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Armenian News- NEWS.am informational agency presents a daily digest of Armenian top news as of 17.06.2019:

·       Suren Papikyan has been elected the chair of the board of Armenia’s ruling Civil Contract party after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan withdrew their candidacies.

During the congress of the Civil Contract Party held on Sunday, Pashinyan noted there would be a higher number of jobs, “if we stated the jobs created for people spreading fake news and disliking videos on YouTube.”

“We have sufficient political resources to make sure all the resources of the old corrupt system are consumed by paying salaries to those spreading fake news and disliking videos,” he added.

Ararat Mirzoyan, in his turn, noted that a war has been declared against the Armenian dreams and prospects, but not their political party but “the political party has no right to be defeated in this war as long as the political party has the support of the Armenian citizens.”

·       On the eve of next week’s meeting in Washington of Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs regarding Artsakh status and security issues, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to lift “arbitrary, outdated, and counter-productive restrictions” on travel and communication between the US and Artsakh.

“Azerbaijan’s attempts to limit U.S.-Artsakh dialogue, much like its reckless efforts to exclude Artsakh from full participation in OSCE negotiations, are clearly intended to serve the Aliyev regime’s domestic political purposes, but, just as clearly, hinder U.S. diplomacy, and hold back the progress we would all like to see toward a durable and democratic peace between Artsakh and Azerbaijan,” the statement said.

·       The Council of Europe (CoE) Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022 has launched Monday in Yerevan.

According to CoE Deputy Secretary General Mrs Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, the CoE Ministerial Committee closely follows important democratic reforms in Armenia and supports progress on the issue of increasing the transparency of the judicial system, adopting a new Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, creating new structures for fighting corruption.

The Armenian FM, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, in his turn, noted that the Council of Europe is ready to contribute to the implementation of judicial and legal reforms in Armenia, while the program budget is about 19 million euros.

·       The declaration of friendship signed with Shushi is lawful, Marlène Mourier, the Mayor of Bourg-lès-Valence, France, wrote this on Facebook after a French administrative court has annulled the declaration of friendship which Mourier signed in October 2014, with mayor Artsvik Sargsyan of Shushi, Artsakh.

“I will appeal the verdict of the administrative court,” she said adding: “I’ve have come to realize how the expressions of humanity and friendship awaken hope in the hearts of a population which hostile Azerbaijan is attempting to suffocate."

·       Employees of the Border Department of the Russian Federal Security Service in Armenia seized drugs on Monday at the checkpoint from the Iraqi citizen.

During a search of the Iraqi citizen who was traveling from Turkey to Armenia, the border guard found a white crystal-like substance in a plastic bag, presumably methamphetamine. According to the suspect, the drugs may be put in his pocket after he took the jacket to the laundry.

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