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Armenian News - NEWS.am presents a daily digest of top news as of 18.07.2019:​

·       A clash broke out Wednesday evening in Armenia’s Ijevan town between the police and the demonstrator who closed off the road and who are engaged in logging. The demonstrators are complaining about the authorities’ new harsh stance on unlawful logging.

The demonstrators blocked the motorway leading to Georgia for several hours, causing a 5km-long traffic jam. Later, however, the road was reopened. 

As a result of Wednesday’s clashes between police and demonstrators in Ijevan, 11 people—8 of them policemen—were brought to the Ijevan medical center.

A criminal case has been initiated after the clashes as three people have been detained.

According to Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, “any attempt to impose unlawful conditions upon the government will be deserving of the harshest counteraction”.

·       Armenian FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, who is on a working visit to Washington to attend the Second Annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, met yesterday with Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, as reported the news service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.

Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Acting US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs also touched upon the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the meeting held in Washington on June 20 and particularly underscored the need to shape a favorable environment to advance the peace process.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave an interview to Azatutyun Radio and spoke about the latest development.

The PM also spoke about the report of the Venice Commission touching upon Armenia.

“We agreed that we must talk about the mechanisms and legislative amendments,” he said.

According to him, both the Council of Europe and the EU have expressed full support to the Armenian Government in regard to judicial and legal reforms.

Speaking on the Karabakh issue, he said that the “hotline” between Yerevan and Baku is operating, but this doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be casualties.

“…Any option for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue must be acceptable for the people of Armenia, the people of Karabakh and the people of Azerbaijan,” he said “Why is there no progress? It is because the President of Azerbaijan refuses to utter the same sentence in full,” he added.

The Prime Minister also touched upon the vetting issue.

According to him, the goal is to have an independent, impartial court of principle, not to conduct vetting.

“For me, vetting means having a court that will be independent, impartial and of principle. The goal is to have this kind of a court, not to conduct vetting,” Nikol Pashinyan said”

The PM also noted that it wouldn’t be right for the government or the parliamentary majority to undertake constitutional amendments, “because people might interpret it as the new government amending the Constitution the way it sees fit, but I think it’s normal for the public to undertake such initiatives.”

·       President of the National Assembly of Armenia, Ararat Mirzoyan, on Tuesday met with Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on the margins of the ongoing Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

Mirzoyan presented the ongoing developments in Armenia, and he thanked Pelosi for her long-standing contribution to Armenian-American relations.

The US House speaker, in turn, attached great importance to the democratic changes that have occurred in Armenia.

·       Iran and Armenia are likely to exchange trade with local currencies, said Chairman of Iran-Armenia Joint Chamber of Commerce Hervik Yarijanian.

“We are following up necessary measures to do business with hard currencies of the two countries i.e. rials and drams, so that proposal of setting up a finance and credit institution beyond banking rules has been submitted to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Mehr reported quoting the chairman. 

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