation - apparently the money
inflow aiming at `postconflict rehabilitation' of the areas that
suffered war got somewhat weaker.

A subject for a special discussion is refugees and donor funding. For
over ten years Azerbaijan has been howling aloud about `million
refugees' in wretched conditions, although its has repeatedly been
proved that the number is exaggerated. For over ten year this country,
so proud of its oil reserves and fabulous potential has no funds for
the settlement of people, whose status became a subject for political
manipulations and blackmailing of international community since the
day they appeared in the capital. It has been repeatedly pointed out
(and it is not to be forgotten) that the housing and property left in
Azerbaijan by the ousted Armenians would have been more than enough to
provide the Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons at
least with housing.

Yet none of the apartments left was given to a refugee, the property
of Armenians became a source of money for the senior Baku officials,
who later took foreigner to see the refugee camps and narrated how
disastrous their condition is, pleading for another million
dollars. The millions were allocated, flowing past these camps, the
conditions of the refugees did not get any better, because, apart form
the ethnic cleansings of Armenians, the Azerbaijani political elite
has learned and adopted the democide policy with regard to its own
nation, the condition of which interests the Baku authorities only
from the perspective of political aims and has long ago become only a
very productive reason for extorting the donor funding.

President Aliev should be ashamed today, ten year after the military
actions were stopped, to speak about the disastrous condition of `one
million refugees'. This also sets one to think whether there is really
any oil in the pipeline or the endless talks about the oil money and
the major oil projects are only bluff for naïve people, used,
again, to enrich a group of tycoons, who still find nothing is enough:
the huge poverty left by Armenians, the oil dollars, the millions
allocated to Azerbaijan for post-conflict rehabilitation? And is this
greed not the true reason for the continuing inner instability in
Azerbaijan, that induces its President not only speak from the
standpoint of aggressive hate of Armenians but also again put his hand
out for help to silence the greedy elite down?

Let us however turn back to the presentation of Ilham Aliev. It is
obvious that Azerbaijan is trying to get a new UN resolution imposed,
this time - of a bluntly anti-Armenian nature. Up to now, constantly
demanding the implementation of the UN resolution, Azerbaijan is not
quite sincere, hoping that everyone has forgotten the real content of
the resolutions. Actually none of the four UN resolutions on the
Karabagh issue says anything about the aggression of Armenian party,
as Azerbaijan states. Moreover, these documents can actually be
considered pro-Armenian, as none of them actually uses the phrase `the
armed forces of the Republic of Armenia', but vaguely speaks about
`Armenian forces', thus, in fact, recognizing them to be Karabaghi. It
should also be noted that the demand `to remove the troops from
occupied territories' should have long been voiced by Armenia. None of
the UN resolutions specified which are the occupied territories. And
if we speak about the troops withdrawal from the perspective of
international law, the dominance of which is insistently demanded by
Baku, it is Azerbaijan that should remove its tropes from those
territories that have undergone the post-conflict rehabilitation with
the active assistance of international community and which Mountainous
Karabagh Republic can consider occupied. These borderline regions,
where huge funding of the same UNDP and other donors were spent on the
restoration of infrastructure damaged in war now live in peace. At
least, this is what the world assistance what for, and it is not up to
us to ask what the millions of dollars were spent for. So why not take
out the troops and thus eliminate the tension source?

Let us now consider the position of the Armenian party. Naturally, the
first response when reading the stream of lies, hate and
desinformation that came crushing on our country and people was: why
was no response made by the head of Armenia? Why, instead of going to
General Assembly session, like Aliev and Sahakashvili did, Kocharian
went to China - it is hard to believe that the President did Nat
realize what the presentation of Aliev will be like and what the
response in Armenia to his Chinese voyage on these days would be - the
situation was easy to predict?

The response was partly given by the Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan
Oskanian in his presentation, and it became easier. However, the
question of why Kocharian did not speak in New York himself, thus
making the words weightier will be discussed for a long time - and in
unfavorable light for him, too.

We will dare to suppose that the visit to Beijing on these very days
is not incidental, but a well-thought tactic step. China is not only
increasingly gaining weight in world processes, but also a member of
the UN Security Council. And if this body decides to pass another
resolution on Mountainous Karabagh, Armenia will urgently need a veto
of a member - and why not China? Emotions on the tribune can be a good
PR step, but the real politics is made in the backstage. How much we
suffered because of the inability to use backstage as a political tool
- so may be this time we should trust this approach?

[05-10-2004 'Economic Development']
Source : "Zaman" newspaper (Turkey)
Author: Kadir Dikbas

The lack of stability in different regions of the world and the
increasing oil demand in Far East, in particular, China and India,
resulted in oil price increase to 50 USD. The Caspian oil has not as
yet taken its position in the world market; however, under the
circumstances its importance increases.

The profitability of investment in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, on
which Turkey insisted, was once again proved. The oil price increase
pleases all the investors in the Caspian.

The BTC pipeline, the construction of which at first seemed to be a
dream would be launched next year already. And the oil of Azerbaijan,
and later - of Kazakhstan will flow to the Mediterranean via
Ceyhan. So far Azerbaijan uses Baku-Supsa (Georgia) and
Baku-Novorossiysk (Russia) pipelines. But the bulk of oil awaits the
launch of Baku-Ceyhan pipeline.

Should everything go as predicted, the first tanker with Azerbaijani
oil will depart from Ceyhan Terminal in the first half of 2005. The
officials of Azerbaijan and Turkey announce there will be no delay,
and the pipeline will be launched in May next year the latest. It is
also expected that the gas pipeline constructed simultaneously, will
reach Erzrum next year.

The projects will somewhat milden the tension in Turkey which is very
dependent on imported oil and gas. Turkey will remain a consumer but
will also become an important transit linkage. The projects are also
important for the USA and Europe.

Along with this other development occur around us too. Iran intends to
start importing natural gas to Armenia. The final agreement of
constructing a pipeline was signed by the two countries in early
September in Yerevan.

The construction of the Armenian part of the pipeline will be funded
by the Iranian Exports Development Bank that will give Armenia a loan
of 30 million USD. By the agreement, the loan will be repaid through
the electricity generated with the use of Iranian gas. Among the
bidders for the construction of this part of the pipeline is the
Russian `Gazprom' company. The pipeline, the cost of which is
evaluated to be 220 mln. USD, will be launched in 2007.

Armenia and Iran divided the construction into parts so as not to
exceed the 30 mln USD threshold, imposed by the USA. The D'Amato Law,
passed by the US, imposes sanctions on companies who sign agreements
with Iran for amount exceeding 40 mln. USD.

In 1997 in the same way Turkmen gas was transported via Iran.

Important are the developments in Central Asia, too. Kazakhstan, who
uses Russian routes to market energy, in 2001 launched the Caspian oil
pipeline that goes to Novorossiysk. The capacity of the pipe comes to
28 mln. tons of oil, which is not enough for Kazakhstan, whose
production and exports grow. The need for a new pipeline has matured
so as to start the development of new fields.

There is news of new routes to China, too. Last week the second stage
of the pipeline construction started to transport oil from Kazakhstan
to China. This is the first oil route from Kazakhstan that bypasses
Russia. The oil pipeline from the western Kazakhstan will reach the
Chinese Kansu province. The length of the pipeline makes 1,000
km. Its construction will end in 2006 and the first oil will flow to
China. The capacity of the pipe is 10 million tons.

The cost of the project, implemented with the financial guarantee of
China is 700 million USD. At the last stage the length of the
pipeline by 2011 will reach 3,000 km, the capacity rising to 20
mln. tons. The overall cost of the project will make 3 billion USD.

Big money and bog project. The main task of china today is to secure
the growing oil demand, diversifying the sources. Thus the project is
of vital importance to China. And Kazakhstan is getting a new,
insatiable market.

The oil of the Caspian will be much talked about in future.

[02-10-2004 'Armenia-Azerbaijan']
Source : "Echo" newspaper (Azerbaijan)
Author: N. Guliev, N. Aliev

The problem of Armenia's illegal use of gold deposits, located on the
occupied territories, will be resolved at International Court.

Starting from next year, `royal tax' - `royalty', collected in many
countries for the use of natural resources, is introduced in
Armenia. In Armenia, like in many other countries (for the exception
of USA and some others), deposits are absolute property of the state,
which takes its `royal' share from the use of mineral resources. In
accordance to the new legislation, royalty is calculated as 1% from
the sale of extracted mineral resources, excluding depreciation and
capital expenditures of the deposit exploiter.

The largest payers of this tax, to fill the neighbors' state budget
still more, will be exploiters of gold deposits. The greatest part of
them is located on the occupied territories. Thus, the Armenian budget
will be replenished with Azerbaijani gold.

The Azerbaijani side has repeatedly raised the issue of Armenia's
illegal use of Zodsk (Soyudlin), Drmbon (Gyzylbulag) and other
deposits. However, for the time to come Armenians manage to attract
even foreign investors to their mining. Thus the owner of Ararat Gold
Recovery Company (AGRC) is a Canadian First Dynasty Mines company that
controls the operation of both Sotksk (Zodsk), Meghradzor deposits and
the Ararat Gold Recovery Company. Their project is scheduled for 10
years and may be prolonged for additional 10 years. For the present
time, FDM has invested over 30 million USD in Armenian gold-mining
industry, particularly in the construction of gold recovery company in
Ararat, preliminary exploitation of Zodsk deposit.

One more investor - Indian Sterlite Industries, Ltd Company - operates
this very disputable deposit. According to Armenian media, the volume
of investments, planned for this project in 2004, is evaluated at
80-100 million dollars.

By the way, it turned out that the investor, having invested his
capital in the project, lost twice. Not only will the greatest portion
of the deposit, located on the occupied territories, immediately after
the resolution of Mountainous Karabagh conflict and even earlier be
claimed by the Azerbaijani side, but also the preliminary data on the
gold deposits, revealed by Armenian State Commission on Resources,
were inflated for 50% at the least. Thus, instead of the planned
content of about 6-7 grams per ton of precious metal in the ore, the
actual content does not surpass 2-4 grams per ton. Therefore, the
investors now have to conduct preliminary investigation for revealing
the actual amount of the reserves...

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan, as it was reported, takes all possible measures
to prevent extraction of gold from the deposit that lies on the
occupied territories. According to `Echo', the head of the National
Service of geological investigation at the Ministry of Ecology and
Natural Resources of Azerbaijan, Shahbeddin Musaev, Zodsk deposit was
discovered in 1951 on the border of Kelbajar region from Azerbaijani
side and Basargechar region - from Armenian side. Despite the fact
that the greatest part of the deposit (75% of gold reserves) was on
the territory of Azerbaijan, the order of Geology Ministry of former
Soviet Union transferred it, for unknown reasons, to the Armenian
Geology Department. Its exploitation was started in 1976. In 1992, the
work was suspended because of Karabagh war. Throughout 1977-90, 27,6
tons of gold were extracted in this deposit, of which 20 thousand tons
- from the deposits located on Azerbaijani territory.

According to Sh. Musaev, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources
seriously tackles the problem of putting a ban on operation of gold
deposits, located on the occupied territories. `The Armenian decision
for introducing royalty made us take more serious steps. Our Minister,
Huseyngulu Bagirov raises this issue at practically each international
forum, makes radical statements. We sent our statements, protests to
many organizations. Now, due to the active participation of the
Minister, foreign law firms got interested in this problem'.

Azerbaijani side is now seriously concerned with passing the dispute
to the International Court of Arbitration. Foreign experts are already
invited to help Azerbaijani lawyers work out documents for the
court. According to a government source, the Azerbaijani side has
activated all the diplomatic and legal resources, involved all state
structures responsible. `We want royalty, taxed for the use of
Azerbaijani mineral resources, to be paid to the state treasury of our
country and not to Armenia', the source stated.

Yerevan Press Club of Armenia, 'Yeni Nesil' Journalists' Union of
Azerbaijan and Association of Diplomacy Correspondents of Turkey
present 'Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey: Journalist Initiative-2002'
Project. As a part of the project www.mediadialogue.org web site has
been designed, featuring the most interesting publications from the
press of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey on issues of mutual
concern. The latest updates on the site are weekly delivered to the