International News:


Catalonia Recognizes Armenian Genocide
CATALONIA, Spain (Arminfo) — On February 26, the parliament of the Spanish province of Catalonia recognized the Armenian Genocide
The decision of the parliament says that the Armenian Genocide was the second genocide of the modern times after the annihilation of the Herero people in Namibia.
It also says that from 1915 to 1921, the Armenian nation suffered from massacres and deportation from the territory of present-day Turkey, especially under the rule of the Young Turks, who, though first planning to democratize the Ottoman Empire, continued arrests, deportation and annihilation practices with respect to Armenians. Almost 800,000 Armenians reached the Syrian deportation centers, 300,000 in Eastern Armenia, while 1,500,000 Armenians were killed. Thus, the bill suggested, the parliament of Catalonia recognizes that the actions committed against the Armenian people in 1915-1921 was a genocide.
The Catalan members of parliament called for helping the Armenians in their efforts to democratize their country and for supporting the steps of Armenia and Turkey and the diplomatic endeavors of the West to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations.

Armenian Olympic Athletes Feted in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, Canada (Hetq) — An evening reception to honor the four young athletes who represented Armenia in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics took place at St. Vartan’s Armenian Church here.
Two hundred people showed up to congratulate the athletes — Kristineh Khachatryan, Ani-Matilda Serebrakyan, Sergei Mikayelyan and Arsen Nersisyan. Arman Hakobyan, Armenia’s acting ambassador to Canada, was on hand to officiate at the ceremony and he thanked the four young athletes for displaying a truly competitive spirit and performing to the best of their abilities. Hakobyan awarded each a letter of commendation in the name of the Armenian Embassy.

Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s Terzian and Jazmadarian Receive St. Gregory the Great Order
ROME — On Sunday, February 28, Nerses Bedros XIX Catholicos Patriarch, on behalf of Benedict XVI, awarded St. Gregory the Great Order medals (instituted in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI) to Bedros Terzian and Vahe Jazmadarian in recognition of their longtime contribution and instrumental role in the humanitarian efforts in Armenia.
The awards ceremony was attended by a distinguished roster of guests from different countries including Ambassador of Armenia to Italy Ruben Karapetian, and Armenian catholic bishops. The large-scale ceremony took place after the Sunday mass in the Armenian Catholic Convent of Rome.
Terzian and Jazmadarian have both been members of the fund’s Board of Trustees since its founding.

Upper Lars Checkpoint Resumes Work after Three-Year Break
TBILISI (Itar-Tass) — The Upper Lars checkpoint has resumed its work after being closed for three years, Head of the press service of the North-Ossetian frontier department of Russia’s Federal Security Service Alexander Solod said.
Civilian crossings, transport, cargo, animals and commodities through the Kazbegi checkpoint will be carried out in accordance with Georgian legislation, and crossing through Upper Lars — in accordance with Russia’s legislation.
The overland border between Georgia and Russia was closed in 2006 after the arrest of Russian officers in Tbilisi on charges of espionage.