September 22
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Armenia News - presents a daily digest of Armenia-related top news:

·       The Shengavit District seat of the capital city Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction on Friday denied the motion by the attorneys of Armenia’s second president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan to commute their client’s pretrial measure by being released on bail.

The court had earlier denied the motion to abolish the second president’s pretrial measure. Following the issuing of this ruling, his attorneys immediately motioned that the ex-president to be either released on bail or a signature bond to not leave Armenia.

Meanwhile, the supporters of the second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan were holding a protest in the courtyard in front of the seat of the Yerevan court of general jurisdiction in Shengavit Administrative District. There were a lot of police officers in the courtyard.

·      Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on Sunday will leave for New York to attend the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Also, a meeting between the FMs of Armenia and Azerbaijan will be held in New York on September 23, with the mediation and participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, Armenia MFA’s press service reported.

·      With today’s actions, the citizens fighting against the operation of the Amulsar gold mine are warning the Armenian government that they can stage work strikes, boycott classes, and close off streets, but they are not doing that, and giving the authorities time to resolve the matter. Shirak Buniatyan, one of the activists fighting against the operation of the Amulsar mine, on Friday stated this at the rally in Jermuk town.

Also, Buniatyan asked the schoolchildren to end boycotting of classes on September 23, and the people who have declared work strikes—to end them and wait for clear messages from the government.

Environmentalists and activists, however, have kept the roads to Amulsar closed for a long time. They oppose Amulsar’s operation and argue that the exploitation of this gold mine will have a disastrous impact on the environment.

·      Stepanakert should resolve the matter of whether to return [Azerbaijani saboteurs] Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev, said Armenian defense minister Davit Tonoyan.

He informed that he had met with the ICRC representatives Thursday, and he was formally given the respective proposal by Azerbaijan.

According to Tonoyan, however, some certain matters and discussions do not allow him to speak in more detail.

“The decision will be made in Stepanakert [the capital city of Artsakh],” the minister said. “As for the non-military citizens of Armenia, their return is my immediate responsibility.”

·       Former Vice President Joe Biden has written a letter to the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) declaring that “The United States must reaffirm, once and for all, our record on the Armenian Genocide.”

“We must never forget or remain silent about this horrific and systematic campaign of extermination that resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children and the mass deportation of 2 million Armenians from their homes,” he said.

In his letter to the Armenian Assembly of America, former Vice President conveyed congratulations to Congresswoman Jackie Speier on receiving the Assembly’s Deukmejian Award for Public Service. He also praised the said Congresswoman Speier’s efforts to work for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

·      Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make an official visit to Armenia from 28 September to 1 October, PM’s office said in a statement on Friday.

According to earlier reports, free trade area agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and Singapore is planned to be signed on October 1 at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council that will be held in Yerevan.

·       The Russian Railways (RR) state-owned railway company plans to sever its agreement with the Armenian authorities, claiming that the latter are obstructing the operation of RR’s subsidiary South Caucasus Railway (SCR), which operates the railways of Armenia. A source familiar with the respective talks between Russia and Armenia told this to RTVI; this information was confirmed by the Ministry of Transport of Russia.

RR’s relations with the Armenian authorities have deteriorated due to Yerevan’s searches at and criminal cases filed against SCR.

According to the RTVI’s source, seven criminal cases were brought against SCR, but they were merged into one case.