February 22
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Armenian News - presents a daily digest of top news as of 29.01.2020:

·       A meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs – Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov – commenced in Geneva Tuesday.

The meeting was held under mediation and participation of OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov, Stéphane Visconti, Andrew Schoffer and OSCE Personal Representatives of the Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.

·       A conscript serviceman in Artsakh was wounded Tuesday by a shot he himself had fired, Armenian MOD’s spokesperson Artsrun Hovhannisyan told Armenian News -

According to Artsakh MOD press service, the soldier, 20, is in critical condition.

An investigation is underway to find out the details of the incident.

·       Two Chinese citizens have been not allowed to cross the Georgian border as one of them had a fever and was suspected to have the coronavirus, Armenian health representatives told reporters Wednesday.

According to the head of Department of Epidemiology of Special Dangerous and Airborne Diseases Liana Torosyan, the citizens were isolated and checked, and they appeared not to have symptoms of coronavirus infection.

She also noted Armenia has no lab tests for the diagnosis of the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus, but, they are going to get them from WHO and Russia in 10 days.

The death toll of the virus has increased up to 132, while the number of infected has exceeded 6,000. Eight countries are evacuating their citizens and employees of embassies and consulatesUAE has also confirmed the first case of a new coronavirus.

·       A passenger bus belonging to an Iranian company conducting transportation with the Tehran-Yerevan-Tehran route crashed Wednesday near Mianeh, Iran.

According to the embassy, the injured has been hospitalized in Mianeh and Tabriz.

No Armenian citizens reportedly were on the bus.

·       Police apprehended Tuesday the co-founders of the opposition Adekvad party Artur Danielyan, Konstantin Ter-Nakalyan, and two other members, as well as VETO initiative founder Narek Malyan. They were all apprehended on suspicion of possession or carrying of illegal weapons. After a while, the citizens were released.

Later that evening, Civil Consciousness head NGO Narek Samsonyan has also been detained on the same suspicion, but was taken to the department for illicit drugs trafficking. He was later released and said Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan is personally responsible for the deletions.

By the way, Samsonyan told the police he reportedly saw Armenian parliament’s speaker Ararat Mirzoyan in the car using narcotics. He expressed hope that department will deal with this case as well.

·       The Armenian CC head Hrayr Tovmasyan gave an interview to Armenian TV channel amid the recent developments. Earlier, the dissemination of his daughter’s FB page and PM Nikol Pashinyan’s statement that CC head had offered him ‘services’ heated discussions on social media. When Tovmasyan accused PM of distorting the fact, the PM shared the photo of Tovmasyan’s pen handed to him. According to PM, he was shocked to learn how much does this pen cost.

Tovmasyan urged all “to put an end to the story of this pen,” as problems facing Armenia as well as regional and other challenges are much more complicated.

Asked to comment whether his relationship with PM being inimical, the CC president said he had no enemies in his country. “My enemies are on the other side of the border.”

Tovmasyan has also touched upon the PM’s statement that it is necessary to conduct an investigation to find out whether Tvomasyan’s foreign visits posed a threat to national security. The head noted he made only two foreign visits - to St. Petersburg and Latvia.

·       Dozens of passengers on the Ryanair airlines Milan-Yerevan flight on Tuesday were denied boarding / registration on the plane, representative reported.

According to the representative, a similar situation was due to the poor organization of the flight.

As co-founder and director of Vaner Harutyunyan noted, "Ryanair offered to use the Rome flight a few days later,” whereas they were required to arrange the transfer to Armenia within two hours. As he noted, various people have tried to return at their own expense.