Armenia and Azerbaijan recognise each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty
After hours of negotiations, with the mediation of European Council president Charles Michel, and French president Emanuel Macron, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan , Nikol Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, have taken a historic step towards lasting peace. Both countries have recognised each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and committed to tangible steps to establish peace and stability in the region. President Macron tweeted early this morning "Tonight, Armenia and Azerbaijan confirmed their commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and the Alma Ata 1991 Declaration through which both recognize each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty." The four leaders held two long sessions of negotiations on the margins of the summit of the European Political Community which was launched at Prague Castle on Thursday afternoon (6 October). It is also understood that a number of other decisions were taken. It was agreed that the EU will deploy on the Armenian side of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border a civilian monitoring mission, for a period of two months starting from October.
dennis2020 Fri, 10/07/2022 - 06:25
Eastern European civil society activists awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize
The 2022 Peace Prize has been awarded to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation Memorial and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Center for Civil Liberties. A statement published on the official website of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Committee in Oslo said The Peace Prize laureates represent civil society in their home countries. They have for many years promoted the right to criticise power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens. They have made an outstanding effort to document war crimes, human right abuses and the abuse of power. Together they demonstrate the significance of civil society for peace and democracy.
dennis2020 Fri, 10/07/2022 - 11:41 Erdogan and Pashinyan met in Prague

Turkish President, Recip Tayip Erdogan and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met at Prague Castle on Thursday, (6 October) on the margines of the first summit of the European Political Community.

dennis2020 Fri, 10/07/2022 - 06:53 First Summit of the European Political Community opens in Prague
In the historic settings of Prague Castle, leaders from across Europe gathered on Thursday for the first summit of the European Political Community. Apart from the leaders of the 27 EU member states, leaders from non EU member states are also attending, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom With the dramatic consequences of Russia’s aggression war, EU leaders agreed during the European Council meeting in June 2022 to launch the European Political Community with the aim of bringing together countries on the European continent. The ambition is to bring leaders together on the European continent and to foster their cooperation on issues of common interest, revolving around peace and security, the economic situation, energy and climate, and migration and mobility. No formal written outcome of the European Political Community is envisaged. After the traditional family photo, the meeting kicked off with a round table discussion on peace and security in Europe. This story will be updated throughout the day.
dennis2020 Thu, 10/06/2022 - 15:56

Focus on Central Asia

Kazakhstan to host next World Nomad Games in 2024

Kazakhstan will host the Vth World Nomad Games in 2024, said the chairperson of Mazhilis, the lower house of the Kazakh Parliament, Yerlan Koshanov, during a meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Monday (3 October) 


At the fourth World Nomad Games that took place from Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 in the Turkish city of Iznik, Kazakhstan national team won three gold, four silver, and two bronze medals, reported the press service of the Centre of National and Equestrian Sports.

dennis2020 Wed, 10/05/2022 - 06:20
CICA set to become an international organisation at this month's Astana summit
The Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is set to become a fully fledged international organisation during a summit of leaders of its members to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan on 12-13 October. A Special Working Group (SWG) meeting held on 28-29 September, has made a major advance in preparing draft documents to be adopted at the upcoming sixth CICA Summit. The main document includes a draft Astana Statement on CICA Transformation, which is designed to transform CICA into a full-fledged international organization. Other draft documents include a draft of the CICA Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation in the Field of Security and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies and draft the CICA Plan of Action on the Implementation of the United Nations (UN) Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
dennis2020 Sat, 10/01/2022 - 06:15

Voices - Opinion and analysis

Opinion: Preparing for the worst, whilst working to avoid it
Putin’s annexation of parts of Ukraine takes the world to the verge of War, but a stronger and more united global condemnation of Russian aggression can still make Putin step back. Monday Commentary is back. Every Monday, Managing Editor, Dennis Sammut discusses a hot topic on the European and international agenda. This week he weighs the implications of Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine, and the dilemma it poses to the rest of the world. He argues that it takes the world to the verge of a world war involving nuclear-armed states. But this can still be avoided if there is more global unity in condemnation of the Russian aggression.
dennis2020 Sun, 10/02/2022 - 13:13
Analysis: Russia's "Wagner group" poses a threat to peace and security in the Sahel
While the world’s attention is focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s presence in Africa, and particularly in Mali, increasingly represents a threat to international security, writes Camille Victor for Russia’s presence in Mali has generated considerable controversy since the end of 2021, with many Western powers denouncing the activities of the Russian “Wagner Group” paramilitary mercenaries in the country, accusing them of violating human rights and the rule of law. Indeed, while Mali had been cooperating closely with France in the fight against terrorism since 2013, the Malian junta that seized power in a coup in May 2021 has drastically changed its foreign policy, now turning to Moscow to help stabilise the security situation by employing the services of this shady Kremlin-linked private security group. Given that Mali’s security is currently in the hands of forces that not only fail to effectively counter an increasing terrorist threat, but also to fail to respect human rights and the rule of law, all the while facing zero accountability for their abuses, ensuring that the junta upholds its commitment to conduct democratic elections in 2024 must remain a priority. In the meantime, an integrated security risk management and peacebuilding strategy should include measures that encourage transparency and accountability for abuses and breaches to the rule of law committed by security forces, notably through strengthening civilian institutions and oversight mechanisms.
patrickn97 Wed, 09/21/2022 - 17:18
Opinion: Armenia and Azerbaijan have embarked on a long and arduous journey towards sustainable peace. Continued lack of trust seriously hampers the process, and needs to be addressed as a priority.
In this Joint Policy Discussion Paper, Ahmad Alili and Benyamin Poghosyan welcome the start of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on a meaningful peace treaty. They warn however that, at all levels, trust between the two sides remains very low and that this will make the process difficult. They urge both sides to conduct the negotiations with a strong sense of realism, and to ensure that the speed of the negotiations is well calibrated.
dennis2020 Wed, 10/05/2022 - 10:04
Watch again! The closing event of 'The Hague Conversations on the Future of Europe in the World' is pleased to be the media partner for the closing event in 'The Hague Conversations on the Future of Europe in the World' – a series of ten activities organised by LINKS  Europe  in  association  with  the City of The Hague and with the support of the Hague Humanity Hub. The events were mostly held in person, with some also held online or in hybrid format, from September 2021 to February 2022 as part of the “Conference on the future of Europe” process. 

Maximiliaan va… Tue, 02/22/2022 - 16:14
Editor's choice
Opinion: "Our ambition in Kosovo is to transform our young and vibrant democracy into the most prosperous nation in the region"

Opinion: "Our ambition in Kosovo is to transform our young and vibrant democracy into the most prosperous nation in the region"

Recently, the Government of Kosovo submitted a formal application to join the Council of Europe as a full member. The international community remains divided on the issue of Kosovo's international recognition. Yet in the few years since its independence Kosovo has made great strides forward, and today has one of the most dynamic economies in the Western Balkans, a vibrant cultural life, and a solid track record on human rights and the fight against corruption. interviewed the Ambassador of Kosovo to the Netherlands, Dren Doli, about the current state of play in relations between Kosovo and Serbia, and on the thorny issue of whether the recognition of Kosovo has emboldened secessionist movements elsewhere. Ambassador Doli said that "the tendency to use Kosovo as a model for other cases is a strategy to generalise the rules that guide the creation of states and inflict confusion, deflect the truth, and deny the significance of objective arguments that differentiate Kosovo from other cases". Doli told that "Kosovo is one of the rare examples of successful democratic state-building supported by western democracies". Ambassador Doli said that the government of Kosovo is committed to further develop and improve its relations with Serbia and welcomes any initiative  by the EU and the US in this direction.
Editor's choice
Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani expert group on confidence-building measures agrees to intensify efforts

Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani expert group on confidence-building measures agrees to intensify efforts

The Joint Armenian-Azerbaijani Liaison Group on Confidence-building measures in support of lasting peace in the South Caucasus (JOLIG), made up of 11 Armenian and Azerbaijani independent experts and opinion-shapers, met in Kachreti, Georgia on 27 and 28 June 2022 to review its activity, and agree on a strategy as to how its work on confidence-building measures can contribute to efforts aimed at bringing lasting peace in the South Caucasus. Participants discussed ongoing efforts aimed at establishing the right conditions for the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan being undertaken by the governments of the two countries with the support of international players. They called on the leadership of the two countries to remain focused and committed to this mission. The group emphasised its belief that confidence-building measures are necessary to be implemented in the current state of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, and were indispensable as the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan seek peaceful solutions to long lasting disputes and controversies between them.

Focus on Yemen

Editor's choice
Analysis: Origins of the Houthi supremacist ideology

Analysis: Origins of the Houthi supremacist ideology

One of the several, often overlooked, challenges facing Yemen is the supremacist and divisive ideological basis of the Houthi movement. The movement’s ideology has rebellion and violence at its core, a recipe that can perpetuate crises within a society. In this analysis for, Noman Ahmed and Mahmoud Shamsan shed light on the ideological fault lines that fuel the current conflict in Yemen, highlighting the nature of this ideology, which suggests that Ahl al-Bayt — descendants from the family of the Islamic Prophet — are, by divine decree, considered to be more deserving of the right to greater political and religious rule than other socio-political components. The analysis then looks into the background of the Houthis and argues that the ideology is a catalyst for conflict rather than peaceful political competition, and that so long as the Houthi political goal of Hashemite dominance remains unrealised, Houthi desire for conflict will not recede.

Focus on the South Caucasus

Opinion: Reconciliation requires empathy and understanding to each other's tragedies

In this op-ed for, Vasif Huseynov says Armenia has no right to occupy the moral high ground on humanitarian issues in the South Caucasus. If really interested in peace and reconciliation, both sides should condemn crimes against humanity including war crimes and hold the perpetrators accountable instead of denying the facts, he says.

dennis2020 Fri, 10/07/2022 - 10:52
Opinion: Beware of Americans bearing gifts
In this op-ed for, Benyamin Poghosyan says that the visit of Nancy Pelosi to Armenia created quite a lot of hype, since some saw in it the prospects for national salvation. But the visit's "democracy vs authoritarianism agenda" is risky for Armenia he argues.   Armenia should send clear signals to Russia and Iran that it has no intention to join the “democracy vs. authoritarianism fight” and will never allow anyone to use its territory for anti-Iranian or anti-Russian activities.
dennis2020 Thu, 09/22/2022 - 04:54
Promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and a secure and prosperous Europe in friendship and solidarity with its neighbours  is an activity of LINKS Europe, an independent foundation based in The Hague, The Netherlands. We focus on issues related to European peace and security, Europe's neighbouring regions, including Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia; North Africa and the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. We aim to provide insights and analysis on different topics in our area of interest, and a platform for diverse opinions.